Zen Internet's cloud services enjoyed significant success in 2015/16, with full year results showing a 144% growth in revenue. The company also announced a series of major milestones in the development of the business.
There were important advances for both Zen's internal Zen Cloud and its Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings. The company attained AWS Advanced Partner status early in the year, and remains one of only a handful of companies outside London able to offer customers that level of expertise.
The year also saw a substantial investment in Zen's own Zen Cloud service, improving both hardware infrastructure and the customer portal. Customers now get better performance from an even more reliable and cost-effective storage platform, along with a more intuitive management portal.
John Lyons, Zen's head of cloud and technical services, said: "In 2015/16 Zen consolidated its reputation for expertise in designing, delivering and managing cloud services to corporate and mid-market customers, while continuing to invest in infrastructure and services.
"Customers wanting to migrate to the cloud now have a partner in Zen that can make the process as smooth as it can possibly be, with the expertise to help them exploit the potential of cloud computing to the full."
That potential is considerable, John believes. The right cloud partner can help businesses lower overall costs, secure their data, give them the flexibility of 'access from anywhere', as well as moving IT departments away from 'heavy lifting' infrastructure projects towards delivering added value services for the business.
The cloud also offers the peace of mind of reliable disaster recovery, with hypervisor based replication offering a far more cost-effective, easily managed and trustworthy alternative to multiple data centres administered internally. Zen signed up its first Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) customer in the first quarter of 2015/16, and has signed up a number of others since.
Other milestones include the adoption of the CloudHealth billing platform, giving Zen's AWS customers a better insight into their cloud use and with it the potential for real cost savings. The launch of Zen's Office 365 service, meanwhile, gives users anywhere access to Microsoft's familiar Office suite – along with a host of extra features – via Zen's secure cloud platforms.
Zen's increasing expertise as a cloud services provider was recognised in October when the company sponsored the AWS AWSome day in Leeds as an AWS advanced consulting partner. This major event was designed to showcase the benefits of cloud services in general, and AWS in particular, to an audience of CEOs and IT directors from a wide range of industries.
John added: "It has been a year of real progress for the business and the AWSome day nicely capped it off, bringing a lot of interest in Zen's cloud services. But we're not stopping there. We have ambitious plans for 2016/17, including further strong growth in our existing services and the adoption of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform to complement our portfolio. It should be another very exciting year for Zen in the cloud."