Andrew Gilbert, Managing Director of Node4, wins European Data Centre Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Andrew Gilbert, Managing Director and founder of Britain’s fastest growing data centre company, Node4, was pronounced the winner of the European Data Centre Award for Entrepreneur of the Year 2011. The award is presented to the entrepreneur who has demonstrated exemplary world class success in the data centre sector, and recognises a proven track record of recent industry achievements representing marketing flair, commercial success and significant business growth, uniqueness in approach and industry leadership. As one of the youngest and most successful entrepreneurs in Britain, Andrew said,
“I am delighted to receive such a prestigious award especially in these challenging economic times and whilst it is fantastic for me personally it is also an endorsement of the efforts of my whole team over the past year. 2012 is going to be very exciting for Node4 and we are already planning our fifth data centre with a sixth also on the cards. The future of cloud computing and data centre technology is rapidly evolving and I anticipate the continuous growth of UK’s market to remain strong for the foreseeable.”
Andrew has often been complimented on his foresight and ability to envision trends ahead of the curve. His competitive edge stems from the execution of his strategy to provide his clients with a ‘data centres on the door step’ approach, and has secured him the crown of Britain’s largest independent provider of data centres.
With a turnover of £11m in a span of only seven years, Node4 is transforming the data centre market in Britain, preparing to go live with its fifth data centre based in the outskirts of Birmingham.
Node4 is a specialist in data centre and communications solutions. Launched in 2004, the company has grown rapidly in the past seven years through its comprehensive service offering and the growth in demand for hosted IT from businesses all over the UK. Its competencies include colocation, managed hosting through dedicated servers and virtualised environments, connectivity, SIP trunking and hosted telephony. It has four state-of-the-art data centre facilities, two located in Derby and one in Wakefield and one in Northampton, which offer the latest in security technology, ensuring that even the most mission-critical applications are hosted securely and protected. The company aims to be one of the UK’s major forces for colocation services in the UK and to this end, provides the highest levels of performance and system availability to its customers throughout the UK. Node4 ranked 45th position in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and won 1st place for fastest growing Midlands Technology Company in the Deloitte Fast50 and 22nd in the UK. The company also featured highly in 139th position of the Deloitte Fast 500 recognising fastest-growing technology companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Node4 is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a Cisco Premier Certified Partner and also won the prestigious Cisco Innovation Award of the Year for the UK and Ireland.
For more information, please visit www.Node4.co.uk
Biography of Andrew Gilbert
Cloud visionary Andrew Gilbert aged 30 years is arguably still the youngest business leader in the IT sector for the size of turnover/company. Node4 the company he heads up has reached a phenomenal £11 million in the space of just seven years. In the formative years it experienced a growth of 150% per year, and even in the tough economic climate today, has maintained a growth rate of 60% year on year for the last three years.
Already during this short space of time Andrew has created a very powerful footprint on the Cloud computing landscape of the UK. As Node4 prepares to go live with its fifth data centre site situated on the outskirts of Birmingham, the business is transforming the way that businesses manage data across all sectors. The execution of Andrew’s strategy as the UK’S largest ‘data centres on the door step’ supplier, has secured him the crown of Britain’s largest independent provider of data centres. His strategic selection of sites situated close to the UK’s large conurbations such as Northampton, Derby and Wakefield has empowered Node4 to become a powerful draw for businesses wanting proximity to be a key priority as they look to outsource their data.
Andrew Gilbert’s vision pays off
Node4 took approximately a year to set up and establish, and it is often commented that Andrew has a knack of spotting a trend ahead of the curve.
Andrew’s vision has grown out of his passion to supply his customers with an exceptional customer service. The strategy to invest in multiple sites is a stark departure from the prevailing view of many of his competitors, who have tended to invest in fewer, larger sites, and not always on-shore. Andrew believes that for business continuity reasons the interests of his customers are best served through access to a number of regional data centres. It’s a strategy which has reaped dividends for Node4, as the average customer will choose a data centre within a 30 kilometre radius of their base. The company’s growing customer base is sold on the concept of being able to have their data housed in an environment which is local and therefore familiar, customers “still want to touch and see their data centres, it provides them with a greater level of security, when their primary and often mission critical assets are in an environment they understand and control, as opposed to being far away, perhaps in a different legal jurisdiction and even time zone.”
Andrew is one of the UK’s strongest advocates of the Private Cloud; he believes that the enhanced security offered by a bespoke solution is unrivalled, with many companies not being fully aware of the modest entry points for the solution.
Andrew started Node4 in 2003 at the tender age of 23 when he had the foresight to see that hosted data centres and managed services could have a strong future as technology innovation would fuel a significant demand in years to come across all industry sectors. His business partner at the time agreed to provide funding for this new venture and provided cash injection in return for a small slice of the business.
Andrew’s initial motivation in starting a company was to run and control his own destiny by owning a business, but his ambition soon grew and his goals got bigger as momentum developed in the business. He currently employs a workforce of 42 and staff retention is very high – amongst the highest in the industry – a fact that Andrew puts down to his core values which are a significant influence on the company.
He views himself as a new generation leader and has promoted a ‘can-do’ attitude within the business. He puts customer service and satisfaction at the top of his list and has a focus on the creation and maintaining of relationships which has proved instrumental in empowering Node4 to win business, ushering in a new culture in the way technology suppliers interact with customers. Andrew believes his goal focussed project approach – rather than clock watching — has been critical in his success.
Not being a large listed company also has other very important advantages, Andrew has driven the core values of fair business, accountability, transparency and responsibility throughout the veins of the Node4 business, every single customer is valued and important and in the rare event of something going wrong, all stops would be pulled out to put things right, it’s an enviable assurance which many of Node4’s larger, listed competitors would struggle to give due to myriad vested interests to serve, including shareholders.
Andrew believes that data is one of the most valuable assets of a business and more are becoming reliant on technology – which has become a mission-critical aspect of day-to-day operations. As a result Node4 is rapidly attracting a reputation as a world class data centre provider in its own industry, gaining trust, confidence and recognition from a variety of heavy-weight blue chip, private and public sector companies and organisations alike.
Starting off with Cisco technology, his business evolved into a co-location provider whose biggest growth was from outsourcing data centres and today is the biggest independent provider of multi-site data centres which they own outright – quite unusual in the hosted data centre markets.
Much of the new business is from referrals and Node4 is gaining momentum in the ISP sector amongst others. It is already established with existing customers ranging from the public sector to private as the economic climate helps force a change in the way companies perceive and accept outsourcing services. Turning IT costs from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to a manageable and predictable operating cost (OPEX) has proved to be the way ahead.
Andrew is a keen cyclist and his company sponsors a UK cycle team and British Super Bikes team.