The Inclusive Data Revolution
Owing to a value-based approach to providing cutting-edge data solutions at affordable prices, OVHcloud has become a trusted partner to organisations all over the world
Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Vivek Valmik
When philosopher and scientist Sir Francis Bacon coined the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ in 1597, little did he know how time would prove him so emphatically right.
Data, it is widely accepted, has become the new oil. Indeed, there is so much information in the world, we now talk about volumes that very few can comprehend – in 2016, the global amount of data in circulation passed the zettabyte threshold, or a billion terabytes.
And the growth curve is only heading in one direction.
“We see many reports talking about the ever-increasing datasphere, which is anticipated to be 10 times larger over the next five years than what we have experienced to date,” says Hiren Parekh, VP Northern Europe at OVHcloud, the only European cloud computing firm within the world’s top 10 cloud providers.
“There are also stats that claim 80 percent of enterprises will migrate to the cloud and away from on-premise. Those two facts alone are enough to say the cloud space is an interesting one, and we are excited to be at the forefront of offering solutions to support this transformation phase that the majority of businesses will go though over the next few years.”
Parekh is a self-proclaimed cloud enthusiast, his childhood passion for all things technology – from Walkman to Sega Megadrive – following him through his education and career paths, a journey which saw him join OVHcloud in 2015.
“The cloud industry in particular is an exciting one due to the speed at which technology moves and the agility required for businesses to thrive,” he continues. “I made the decision to join the company because I was genuinely amazed by the fully integrated value chain model and the disruptive vison. No two days are the same and there is always a challenge which keeps you engaged.”
Built on values
Today OVHcloud manages 30 data centres across 12 sites on four continents, its services helping clients to better manage, secure, and scale data through the likes of web hosting, emails, bare metal servers, hosted private cloud, hybrid and public cloud solutions.
Armed with 20 years of experience and 2,200 employees, the company has emerged as a European leader in the field, building its own data centres, manufacturing its own servers and deploying its own 20 tbps fibre optic global network to achieve maximum efficiency and retain total control.
Central to this advancement has been a value-based approach to business, built around trust, working together, passion, disruption and responsibility. For Parekh, this is what sets OVHcloud apart.
“This has led to our proven ability to provide our customers with secure cutting-edge solutions at a competitive market price,” he says.
“Our culture has been shaped to help us to go further, faster. The data revolution is a means of progress for all, allowing everyone to manage their data, to innovate, and to work with complete freedom. We are offering a genuine European alternative for cloud users around the world.”
Such values and culture are only meaningful with the right people in place. Parekh is all too aware of the importance of not only finding the best industry talent and culturally aligned candidates, but keeping them at OVHcloud for the long term.
“When you first join OVHcloud you are really aware of the team’s passion,” he continues.
“We love to share our enthusiasm and are constantly innovating, creating, discovering and learning.
“By sticking to our European values and rules, our ambition is to open a path in the digital industry and broaden possibilities for technologists and entrepreneurs. Being an industrial provider means creating a solid company culture that drives innovation – this is what attracts the highest-skilled and best talent.”
Parekh goes on to describe several initiatives which help to attract and retain the people required to drive the firm forwards.
Internships and dual study programmes are an essential part of this, with opportunities available in every department from HR, finance and sales through to tech, industry and marketing. Students will be challenged with projects tailored to their preferences and expertise – what OVHcloud refers to as missions – in conjunction with a number of universities in order to identify the right talent.
Once hired, employees are put through an intensive onboarding programme which provides a detailed insight into the company’s end-to-end manufacturing process as well as site visits. This is supplemented with virtual and face to face training to deepen understanding of the ever-evolving solutions and services offered.
Powered by trust
As such a people-oriented technology firm, trust and transparency has become something of an organisational hallmark, no better demonstrated than by the OVHcloud Partner Program.
“This is designed to better support the digital transformation of organisations,” explains Parekh. “It facilitates partner training, sales support and technical support around OVHcloud solutions.
