Savvis has a new name to give it deeper identity with CenturyLink, which acquired the hosting company in 2011. It will now be called Century Link Technology Solutions and will also form the umbrella for Tier3 and AppFog, the telecommunication company’s most recent acquisitions.
CenturyLink, of Monroe, La., acquired Savvis for $2.5 billion and followed with the purchase of AppFog in 2012 and Tier3 last Fall. Tier 3 now goes by CenturyLink Cloud, as a business unit under the CenturyLink Technology Solutions group. AppFog’s name has not been changed but it is also part of CenturyLink Cloud and the new group.
The Savvis name was not getting recognized, said Jeff Von Deylen, president of the new CenturyLink Technology Solutions organization in a phone interview yesterday. CenturyLink has spent $30 million in branding with advertisements on CNBC, Bloomberg and other media properties. Savvis was not enjoying any of that branding because of its different name.
CenturyLink seeks to leverage its customer base, which still uses hosting for the most part. But by calling Savvis “CenturyLink Technology Solutions,” the company is using terminology that has a deep association with the IT of old, not the new application-centric infrastructure that cloud providers offer. Instead, it’s a general term meant to show customers that CenturyLink offers end-to-end solutions.
CenturyLink Cloud will have a deeper emphasis on cloud services stemming from its roots in providing infrastructure services and sophisticated orchestration to help companies integrate their existing enterprise with a cloud service. AppFog appeals to developers with its PaaS environment that is based on Cloud Foundry, originally developed by VMware and now managed by Pivotal.
CenturyLink is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States. With Savvis, it now has 55 data centers around the world. That’s a lot of fiber and data center infrastructure. Tier 3′s nine data centers will be integrated with Savvis. CenturyLink will also add two to four data centers next year. Tier 3 also has a PaaS offering called Web Fabric that is built on Cloud Foundry.
With the Savvis name changed, CenturyLink now has a common platform to sell its full-range of services. The question, though, is how fast can the company adapt? If it can create energy and excitement for CenturyLink Cloud then it may find it can build a deep services offering that can span globally and appeal to developers. It could then also keep its legacy business happy while also educating people on the value of an app-centric and data-driven approach to business.
But there are some strong competitors that the company has to face. Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, SunGard and Verizon are all tough competitors with deep infrastructures of their own that will be selling their own innovations in the changing app economy.