These events have been developed from interest generated by BroadGroup
’s annual international event, Datcloud Congress
, which this year will feature the critical eco system of cloud connectivity, fiber networks and data centers as the utilities to the world’s businesses.
Specialisation has paid off for BroadGroup. In a matter of a dozen years it has evolved from a small player in a niche market to a leading international research and consulting group for data center, cloud and IT infrastructure. With the publicly quoted market value of data centers now reaching more than USD60 billion and Fortune 100 annual spend on data centers at USD15.5 billion, the sector is set to expand exponentially as cloud is adopted globally. BroadGroup
has capitalised on its position within the sector to expand its role as the provider of information, insight, consultancy and key events that underpin the sector. Consulted by governments, investors, end users and supply sides of the sector, it continues to add events in new markets and to generate insights that power global decision making across the sector.
Founded in 2002 by Philip Low, BroadGroup provided clients with research in the then niche and emerging webhosting and colocation markets. Very early on it started commissioning its own research and publishing regular market reports. These provide both updates on activity and insights to developments on where the markets are headed.
In 2004 BroadGroup created the first regional conference for the sector, Datacentre Europe (DCE), a small transatlantic conference, attracting a few hundred delegates. The events side of the business expanded rapidly with the jewel in their crown today being DataCloud Europe, the successor to DCE which now attracts 2,000 top industry players from 50 countries to Monaco. It is recognised as the premier international enterprise-led event and has achieved consistent and sustained organic growth.
Philip Low, CEO of BroadGroup explains: “The event market has changed significantly over the past decade. The emphasis has moved from the unstructured hopes of bumping in to a relevant buyer or seller in the aisles of an exhibition. Now C-suite executives come to a very structured networking forum and planned meetings with customers that they know will generate business leads, and content that offers deep insight and market traction.”
Alongside the Datacloud Europe event
, BroadGroup developed the Dark Fibre Convention which brings together international buyers and sellers of dark fiber. Then came the DataCloud series of events now also in the Nordic and South East Asia markets with further launches planned for 2017. Uniquely the company spotted early on a need for a forum for investors and market players to assess outlook, identify key opportunities, types of finance and funding available, new and existing M&A opportunities and track successful business models. The Finance & Investment Forum (FIF) events now take place in London, Hong Kong, New York and Sydney. Last year the company launched Cloud Law, as an annual event addressing the need for enterprise understanding of international governance of cybersecurity and privacy.
The key to the success of BroadGroup conferences has been their grounding in real knowledge of the markets and players from in-depth research and the conscious shift of the events, in tandem with industry needs, to premier networking and deal making events.
Philip Low stated: “The first thing I always say is this is not a trade show. The people who attend include many of the leaders of businesses and their senior teams, and we facilitate an amazing experience for them to engage directly with enterprise customers. In Europe, we estimate that around 65% of all data centers are currently owned and managed by enterprise organisations – we predict this will continue to diminish as outsourcing of services, accelerated by cloud drivers and energy costs, will shift IT estate to third party data centers and service providers. Datacloud reflects these shifts. We are very proud of the way in which the event is now perceived. Companies attend to do deals.”
BroadGroup's events calendar gets ever busier with new events planned this year in Stockholm and next year in other special locations in Europe and Asia. Stockholm takes over hosting of Datacloud Nordic, held last year in Oslo, as the region experiences significant growth in the deployment of mission critical facilities and offers new business, outsourcing, investment, hosting, co-location and cloud opportunities.
The first Africa market summit, Invest in Data Center Africa, will be placing a forensic spotlight on this embryonic market that has more than its fair share of challenges but also huge potential for growth.
BroadGroup is clear about its role and recognizes the challenge. It has a wide constituency and has to consistently bring together decision makers from the spectrum of enterprise users, IT infrastructure and data center operators, cloud service providers, investors, financiers, solutions providers and innovators. It then has to create a unique environment for all of its customers. Its growth in terms of attendance at each event and the addition of new events shows that it is achieving its aims.
Behind the events continues the gathering and analysis of data and insights. BroadGroup commissions in-depth reports covering data center markets in the UK, Europe and CEE, Asia Pacific and Latin America; dark fiber; the rise of managed services; the migration of outsourcing to third parties; cloud computing and needs of particular vertical markets such as financial services. These fuel the consultancy and publications side of the business as well as the events.
Philip Low added: “Our consulting business has expanded rapidly over the last ten years, and is recognized as the market leader in commercial due diligence for the sector. We don’t talk widely about our customers as much of our work is under NDA. But we do provide exceptional bespoke and customised services to users, operators, investors and government agencies, where we help to inform decision making for what amounts to many hundreds of millions of dollars each year. With a portfolio of international projects ranging from mergers and acquisitions through to IPO, investors turn to BroadGroup if they want first class services and the best insight available.”
A niche has grown into an important part of the world economy. Growth that can only be accelerated by the Internet of Things (IoT) and the tsunami of data that will be generated. Nearly half of global GDP growth between 2010 and 2025 will come from 440 cities in emerging markets—95 percent of them currently small and medium size cities that many Western executives may not even have heard of and couldn’t point to on a map. The future of BroadGroup is mapped out for the next few years. More research; new events where the research indicates there is market growth; an ever greater emphasis on the seniority of attendees at events and, above all, more deal making by its customers.