Scott joined Colt in January 2011 as their Director, Marketing Programmes and Communications, Enterprise Services after a restructure at Colt which resulted in the merger between the business units of Major Enterprise and Managed Services. He also holds responsibility for leading the strategy and implementation of Colt’s new Digital Centre of Excellence including colt.net, customer portal, social media, intranet, CRM, SEO and tools. Previously, Scott was the Marketing Director for Colt’s IT Managed Services Division which included their cloud portfolio.
Prior to working for Colt, Scott was at Logica CMG (now Acision) and responsible for driving brand and product strategy which resulted in record turnover for 2006.
He was also the Global Marketing Director for SurfKitchen, the on-line portal technology company where he built a new brand from scratch.
Sandy Malone (SM) marketingmoves Director of Marketing, interviews Scott Allen (SA)
(SM) Hi Scott.
First of all, can you answer the age old question that marketers always have to answer about business- “Why Colt”?
(SA) Hi Sandy. That’s pretty easy. Unlike many providers of enterprise IT solutions, we directly control and own a pan-European network and data centre infrastructure, including direct fibre to 17,000 buildings, metropolitan area networks in 38 cities and 19 data centres in 14 countries providing a truly integrated experience because as a customer, you won’t need to integrate and optimise IT yourselves, or manage multiple suppliers; we’ll take care of it for you locally, nationally and Pan-European. We also offer an agile, responsive and Europe-wide experience. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more reliable presence, support and solution performance across and we also regularly create and manage global customer networks through partnerships with network providers in Asia, the Americas and elsewhere – we ensure your data is where you need it for compliance purposes. Having ownership of our assets means we have control over what happens – for customers, this means that the total responsibility for their infrastructure rests with us.
(SM) Thanks Scott. Colt recently contributed to the IPV6 World Congress and your own network has already been IPV6 enabled – tell us why that makes a difference to your customers.
(SA) Colt provided the underlying Internet IPv6 Access service to the V6 World Congress in Paris to unveil IPv6. We’ve done a great deal of research and testing, taking advantage of our network capabilities and experience to move to a successful delivery of a business level IPv6 solution for our customers. Our customers expect us to be at the forefront of technology and we are. The IP protocol is the network layer mechanism used in both public Internet and private, home or enterprise. Its version 4 was developed in the 70’s and has been used universally since then; however, IPv4 address consumption has been growing and IPv4 address exhaustion is a reality today. Version 6 of the protocol, which has been standardised in 1998, is not compatible with its predecessor, so participants in the Internet Ecosystem have to support IPv6 and maintain both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols to manage a long transition to IPv6. So as you can see Sandy, it’s not optional, therefore, we are working with our customers to help them understand IPv6 and eventually to help them to migrate part of their infrastructure as appropriate.
(SM) Scott, I didn’t realise that IPv4 was on it’s way out so soon, this must be another worry to add to a CIO’s day. Speaking of which, I know that Colt recently conducted a CIO survey which must have turned up some interesting insights, what results in the survey surprised you?
(SA) In this survey, CIO’s had quite a lot to say about cloud computing. It was really interesting because last year the number one worry and concern for CIO’s was over security of the cloud. Today, they seem more concerned with how services are secured and what the weak points are in the end-to-end service rather than the issue of whether you could get security in the cloud in the first place. CIOs are also talking about assessing the strategic risk in cloud deployment and the fact that risk evaluation needs to be much more sophisticated.
Quality assurance and transition planning to the cloud are also top of mind because businesses are taking a phased approach to cloud adoption. The fact is, the cloud has inherent flexibility and scalability and can work with other technologies in a structured way. I guess you could say that 2011 is the year when we will see the cloud grow up and mature. See http://www.colt.net/cio-research/
(SM) Finally Scott, we’d appreciate your call on what sort of marketing people are needed in your sector in the future.
(SA) Well, we’re looking for marketing people who are more than just marcoms people, and I think you’ll find that across the sector. We’ve just recruited four people with marketingmoves’ help and the candidates we hired are people who absolutely understand the customer. We recruited people who can work with both sales and product teams and who can help to identify current and future customer requirements, enabling us to communicate effectively and develop solutions that will enable our customers to address one or more of the key business needs; cost control, business transformation, speed to market and risk management. Let’s face it, gone are the days of the big marketing budgets; marketing people are expected to work with less but deliver more, so I think the skills and capabilities needed will include a much broader range of experience, including skills in the areas of finance and strategy. Also, with the increasing use of digital technology, the marketer of the future will need to understand its impact and be able to make sophisticated decisions around how to use the digital channel to interact with their customer base effectively.
(SM) Scott thanks very much for your time
** End Interview**
Colt is Europe’s leading information delivery platform, enabling its customers to deliver, share, process and store their vital business information. An established leader in delivering integrated computing and network services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers, Colt has close to 5000 employees and operates a 21-country, 35,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 39 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 17,000 buildings and 19 Colt data centres. In 2010, the Colt Data Centre Services business was launched to deliver innovative high quality modular data centres which are rapid to deploy and power efficient.
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