Colt Technology Services, which has built its business by providing networks and related services to European and Asian enterprises, is aiming its acumen and resources at capturing the hearts of North American enterprises.
Earlier this month, the service provider shared plans to open data centers in 12 US cities and one Canadian city by "the first part of 2018," part of the service provider's ongoing investment in its Colt IQ Network.
It's not Colt's first foray into the US. In 2016, Colt opened a regional office in Chicago and another in Jersey City, NJ, and hired three new executives for the country. It also disclosed plans to increase its North American staff by 30% over 12 months, a press release at the time said.
Apparently that initiative went well, and Colt now must devote more resources to the region.
To do so, the carrier will upgrade and future-proof trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and Asian subsea cable capacity to 100 Gbit/s in order to serve customers around the globe. This is part of Colt's strategy to support European and Asian enterprises, as well as new customers it hopes to win in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Ashburn, Va., Newark, New York, Boston and Toronto, the company said.
The service provider will equip these data centers with Colt-owned equipment and solutions, such as its software-defined network (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. Enterprises will connect to data centers via the Colt IQ Network and high-bandwidth fiber, said Steven Potts, head of Network Sourcing and Expansion, Product and Technology at Colt, in an interview with UBB2020.
"We're creating a full loop around the globe, as it were; all our new sub-sea capacity links we're buying will be 100 Gbit/s, all designed so we can deploy optical services as well as packet services so the Colt IQ Network provides customers a few things. At a very basic level, they get wavelength services, so we're able to break up this capacity and offer these services to the cities that we're going into," he said. "We're going to price that optical connectivity, which is really that base layer, for people who really need that dedicated capacity, but then we're layering on the full packet capability."
Colt is banking on a number of factors to differentiate itself from North American competitors that also target enterprise customers. For one, Colt has no interest in residential business, said Potts. Secondly, the service provider expects some multinational customers of its European and Asian offerings will prefer to rely on one provider for their network and related services. And, like many of its competitors, Colt banks on the quality of its technological solutions and attention to customer service, Potts said.
Privately held Colt did not disclose the amount of its investment in North America. And while Potts said it will "triple the sales force in short order," the company declined to provide a current headcount.
Even so, it's clear the North American Colt team is busy. In October, for example, Colt inked a contract to provide direct connectivity between a trading venue in Tokyo and one in Chicago: The Japan Exchange Group's new JPX-Chicago Co-Location Direct service. In May, Tokyo stock exchanges and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange started using an optimized low-latency, high-speed broadband network route designed to benefit traders who rely on rapidity for competitiveness.
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