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Branson Advice Sparks Growth for Manchester Firm

Article date: Thu, 04 Apr 2013 14:20 GMT

One of Manchester's leading entrepreneurs

One of Manchester's leading entrepreneurs is splitting his £100m cloud and colocation firm in two, following advice from Sir Richard Branson.

Lawrence Jones, the CEO at the helm of the fast-growing hosting specialist UKFast, launches the firm's Enterprise division - operationally splitting the firm into two equal-sized parts - to manage its phenomenal growth, after a conversation with friend and fellow entrepreneur Branson while on Necker Island.

Jones said: "I've known Richard for a long time and have learned some invaluable lessons from him. It was his inspiration that gave me the courage to appoint Jonathan [Bowers] as MD after a skiing trip last year in Verbier.

"It was from one of our conversations while having a jog around Necker Island, when we talked about the challenges of managing growth, that Richard suggested following the original Virgin style by splitting UKFast into separate divisions as we reach the 100-plus people mark.

"I have contemplated this long and hard, but as the business continues to grow in size it was becoming increasingly clear that there are two sections appearing, both with very different requirements."

UKFast Enterprise brings together some of the industry's most talented solutions architects and support engineers who cater specifically for high-end clients with mission-critical hosting requirements including Kellogg's, RNLI and Virgin.

Jones said: "The web's most competitive companies demand the highest levels of service to support solutions that are often very complex and entirely bespoke. UKFast Enterprise exists to meet the huge demand for this level of support and expertise as very few firms are able to meet the needs of this level of business."

After 13 years in the hosting arena UKFast recently launched four wholly-owned and managed data centres, completed a landmark property deal for the firm's new HQ in Manchester's Science Park and created cyber security and disaster recovery division, Secarma.

UKFast is also set to launch its cloud service, eCloud, to rival the likes of AWS and Rackspace. eCloud makes enterprise-level hardware and speed of service, normally only associated with huge brands like AWS, available to the mass market.

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