Colt is a global data centre, carrier and network infrastructure provider. It owns and operates 29 carrier neutral data centres and connects to more than 500 third party data centres worldwide. It has been awarded tier III design certification, which means it meets high minimum standards for data security. Its data centres all include dual power input and it has extensive backup and disaster recovery systems in place.
Colt offers a range of data centre and IT services to complement its core colocation services, including DC Cross Connects, remote assistance and disaster recovery. Additional IT services available through data centres include network, voice telephony, VOIP and other IT services.
Colt is headquartered in London and registered in Luxembourg. It has fourteen satellite offices spread across Europe, America, Singapore, India, Japan and Hong Kong.
22 of Colt’s data centres are in Europe, including three in London and one in Birmingham. It has three in France, Germany and The Netherlands, two in Spain and Italy and one each in Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. Colt also own and operate seven data centres in Asia.
All of Colt’s data centres are strategically placed around capital cities and economic and financial hubs. Its own network infrastructure ensures connectivity across 47 major cities, as well as connections to 500 worldwide data centres. Security measures include manned security, CCTV, man traps and access controlled cabinets and racks and colt’s data centres are accredited to ISO27001.
Colt prides itself on offering data centre services that tackle energy use and sustainability head-on. In 2010, Colt established a continuous energy efficiency programme that brings in energy usage reductions year after year. In 2013 energy usage was reduced by 18% and savings over that three year period amounted to EUR4 million. Simple energy reduction initiatives in existing data centres include better air flow management and more accurate temperature measurements.
Colt continues to invest in reducing its data centre carbon footprint in both old and new data centres. For example, the Rosendaal 2012-designed data centre in the Netherlands was built using 100% recyclable materials and has a PUE of just 1.21. The site won the EMEA Innovation in the Medium-Data Centre award for efficient design and operation.
Colt Group is in the process of returning to private ownership after a number of years as a FTSE 250 company. In June 2015, Colt’s founder and largest shareholder, the US Investment fund manager Fidelity, made an offer to buy out minor shareholders precipitated by continuing weak financial performance, a profit warning last April and a bleak financial forecast in February of this year. On August 11th, a vote was held and the offer was accepted by the majority of minor shareholders despite reluctance from the independent directors. The takeover is now underway and Colt will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange.
Much of Colt’s poor financial performance has been in the voice telecoms sector where competition is fierce. It has also struggled to maintain investment and stay ahead of the competition in the IT services market and recently took the decision to disband its IT services arm as part of an overall restructure.
Colt views data centre and cloud services as the biggest area for growth and intends to focus on these areas going forward. In late 2014, Colt acquired former strategic partner KVH, the Fidelity owned Japanese Fibre optic network and data centre company. KVH changed its name to Colt in August 2015.
Customers and partners
Colt provides data centre and colocation services to a range of important global and national organisations. Many of its core customers operate in the finance, media and telecoms industries, with no fewer than 13 European national central banks hosted in its data centres. Colt also claims to provide IT and colocation services to more than half of the biggest media, banking and finance and telecoms companies in the world, as listed in Forbes 1000 in 2013.
Colt occasionally forms strategic partnerships with other companies in order to expand its services or reduce service delivery costs. In February this year, Colt announced it would partner with Deutsche Telecom International Carrier Sales and Solutions (ICSS) for five years in order to expand its voice telephony services whilst reducing overheads. It also partners with Microsoft Azure services to offer express access to its clients.
Colt also considers many of its own clients as partners, such as Steria and Domino, as it works with them to deliver joint solutions to third party customers.
A customer-focused organisation that strives to deliver
Colt aims to be wherever the customer needs it to be. As host to such a wide range of important global enterprises, the fact that Colt has suffered financially in other markets appears to have had little impact on core data centre services.
Colt offers a 24/7 365 service, extensive security measures and near-global connectivity. Customer services are multi-lingual and are also available 24/7. Colt is ideal for medium to large businesses wishing to self-manage colocation, and is especially suitable for those that can benefit from the scale and reach of Colts services and centres, in particular multi-national organisations.