Virgin Media launches its first cloud computing platform

28 September 2011 | Kavit Majithia


Virgin Media has announced the launch of its first cloud computing platform to business customers in partnership with US-based web hosting and service provider Savvis.

Vowing to “shake up” the cloud computing business, Virgin Media has said its offering will be an easy to use technology for both consumers and companies. One of its main aims is to ensure UK-based organisations are able to break away from traditional IT infrastructures and allow flexibility within the market.

Through Savvis, now a CenturyLink owned company, Virgin Media will have access to its Symphony Virtual Private Data Centre (VPDC) and combine it with its own nationwide fibre- optic network to provide a service offering built for storage, software and remote processing to IT systems.

“Having compared all the major cloud vendors in the market, Savvis was the right choice to deliver the capabilities and support that our customers need,” said Mark Heraghty, managing director of Virgin Media Business. “This launch marks our first step on a longer road as its part of a cloud computing marketing strategy that’s got all the right ingredients. We’re backing this up with the largest nationwide fibre-optic network in the UK, and Virgin Media’s approach to delivering technology that fits customers’ real needs in a simple way.”

The Financial Times reports Virgin Media has taken the step to enter the cloud space as part of a company-wide drive to double revenues from its enterprise division in the next five years, while it is clear Virgin will tailor its offering to differentiate from similar platforms available in the UK market from both BT and Cable & Wireless. Heraghty declared Virgin’s cloud is aimed at challenging competitors “that have brought unnecessary confusion to the cloud”.

He continued: “Organisations are craving some clarity and no-nonsense advice. Providing easy-to-use, simple cloud services that do exactly what they say they’ll do is a breath of fresh air.”

David Molony, analyst at research firm Ovum believes the launch of a new cloud business in the UK is timely considering investment by enterprise businesses to implement a cloud-based network has risen from one-third to near half in the space of one year.

“With a well-thought out choice of partner, this is a big statement about Virgin Media’s intentions to be a significant player in the UK business telecoms market,” he said. ““The partnership is a good fit because the company does none of the global VPN services that Savvis specialises in particularly in financial markets. Virgin Media’s service will be aimed at SMEs and local government customers it already serves and which Savvis doesn't.