Zayo Group is nominated in the Acquisition of the Year category at the V3 Technology Awards 2014 for its purchase of network firm Geo Networks, helping to expand its fibre footprint in the UK, including access to the firm's network of fibre in the London sewer system.
Ahead of the awards V3 spoke to Alastair Kane (pictured left), vice president of Europe for Zayo Group, about the company's busy year and what it has lined up for 2015, as well as his thoughts on how the market is evolving.
V3: What have you focused on this year to drive the company forward?
Kane: Zayo has focused on extending its network organically and inorganically. We have acquired companies such as Geo Networks in London, Neo Telecoms in Paris, and others in the US, and there has also been extension of the network for customers.
Zayo has built over 44km of infrastructure in the UK for customers in the past 12 months, including nearly 5km of infrastructure in the Victorian sewers. These network builds include extensions in areas such as Birmingham, Croydon and Crawley/Redhill providing connectivity for popular data centres and upcoming business parks.
What do you see as the biggest trends in networks?
Zayo first gained a European footprint through the acquisition of AboveNet in 2012, and has expanded in the region through acquiring Geo as well as Neo Telecoms in Paris.
There is a huge amount of consolidation currently taking place in the market as it matures after the dotcom boom in the early 2000s. Many of the bigger players in the industry are looking to continue extending into more geographies and expanding their networks.
There have been other notable acquisitions between telecom operators/colocation providers in the UK in the past six months and it is likely that this will continue in the near future.
As well as this consolidation, operators are constantly extending and growing their infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for fibre in new areas.
Customers in turn are looking to dark fibre to meet connectivity requirements as it provides flexibility and the ability to grow with the demands placed on the organisation.
The ownership economy surrounding dark fibre now makes it a valuable and practical proposition for businesses.
What are the biggest concerns and challenges for your customers, and how are you helping to meet them?
Connectivity is an integral part of any business IT strategy as it is the underlying infrastructure that supports business needs.
From allowing virtualisation of the business, to linking to a chosen data centre in order to securely store customer data as per regulations, an organisation’s infrastructure is the important link in any business activity.
Many of Zayo’s diverse groups of customers require an infrastructure that has the capacity to scale with growing data demands as well as ensure that existing infrastructure is able to handle future requirements.
Considerations such as the capability to scale the network as future needs increase and grow bandwidth with these requirements are essential.
The importance of resiliency in the network design is also a massive consideration for IT professionals and network architects. In some industries a minute of downtime can cost millions of pounds in losses, and diversity is essential in network design.
What are your plans for 2015?
Zayo is open to opportunities to expand its fibre-optic network to meet customer demand and bring new customers and buildings on-net.
This includes connecting customer sites and offices, extending the network to new business parks and areas of interest and bringing more data centres on-net around the US, Europe, UK and now Ireland.
What do you think the biggest technology trends will be in 2015?
The Internet of Things is going to continue to become more inherent in our daily lives. There will be more connected devices that will require a connection to the internet.
Because of this a secure, scalable and reliable infrastructure will continue to become even more imperative to support the devices that will slowly dominate everyone’s daily interactions.
How does it feel to be nominated for a V3 Technology Award?
Not only will many of our customers and partners be in attendance at the exciting event, but it’s great to be nominated alongside some of the biggest names in the business and the technology sector.
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