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Nasstar Secures a Global Three Year Managed Hosting Contract

In news / By Lydia Cooper / 03 January 2018

Telford-based Nasstar wins a significant managed hosting contract with a global media company, worth up to £3.3m over 3 years.

When news broke across the industry about the significant win by Nasstar to deliver managed hosting and hybrid cloud services to 1000 users across the globe as part of a £3.3m contract, we took the opportunity to sit down with Nasstar CEO, Nigel Redwood, to understand more about the win and what it meant to Nasstar going forward.

Can you tell us a little bit about the recent win?

“Nasstar has been successful in winning a project with a global media company, delivering hybrid cloud services and managed hosting to 1000 users across the world with revenues of up to £3.3m over three years. The solution we put in place has been designed to be flexible enough to expand or decrease resources to match business demand and company headcount as the business changes, and that’s one of the reasons behind us being successful in winning the contract.”

What does the recent win mean for you personally as CEO of Nasstar?

“Five years ago, the main service we offered to customers was managed hosting. If we’d have just stuck to purely delivering managed hosting then technology in the industry would have overtaken us and we would have been left behind.

Instead, we took a different route; looking at how we could integrate public cloud services from Microsoft into the managed hosting we deliver as a business, and set our focus on delivering true hybrid cloud offerings to customers.

This win is a validation that the technology strategy we put in place a few years back is the right one, and is what customers need and want today. We’re expanding to work with larger and larger clients, and growing our reach across different sectors – so it’s personally rewarding that the direction we pushed the business in has paid off.”

Why do you think a global media company chose now specifically to move their IT over to a hybrid cloud model?

“Technology has really advanced in the public cloud arena, so larger and larger businesses are more comfortable with the idea of moving IT systems onto a public cloud service.

At Nasstar, we are seeing a trend of larger organisations coming to us for managed hosting services, in order to benefit from the economies of scale and flexibility that public cloud offerings bring.

Our approach to cloud is a little different – we recognise that many businesses still don’t feel comfortable putting their entire IT workloads onto a public cloud where the location isn’t guaranteed. So we have adopted a hybrid approach for our clients, where customers can consume Microsoft Azure public cloud services and also private cloud services delivered from Nasstar’s UK data centres. We deliver it all through one contract and manage both sides, so you don’t need additional IT staff to run your Azure environment. We do it all centrally.

Customers love the options it gives them; providing the flexibility of the public cloud with the privacy and certainty of a private cloud environment. Organisations can mix and match how much they have of each private or public cloud environment depending on what they need, and what they feel comfortable with.”

Why are customers coming to Nasstar as a UK-based supplier for their Azure cloud service needs?

“Nasstar is offering a unique approach to hybrid cloud delivery. We’re not making organisations choose between public or private; we’re giving them a mix of the two to suit their business.

Many customers we work with aren’t able to move all of their applications over to a public cloud environment straightaway – legacy applications and systems aren’t always instantly ‘cloudifiable’ so we offer a hybrid approach, putting legacy applications into our private data centre and moving cloud-ready apps to a public cloud service like Azure.

The other big difference between working with Nasstar or going direct to a public cloud provider is our ability to wrap all of your IT services into one overall managed contract – so even though you have a mix of cloud types across your environment, you get one contract and one bill. And, you don’t need the in-house IT team that you would normally require to manage a complex public cloud environment. We simplify the end to end process.

In essence, you’re buying much more than just the technology or the public cloud service; you’re buying the people.”

Why do you think the customer chose Nasstar for this project?

“The client in this project needed a new IT solution, and we were also dealing with time pressures as the client was in the midst of relocating their Head Office where the existing data centre was located. The customer asked a number of suppliers to come up with ideas about how best to solve their IT and business challenges, in the hope of receiving some innovative suggestions about how to transform their IT.

Nasstar took a different approach to some of the other suppliers’ proposed solutions which suggested replacing existing IT with newer equipment. It would fix an immediate issue, but it wouldn’t help them to be more efficient and flexible in the future.

We instead suggested adopting a hybrid approach; moving legacy applications that couldn’t be transferred to the public cloud over to our private cloud environment within our data centres running on HPE infrastructure, and using Azure public cloud services for everything else.

We recognised it was a new approach for an organisation who was used to delivering all of their IT in-house so we started off with a Proof of Concept (POC) activity to ensure that the platform met their needs and expectations, before putting in place a phased approach for the wider project.

This went above and beyond what the client was looking to achieve, and made us stand out from other suppliers. We hear another reason we were chosen is our international presence, our ability to deliver around the clock support, and more importantly, our people and the skills they bring to projects.”

As this is a global project, how will that impact on Nasstar and the service you deliver?

“We already deliver projects to customers across the globe, and the recent Modrus acquisition by Nasstar gave us the capability to deliver support desk services from our base in New Zealand, meaning we could offer a true 24/7 operation to customers across the world rather than just relying on UK-based staff to cover out of hours support.

In 2017 the support team in New Zealand grew by 100% and now handles a range of support and project activities that can be delivered around the clock – further evidence of our strong growth and a validation of our business strategy.”

How has your partnership with HPE supported you in this project win?

“With HPE, we get access to HPE Cloud28+ ; an online portal for cloud partners, vendors and customers to engage and access information about cloud services and offerings. We can leverage HPE’s Cloud28+ portal to find technology providers in different regions across the globe, giving us access to a network of local partners.

At a technology level, the new contract will be delivered on HPE 3PAR storage from our data centres in the UK.”

What impact will this win have on Nasstar as a business?

“Winning larger contracts such as this recent media corporate project mean that, as a business, we can invest more in our people, training, technology and product development activities. We’ve crafted the business to deliver monthly recurring revenues, and we are now delivering 90% of our revenues through recurring and stable contracts – meaning we can continue investing in our people and skills with confidence.

It’s a major boost for the business, and a validation that we are on the right track with our true hybrid cloud strategy for customers.”

As Nasstar expands, are the types of customers you are working with changing?

“We are seeing an increased number of larger companies or corporates moving in-house IT systems to the cloud, so that is obviously a key area for us to engage on; especially with our scalable hybrid cloud services.

Within the SMB market, I would say it’s about a 50/50 split whether customers are coming to us from another cloud provider or moving away from traditional on-premise IT – so that’s a change we are seeing as a result of the cloud market maturing.

Because of our ability to offer private cloud services for legacy applications and systems, Nasstar is in a good position to support a wider range of companies with complex environments that require a mix of traditional IT and true public cloud.”

Find out more about Nasstar’s hybrid cloud services here:

Read our recent article about hybrid cloud and why we’re different:

HPE and Nasstar

Nasstar is one of the UK’s leading managed IT service providers. We deliver bespoke clouds, professional services, managed IT and a range of technical products to organisations operating within four strategic industry sectors - with a particular focus on the recruitment and legal sectors. Powered by HPE enterprise technology, across HPE servers, HPE 3PAR and more.

Lydia Cooper

Lydia Cooper

Group Marketing Manager at Nasstar.

Telford, Shropshire
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