ColoHouse is an American provider of data center space and connectivity, among other things. The Dutch contribution and locations make it an organization that deserves more prominence. CTO Savvas Bout explains what the company stands for and why it is thoroughly Dutch.
The name ColoHouse is still relatively unknown in the Netherlands. The company has a data center in The Hague – a location that is known to insiders as the Netrouting data center. That company merged into ColoHouse in 2018. Bout, founder of Netrouting and now CTO of ColoHouse, is the first to explain why continuing under one flag is a logical step.
Bout: “Both companies started in 2007. Netrouting rented space at ColoHouse in Miami, but it wasn’t a regular customer-supplier relationship. The services – be it the colo, we the connectivity – connected well. Ultimately, forty percent of ColoHouse customers were also Netrouting customers. Merging the companies was therefore a logical step,” says Bout. It offers the company the opportunity to further expand the bundled service to existing and new customers, also on the Dutch market.
The Netherlands Is Important
The Dutch market is important for ColoHouse, not only because they have been active there for twelve years. “We were and are often seen as an organization that overseas companies come looking for a European or Dutch point of presence”, says Bout. But according to him that is a distorted image. “Of course, we attract overseas customers who want to purchase colo and connectivity in the Netherlands, but we also have a large number of Dutch customers.”
This group mainly consists of SMEs up to 300+ employees. ColoHouse does not focus on verticals. According to Bout that would detract from the offer. “What characterize us is that a product can be delivered as little or as completely as possible, as the customer desires. It doesn’t matter whether customers want an empty cabinet with a power supply or a fully built HA-managed and managed cluster with DR solutions across different locations. We are solution- focused and customization is an asset.” That is why ColoHouse is often already involved in the design phases and not just during the actual implementation
ColoHouse operates in a market with many competitors. Bout is not worried about that. “Competition is always good, that keeps a sector alert and healthy. In addition, with our international focus and footprint, we are not necessarily in the list of purely regional providers. Customers who want a tailor-made approach or set stricter requirements for interconnectivity know how to find us. In addition, we have a several other USPs including real 24/7 support.”
Follow the sun
ColoHouse distinguishes itself from many providers in the Netherlands by its support. Because the company has branches in two countries and serves so many international customers, it has been offering 24/7 support for years. “We use the ‘Follow the Sun’ principle to meet customer expectations,” says Bout: “We are a 24/7 economy, everything continues day and night. Internet is a commodity and it should always be available ”
“The growth of ColoHouse has several causes”
Responding to that trend, ColoHouse offers technical support from Miami, the Netherlands and with its own people in India. “When we started with it, the expectation was that the calls would mainly concern acute technical problems. However, we notice that more and more technicians use different working hours for our customers than 9-to-5. They work in the evenings and on the weekends and expect full support at those times. We score well with that, because there are few service providers in the Netherlands that offer that.”
According to Bout, the growth that ColoHouse is recording, also in the Netherlands, has several causes. There are customers who consciously choose a provider that goes very far in customization. There are also customers who have the 24/7 support heavily considered when making a choice. Another group is particularly charmed by the idea of doing business with only one company for interconnectivity, opening company networks, driveways to cloud providers and their own colo need. One company, that means one invoice, one contact person and only one phone number that needs to be called.
Automation is Key
The observation that the entire organization has just twenty employees, is remarkable. How can a worldwide service be offered and maintained with such a small team? Bout replies that two things are fundamental for this: “Automation is key. Without that, we can never grow and hold on to growth.”
Strong USP from ColoHouse
What he indicates afterwards is just as important: “And we ensure redundancy in everything we do. In the unlikely event an issue arises, a different traffic route is automatically selected, while the system and / or the administrators are detecting the error. The combination of automation and redundancy is another rock-solid USP from ColoHouse.”
Finally, Bout was asked about the ambitions of ColoHouse. The company wants to manifest itself more emphatically on the Dutch market and for Dutch customers. “We have opted for a purely Dutch approach, of which this article is an example. We are and will continue to be a thoroughly Dutch company with a local data center and Dutch colleagues who would like to support customers and do this well.”
[This article was previously published in ChannelConnect magazine 2019, number 3]