Software-as-a-Service giant Salesforce has opened its first data center in the U.K. The company has been boosting its strategic investments in Europe, with plans to open three new European data centers.
Europe is the company's fastest growing market, with 41 percent growth during fiscal year 2014. To support this growth, Salesforce is also opening data centers in France and Germany and will add 500 employees to its European workforce. All three planned markets are key European traffic hubs.
Salesforce is primarily known for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but also offers a PaaS called Force. A large customer base supports a large ecosystem of third party apps in the AppExchange marketplace. The company also recently entered into the Business Intelligence (BI) field with Wave, hoping to make BI user-friendly in the same way it did with CRM. Wave is also contributing to data center expansion.
The company can be partially credited for making businesses comfortable with cloud-based applications. Part of that comfort comes from maintaining strict uptime and consistent performance for its apps, meaning a large data center footprint in support. The company was not without hiccups early on, but over the years has maintained solid uptime.
A large portion of the Salesforce footprint is in Equinix data centers worldwide, but the company has taken a different approach to tackling Europe so far. NTT was announced as its U.K. data center provider, while Interxion won the contract for the Paris data center. The German provider has not yet been named.
"The opening of Salesforce's first European Data Center underscores our commitment to customers and partners in the U.K.," said Andrew Lawson, SVP for U.K. and Ireland, Salesforce. "The new data center will support the unprecedented growth we've seen in the region and further accelerates the adoption of cloud, social and mobile technologies, empowering U.K. companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way."
Market growth is driving European expansion for several data center and cloud providers. However, the Snowden revelations have kicked in-country data efforts into high gear which could cause problems for those serving from outside the country.