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Can European-Based Cloud Providers be Successful in the US Market?

Can European-Based Cloud Providers be Successful in the US Market?

How many cloud computing companies can you name offhand? Five? Ten? Maybe even twenty?  Do you ever stop to think about how saturated the cloud computing industry has become? In the US, there are well over 100 companies delivering some type of cloud services, be it in the form of storage, PaaS, IaaS, SaaS, or a mix of these offerings.  This market is one of the most competitive new technology industries in the world right now, and with projections for the global cloud industry ranging anywhere from $97B (Forrester Cloud Forecast) to $176.8B (Gartner Cloud Forecast) by 2015, everyone wants a piece of that pie.

In Europe however, the adoption of cloud computing has been happening at slower rate.Right now, the cloud industry hasn’t fully matured, and a lot of European-based cloud service providers are looking for ways to break into the US.  Currently, there is more potential for revenue and a larger customer base in the US.Many cloud service providers such as CloudSigma, based in Switzerland, and ProfitBricks, based in Germany, are two companies that have decided to take the risk and venture into the US market.

CloudSigma secured a “significant round of funding from angel investors,” according to a press release from December 12, 2011.  A large portion of this capital will go towards expanding its US offerings with a data center located on the east coast.  Currently, CloudSigma has servers located in Zurich and Las Vegas.  The company has been successful in its short life as a pure cloud infrastructure as a service provider.  Founded in 2009, by 2010 they were already chosen as one of the top 25 European cloud companies. CloudSigma also prides itself in being one of the leading “green” cloud computing companies, trying to reduce the impact of computing on the environment as much as possible.  CloudSigma also stands out as being one of the first providers to offer SSD, or Solid State Drive, storage solutions for their public cloud IaaS environment.  If they can leverage these differentiating factorseffectively, there is a strong possibility they could become successful in the US.

ProfitBricksplans to bring their cloud offering to the US by the middle of this year.  The company was founded in 2010 by former 1&1 Management Board members Andreas Gauger and AchimWeiß, two hosting veterans with over 15 years experience in the telecommunications and webhosting sector.  The company’s mission is to provide the highest level of customer service along with the newest technology and equipment to achieve the best IaaS platform possible.  ProfitBricks also offers instant scalability without a restart, which is a feature a lot of providers are lacking.  TheDCD, or Data Center Designer, is another unique aspect of their offering, which allows customers to add and configure servers, storages, load balancers and firewalls through a simple user interface.  ProfitBricks, like CloudSigma, will have to successfully exploit their company’s differentiators in order to be a leading cloud provider in the US.  ProfitBricks’ expertise in the field, distinctive feature set, and unmatched service and reliability should allow them to stand out from the competition in the US market.

As mentioned above, the cloud computing market is becoming very saturated, and new providers are jumping on the bandwagon every month.  It is difficult to successfully penetrate any market in the technology space unless it is founded by industry experts with innovative concepts and unique offerings to fill a void that customers are currently missing. Providers breaking into the US market from Europe are taking a bigger risk, but also potentially reaping a bigger reward.  European companies know they will have to earn a spot amongst the top providers already established in the US.  CloudSigma and ProfitBricks are two cloud providers thatwill definitely make an impact in 2012.  If these companies areable to secure a prosperous spot in the US market, they may lead the way for more European providers to follow.  It is an exciting time to be involved in the cloud industry,watching as it grows and evolves.

What do you think? Can European-based cloud providers be successful in the already crowded US market?

This is a guest article by Lauren Toomey from Cloud Spectator.

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