Connectria Hosting didn't set out to be a manged hosting company. The St. Louis-based company started life as an engineering and consulting firm. But when its largest client, Deutsche Bank, sought help with off-site hosting, Connectria made the most of the opportunity.
Connectria has since built a profitable niche in complex hosting, providing managed services for mid- to large-sized enterprise companies looking to outsource their business applications. The company supports a range of technologies, but a particular strength is its expertise in IBM platforms and applications.
Big Blue A Key Partner
That has helped Connectria emerge as a subcontractor for IBM Global Services, Big Blue's huge enterprise hosting operation. That relationship has helped Connectria grow to 100 employees and revenue of $25 million, according to Scott Azzolina, the company's vice president of marketing.
"The IBM iSeries platform is a real strong niche for us," said Azzolina. "We started in complex hosting and then evolved to offer standard hosting products."
As Connectria's hosting business grew, it opened a 10,000 square foot data center at 210 N. Tucker, a major data center hub in downtown St. Louis. It later added anther 10,000 square feet at 900 Walnut Street.
In 2006 Connectria launched Red Plaid Hosting, a service targeted to the small business market. It now accounts for about 30 percent of the company's revenue. Connectria recently retired the Red Plaid brand and is now offering all hosting services under the Connectria umbrella.
Connectria's business is focused on security solutions and high-touch customer support. Its growth has come predominantly through word of mouth and customer recommendations.
"All the demand has typically come from search or customer references," said Azzolina. "Our key differentiation is in the complex hosintg market. One challenge is that not a lot of people know who we are.We’re sort of a well-kept secret. But we're looking to change that."