“Aimed at system integrators, value-added resellers and managed service providers, the Partner Program supports end-customers in their migration to our solutions in fields such as integration, facility management and consulting. It enables partners to bring their own value add to cloud infrastructure solutions designed and marketed by OVHcloud, and so to strengthen the ecosystem.”
The scheme works in two tiers – standard and advanced – with partners gaining access to the full suite of OVHcloud services. Advanced partners also have a dedicated account manager as part of an advisory board to share roadmaps and review feedback.
Indeed, whether it is dedicated startup support teams and account managers or technical advisors and solutions architects, the firm is able to handle customer relations at every level, a layer of trust which is bolstered by an uncompromising approach to security.
“The trust placed in us by our customers and partners is significant,” Parekh adds. “Security provides support against an increasingly sophisticated and dangerous global threat. For that reason, it is an OVHcloud priority in all of its 30 data centres, and for all of our customers across 132 countries.”
This leads Parekh to highlight the vital role played by the partners and suppliers of OVHcloud, not just in the realm of security, but an entire network which is also built on mutual trust and recognition of each other’s abilities.
“Our close affiliations with the OpenStack Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation and technology partners VMware, Intel, AMD, Veeam and Zerto allow us to help shape developments within the industry,” he continues.
“One of the keys to the success of OVHcloud lies in the company’s ability to develop and promote innovation, both in IT itself and in industrial practices. This is part of our DNA. We are constantly researching and developing technologies to optimise the performance of the services we offer our users.”
Parekh points specifically to the enterprise market as a key demonstration of the power of partnership.
He cites 2020 predictions made by Forrester Research, which forecast the combined platform and infrastructure markets will grow another 30 percent from 2019 to $132.8 billion.
“In the enterprise market our success is really dependent on providing integrated cloud solutions to clients,” Parekh continues. “With our partners we play to each other’s strengths, allowing our customers to move to a PaaS model.
“Enterprises are just now starting to use cloud to modernise core business apps and processes – to date, they’ve been using cloud primarily to build new apps and rehost infrastructure. As customer needs continue to evolve and the technology stacks become more complex, the strength of our alliances will be the key driver to achieve our business goals.”
“We see many reports talking about the ever-increasing datasphere, which is anticipated to be 10 times larger over the next five years than what we have experienced to date"
A sustainable, smart future
Such goals are taking on an increasingly responsible, sustainable purpose.
As consumers all around the world are consciously choosing brands which are transparent, ethical and sustainable, OVHcloud realises that a commitment to social and environmental responsibility is now a key part of its trust messaging to clients.
Data centres, for instance, are heavy consumers of energy, a reality which the company has been continually addressing for many years.
“Since 2003 we have developed our own water-cooling system for our servers, and we have also developed cooling hubs behind our servers to create autonomous racks, which OVHcloud can deploy anywhere and keep fully-isolated from external temperature conditions,” Parekh explains. “We are thus able to achieve a power usage effectiveness of up to 1.09 in a number of our data centres.
“Through designing our data centres to run without air conditioning, recycling our components, improving their energy efficiency and prolonging their life cycles, we maintain an environmentally friendly approach in all of our design, manufacturing and operational processes.”
The company also adopts a smart heat trapping solution, used to trap data centre heat and warm other buildings such as the nursery at its headquarters in the French city of Roubaix.
Renewable energy is another focus. In France and Canada, the company has established specific energy procurement policies with renewable power quotas.
These policies will no doubt help to reduce the carbon footprint of OVHcloud and secure its longevity moving forwards, and Parekh closes the conversation by outlining the firm’s vision to create a truly ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ cloud, defined by simplicity, multilocality, accessibility, reversibility and transparency.
This will enable it to spearhead the inclusive data revolution, empowering organisations across the world.
“We know that a truly ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ cloud is possible,” Parekh says. “We are confident in our ability to continue our growth and to succeed in building alternative cloud solutions, turning the data revolution into an opportunity for everyone.
“At OVHcloud, we want to allow everyone to manage their data, innovate and work in complete freedom – a different kind of cloud that allows us to grow and succeed together.”