UKFast CEO: ClearCloud venture offers public cloud without the unknown costs

Bobby Hellard

18 Jul, 2018

UKFast’s CEO has compared its new business ClearCloud, selling AWS and Microsoft Azure support, to a sports car customers never need to refuel.

Lawrence Jones said the business’s new arm will also support UKFast’s eCloud Hybrid and eCloud Private services, and that it was launched with the purpose of broadening the firm’s multi-cloud offering to its 5,000 clients.

What sets it apart from the competition, according to Jones, is quality of service matched with fixed prices.

“Smaller businesses and the medium-sized customers don’t want to give people a blank cheque and [buying] Amazon is like giving someone a blank cheque because you don’t really know how much it is going to cost,” he told Cloud Pro.

“My customers are used to having a fixed fee and as much bandwidth as they want, as much CPU usage as they want, as much storage as they want and all within the agreement that was set out at the beginning of the contract.”

Indeed, outlining the cost from the start is a big selling point for ClearCloud, Jones said.

“It’s like having a sports car and not having to pay for the petrol. I know how much I’m going to pay and I won’t be spending any extra,” he said.

The new venture was born out of conversations with customers. Originally, UKFast targeted small businesses paying between £700 and £800 per month, but over the last few years, it has started attracting larger clients that could pay hundreds of thousands of pounds a month.

Its roster now boasts the likes of Laterooms as well as huge public sector organisations like the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office. These large customers are adopting a multi-cloud strategy where they host with ClearCloud, but they also have workloads in AWS and workloads in Azure.

A key element to ClearCloud’s future success is the appointment of former AWS global architect Matt Bibby as MD. Jones believes that his insight into AWS and understanding of the cloud market gives UKFast a competitive advantage.

“With Matt joining us, it has supported UKFast in another way that is quite unusual because we’ve had a few customers contemplating AWS and they were able to talk to Matt and spin up some clouds and then they realised this was definitely not for them and wanted to go back to UKFast,” he said.

“So we decided, yeah, we will take a couple of these bigger workloads on for some of our larger customers, and it turned out very positive,” Lawrence added.

Picture of Matt Bibby, MD of ClearCloud (left), with UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones/Credit: UKFast