What is the history of Netmetix, what spurred you to start the business?
We started Netmetix in February 2001, after I spent most of the previous year undergoing treatment for a serious illness. I can’t claim to have had a master plan, but it was important to me to run the business on high moral and ethical standards. That isn’t to say that I wanted to save the planet, but I wanted to treat all parties, employees, customers and suppliers fairly and honestly and be treated the same in return.
Netmetix started out as a provider of CAD systems and related services, predominantly into the construction and engineering industries. However, changes in the market and over-dependency on a single vendor lead us to exit the CAD market and instead focus on our developing IT infrastructure business in 2008. We quickly gained a reputation locally for technical excellence in our field and earned Microsoft Gold Partner status.
In 2011, the ‘cloud’ started to take shape on the horizon and we recognised the huge potential opportunity that it presented to us and our clients alike. We built our first cloud platform in a data centre in Derby and provided an all-inclusive small-business IT platform for a fixed monthly fee, per user. This proved extremely popular and we still retain every client that took up our service. We built a second platform based on a self-service model, but found that the market wasn’t really ready for that yet so it proved less successful.
As a Microsoft Partner, we were keeping a very close eye on their developing Azure strategy, and in early 2014 we felt that it had sufficient breadth and depth to be a viable solution for us and our customers. Our first deployment was a big success and every cloud deployment since then has been on Azure. Strategic partnerships have since seen us deploy systems to companies all around the world and we are now recognised as one of Microsoft’s leading UK cloud specialists.
What are the most prominent changes that you’ve noticed within the industry over the past few years and what changes do you think are on the way?
Cloud computing has been THE big change in recent years and is proving to be a fantastic enabler for businesses of all sizes. However, the major benefits are being felt by SMEs because it levels the playing field by giving them access to enterprise grade IT systems without the huge costs, whilst still retaining the agility of a small business.
We’ve already seen young start-ups challenging and overtaking the established players through the intelligent and creative use of the cloud. Uber is now the world’s largest car rental company and they don’t own a single taxi, likewise with Airbnb and properties.
The growth of cloud-based services are opening up all manner of new opportunities and every week sees something new, so it is difficult to pick out what the next big thing will be.
What makes Netmetix stand out against other cloud solution providers?
We recognised very early on what the cloud had to offer our new and existing clients, and we were very early adopters. We now have a proven track record of successfully migrating a wide range of systems onto the cloud and delivering quantifiable benefits to our clients.
We don’t tie our clients into long-term contracts. Instead, we work on a rolling monthly agreement because we want our clients to work with us because they want to, and not just because they’re tied into a contract.
Our engineers are some of the highest skilled in the industry with every one of them sitting an external certification exam every three months.
Netmetix’s growth rate over the past few years is quite impressive, what do you think the reasoning is behind this?
We had the vision to see what the cloud had to offer before most of our competitors, which has allowed us to seize the initiative. Whilst most of our competitors are still struggling to come to terms with selling and deploying cloud-based systems, we’re growing our base of satisfied clients, who are in turn spreading the word for us.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
The cloud has allowed us to play on a much bigger stage. Whereas in the past we were limited to servicing clients in our local area, we can now deploy and support clients all across the globe, so I expect to see overseas deployments take a larger share of our overall business.
We’re still a very small company and whilst I have no real desire to be a big company, we will inevitably grow and I want Netmetix to be a recognised leading provider of cloud IT infrastructure systems across the UK.