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NTT Communications is to acquire 86.7% of the shares of the German datacenter operator e-shelter for a reported $826.3m. This is the biggest yet in a series of global ICT acquisitions by NTT Com over the last five years. It secures the operator’s global cloud IT platform and puts it in a strong position to challenge its telco rivals in enterprise cloud services in Europe. If they are not already doing so, European multinational corporations should be considering NTT Com for global cloud services.

NTT Com is now a top-tier cloud telco

NTT Com claims that its latest acquisition moves it up to third place in terms of datacenter space in Europe. One of e-shelter’s main facilities, Campus Frankfurt 1, is claimed to be Europe’s largest datacenter, with approximately 60,000 square meters (645,000 square feet) of datacenter space, but the combination of NTT Com and e-shelter still probably does not match the strength of carrier-neutral datacenter operators such as Equinix, Interxion, and Global Switch. Nevertheless, it is certainly now in the top tier of communications service providers that operate datacenters for enterprise private cloud services in Europe, alongside CenturyLink, KPN, Level 3, SFR, TeliaSonera, and Verizon-Terremark.

Ovum’s Global Data Center Analyzer: 1H14 shows that NTT Com already operates in 21 datacenters in Western Europe; e-shelter manages 850,356 square feet of space in five datacenters in Germany, plus an unspecified amount of space in three datacenters in Frankfurt, London, and Zurich. Another million square feet will be a significant addition to NTT Com’s facilities in Europe and, equally importantly, it gives it options to reinforce its Enterprise Cloud network. According to Ovum’s Telecoms Cloud Monitor 1H14, Enterprise Cloud is currently served out of just one datacenter in the region, in Frankfurt. NTT Com will also now be able to extend its IT service management automation platform, Global Management One (GMO), for its global MNC customers such as Sony and Honda. This should bring GMO to the attention of European MNCs as well.

The e-shelter acquisition is easily NTT Com’s biggest deal in ICT services. The operator has been a buyer in European ICT since 2008, but its biggest international acquisition, $3.2bn for Dimension Data, was made at group level. The two companies continue to operate as separate subsidiaries, but have a joint go-to-market arrangement. Both will want to extend this to include e-shelter’s resources.


Further reading

Telecoms Cloud Monitor 1H14: The Space Race is Back, TE0005-000650(October 2014)

Global Data Center Analyzer: 1H14, TE0017-000006 (July 2014)

Telco Differentiation Through IT Services, TE007-000608 (March 2012)


David Molony, Principal Analyst, Enterprise

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