Colt: Committed to the Channel

It’s been a busy summer for Colt Technology Services.

In June, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Italy awarded Colt the ability to provide connectivity to the Eurosystem Single Market Infrastructure Gateway (ESMIG). Then in July, Colt and AT&T completed the first successful application of MEF’s LSO Sonata APIs, which enable automated network ordering. And shortly after, Colt announced a partnership with the Warsaw Stock Exchange which made the organization accessible on Colt’s financial extranet, PrizmNet.

We caught up with Colt CEO Carl Grivner to learn more about the company’s recent growth and development. Grivner explained how Colt, which is headquartered in London, now has a global presence that stretches from Asia to the United States. Altogether, Colt has PoPs across roughly 850 global data centers, and about 28,000 buildings.

Grivner was quick to point that despite its growth, Colt remains purely network-focused. While the company is experimenting with technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence, they are choosing to forego offerings like cloud computing and IT services, and are instead sticking to their core competencies.

“We want to be the best network services company in the world, and provide our customers with the best set of services we can,” Grivner said.

Colt’s efforts appear to be paying off, as the company recently announced an industry-leading Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 52, which is their highest yet—and a testament to their focus on the customer experience (CX).

Grivner also spoke about Colt’s high speed, high bandwidth global network, which was completed about a year ago.

“Almost every company on the planet now has some sort of global aspiration or global connectivity requirement,” Grivner explained. “That aligns well with our global network project. So a U.S. financial customer that needs to expand into places like Europe or Asia can now come to us for a basket of services.”

According to Grivner, this holds true in the channel as well.

“We’re seeing more business coming from U.S. agents that requires multinational or global connectivity, which is much different from what we saw just two or three years ago,” Grivner said.

Grivner elaborated about why many agents are now choosing to work with Colt, apart from the company’s robust global connectivity offering.

“We support our agents with general managers in the U.S.,” Grivner said. “We also support them with pricing and configuration tools so they can easily access metrics like the cost for a one gig circuit between places like Charlotte and London, Charlotte and Tokyo, or Charlotte, London and Tokyo. We get back to them very, very quickly with pricing information, so they can relay that information back to their  customers. So I think the expansion of our footprint, and the rollout of new products like SD-WAN, gives our agents a lot of flexibility in what they can offer.”

The company is also serving as a gateway into Asia, which presents a lucrative opportunity for channel partners. Colt has a strong presence in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, and they’re working on establishing easier connectivity into China for their international customers—an initiative Colt will be focusing on heavily over the next 18 months. Grivner acknowledged the difficulties of the current political landscape, but made it clear Colt is working through the challenges and making progress.

The overall takeaway from our conversation with Grivner is that the channel remains an integral area of focus for Colt—particularly in the U.S., which is a new but important market for the company.

“We’re the new kids on the block and people are still getting to know us,” Grivner said. “So our message to the U.S. community is: Give us a chance. I think we’ll exceed your expectations. We’re hungry, and we want to prove ourselves.”

You can meet with the Colt team at the upcoming Channel Partners Evolution Conference, Sept. 9-12 in Washington, D.C.