Campus News

UK Takes Next Step in Cloud Computing With Strategic Blue Collaboration

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2015) — The University of Kentucky has finalized a first-of-its-kind agreement between a U.S. academic institution and a financial cloud broker, Strategic Blue. This is a major step toward moving a significant number of computing workloads from an aging datacenter to computing resources within multiple vendors’ public and private cloud offerings. 

Strategic Blue was founded by former commodity trading experts at Morgan Stanley who apply their pricing expertise to cloud computing.

“Known as thought leaders and pioneers in the cloud brokerage market, Strategic Blue is uniquely positioned to ensure that the university’s enterprise workloads deployed across multiple cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) vendors will deliver optimal value on a risk-adjusted basis,” said Dan O’Brien, vendor and contract management lead at UK Analytics and Technologies (UKAT).

The collaboration between UK and Strategic Blue begins by evaluating vendor RFP (request for proposal) responses, followed by negotiating contracts with multiple selected vendors who offer the best pricing for the appropriate quality of IaaS and PaaS based on the evolving needs of the university. 

Strategic Blue will act as a financial intermediary, bridging gaps between how each vendor prefers to be paid, and what suits UK’s accounts payable procedures. Using its unique insight into the cloud market, combined with its commodity trading expertise, Strategic Blue will recommend pre-planned movement of workloads between cloud providers on a periodic basis to take advantage of volatility in the future price of cloud.

“This unique relationship allows UK to procure cloud services at the lowest possible rate through Strategic Blue, who purchases cloud on our behalf on terms structured to get the best deal from each cloud provider,” said Jason Conley, enterprise architect at UKAT.

Moving forward, cloud resources will allow the university to reallocate capital funds, while acquiring the economies of scale held in the world-class datacenters of selected vendors.

“With Strategic Blue, the University of Kentucky will be enabled to procure only what we need, when we need it, at the best possible price," O'Brien said.

“The University of Kentucky is leading the way among U.S. academic institutions in terms of how they embrace the opportunities presented by cloud computing," said James Mitchell, CEO of Strategic Blue "They have a mature understanding of how to exchange the established risks of running workloads internally in smaller, aging datacenters, for the different, but equally manageable, risks of running workloads across multiple cloud providers.”

About Strategic Blue

Strategic Blue is a financial cloud broker founded in 2009 to bring expertise from the traded commodity markets to cloud computing. Strategic Blue offers “pricing insights” to help cloud buyers, vendors and resellers understand cloud pricing trends, and “cloud options” to enable cloud buyers to purchase third-party cloud services on financial terms tailored to their needs. Find out more at

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