Category Archives: EMEA

Parallels adds new resources for UK channel partners

UK Channel Partners With nearly 20 years of experience in the IT industry, Steve Wilson is a seasoned veteran in the IT world. Recently, Steven has taken his talents to Parallels, where he will be joining the UK team to reinforce and boost the channel development in the region. John Leahy, the head of sales […]

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Oracle creating 1,400 new cloud jobs in EMEA

OracleOracle has announced aggressive expansion plans with a recruitment drive for junior and senior sales staff to be based in six cities across EMEA.

The cloud software giant is now actively headhunting for 1,400 new cloud sales staff to work out of sales HQs in Amsterdam, Cairo, Dubai, Dublin, Malaga and Prague. Oracle will be investing in two new cloud sales centres in Amsterdam and Cairo and new offices opening this year in Dubai, Dublin and Prague.

The new initiative follows a multi-billion dollar investment in a new portfolio of cloud computing services which Oracle claiming it now has ‘everything from secure computing infrastructure to enterprise cloud applications’. It currently offers 600 cloud applications to complement its on-premise hardware and software offerings. As enterprises move to hybrid cloud computing models, Oracle says it is now placed to help them manage their overall enterprise computing environment while simplifying the potentially difficult transition to the cloud.

Oracle claims that in the six months since June 2015 it has added nearly 1,500 new software as a service (SaaS) customers and 2,100 platform as a service (PaaS) customers.

Oracle president Loic Le Guisquet, said that though these are ‘exciting times’ for the software giant it will be very cautious about who it selects. “I want socially savvy, switched on individuals who can help customers respond to the digital imperative and make their businesses future proof,” said Le Guisquet, “we’re looking for people who want to be relevant to the biggest trends shaping business and technology.”

Experienced cloud sales staff may soon come at a premium as Oracle admitted it may try to attract staff from other operators. Recruits may well come from a sales organization within another cloud technology provider,” said a spokesperson.

Other stated targets will be “people with experience in the lines of business we sell to like finance, marketing and HR,” according to Oracle.

How can technology help when working abroad?

Those who have chosen to spend time living and working abroad are actually very lucky these days. The rapid development of modern communications technologies means that it is so much easier to keep in touch with people, no matter where you are, than it used to be even ten years ago. When somebody moves abroad, the ability to keep in touch is essential for both the worker and those remaining at home.

How has technology changed?

Before the onset of smartphones, laptops and the Internet, the only real way of keeping in touch with family and friends while working abroad was the telephone and letters. This usually meant that contact was infrequent, and most people would go for weeks without hearing from loved ones.

The Internet has changed a great deal for those who are away from home. Email has made it so much easier to drop somebody a line and has become a popular way to communicate not only with family and friends but also with work colleagues – even those in the same building! This has been followed rapidly with additional technologies such as smartphones and Apps that mean workers do not have to be at their desk to keep in touch. Financial technologies developed by organizations such as  Trans-Fast Remittance LLC mean that money can be transferred from one country to another in seconds – important for those who work abroad and want to send money home.

Cloud computing

Cloud technologies are becoming increasingly popular for businesses and private use. Cloud services mean that the location of the worker is far less of a factor than it used to be. Technology such as Skype means that people can keep in touch easily. Skype video chats are great for keeping in touch with family but are also ideal for the workplace. Meetings can be held via Skype and similar Apps. It is free to download and ensures easy communication.

Google Apps and Google Docs are a type of cloud computing. A worker can create a document using this software and it is held on Google’s cloud service. Another worker can easily access it from their own office, even if they are thousands of miles away. FaceTime is another option for communication while abroad. A way of making video calls, it has become very popular with younger people for keeping in touch while they are traveling.

Google and Apple are just two developers that have embraced the concept of cloud computing and are applying it to their new products all the time, continuously developing each one further. The development of cloud services and new ways to keep in touch is only going to continue as competition grows in this sector. Those who work abroad will see it become even easier to communicate in the years to come.

Communications technologies such as cloud computing have developed very rapidly, and their continual evolvement means that consumers should expect to see the Apps that they already know very well develop even further as well as the introduction of new software.

PRISM Scandal Generates Renewed Interest in Non-US Cloud Providers

Guest Post by Mateo Meier, founder of Swiss hosting provider Artmotion

Businesses vote with their feet, in light of the recent PRISM scandal. Up until recently, the US had been considered the leading destination for cloud services with its vast infrastructures and innovative service offerings, but recent leaks have sparked panic amongst many business owners and is driving demand for Non US cloud providers.

