In June over 2,000 top executives from leading organisation in 50 countries will head for Monte Carlo to hear some 200 expert speakers from the datacentre and cloud services sector and to discuss the changing needs of the global market and how those needs might be met. All this is brought about by a boutique UK consultancy that a dozen years ago identified a niche area of interest and provided an opportunity for the few interested parties to meet by creating the Datacloud Europe, Global Congress & Exhibition, staged as a small London event.
“Then many of the players were beginning to see strong demand but were not so concerned about detailed analysis or market forecasts and cloud was barely on the horizon,” explains Philip Low, Founder of BroadGroup. “Fast forward to today, and there is much greater focus on competitive strategy, positioning and understanding different buying points and drivers. Cloud is central to all discussions, and how both to maximize the opportunity and defend existing segments. Mergers and acquisitions has also become a major issue”.
BroadGroup was formed in 2004, creating high level international conferences and industry reports delivering insights and intelligence for the executive decision makers in user organisations as well as datacentre and carrier operators and service providers. Under the stewardship of founder, Philip Low, the company has become a world leading analyst, independent consultancy and conference organiser. Over the last eleven years BroadGroup has added regular events across Asia, Africa, Russia, Europe and the UK.
Their independent research arm has also produced regular country specific market reports created from detailed interviews with industry leaders, market pundits, financial institutions, users and governments. They were the first company to organise high level datacentre conferences in places such as Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Philip Low says: “ When I started the company, I wanted to create a much needed peer to peer community where senior decision makers and experts could network, exchange market insights and develop business opportunities. I have seen our Datacentre Europe conference grow from a UK based event into today’s annual Datacloud congress and exhibition held in Monte Carlo attracting delegates from all corners of the world. We believe these trends will continue, with many investors keen to move into the sector but frustrated by lack of suitable opportunities. We are seeing increasing interest in emerging markets, and BroadGroup Consulting has undertaken recent projects in several African markets and has undertaken significant commercial due diligence projects for investors in the sector.”
BroadGroup is predicting not just growth in new markets but also significant growth in more mature markets. “The French wholesale and retail co-location market totalled around 25MW in 2014. We are predicting it will grow around 11%, alongside IaaS market growth of 45% in 2015” says Steve Wallage, head of BroadGroup Consulting, quoting from their latest Co-location quarterly report.
“Key drivers in this, as in other markets, include Internet of Things, cloud, video, 4G and increased outsourcing. Key user segments include content players, media, systems integrators and broader enterprise sector. We have also seen opportunities from US/global players who had previously sought to support the French market from data centres in the US or other European locations such as Dublin. Although Paris is still the dominant location, we are seeing other activity in large cities, as well as specific opportunities, such as Marseille to also support companies in North Africa.” The previous report also made strong growth predictions for The Netherlands.
This year’s Datacloud Europe, Global Congress & Exhibition is even more enterprise led, with 50% 0f the 200 speakers from enterprises and far more face-to-face interaction with budget holders, making it a place where deals can be expected to be done, Case studies at the congress feature Coca Cola, Vodaphone, Lonely Planet and Ebay amongst others. Hybrid Cloud and cloud integration are heavily featured as well as Internet of Things platforms and workshops on Dark Fibre. Energy usage, a growing concern for many in data storage and cloud, is also featuring heavily in the discussions. No longer a niche sector this is an event of global significance.