Oncore IT, a London-based SMB focused cloud services provider, hasannounced that it has completed a merger with 5W Storage Services [5W], a specialist enterprise infrastructure consultancy located in Utrecht, Holland. This will enable the combined company to proactively target large enterprise organizations seeking to utilize the cloud to meet their IT requirements.
Since 2004, Oncore IT has focused primarily on the SMB sector and invested significantly to create a best of breed multi-tenanted cloud platform operating from data centres in London and Amsterdam. Oncore IT has over 100 customers in a range of verticals including legal, financial, insurance, retail and logistics.
The merger will allow Oncore IT to augment its service offering by acquiring considerable enterprise level data storage and IT infrastructure expertise from 5W so that it can gain market share working with bigger organizations from a cloud service perspective.
In contrast, 5W has built an enviable reputation working with 60 large enterprises in the Netherlands designing, implementing and managing enterprise IT infrastructure located in its customers' data centres. The business has a broad range of experience working in a range of industries such as oil & gas, shipping, automotive, government, finance and banking, utilities, along with IT distributors and systems integrators.
With its focus on high-end independent consultancy and IT management using an out tasking model, joining with Oncore IT will allow 5W to expand its portfolio to offer cloud-based services to its installed base and new customers, capitalizing on Oncore IT's cloud platform, technical team and dedicated account managers.
This is pertinent as most enterprises today are readily including cloud in their IT strategies as confidence in it has grown. Analyst group, Gartner, predict that from 2013 to 2016, $677 billion will be spent on cloud services worldwide.
Michael Croft, Oncore IT's chief executive officer, says, "The merger offers true synergies for both organizations and ultimately our customers especially as we're targeting the same technical landscape - data and its storage - but from different ends. Our heritage is SMB and cloud, 5W has been on premise IT infrastructure focused working with bigger companies. Combining our skills and using our existing cloud platform will enable us to collectively add customer value, compete better in the competitive cloud marketplace and, by virtue of this, increase revenue."
The new senior management team
The business will be led by Oncore IT's chief executive officer, Michael Croft, with 5W's founding directors, David Ward and Ferdi Koperdraad, respectively appointed as chief technology officer and chief operating officer to bolster technical leadership. Both have years of experience working as trusted architects and infrastructure managers for some of Holland's largest public and private organizations.
The combined company will have a turnover of over £5 million and employ 50 staff. Oncore IT is anticipating this increasing to £8 million over the next 18 months based on the pipeline of current new business opportunities.
Investment in cloud infrastructure and data services
Last year, Oncore IT went through a considerable period of investment to enhance its cloud platform. Today, it utilises solutions from Hitachi Data Systems [unified storage and content platforms along with blade infrastructure], Brocade [datacentre switches and Ethernet Fabric technology], VMware [virtualisation platform], and Asigra [online data backup].
Paul Cook, sales and marketing director, says, "Despite the economic climate, we've continued to invest in our future, focusing on customer service such that our client retention rate is 95% year on year. The merger with 5W is the next step to augment what we've been doing to expand our client base as well as cross and upsell to existing customers."
In addition to offering traditional hosting, colocation, IT managed services and cloud solutions, Oncore IT's strategy has evolved to become strongly data and storage centric with a range of additional services now provided including online data back up, archiving, data recovery and SAP solutions.
With its roots in data storage, 5W's experience covers all mainstream enterprise vendors including NetApp, HP, Hitachi Data Systems and EMC managing multi-petabyte storage environments. It uses a proven methodology to accelerate deployment based on years of experience and best practice knowhow. 5W also works on large-scale compute and virtualization projects, as well as building big, complex geographically dispersed data base clusters using Oracle and SAP. Moreover, it provides business continuity and disaster recovery planning services.
David Ward, 5W founder and director, says, "We'll be focused on advising all of our combined clients about their total corporate data strategy and how to approach storage cost effectively whilst ensuring compliance, regulation and governance demands are met. This is what clients need most help with and is where we will add real value as a combined 5W and Oncore IT force."
Holland the springboard to Europe
Holland is often seen as a gateway to Europe in terms of Internet and data centre services. The world's largest Internet junction - AMS-IX - is located in the Netherlands, with around a third of European data centres located in Amsterdam alone according to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.
Oncore IT has replicated data for some years between its data centre facility in London and its site in Amsterdam. The merger will allow the combined business to grow immediately as 5W will start to deliver cloud services locally in the region further to minor changes to the data centre configuration.