An interview with Maurice Mortell, Executive Committee member for Host in Ireland and the Vice President Developing Markets for TelecityGroup & Country Manager for Ireland. Q: What’s your role in the Irish hosting landscape? Maurice Mortell: We provide secure operational environments for organisations’ IT & telecoms equipment. TelecityGroup is the most highly connected data centre provider in Ireland – so as such our data centres are network hubs, or enabling environments, of the digital economy. Really our role is to provide the optimum environment for 24/7 availability for mission-critical IT infrastructure Q: What is the value of Host in Ireland for TelecityGroup? MM: It brings great value. It is fantastic to have an industry group for all providers to collaborate. It sends a strong message to overseas companies that we share information and knowledge for a collective benefit here in Ireland. The industry needs to promote itself. It’s not just about new business, Host in Ireland also lobbies on behalf of the industry, which works well for us. It’s also an evolving process with hopefully even better developments to come. There are many potential customers, primarily in the US. However it is difficult to gauge which companies are considering hosting in Europe, and Ireland. Europe is a very big market, so the search for them needs to be finely tuned. Having a network of partners is mutually beneficial for providers and for companies seeking hosting providers. Many opportunities are still in Silicon Valley. We want to showcase the companies that already choose Ireland and explain why it is the optimum location for hosting digital assets. It’s a strong story, and the companies that already host here show the value to other companies considering that option. Q: Where do you see possible future markets? MM: Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India are all future markets. TelecityGroup has won some contracts and overall these countries don’t have a big track record yet of coming into Europe. It’s a whole new area. Q: Where do you see the future? MM: Providers will have more specific conversations with clients. There will be better, tailored services. There will also be shared cloud services, connecting through dedicated platforms. This will enable the services to be scaled quicker for clients, through the provision of cloud providers. Our client base is working out what to do with this service. We want to advise our clients on the next steps to take, on renewals and upgrades to pursue, to meet customers needs. Q: What has worked well over last 5/10 years? MM: Ireland has had several key drivers to help create the growth and success we have experienced. The government buying up all the capacity in 1999 and then selling it back to create a deregulated market was a great catalyst. This encouraged new companies to form and resulted in a range of new businesses developing. The power grid is very good and reliable. The IDA and industry have marketed the message well, and made Ireland an easy place to do business with. They have attracted the right type of companies and people to Ireland. The connectivity story is good, with more transatlantic links coming, and connections to Europe and Asia. This shows being an island is not an issue. It’s important not be complacent, things can change quickly, but big investments have been made in Ireland. The legislation, the location and all rest, have created a compelling story. We have good providers, with a good track record, no serious issues or outages to date. Ireland is a stable and mature environment to locate your data. People buy from people too, and we do well in this context as well, backed up by the strong story we have to tell. TelecityGroup, data hosting, supporting other companies based in Ireland, more here.