Japanese hosting company deploys NZ cloud solution

Japan-based Ride rolls out New Zealand-developed SMX Cloud email solution to 40,000 users

Japanese internet hosting company Ride has completed an implementation of New Zealand’s SMX Cloud email security solution, provisioning 40,000 new users at 7000 companies around Japan.

SMX CEO and co-founder Jesse Ball says the sale is the largest for SMX in Japan and signals the beginning of a significant change in the attitude of Japanese businesses to cloud services following major data losses suffered during last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

“This sale is highly strategic for SMX in the Japanese market,” he says.

“Ride is a subsidiary of Radix, which is one of the largest office equipment suppliers to small- to medium-sized businesses around Japan. Radix has around 150,000 customers. We anticipate a high number of existing and future Radix customers will also become SMX customers over time.

“The implementation went very smoothly. Ride staff worked with our Japanese hosting partner KVH to switch the 40,000 users to SMX from a Brightmail appliance solution operated internally by Ride.”

Ride CEO Hiroya Nakano says the move provides it with a platform for offering other cloud services and applications to customers.

“Moving from our in-house anti-spam and anti-virus appliance solution to SMX Cloud has saved us internal infrastructure costs and is a reliable way of giving our customers clean email with no spam or viruses,” he says. “It is very fast to change customers over to the SMX service. We are now looking ahead at using SMX to resell other services and applications using the SMX cloud platform.”

SMX Japan country manager James Porteous says the cloud market in Japan is heating up. Many large Japanese corporations are aggressively pursuing cloud solutions – with cloud email filtering a logical entry point.

He says that, traditionally, Japanese companies have considered in-house infrastructure to be a safer than infrastructure and infrastructure services residing in the cloud. However last year’s earthquake and tsunami have altered this mindset dramatically.

“The tsunami swept away petabytes of information kept in-house, while not a single datacentre went offline,” he says. “Japanese companies are now releasing budget to expedite cloud options – particularly email filtering to replace dedicated in-house appliances.

“We are currently in talks with Japan’s top five manufacturing companies and top three trading houses. We are also making presentations to a number of IT companies dominant in the Japanese market.

In any market – but particularly in Japan – landing that first large customer is critical, Jesse Ball says, and local partnerships are instrumental to sealing the deal.

Ball says a key point of competitive difference is in SMX’s strategy of deploying its service “in country”. Local deployment – through an SMX datacentre or through the datacentres of market partners – ensures data is not routed through countries such as the United States, but is served in the customer’s own country, under local law and jurisdiction.

SMX has 200 resellers and partners and more than 8000 customers and 2 million users throughout the Asia Pacific region.

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