Cloud Computing Today recently had the privilege of conducting a Q&A with Simon Aspinall, President of the Service Provider Business at Virtustream. The Q&A was initiated in the wake of Virtustream’s recent announcement of its intent to file an IPO within the next 6-12 months, news of its projected $100M revenue for 2014 and The Forrester Wave™: Hosted Private Cloud Solutions, Q4 2014 designation of Virtustream as a leader in hosted private cloud solutions ahead of the likes of HP, Dell, CenturyLink, Rackspace and Verizon.
Cloud Computing Today: How would you describe Virtustream’s recent momentum in both the public cloud and the hosted private cloud space? What are some key successes the company has achieved over the last 12 months?
Simon Aspinall (Virtustream): On November 18, Forrester named Virtustream the leader in their Hosted Private Cloud report, ahead of Rackspace, Dell, VMware, HP and others. Gartner also recently rated Virtustream as the most secure and compliant cloud provider, mentioning the strength of our enterprise application ability. This level of industry recognition and the company’s rapid global expansion and momentum continue to catapult the growing demand for Virtustream’s enterprise cloud services. Virtustream’s xStream cloud management software also delivers private clouds for enterprises, enterprise-class public clouds for service providers (SPs), and combinations in hybrid clouds. Virtustream has added a large number of major enterprise customers, service provider and government customers in the last 12 months – and demand keeps growing. Examples include service providers around the world using Virtustream to power their public clouds, including UOL in Brazil, COLT in Europe, Etisalat Mobily in the middle east and IBM globally (for workloads on SoftLayer). Virtustream also provides our own cloud IaaS service in the US and EU for a diverse set of customers such as Domino Sugar, Heinz and Veyance Technologies, among many others.
In the past 12 months, Virtustream has grown significantly to keep up with this demand, including the acquisition of ViewTrust, a security and compliance company to boost our security portfolio, in February 2014. In May 2014, the company announced a partnership with IBM. Most recently, the company announced several key corporate milestones including adding multiple new data center locations to support global expansion and two conditionally certified United States federal cloud nodes.
Cloud Computing Today: How do you envision Virtustream’s differentiation in the hosted private cloud space? Alternatively, how would you describe the market landscape within the hosted private cloud space at large and Virtustream’s positioning within that space?
Simon Aspinall (Virtustream): In less than five years, Virtustream has established a significant footprint in the enterprise cloud market, taking market share from larger competitors. Virtustream differentiates in the market by providing unrivaled levels of security, compliance and performance for mission-critical enterprise applications (like SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and custom apps). Virtustream is one of the only vendors to receive a five star security rating from Gartner. Most cloud vendors today offer basic shared public cloud (good for devops, backup/dr or new SaaS apps)or dedicated virtual machines. Virtsutream differentiates by offering highly secure, compliant and performance SLAs for the most complex and critical applications. This enables us to offer a unique virtual private cloud, public cloud and private cloud software offer in the market.
Virtustream’s xStream cloud software assists customers to meet mandatory legislative requirements, and to achieve and maintain leading cloud certifications and compliance frameworks in the customer’s own environment and the cloud (when coupled with identified operational and management controls). With its recent acquisition of privately-held ViewTrust Technology, Inc., an advanced security and compliance technology firm specializing in solutions for government customers worldwide, Virtustream is well positioned to enhance its portfolio of products, adding security-related IP to both the hybrid and core policy engine.
Recent industry trends and events have further driven Virtustream’s growth as enterprises look to vendors for enhanced security, compliance and privacy features. The recent Snowden leaks is one example of this, having driven tremendous growth for Virtustream over the past year, as Gartner recently ranked the company highest among all enterprise CSPs for security functionality.
The market has seen Cisco and HP acquire cloud service companies in a play to gain market share in this growing industry, with many other large players looking to do the same to bolster their cloud offerings. The space is heating up as businesses understand that cloud can be applied to their entire IT base and companies providing managed and private/public cloud services are poised for a big year in 2015, with Virtustream playing a key role.
Cloud Computing Today: What are the key challenges you foresee in the upcoming 6-12 months as Virtustream continues to consolidate its recent momentum?
Simon Aspinall (Virtustream): From Virtustream’s perspective we’re growing and partnering rapidly to meet the enormous demand. We’re focused on maintaining the highest levels of service for our customers and we’re continuing our cutting edge innovation throughout the next 12 months and beyond.
There are only a couple of challenges to Virtustream’s growth at the moment, including:
1. The level of knowledge of cloud is still limited in many sectors (as many IT teams are unaware that they can run critical existing applications on the cloud today).
2. In certain IT teams there can be fear of adopting cloud in case it disrupts existing staff and processes. Both of these limitations are disappearing quickly as information is more widely available.
Simon Aspinall Bio
Simon Aspinall is the President of Virtustream’s Service Provider Business. In his role, Simon runs Virtustream’s global business with service providers and manages Virtustream’s business outside the US.Simon has built a significant business worldwide for Virtustream with service providers, governments and enterprises. His activities have helped to drive Virtustream’s expansion of its xStream software business, enterprise-class IAAS services and cloud managed services. As Virtustream enters new markets and geographies outside the US, Simon’s role is to rapidly develop these new sectors and grow Virtustream’s business through both Virtustream’s direct sales team and partners. For the Cloud Service Provider business, it is Simon’s role to maximize Virtustream’s growth and profitability worldwide with leading service providers and channel partners, and also leading and managing Virtustream’s businesses outside the US. Previously Simon has also been responsible for Virtustream’s Strategy and run Virtustream’s vertical markets business. Simon holds a master’s degree in engineering and computer science from Oxford University, and a master’s degree in business administration from INSEAD. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and a commentator on the IT, telecom, and networking sectors.