Fusepoint Managed Services Inc. will open a data centre in Montreal this month to expand its customer base in Quebec and establish an additional failover point for clientele elsewhere.

Fusepoint has been providing service for Quebec

customers for about a year, according to Curtis Storseth, director for the Quebec region, but via the company’s data centre in Mississauga, Ont.

“We’ve such success from Quebec-based customers — both enterprise and small and medium-sized — that we thought this was a good time to expand into the Quebec region, with the data centre located in Montreal,” said Storseth.

Those customers will be migrated over to the Montreal data centre, which will allow for more customers to be added to the Mississauga centre, he said.

Quebec can be a tough market to crack, said Toronto-based Gartner Group analyst Elroy Jopling, but Fusepoint’s relationship with Bell Canada may open some doors.

The companies share a “”white label”” agreement whereby Bell resells Fusepoint services to its corporate customers.

“”I think Fusepoint moving (to Montreal) is not the same as a normal company opening up in Quebec. This is very much a company that will come in under the coattails of Bell Canada,”” said Jopling.

Fusepoint expanded beyond its traditional hosting business in 2002 when it opened its Mississauga centre. The company now offers co-location, managed services and disaster recovery.

Montreal is Fusepoint’s third data centre, along with Mississauga and Vancouver, where the company originated. That opens up new options for Fusepoint customers, said Storseth.

“”An enterprise customer that might have 50 servers — we can allocate those servers across three data centres,”” he said. If in one of those data centres — God forbid — something occurred, we would be able to keep them running in the other facilities.””

Fusepoint already had staff to deal with its Quebec customers, but has added more sales people in the province to go after new business. Storseth wouldn’t specify, but said that the company recently signed up a large financial institution in the Montreal area.

The hosting business has been one of the few bright spots in the IT sector in the last few years, according to Jopling, and there are signs of continued growth. Gartner projects a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.6 per cent for the Web hosting market over the next five years. For co-location and dedicated hosting, it’s 57.5 per cent CAGR.

“”You’re looking at markets that are still growing reasonably well . . . better than most,”” said Jopling.

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