IT budget outlook is bright, with 77% of mid-market companies saying IT budgets will rise in 2017

Mid-market companies are bucking the UK trend, with 77% expecting a rise in 2017 IT budgets, according to a new report published today by Cloud and Data Centre and Communications specialist, Node4. ‘Mid-market IT priorities 2017’ reveals 35% of IT decision makers in the mid-market expect budget rises of 5-10%, while a further 22% anticipate a hike of over 10%, against a backdrop of shrinking IT budgets in the UK as a whole.

The research examines the attitudes of 200 IT decision makers at mid-market companies with a turnover of £15- £800m. It found that business growth, security and reducing operational costs are the top three IT priorities for the UK’s mid-market sector in 2017. It also revealed that hosted and cloud-based services will take a significant share of mid-market IT budgets in 2017, with Infrastructure as a Service (20%) and Managed Security as a Service (16%) being the top two cloud spending priorities for the year, followed by Managed Services (12%) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (11%).

However, confidence in the mid-market’s general financial outlook is not quite so strong, as just 18% of mid-sized businesses claimed to be optimistic about their organisation’s fortunes in 2017. Almost a third (31%) emphasised the difficulties presented by a looming Brexit and an overwhelming 81% agree that weathering Brexit is a high or medium priority this year.

The mid-market sector believes the government, the financial sector and IT partners should be doing more to support this increasingly crucial sector of the UK economy, with the report revealing that 36% believe their needs are overlooked by government policy makers; 34% struggle to attract investment and a quarter feel their needs are overlooked by IT providers.

Paul Bryce, Business Development Director, Node4, comments: “Mid-tier companies are the engine of the UK’s economy, so it is promising to see investment taking place in the IT infrastructure that will help to fuel further growth. It is no surprise that mid-market companies are embracing the cloud, which affords a huge opportunity to drive efficiency, agility, scalability, and to empower workforces.

“Despite the current challenging business climate, the mid-market is the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, and policy-makers, investors and IT vendors alike should focus on enabling this growth. Fast-growing companies need to work with an IT partner that can help their infrastructure scale to embrace new staff, locations, and acquisitions. Node4 has helped many companies cope with such growth and we will continue to focus on the fast-growing mid-market in 2017.”

The new report by Node4 entitled ‘Mid-market IT priorities in 2017: How mid-market companies are investing in IT to drive growth in a challenging business climate’ can be downloaded here.

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Node4 Opens new office and Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Nottingham

Node4, the Cloud, Data Centre, and Communications specialist has announced the opening of a new office and Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Nottingham, as part of a three-year plan to substantially grow the business. The company has already achieved impressive growth over the last three years, trebling staff numbers to 185. Bowmark Capital backed the business in a secondary buyout last year and in a further sign of confidence, LDC, Node4’s original investment partner has provided further funding to support ongoing strategic growth.

Node4’s growth has been fuelled by a series of acquisitions, which together with organic growth and a broader managed service portfolio, has helped it to grow its customer base to over 900 organisations in 2017. Node4 has also launched a new website, to showcase its full solutions portfolio and position the company as the strategic IT partner of choice for the mid-market.

The Nottingham office will provide a base for up to 50 employees, enabling Node4 to expand its geographic presence in the Midlands and tap into a dynamic city that offers a strong base of potential customers and employees. Node4’s Security Operations Centre and its dedicated team of security experts will also move to Nottingham, where it will provide 24/7 monitoring for the company’s Managed Security Service clients, as well as Node4’s own network infrastructure.

Launched in 2016, Node4’s Managed Security Service specifically and comprehensively addresses the security needs of the SME and mid-market sector. It enables the company to offer a Defence-in-Depth Security Strategy comprising all the components required to protect local, infrastructure and cloud resources with overlapping security tactics. Further enhancements of the service are planned in 2017.

Andrew Gilbert, CEO at Node4 commented:

“We are excited to be continuing our expansion and setting out our proposition for the mid-market. Our end-to-end service offering has helped us win some high value managed services contracts in the last twelve months. We are attracting fast-growing companies who want to outsource their IT infrastructure to a partner they can trust. Our clients are increasingly looking to Node4 as their strategic IT partner, with the complete package of skill-set, service portfolio and service ethos they need to take them on their IT journey.”

