2014 has started well for Colt: we have been recognised as Service Provider of the Year at VMware’s UK & Ireland Partner Recognition Dinner, for the second year running!This acknowledgment reflects Colt’s success in developing our vCloud service portfolio, offering customers a flexible pool of resources comprised of compute, storage and networking elements delivered from Colt’s own data centres in Europe, backed up by our industry-leading network. Colt was the first vCloud service provider in Europe three years ago and has maintained that lead by being the first service provider to implement a pan-European vCloud platform. We continue to be committed to developing excellent vCloud based services for our customers as part of our overall cloud and IT services portfolio. In 2013 Colt extended the availability of VMware vCloud Data Centre Services in Italy and Switzerland, building on an existing estate in the UK, France, Spain and Germany. Colt also announced the availability of services from a second data centre in Spain, with Barcelona adding to the existing Madrid capacity.That means our customers are able to access enterprise cloud services from local data centres. This is important for our customers, since it allows them to store their data in their operating country, addressing the myriad of compliance, taxation and IP challenges caused by the data privacy and contractual requirements associated with placing data ‘in the cloud’ across Europe.We have also continued to engage with IT resellers to offer vCloud to the mid-market as well as to our enterprise clients. Colt’s cloud services are now available via ArrowSphere, Arrow’s cloud services platform for its channel community, including cloud storage and vCloud backup and recovery.Colt has also been innovating with VMware NSX network virtualisation technology, deploying it in our Paris data centre with the end goal of virtualising the network from the data centre to customer premises to provide Managed IT services. VMware NSX technology helps us deliver the software-defined data centre element.A great start to the year. This recognition places Colt in contention for the prestigious VMware Service Provider of the Year EMEA award which will be announced at the VMware Partner Exchange in San Francisco in February 2014.