Colt Announces Dedicated Cloud Access for Microsoft Azure services

London, 28 October 2014 Colt Technology Services has today announced a partnership with Microsoft to provide Dedicated Cloud Access for Microsoft Azure services. Using Microsoft’s ExpressRoute architecture, this new service will enable Colt’s existing customers to access the latest Azure services via private network connections such as Ethernet or IP-VPN. Colt will also offer the service as a new product line for prospective customers looking to leverage the benefits of Azure services through a private network.

Azure allows organisations to consume off-site services in an environment which is consistent with their existing on-site Microsoft environments. When connected via a Colt private network, customers enjoy a seamless and secure hybrid environment. The Colt announcement coincides with Microsoft’s annual conference, TechEd Europe, Barcelona, 28th – 31st October.

Colt has seen an increasing trend for enterprise organisations wishing to move applications and services into the cloud. Deployment of Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Software-as-as-Service is expected to grow by over 50% (52% and 55% respectively) over the next two years in Europe, according to a recent study commissioned by Colt. However, consuming such services via the public internet remains a barrier for many. Lack of control over connectivity, bandwidth and security mean that many CIOs and IT managers continue to worry about deploying to cloud environments. Indeed, security was recently cited by IT managers as the area of greatest risk when transitioning infrastructure within an organisation (source: The Tech Deficit).

François Eloy, EVP Colt Network Services: “IT decision makers clearly understand the benefits of services such as Azure and are open to the potential of moving applications and services into cloud infrastructure. But I hear our customers express concerns about security, performance and reliability via the public internet. Dedicated Cloud Access from Colt provides a private network which eliminates these challenges. Organisations can exploit the cloud with the same confidence as they might an existing private LAN or WAN.”

The availability of easy-to-deploy private networking is viewed as a critical enabler to permit enterprises to adopt hybrid cloud architectures with confidence.

Mike Wickstrand, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Microsoft Azure, noted “With Azure, we are helping our customers realise the benefits of the cloud. We want them to enjoy the blend of on-site and off-site resources which works best for them. Partnering with Colt to bring ExpressRoute to customers is a core part of this, and is critical for many applications. We launched ExpressRoute because customers told us that internet does not always offer them the predictability and security which they need”.

Enabling Dedicated Cloud Access for Azure is a strategic move for Colt. As enterprise organisations continue to leverage the benefits of dedicated cloud services, Colt will announce the roll-out of Dedicated Cloud Access for other leading cloud service providers, building a comprehensive Cloud Service Directory for customers.

About Colt

Colt is the information delivery platform, enabling its customers to deliver, share, process and store their vital business information. An established leader in delivering integrated network, data centre, voice and IT services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers worldwide. Colt operates in 22 European countries with a 47,000km European network and transatlantic network capacity. Colt has metropolitan area networks in 42 major European cities with direct fibre connections over 20,000 buildings and 20 carrier neutral Colt data centres.

In addition to its direct sales capability, Colt has four indirect channels to market: Agent, Franchise, Distributor and Wholesale which includes Carriers, Service Providers, VARs and Voice Resellers.

Colt is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT).

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