Cox Communications is teaming up with First National Technology Solutions to offer cloud computing services to small- and medium-sized business customers in Omaha.
The move, both companies said, is a response to clients requesting services that would allow them to outsource their cloud computing and data storage needs instead of building server operations or data centers.
Cloud computing services — hosting data and information in a remote server or data center with the ability to access it anywhere — have grown in popularity because they reduce capital investments in hardware and storage costs, and provide flexibility if additional server and network capacity is needed.
Companies already using Cox services for their business will be able to bundle the services, which include disaster recovery backup, leasing server space for short-term projects and new application deployments.
For now, Cox’s cloud offerings will be available only in Omaha.
Competitors in the Omaha market, including Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink, already have similar offerings.
Danny Pate, CenturyLink’s vice president and general manager for Nebraska, said the cloud marketplace is “highly competitive.” He said businesses will choose their third-party vendors based on their needs “because not all solutions are suited for all businesses.”
But Derrick Hill, vice president of Cox Business, said Cox is hoping its tie with First National Technology Solutions, a locally based subsidiary of First National Bank, will make it a first choice for Omahans.
“Omaha people like to buy from Omaha companies,” Hill said. “It’s capital-intensive to actually build out a data center, so finding the right partner in First National Technology Solutions that could bring these products to market quickly was key.”
First National’s Technology Solution’s division has been in business for roughly 10 years and includes a full-service data center that works with customers with annual revenue ranging from $100 million to $5 billion, said Ken Kucera, president and chief executive of the First National subsidiary. The operation has 150 customers in 34 states.
The operation near 16th Street and Capitol Avenue employs about 100 people.
The offerings are available to customers now, Hill said.
“While this solution is turnkey,” Hill said, “the planning that went into developing the program was extensive.”