Six Degrees is a modern new company that offers data centre services covering colocation, cloud, IP telephony and networking from two UK based data centres. Its game plan is to cater directly to the mid-sized business market by offering enterprise-standard services whilst retaining the personal touch that appeals to smaller companies.

Six Degrees positions itself as a ‘converged provider’. Like many data centre operators, this means they offer a solutions-based approach to offering services so that the resulting package fits business needs. It offers three core data centre services – Colocation, Managed Services and Cloud. The Cloud IaaS is suited to SaaS and PaaS providers, as well as standard businesses that want to migrate some or all of their IT to the cloud. In addition to the typical data centre offerings, Six Degrees also specialises in telephony and has its own direct voice services network.

Through its two data centres, Six Degrees offers a range of individual space options for colocation and managed services. Spaces start at single dedicated racks and go all the way up to private pods and cages, with power densities at 2 – 8kW/rack.  For higher usage needs, customers can opt for the customisable High Capacity dedicated pods, which go up to 20kW and start at 8kW.

Location

Six Degrees is headquartered at St Katherine’s Docks in London. It owns two data centres in London and Birmingham which offer a total floor area of around 30,000 sq. ft. The data centres are connected over Six Degrees own network, which in turn connect into partner networks through ten PoPs.

Both data centres are IL3-compliant and certified to ISO 27001. The London facility is located in Greenwich, which facilitates its low latency Next Generation Network connectivity to London City. It is tier-III certified and offers three full floors of data centre floor space. The data centre is fully redundant to N+1 and offers additional meeting space and refreshment facilities.

The tier-III/IV Birmingham data centre is located in Studley. It is composed of two data halls, with one offering 2N and the other N+1 redundancy. Both data centres have benefitted from major investment in the latest power, cooling, security and fire detection technologies, many of which were also chosen with regard to energy efficiency.

Energy

Six Degrees utilises technologies within the data centre that maximise energy efficiency. It offers space with lower power densities for better energy efficiency, with the additional option of higher densities for those clients that specifically need them.  Six Degrees also looks to its suppliers to improve efficiency where possible, and also advises colocation clients on improving efficiency within their space.

Funding/business model

Six Degrees was established in 2011 with the financial backing of London equity firm Penta Capital. During Penta’s tenure Six Degrees expanded rapidly with a ‘buy and build’ strategy, acquiring no fewer than thirteen companies in just four years.

In June 2015, Six Degrees announced it was to be acquired by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a Boston based private equity firm seeking a gateway to the growing European data centre market. Charlesbank will provide additional and extensive funding to continue the buy and build strategy and facilitate organic growth.

Customers and partners

Six Degrees enjoys a well-established customer base of around 1500 for both its data centre and voice services. High end London estate agency Foxtons use Six Degrees’ private cloud service and Social housing group United Living Group has put their entire IT structure upgrade in 6DG’s hands. Spanish banking group BBVA takes the full landline and mobile service for its UK operations and Yo! Sushi outsourced its entire IT requirements to the company.

Other clients of Six Degrees include Bestival Festival, Arriva Bus, Law firm Trowers and Hamlins, Linklaters, The Academies Enterprise Trust, C24 Ltd and Nacro.

6 Degrees of differentiation

Six Degrees positions itself well in the market by specifically targeting mid-sized businesses. In doing so, it avoids the problem of having to be all things to all businesses, and instead concentrates on offering the type and level of products and services that its target market demands.

Six Degrees is relatively new in the market but has managed to secure its second major investor in just four years. That investor confidence, and the extended range of services designed to appeal to middle-sized companies such as telephony, should give Six Degrees wide appeal in the medium and smaller sized business sector.

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