The most concerning aspect for many is the wide ranging implications of using US-controlled cloud services, such as AWS, Azure and Dropbox. As a result, businesses are now turning to Switzerland and other secure locations for their data hosting needs.

Swiss ‘private’ hosting companies are seeing huge growth because privacy in Switzerland is enshrined in law. As the country is outside of the EU, it is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or worse, the US. Artmotion, for example, has witnessed 45 per cent growth in revenue amid this new demand for heightened privacy.

Until now the PRISM scandal has focused on the privacy of the individual, but the surveillance undertaken by NSA and Britain’s own GCHQ has spurred corporate concern about the risks associated with using American based cloud providers to host data. It is especially troubling for businesses with data privacy issues, such as banks or large defence and healthcare organisations with ‘secret’ research and development needs.

Before PRISM, the US was at the forefront of the cloud computing industry and companies worldwide flocked to take advantage of the scalable benefits of cloud hosting, as well as the potential cost savings it offered.

However the scandal has unearthed significant risks to data for businesses, as well as for their customers. With US cloud service providers, the government can request business information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) without the company in question ever knowing its data has been accessed.

For businesses large and small, data vulnerabilities and the threat of industrial espionage from US hosting sites can present real security risks or privacy implications, and it’s causing a real fear. Business owners are worried that by using US based systems, private information could potentially be seen by prying eyes.

The desire for data privacy has therefore seen a surge in large corporations turning to ‘Silicon’ Switzerland to take advantage of the country’s renowned privacy culture. Here they can host data without fear of it being accessed by foreign governments.


Mateo Meier, founder of Artmotion, spent the early stages of his career in the US before returning home to Switzerland to start Artmotion. Artmotion was started in early 2000 and provides highly bespoke server solutions to an international set of clients.

Breaking: US Cloud Companies To Lose Billions In EU Due To PRISM

The European Commission’s vice president Neelie Kroes said in statement that reports of the US government spying on servers held by US cloud providers are creating an “atmosphere of distrust” around cloud services.

“Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?” Kroes said. “Front or back door – it doesn’t matter – any smart person doesn’t want the information shared at all.”

“If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government or their assurances, then maybe they won’t trust US cloud providers either. That is my guess. And if I am right then there are multi-billion euro consequences for American companies.”

Breaking: Internet-based TV Operator Raises $19 Million

Magine, the Swedish cloud-based cable operator, today announced that it has closed a $19 million Series A round led be a group of Swedish and international investors.

The company says that it will use this new influx of cash to fund its international expansion, with Germany and Spain being the next countries on its radar. The service is already available in Sweden.

“Magine is not just another TV platform, but a totally new way of accessing and consuming content,” said Magine chairman Michael Werner. “It is a subscription service that was devised to make viewers come back to watching TV and this is why broadcasters and content providers are very keen to adopt the service. Magine helps them create new forms of monetizing whilst respecting the current rights chain.”

Polls: Quarter of US, Third of UK Know What ‘Cloud’ Means

Webfusion, a UK hosting group, polled more than 1,000 respondents in the US to gauge their understanding of ‘cloud’ technology. Of the respondents, almost one third (31.8 per cent) stated that they had no understanding of the term at all, with only 25 per cent claiming to have a clear understanding of Cloud technology. The findings come on the heels of a similar survey conducted in the UK, which revealed that 34 per cent of the British public had a good understanding of ‘cloud’.

Key findings include:

  • 25-34 year olds have the best understanding of ‘cloud’, with one third (33.8 per cent) claiming to know what Cloud computing is
  • 63 per cent do not recognize Dropbox / iTunes/ Gmail / Hotmail as Cloud services
  • 91 per cent do not recognize scalable hosting as ‘Cloud’. This figure stands at 84 per cent in the UK

Commenting on the findings, Thomas Vollrath, CEO of Webfusion’s parent company Host Europe Group, said: “We were surprised at the general lack of cloud knowledge in the UK, but it turns out that we are much more Cloud savvy than our American counterparts, despite the US often being considered as technological innovators. With research indicating that three quarters of US businesses are consciously using some sort of cloud service, with UK adoption standing at 61 per cent, these results are yet more surprising.

