Claranet announces senior management changes to drive ambitious growth strategy
– Martin Saunders appointed to new role as Corporate Development Director
– Neil Thomas joins company as Claranet’s new Product Director
Managed Services Provider (MSP) Claranet has announced a number of strategically important changes to the senior management team, designed to drive continued innovation within the business, and ensure market relevance for its products and services. Previously Claranet’s Product Director, Martin Saunders, has moved to the newly-created role of Corporate Development Director, while Neil Thomas has joined the company as its new Product Director.
Martin Saunders has over 18 years’ experience in the Service Provider industry, with particular expertise in cloud technologies and high-availability network services. Having joined Claranet in 2006, he has had direct responsibility for the company’s product strategy and successfully oversaw the development and launch of its award-winning IaaS platform, the Virtual Data Centre, and more recently the launch of Claranet’s communications offering following the acquisition of Star in 2012.
In his new position as Corporate Development Director, Martin’s remit will shift away from the product offering itself and will focus on the development of new acquisitions and partnerships, sales enablement and ensuring Claranet makes the most of its group-wide portfolio of services.
Commenting on his newly-created position, Martin Saunders said: “Claranet has a long-established reputation for innovation and service in the hosting industry, but we must be dynamic if we are to remain competitive. We have an ambitious growth strategy, both organic and by acquisition, and I look forward to using my extensive knowledge of the company and our strengths to support these ambitions in my new role.”
Filling the role left by Martin, Neil Thomas has stepped into the position of Product Director at Claranet. Having previously worked at Vodafone Global Enterprise as Senior Product Manager, Cloud Computing, Neil brings with him a wealth of managed hosting experience at the enterprise level that he will apply to the rapidly growing mid-market sector in which Claranet operates. Neil will be focused on driving innovation across the portfolio, especially in the managed hosting and applications services range.
Claranet has also appointed James Mitchell as Senior Product Manager for Unified Communications, an emerging service area for Claranet.
Neil Thomas, Claranet’s Product Director, commented: “The IT industry is currently undergoing a period of rapid change, which presents a number of challenges for our customers. With an already wide range of network, hosting and communications services, Claranet is well placed to respond to those changes the fast-changing IT industry, and there are significant opportunities for the business to improve and deepen the portfolio further. As Product Director, I intend to ensure that our product portfolio can continue to meet the needs of our customers today, whilst also anticipating the needs of the market five years down the line.”
Claranet’s UK Managing Director, Michel Robert, said of the new appointments: “If Claranet is to drive growth and increase market relevance, it is vital that we have the right skills in place to move the business forward. Martin has served the company incredibly well during his time as Product Director, but the time is now right to reposition his skill set to ensure that we are able to make the most of new technologies, identify new acquisition targets, and source new partners for our business. Equally important is that we can bring new blood into the business. Neil Thomas brings with him a unique set of skills, which will no doubt prove to be invaluable as we move on to our next chapter.”
Founded in 1996, Claranet has evolved from being a pioneering ISP (Internet Service Provider) into one of the leading independent MSPs (Managed Services Provider) in Europe, offering businesses integrated network and hosting services. It was recently recognised as a ‘Leader’ in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for European Managed Hosting (2013). The company has annual revenues in excess of £135 million (€160 million), circa 800 employees, and an international footprint in six countries. While Claranet has grown internationally, the focus has always been on local service, out of local offices, using local data centres. The company completed acquisitions in late 2012 of Star (in the UK), Typhon (in France), CGEST (in Portugal), and more recently in 2014, of Echiron (Portugal), Grita (France), and NovaData (The Netherlands).
Claranet brings together the best people, process and technology to provide flexible, secure and cost-effective managed services that guarantee network and application performance. We allow customers to focus on their core business, not IT management.