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Node4 crowned fastest-growing Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) for 2016

We’re proud to announce that Node4 has been awarded by Veeam® Software as the fastest-growing Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) for 2016 at this year’s Veeam Partner Summit in Surrey. This award recognises the Veeam partner that has demonstrated the most progress, growth and success in providing availability solutions to its customers, which is especially important for us as we always have our customers front of mind.

In 2015, Node4 became a Gold Cloud Provider of Veeam® Software to ensure its Cloud customers benefitted from the very best in cutting edge data availability solutions. So, this means that our customers now have the ability to back up any type of data regardless of where it sits, whether that be on-premise, equipment collocated in our data centres or in the cloud. And, since then, Node4 customers have enjoyed access to a self-service portal, from where they can rapidly restore data from backups.

“This award means a lot to us and we’re over the moon to have been honoured by Veeam Software for our achievements over the last year. Our partnership and combined expertise has enabled us to offer the market the very best in hosted products and services, which has addressed a common challenge amongst our customers. The integration of Veeam Availability Suite with N4Cloud services has been integral to Node4’s rapid growth and we’re confident we’ll continue to accelerate growth with Veeam Software in 2017.” Gregg Mearing, Head of Managed Services, Node4.

Richard Agnew, Vice President UK&I, Veeam Software comments:

“I am delighted to award the Veeam Cloud partner of the Year to Node4. Node4 and Veeam have a strong relationship which has resulted in solid growth on their platform particularly around BaaS and DRaaS offerings. We are excited about the future for Node4 and Veeam and we look forward to continued growth.”

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Node4 today announces that it is the first Managed Cloud Service Provider (MCSP) to provide NetApp Private Storage as a Service (NPSaaS) to its customers. Node4’s NPSaaS gives customers a way to access public cloud compute while guaranteeing the privacy of their data. Node4, which is now listed as an official NPSaaS provider, will provide NPSaaS access to customers as a fully-managed service.

NPSaaS allows Node4’s customers to utilise hyperscaler compute, across multiple industry-leading public cloud providers, whilst keeping their data secure in Node4’s Data Centres, maintaining complete control over their data and complying with data protection and sovereignty regulation requirements.

Node4’s solution consists of Node4-managed NetApp storage systems colocated in Node4’s Equinix UK Data Centres, which are in turn directly connected to chosen cloud compute services using a dedicated, high-bandwidth, low-latency network connection. With Storage Tiers ranging from All Flash (SSD) through to SATA with both latency and IOPS guarantees, the NPSaaS offering from Node4 encompasses all storage needs.

Through this approach, public cloud compute facilities can be accessed as required, while data remains protected in Node4’s Data Centres. This offers Node4 customers a way to meet privacy, compliance, regulatory, and sovereignty requirements (in line with regulations such as EU GDPR, coming into force in 2018). Node4 has multi-tenanted the NetApp NPS solution in its Data Centres, giving Node4 the capability of offering NetApp NPS as a service (NPSaaS). NPSaaS opens up many high-bandwidth/IOPS -intensive applications that might not otherwise be suitable for the cloud.

Node4 infrastructure is connected via private connection to Equinix Data Centre in UK where the high bandwidth connection point to the public cloud (the Meet Me Point) is, guaranteeing paramount performance. Node4 is also 100% transparent in terms of the systems and infrastructure it uses, making it the ideal choice for any company with stringent privacy and auditing requirements.

“For some time customers have long been able to access OPEX cloud compute while keeping private data within private CAPEX storage environments”, commented Gregg Mearing, Head of Managed Services, Node4. “Through NPSaaS, customers can now do the same thing, maintaining data privacy, but with storage provided on an OPEX basis. This degree of flexibility, combined with reassurance of the safety and sovereignty of their data while accessing the public cloud, is exactly what many companies have been looking for to-date. We’re extremely proud to be the first UK-based MCSP to provide this service.”

“As a longstanding NetApp partner that understands our systems and services intimately Node4 was a natural collaboration to provide NPSaaS as a managed service”, added Martin Warren, EMEA Cloud Solutions, NetApp, “Node4’s NPSaaS provides an additional path for customers to access our leading cloud aggregation solution, particularly if they are already utilising Node4’s infrastructure or services, or would particularly appreciate the presence of an industry-leading MCSP to help in the ongoing management of the service.”