“If consumers in the US don’t know what ‘Cloud’ means and have no idea that applications like iTunes are Cloud-based, then perhaps the use of the term should be restricted, at least in consumer circles. The reversal between US and UK consumer and enterprise Cloud knowledge goes to show that the use of the term ‘Cloud’ still remains a business message and should be used as such,” he concluded.

Le Nouvel Observateur Digital Uses Openmix Hybrid CDN Strategy for News Cycle Load Balancing

Sudden traffic load bursts following the news is business as usual for an online news provider. When the news is hot, interruptions and heavy slow-downs are common things on various websites; which can mean loss of audience and consequently loss of revenues, forcing technical teams to constantly anticipate any possible incident.

The third most read news & politics media in France, as per a September 2012 Nielsen study, with almost 8 million unique visitors every month, Le Nouvel Observateur recently chose the Cedexis “Openmix” load balancing solution to roll out and manage its own hybrid CDN — a mix of their infrastructure at origin and their own cache servers spread among various webhosting providers with third parties CDNs.

Rolled out during the second quarter of 2012, Le Nouvel Observateur’s hybrid CDN strategy now includes two content origins, backed by Varnish cache servers, located at two French hosting providers whose performance had been previously measured with Cedexis Radar as being optimum for serving their French audience. A global CDN is also used, mostly to deliver content to their international audience.

Details can be found in a case study published by Cedexis.

Euro Data Centre Viewpoint: 2013 to be a Year of Growth, Uncertainty

Guest Post by Roger Keenan, Managing Director of City Lifeline

The data centre industry forms part of the global economy and, as such; it is subject to the same macro-economic trends as every other industry.  For 2013, those continue to be dominated by uncertainty and fear.  The gorilla of course, is the on-going problem in the Eurozone.  This time last year, many commentators predicted that this would come to a head in 2012, with either the central monetary authorities accepting fiscal union and central control across the Eurozone, or the Eurozone starting to break up.  In the event, neither happened and the situation remains unresolved and will continue to drive uncertainty in 2013.

One major uncertainty has been resolved with a convincing win for Barack Obama in the US presidential elections and the removal of the possibility of a lurch to the right.  However, the “fiscal cliff” remains and will cause a massive contraction in the US economy, and hence the world economy, if it goes ahead at the end of 2012.  For the UK, predictions are that interest rates will stay low for the next two to three years as the banks continue to rebuild their strengths at the expense of everyone else.

So the macro-economic environment within which the data centre industry operates is likely to stay uncertain and fearful in 2013.  Companies have massive cash reserves, but they choose to continue to build them rather than invest.  Decision making cycles in 2013 are likely to be as they are now – slow.  Companies will not invest in new project unless they have the confidence that their customers will buy, and their customers think the same and so the cycle goes round.

At a more specific industry level, the on-going trend towards commoditisation of infrastructure is likely to continue.  Whereas data centres five years ago were specific and unique, new entrants to the market have made data centre capacity more available than it was and driven up technical standards.  Older facilities have upgraded to match new builds, which ultimately benefits the industry and its customers.  The new builds and rebuilds are of varying quality and veracity, with some being excellent, however, others are claiming tier levels and other standards which are simply not true or claiming to be in central London whilst actually being somewhere else – perhaps following the example of London Southend Airport?  Even in a more commoditised market, quality, connectivity, accessibility and service still stand out and well-run established data centres will always be first choice for informed customers.

The next part of the consolidation process is probably networks; new entrants are coming into a market where prices continue to fall at a dizzying rate.  There is no end of small new entrants to the marketplace, some of which will succeed and some of which will fall by the wayside.  At the larger end, consolidation continues.  In City Lifeline’s central London data centre alone, Abovenet has become Zayo (and consequently moved from the very top of everyone’s list to the very bottom, possibly not causing joy in Abovenet’s marketing department), Cable and Wireless/Thus has become part of Vodafone, PacketExchange has become part of GT-T and Global Crossing has become part of Level 3.

Data Centre Infrastucture Management (DCIM) systems may establish themselves more in 2013.  DCIM was predicted to have a massive impact, with Gartner stating publicly in 2010 that penetration would be 60% by 2014.  In the event, penetration at the end of 2012 is only 1%.  DCIM is hard and laborious to implement but it offers serious benefits to larger organisations in terms of the management of their physical assets, power, space and cooling and can quickly repay its investment in answering the basic question “how many servers can I have for the capacity I am paying for”.  DCIM deserves more success than it has had to date, and perhaps 2013 will be the year it takes off.

