SingleHop gets closer to its European customers

Case study

In response to worldwide demand for its cloud services, Chicago-based service provider SingleHop is expanding its global footprint. Its first location outside the US is Interxion’s data centre in Amsterdam, where it is taking advantage of excellent connectivity, a skilled workforce, and the non-competitive environment offered by a carrier and cloud-neutral data centre provider.

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The Challenge

Around 40% of SingleHop’s 5,000 or so customers are based outside North America. Realising that a significant proportion of them were keen to serve users from infrastructure based in Europe, SingleHop decided to complement its three US data centres with a European presence. That way, its customers could benefit from cloud-based infrastructure services that were consistently delivered from US and European facilities.

Well in advance of SingleHop opening for business in Amsterdam, existing customers had reserved over 70% of the available capacity. The company’s services appeal to resellers, and to organisations in sectors ranging from e-commerce and marketing to education and healthcare. They all like the highly automated SingleHop platform, whose intuitive interface — accessible from any PC or smartphone — lets them deploy and manage servers at the touch of a button. This extensive automation is combined with a transparent and granular SLA that’s so integral to the service, SingleHop calls it a ‘Bill of Rights’. The SLA covers aspects such as power uptime (100%) and server deployment times (measured in seconds for a public cloud server), and customers are automatically compensated if a guarantee isn’t met. “In the US we rely on our own people to enable us to meet our unique SLA, but in Europe our staff is smaller, so we had to be able to count on our data centre provider to help,” explains Ushman. “Interxion convinced us they understood and could deliver against our SLA, enabling us to keep it unified across all our facilities.”

Interxion don’t offer cloud or hosting services themselves, so they’re not in competition with us — yet they understand our business and share our vision of the way the cloud market is developing.

Solution

Following extensive research, SingleHop chose Amsterdam as its European location, and Interxion as its data centre partner. SingleHop co-founder and CMO Dan Ushman explains why: “Amsterdam offered the best blend of commercial and regulatory factors coupled with a skilled workforce; and Interxion was the best fit for technical, operational and business reasons.” Interxion’s cloud-neutrality was also an important deciding factor: “They don’t offer cloud or hosting services themselves, so they’re not in competition with us — yet they understand our business and share our vision of the way the cloud market is developing,” says Ushman

Interxion also understands the challenges a company can face when establishing itself in a new geography. A flexible ‘ramp’ agreement between the two companies lets SingleHop avoid over-committing at the outset, but builds in scalability for it to ‘ramp up’ its data centre footprint in line with growth, safe in the knowledge that enough space, power and cooling will always be available. In addition, Interxion is supporting SingleHop in practical ways “That’s another benefit of Interxion’s neutrality,” says Ushman. “They understand what kind of support you need when you enter a new market. And with Interxion teams in 11 different countries, we’re taking advantage of all that local knowledge to help us ‘figure out’ Europe and craft the right marketing messages.”

Beyond serving the high-growth European market from its base in Amsterdam, SingleHop can also offer better connectivity to parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, thanks to the wide choice of carriers at the Interxion data centre and closer proximity to its customers and their users. But SingleHop isn’t content to stop there: the popularity of its Europe-based services means the company is already considering further expansion, and is currently investigating Asia and Latin America. “We want to offer our customers real choice and meet their expectations in terms of performance, regional compliance and data sovereignty requirements,” says Ushman. “Having customers all over the world makes it important to localise our services. Interxion, with its unmatched pan European footprint and connectivity, is helping us achieve that.”

About SingleHop

SingleHop is a leading global provider of bare metal dedicated servers and cloud computing services, with a proprietary automation platform that enables rapid migration and deployment of workloads across multiple infrastructures. The company’s unique blend of pervasive automation and a transparent, granular SLA makes it the provider of choice for thousands of customers worldwide. www.singlehop.com