Node4 is a highly-qualified NetApp partner, having been awarded recognition as a NetApp Cloud Service Provider and a NetApp Flexpod Premium Partner, and with NetApp Professional Services Certification and NetApp Support Services Certification.

Node4 is also one of only four UK Service Providers offering “NetApp Validated” backups and disaster recovery services. Utilising NetApp storage solutions combined with customers’ choice of software services, Node4 is able to backup data from almost any source to it’s own UK Data Centres and offer retention and recovery solutions to suit every business need.

For further information regarding Node4’s NPS services, please visit here.

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Node4 appoints new Director of Channel Sales
Posted by Billy Law-Bregan on 24 January 2017 11:11 AM

Node4 has appointed Andrew Wilson to the newly created position of Director of Channel Sales. Andrew, whose previous position was with Virgin Media Business, brings an impressive track record to his new role with Node4, where he will be responsible for developing the channel for the company’s comprehensive service portfolio.

During his tenure at Virgin Media Business, Andrew designed and launched a new route-to-market, bringing Virgin’s ultrafast broadband products to the channel for the first time. Prior to that he was Head of Indirect at Daisy Plc, where he delivered sustained growth across a wide range of channel verticals. Andrew has also enjoyed successful channel roles at RMS IT Security Ltd and Redstone Managed Solutions.

Paul Bryce, Business Development Director, Node4, comments: “This is an important hire for us and signals Node4’s long term commitment to the channel. Andrew brings a wealth of extremely valuable channel experience to our business and we expect him to play a key strategic role in helping us fulfil our ambitious growth plans.”

Andrew added: “I was attracted to Node4 by the quality of its leadership team and the strength of its end-to-end product portfolio. Few organisations have such a complete offering and this, together with the fact that they have built their own infrastructure from the ground up, puts them in a league of their own. My first priority will be to educate the channel about the opportunity to work with Node4 to open up new revenue opportunities. We are looking for new partners that offer the right strategic fit.”

Andrew’s appointment follows a period of sustained success and growth for Node4. Within the last three years Node4 has tripled its staff, grown its customer base to 900, and expanded its geographical presence and cloud services portfolio. It recently announced a new principle investor, Bowmark Capital, which has committed £40m of follow-up funding for Node4’s ambitious growth and acquisition plans over the next three years.

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We are extremely proud of our achievements here at Node4. For more details on our many awards, look HERE.

Node4, UK-based Cloud and Data Centre specialist, has been named as Best Performing Company in the Data Centre & Hosting Services category by independent technology sector research provider Megabuyte. This accolade forms part of Megabuyte’s annual megabuyte50 private scorecard, which ranks the performance of privately-owned, mid-market companies in the UK’s Software and ICT Services sectors.

Compiled using Megabuyte’s proprietary Megabuyte Scorecard methodology, the rankings examine performance against seven key financial KPIs. Megabuyte’s awards differ from other growth awards in the superior rigour of their financial analysis and their specific focus on pure-breed technology companies. They are widely regarded as an influential sector benchmarking reference.

This award provides further recognition of Node4’s successful growth in recent years. By leveraging a broad-based offering of cloud, connectivity, colocation and hosting services, supported by its fully self-owned and managed Data Centres, Node4 has driven solid long term revenue growth, rapidly rising EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) margins, and excellent FCF (Free Cash Flow) generation.

Megabuyte’s recognition of Node4 followed a recent announcement that leading private equity firm Bowmark Capital had acquired a majority shareholding in Node4 from its previous institutional investor, LDC. Bowmark has also committed a further £40m of follow-on funding for Node4’s ambitious growth and acquisition plans over the next three years.

Paul Bryce, Business Development Director at Node4 commented: “We are truly thrilled by this achievement, particularly as we have out-performed some of our most respected competitors in the UK market.

“In the last three years we have tripled staff numbers, grown our customer base, extended our nationwide presence and expanded our Northampton and Leeds Data Centre. We have also upgraded our DWDM network, launched a major new managed security offering, and are poised to roll-out further cloud-based services aimed at the UK mid-market. We believe this is only the beginning and will continue to demonstrate that Node4 is well on its way to becoming the UK’s leading Cloud and Data Centre specialist.”

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