Power densities will continue to increase in 2013.  Five years ago, many racks drew 2KW (8 amps).  Now 8 amp racks are becoming unusual and 16 amps racks are the norm.  Five years ago 7KW racks (about 30 amps) were unusual, now they are common, and 20KW racks are starting to appear.  The trend to higher and higher performance and power densities will continue.

The data centre industry continues to grow, driven by the move to Cloud.  By the end of 2013, an estimated 23% of all data centre space will be in commercial colocation operations.  The leading market segments are likely to be Telecoms and Media, with 24%, Healthcare and Education, with 21% and Public Sector, also with 21%.  In-house data centre capacity is likely to continue to decrease and the commercial colocation market to grow, even in spite of the uncertain macro-economic environment.

Roger Keenan, Managing Director of City Lifeline

 Roger Keenan joined City Lifeline, a leading carrier neutral colocation data centre in Central London, as managing director in 2005.  His main responsibilities are to oversee the management of all business and marketing strategies and profitability. Prior to City Lifeline, Roger was general manager at Trafficmaster plc, where he fully established Trafficmaster’s German operations and successfully managed the $30 million acquisition of Teletrac Inc in California, becoming its first post-acquisition Chief Executive.

Rackspace Launches UK Startup Programme to Fuel New British Businesses

Rackspace the open cloud company, announced plans to launch its Rackspace Startup Programme in 2013 to provide cloud computing resources to new businesses driving growth in the UK economy. With a global track record of partnering with premiere startup accelerators and incubators in the USA and Australia, the firm now broadens its focus to include the EMEA region aiming to help power thousands of UK startups to success.

“Since launching in the US two years ago, we’ve helped over 850 startups through the programme. We’ve also worked with over 100 programme partners, including some of the top accelerators, universities, co-working spaces and VCs, and we are thrilled to launch the UK startup programme,” said Taylor Rhodes, Managing Director, International at Rackspace.

Given the cloud model’s inherent flexibility and elasticity, the fact that it requires minimal capital expenditure up front, and its unmatched ability to scale, it’s an essential differentiator for many fast growth businesses. In 2009, nearly 250,000 VAT registered businesses started in the UK*. This highlights the vast number of startups that could potentially benefit from cloud services, if they aren’t already.

Starting as a ten man entrepreneurial venture itself back in 1998, Rackspace recognises the need to provide fledgling businesses harbouring great potential the enabling technologies for growth and commercial success. The Rackspace Startup Programme therefore exists to provide low cost cloud hosting and support services to startup incubators who have identified cloud computing as a more efficient route to IT service delivery.

As a company that likes to refer to information technology as the “fifth business utility”, Rackspace views cloud computing as a means of democratising access to powerful IT resources at every tier of the business spectrum. As such, the Rackspace Startup Programme has been engineered from the outset to give incubators an unrivalled opportunity to drive startup firms towards development, expansion and commercial success.

“Cloud computing services are built around the principles of not only flexibility and scalability, but automation and self-service too as we serve customers’ needs from our local datacentres with additional service layers all backed up by our world-renowned Fanatical Support,” said Rhodes. “Bringing the power of our continuously available cloud services to the dynamic world of startup business is, to be quite honest, really exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Rackspace unveiled its Startup Programme at a ‘Boost Your Start-Up’ networking event held in the heart of London’s Tech City on 20th November 2012. The event featured a panel discussion with some of the most prominent thought leaders in this space, moderated by Robert Scoble, the world’s pre-eminent blogger and evangelist on technology and start-ups. Moving forwards, Rackspace expects to work with high profile accelerators including DreamStake and Springboard, to ensure that businesses across the UK have access to its Startup Programme.

“With a multiplicity of extremely sensitive and highly fluid business factors to juggle, startups need an IT backbone built around maximum levels of elasticity, control and automation. We welcome Rackspace’s commitment to providing this through their cloud offering. The scalability in a pay-as-you-go model is essential for fast-growing businesses and will be a key business enabler for startups now and in the future,” said Sean Kane, Co-Founder, Springboard

Rackspace is also offering one start-up team the chance to win a trip to San Antonio, Texas, plus a 1-on-1 mentoring session with founder and Chairman, Graham Weston, while they’re there. Entrants must submit a pitch video for a start-up idea centred around cloud computing by December 14th for a chance to win. The winners will also receive £3,000.