Rutherglen and California’s Silicon Valley have little in common.
However one thing the Royal Burgh does share with the sunny Bay Area of San Francisco is that it is now home to a thriving tech company.
Versutus IT, based on Farmeloan Road, was founded by Cambuslang man and former West Coats pupil Tommy Stirling.
Tommy ended up going in to catering when he left school. However he and his wife to be, Ashley, didn’t like the hours. And so he eventually got a job with Hewlett Packard (HP) in Bishopton and worked there for four years. He went on to work as an IT network storage specialist. After which he worked for the DTP group were he made enough to start his own company – Versutus.
The firm, which provides cloud computing services, has offices and data centres in London, Cheshire, Nottingham and Newcastle as well as South Africa and are currently deliberating over whether to expand to Holland or Germany.
Despite having a base in all these locations, Tommy is adamant their head offices remain in the Royal Burgh.
He said: “It made sense. I’m from Cambuslang and so is my family, so it’s right next door. We’ve got a lot of staff that stay in Cambuslang and King’s Park as well. The site has great, easy access to the city centre for the staff, but mainly I wanted to keep our head offices in the local area.”
Cloud computing has many definitions. Essentially, however, it involves accessing data storage and applications remotely. Versutus IT specialises in data back up and recovery. Basically, Versutus will store company’s details in data centres throughout the country. Should the company’s data be lost for whatever reason, Versutus will have a copy of the data.
Tommy (36) sees it as a vital service and gives an example in Newcastle of the dangers of only keeping data on site: “There was a man who had a chain of five small restaurants. He lost his laptop and his sever went down and it took him three weeks to find out who he ordered certain foods out from.
“I actually think it’s dangerous for a company not to the use the cloud. Power failure, theft or even things going on fire and your data is gone! It sounds far fetched, but it happens.
“If that happens how do you manage your business? If you don’t back up your data how will you know who you owe money to or who owes you money?”
However the real jewel in their crown, is just how fast they can get an organisations’ data back up and
As Tommy says, the major players in cloud computing storage and recovery such as Hewlett Packard and Dell could take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to restore data. Versutus can do it within one hour.
Tommy explained: “The hardware we’ve invested in our data centres is millions of pounds worth of kit.”
This is called the Versutus v Cloud and has drawn attention from far and wide in the business and IT community. The vCloud ensures rapid recovery of data, whether that’s their email, billing or customer database.
This is made possible by using technology in their data centres from Actifio, an information technology firm based in Massachusetts, thanks to a relationship Tommy has developed with the company over the years.
Thanks to this unique service, although only eight months old, Versutus already has around 90 clients, the length and breadth of the UK.
Which begs the question, why expand to South Africa of all places? As Tommy explains, they tend to be early adopters of new technology and good business relationships has already seen 32 clients sign up to their services when they get up and running.
He added: “Cloud services out there haven’t been touched by any of the big players like Dell or HP, but they tend to take up new technology quicker than most. We have been exploring the South African market for quite some time.”
So with a foothold in South Africa the next step is now mainland Europe, with the two possible destinations Germany or Holland.
Tommy added: “We’ve got a couple of customers who have offices based in these countries. They’re looking at taking on our services as well.
“We’re stuck between the two as we’re looking at the legalities. Where your data is held falls in to the laws of that country. For example we don’t have a data centre in Ireland as all UK public bodies must have their data kept in the UK, however it is different for other countries in the EU.”
So what for the future? While they continue to develop, Tommy is looking at growing his team and expanding into Europe and beyond.