Six months ago, Leaseweb Global acquired iWeb. You may be wondering why are we so eager to gain market share in Canada? How is the streamlining of processes going? And why do the cultures of Leaseweb and iWeb match so well? Read about it in this blog.
In August 2021, we announced the acquisition of iWeb, one of Canada’s oldest and most important providers of cloud hosting, server hosting, and colocation solutions. A strong brand with great name recognition, iWeb is now part of Leaseweb and is growing again and investing strongly in innovation.
Leaseweb chose to expand geographically in Canada for several reasons. First of all, to get a better foothold on Canadian market, which now becomes our third largest international region by revenue, behind The Netherlands and U.S. But another significant advantage is its convenient location to serve North American customers. Our Montreal office is close to the United States, making it a great place to build infrastructure that you don’t want in the U.S. This can be an advantage, for example, in terms of compliance with European privacy legislation. This is because American privacy legislation, including the CLOUD Act, is not always compatible with GDPR. If you want to remain fully compliant, that’s in some cases impossible if your infrastructure is located in the U.S. Infrastructure in Canada can solve that problem as different legislation applies there.
Additionally, the connectivity is flawless due to the superb infrastructure in Canada. For example, the time needed to send or receive data to and from Washington is negligible. We are talking about milliseconds. Canada is ahead of the field when it comes to technological innovation. It’s teeming with startups and IT companies developing fun, innovative solutions. Leaseweb is always looking for places where there is a lot of technological activity. We seek out the Internet hubs and technology hubs, and Montreal is one of them. Software development and media and entertainment in particular are highly developed in the region. For example, there are many film studios, which require fast connections and a lot of capacity given all the images that have to be rendered. In such cases, it’s useful if the hosting company is nearby.
Finally, Quebec, the province where Montreal is located, is bilingual. French is the dominant language, making it easier for us to better serve French-speaking countries and customers. Thanks to these French influences, Canadian culture is also closer to our culture than that of the United States. The European approach is immediately noticeable when you walk around Montreal. You see it in the architecture, the cuisine, the language, but also in the elegance.
Canadian directness is a good fit with Leaseweb’s corporate culture. As an organization, we are quite direct in the way we communicate and give feedback, and our colleagues at iWeb focus on the facts and less on emotions. That’s a good match. There are more parallels between iWeb and Leaseweb, such as the way we look at things. Technology comes first for both of our organizations with a primary focus on how things are put together and how well they’re built. For example, we still develop the platforms ourselves, with a lot of effort and knowledge. So even though our colleagues at iWeb speak French, our underlying language is the same.
We are now in the process of introducing the first Leaseweb products with iWeb. The portfolio is being refreshed step by step until a complete Leaseweb portfolio is available. We are also implementing other innovations at a rapid pace. Such as working on state-of-the-art server models, installing high-quality equipment from Dell and HP, and continuing to modernize the cloud platforms. We are going to implement various VMware products and build an Elastic Cloud on them. We are also tackling all the associated automation.
For our existing customers, it will soon feel like a familiar Leaseweb environment. Thanks to the acquisition, they will be able to expand easily in the region or take advantage of a cloud infrastructure with global coverage. It will also be an attractive option for organizations that want to have a presence in the North American market without having to host their data in the U.S. As a result, we expect Canada to continue to play a major role in Leaseweb’s success.