Jonathan Wright, Interoute: Adding depth

05 November 2014 | Guy Matthews

Capacity Europe day 3 – With its buyout of network operator Vtesse, Interoute now has the UK footprint it has long desired and a new customer base for its VDC cloud services, says VP service provider Jonathan Wright.

Jonathan Wright’s career with network operator and cloud service provider Interoute has been a long and varied one. He was in on the ground floor when the company was established in 2001, devising its SDH and wavelength product set, and taking the fledgling carrier into the market for dark fibre and Carrier Ethernet services over the following years.

Now he’s got a new job title. Wright is managing director of UK network operator Vtesse, subsequent to its acquisition by Interoute at the beginning of October.

The Vtesse network is one of the largest in the UK, connecting 55 data centres in 48 towns and cities. As well as 7,000 additional kilometres of fibre, the acquisition, says Wright, also adds a twelfth European data centre to Interoute’s real estate portfolio. Vtesse’s data centre at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire will add useful disaster recovery and back-up potential, working in tandem with Interoute’s own City of London facilities.

The new centre will add options for European businesses wanting to take advantage of flexible, scalable cloud infrastructure, he says: “Many of these are often limited to the public cloud providers who think Europe can be served by one European data centre location connected by the public internet,” he adds.

The Vtesse move is a logical part of Interoute’s strategy to be a pan-European carrier, says Wright by way of rationale for the purchase. “In pursuit of this goal it has been obvious for a while that we have lacked a useful network presence in the UK outside London. We’ve been looking for something that would add depth to our UK connectivity story, and in particular have been in need of a UK network that reaches important data centres outside the M25, particularly along the M4 corridor and up to Manchester. Vtesse gives us that.”

Close relations
Another factor that attracted Interoute was Vtesse’s strong base of SI customers. Wright says the company has deep relations with a number of major integrator names such as IBM, ARUP, Redstone and Logicalis, each with their own pool of major corporate names in sectors like retail and financial services who will now get access to Interoute’s services.

“We’ve not been strong in the SI vertical and wanted to bolster our stake in it,” says Wright. “Typically these are customers who are looking for longer term deals at a higher than average price point.”

As well as usefully extending Interoute’s reach around the UK and breaking it into an important vertical, it also provides new potential enterprise customers for its cloud service, Interoute VDC, as well as assorted other service offers in areas like advanced computing and unified communications.

“Vtesse has got customers in the cloud area, including SIs with a cloud offer,” says Wright. “They can now benefit from our extended portfolio of solutions and our international reach, opening new opportunities and new markets.”

Wright says VDC is the perfect solution for those less sure of themselves when it comes to exploiting cloud opportunities: “Many carriers, for example, are conflicted in their approach to cloud,” he claims. “Some of them are reluctant to jump in, perhaps because of skills. Our message is that if connectivity is their comfort zone, we can white label cloud for them, and take the pain away. Traditional hosting models may not be right for them in this market.”

Future expansion?
So with Interoute’s UK footprint enriched, what next? Are there further moves afoot to further extend reach and density? Might other M&A forays be on the cards in other parts of the continent?

“We’ll be looking at other acquisitions in Europe along similar lines, definitely,” promises Wright. “Better density is our goal.”

He says he looks forward to Capacity Europe as a platform for the company’s enhanced message: “We’ll be using Capacity Europe to talk about Vtesse and the new routes it has given us,” he adds. “It will be a chance to talk to our carrier customers about what we can do for them now outside London. We can tell them how Vtesse will strengthen our IaaS offer and VDC story.”

If the past 12 months have been active for Interoute, Wright says there is no reason to suppose that the next 12 will be any quieter or that the company’s quest to expand into new geographic and service areas diminish: “Over the coming year, we’ll be busy with a lot of things, from improving our Ethernet portfolio to launching a new concept in VPNs, which I can’t talk about just yet,” he says tantalisingly.

Watch this space.