Traditional data centres are failing customers and will give way to a new model, argues Redwire Managing Director Ameer Mirza, who says real value lies in the personal nature of service delivery and the interconnection of people with the latest DC technology.
Mirza presents Redwire as a brave new dawn for the data centre landscape and the industry cannot ignore it. He says RedwireDC is the most exciting new data centre anywhere in Britain having contrived to fuse people and their data to the interconnectedness of its location. This is the magnetism of RedwireDC, claims Mirza, whose company has advanced data centres far beyond their original purpose.
Redwire was established by Mirza's father in Q3 2016 following years of research into the data centre marketplace. "Flexibility and customer service at a purpose built Tier 3 data centre is something that the market desperately needs," said Mirza. "We are positioning the business to offer a never before seen solution to an overlooked problem. We react to the ever changing marketplace and in west London there is a lack of new and high quality data centres which was a key factor in our decision when setting up Redwire."
Locating the data centre on Uxbridge Road in Ealing was a 'no-brainer', noted Mirza. "RedwireDC is positioned on two connectivity thoroughfares with fibre from multiple networks and is positioned near high speed transport links from east London and the Docklands through to Heathrow Airport," he explained. "Connectivity is key and we made this decision a top priority."
Redwire is gunning to be west London's tech hub and has support from the local Government, local businesses and educational institutions. Its facility also offers serviced offices which means clients' data is managed securely within the same building. The company has shown how static data centres can become living places of congregation that leave traditional rivals with the impossible task of competing. Redwire thus stands poised to supersede these 'relics of the past' as they give way, claims Mirza, who emphasised that the essence of any service is the point of contact with customers.
"Being able to give a business, whether small or large, the ability to be near their data, access their data, and own their data in ways they cannot currently do in data centre models gives us that concierge level personal touch that businesses are looking for," commented Mirza. "I am already proud to see companies that use our services grow exponentially, and my ambition is to see more people and companies launch their businesses successfully from the foundations we've created."
Mirza himself has strong foundations in the business world. He is an Ernst & Young trained chartered accountant with a full understanding of how to manage a business and deliver a professional service. He also studied economics at Warwick University where he developed an analytical mind. And he has been immersed in his family's property development and construction business for as along as he can remember. "Growing up in this environment gave me a deep sense of business acumen," he stated. "I have always been fascinated by IT and its ability to empower and transform a business to be the best it can be. IT is the present and the future, and it's an area of business that I always had a leaning towards since I was young."
Mirza's boyhood aspiration has been realised and Redwire currently employs 11 full-time staff and calls on a number of expert consultants when required. "David Gilpin, who was formerly CEO of Sungard Data Centres, and David Hall of Equinix have been with us every step of the way in designing our data centre to ensure it ticks all of the boxes from a customer and technical perspective," added Mirza. "Other partners were Hurley Palmer Flatt which designed the facility, Future-Tech worked on the mechanical and engineering fit out, while Daisy supplied the networking."
Since the facility was opened for business Redwire's strategy has been to offer existing products (colocation and related services) with a higher quality of service to customers as competitively as possible. The company has moved forward and now plans to add managed services to its colocation offering. "We expect to launch Redwire Managed Services in the coming months," noted Mirza. "We want to offer enterprise grade operational standards to SMEs. Businesses are not simply cogs in the machine, we empower them to be the machine. And being a family owned company with no debt we can pursue various options.
"For example, we are aiming to roll out a new cloud platform that we believe will offer the best animation rendering available in the UK to serve the media industry. It is an exciting business and we are lucky to have a wide range of opportunities in front of us from which to expand our existing offering. We see the demand for data centre capacity in the UK growing significantly over the coming years."
Another area of great interest to Mirza is the IoT sector. "IoT devices are expected to triple by 2021 but I think the UK is under prepared to manage this growth in terms of the supporting infrastructure," he commented. "Data centres are a key factor here. Our proximity to the London metropolis means Redwire is well positioned to support the large increase in data and storage that IoT is expected to bring in."
Mirza also has his sights set on certain verticals where he feels there is a sharp appetite for flexible high quality data centre space. "The channel is one of these verticals and we are looking to work with partners that realise they can regain margin lost after the introduction of services such as VoIP," he said. "We enable partners to truly own their clients and offer the latest technology using both public and private cloud."
Redwire has quickly grown a large sales pipeline and one major US blue chip company has approval from its board to migrate most of its IT requirement in the UK to Redwire and also launch a new European operation from its data centre. "I'm particularly excited given the great product this company has and the potential for it to grow," commented Mirza. "It recognised the value of being able to fully manage data while relying on me and our team to deliver their required levels of flexibility."
Despite early successes such as this Mirza still believes he needs a megaphone for his comms channel cause. "The biggest issue for me is raising our brand awareness and getting our products and services out to market," he stated. "We are expanding the sales team and attend recruitment events to scout for the most capable sales representatives to convey Redwire's strengths to the market. As for the long-term outlook, we are such an agile and flexible business it's hard to say exactly how we'll reach our goals, as one of our many ventures could take off and drive the whole business forward. That's what makes this even more exciting." •