Public cloud has been a part of global businesses for many years now, but there seems to be no stopping the growth of demand for innovative cloud services in Europe. The latest market forecast figures from IDC for Public Cloud Services in Western Europe suggests that the market is growing at more than 20% each year and will be worth almost $40 Billion by 2020. CenturyLink has experienced cloud growth in the European market as well. So, what is fueling the growth of public cloud in general, and CenturyLink Cloud®, in particular?
Hybrid IT Solutions
Enterprises continue to shift their on-premise data center assets into the cloud in pursuit of business agility, while moving to an Opex commercial model that scales IT costs in line with business growth. With virtually every industry being disrupted by digital innovators, established enterprises are moving applications quickly to the cloud as they accelerate their own digital business strategy.
CenturyLink has provided hosting solutions in Europe since 2002. With a focus on specific verticals including financial services, retail, legal, media, and technology, many of our clients have been with us for a number of years. Many clients started their hosting journey using Colocation and Managed Hosting services, then added CenturyLink Cloud® into the mix for short term test, development projects, and workloads that needed to scale the use of CPU and RAM over time. Many of our clients continue to operate these Hybrid IT environments with CenturyLink, choosing the most effective hosting platform for different parts of their IT environments.
Enterprise clients typically seek independent third-party validation when selecting a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), and this is an area where CenturyLink in EMEA is particularly strong. In July 2016, CenturyLink was recognized as a Leader in Gartner’s Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting Magic Quadrant for Europe. This followed on from two years as a Leader in the Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting MQ for Europe.
In May 2016, Cloud Spectator ranked CenturyLink Cloud number one in a report covering nine Cloud IaaS providers in Europe. Cloud Spectator produces benchmarking reports that compare the price-performance of different public cloud providers. These reports measure the performance of cloud providers (in terms of vCPU, memory, and block storage) and then map performance against the price charged to produce an overall “value for money” score. The report compares CenturyLink against other CSPs, and is based on measurements and pricing from European data centers. As Cloud Spectator noted: “CenturyLink achieves the highest CloudSpecs score in the 9 cloud IaaS provider ranking. This is largely due to the high vCPU and memory performance, and its inexpensive customizable pricing.”
Data Sovereignty, Compliance, and Availability
As a global data center provider, we recognize that clients in different geographical locations and industries have varying compliance standards that need to be adhered to. CenturyLink has received certification of the ISO/IEC 27001 2013 Information Security Management System (ISMS) Standard for 5 of our European Data Centers. We also comply with international standards such as Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act (also known as BDSG), EU Directive 95 /46/EC, the CSA Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (STAR), and the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).
European clients have the freedom to choose the best data center location to comply with business, regulatory, or data sovereignty considerations. Our clients have the ability to specify where each application is deployed, and have complete control over whether data is stored in a particular country (UK or Germany) or within the European continent.
Of course, all of these accreditations are of no use if the underlying data centers in which services are hosted experience issues with service availability. In June 2016, CenturyLink was awarded the prestigious prize of Excellence in Data Center Service Award. Furthermore, CenturyLink is the first data center operator globally to commit to certifying all of their data centers with Uptime Institute’s Management and Operations Stamp of Approval. Our UK data centers have already been certified. The Uptime Institute stamp of approval clearly demonstrates our dedicated efforts for achieving quality, performance, uptime, and innovation, plus it provides third-party validation of CenturyLink’s commitment to operational excellence, sustainability, and consistency in service delivery. CenturyLink has a long standing practice of hiring exceptional staff committed to continuous improvement, providing consistent and well documented processes.
Local Support and Expertise
While our customers find the CenturyLink Cloud Platform is easy to use and very intuitive, we've found that new customers to our platform strongly benefit from having our EMEA-based Cloud Services Onboarding Team assist with their migration process. We offer four separate onboarding packages available to new clients. Operating in the same time zone, our EMEA team is able to take a collaborative approach to facilitate the customer’s adoption of our enterprise cloud platform. Additionally, we help our customers by empowering their internal staff with new skills and the confidence to leverage the benefits of our cloud services.
Once clients are operational, three support tiers (Developer, Professional, and Enterprise) are available to them. The Global Operations Center runs on a “follow the sun” model, with UK-based personnel supported by teams in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. Along with the resources in the local Operations Center, our technical account managers and client service partners are located in Europe to provide an additional element of local support. We are constantly evolving our customer care strategy to ensure that CenturyLink clients receive top level support.
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