It has been announced that Shaw Communications Inc is to launch a new cloud solution targeted solely towards enterprise customers. The firm will develop a 40,000-square-foot data centre in Calgary and then launch a variety of data management and cloud computing services. The latest news comes as an increasing number of businesses around the world are turning to cloud computing options to streamline their firms and facilitate growth. It also marks an important step for Shaw.
With Shaw’s media businesses and cable television enterprises under increasing competition and pressure, the Shaw Business division will begin the cloud operations as part of a strategy to strengthen this aspect of the organisation. The company’s first Canada-based data centre will open this autumn and will be aimed towards serving enterprise customers. Shaw will be able to draw expertise from ViaWest; the US-based cloud services firm it acquired for $1.2bn (£0.77bn) in 2014.
Nancy Phillips, chief executive officer and president of ViaWest, said: “The Calgary data centre sort of takes a lot of the best-practice learnings from the many years that we’ve been doing this.” ViaWest currently serves over 1,500 clients and operate 28 data centres, standing it in a good position to offer Shaw the skills and expertise it requires for the new venture.
Shaw currently provides its enterprise customers in Canada with a variety of products including internet, phone and video services. When the new data centre is up and running it will be able to add further options, including data storage and backup, remote hosting of computer programs, and even co-location ‒ a process where clients can rent data space.
Shaw Business’s senior vice-president, Ron McKenzie, said: “This was a natural next step for us in Shaw Business to be able to move up in providing a broader set of services to the business marketplace.” Meanwhile, although the actual cost of the data centre development was not revealed, the firm did admit that the decision represented a “very significant” investment.
Much of Shaw’s most recent growth has been due to the acquisition of ViaWest, with investment analysts hailing the purchase as one of the main reasons for the firm’s upswing. The Shaw Business unit has also noted higher growth than the company’s media division and communications business, making cloud computing an obvious direction in which to move; however, just 15% of the company’s earnings before taxes, interest and other costs is currently attributed to ViaWest and the Shaw Business unit combined.
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