RFA - Best Global Cloud Services Provider
Client needs are the keystone of the way RFA does business. Managing Director George Ralph explains how the firm designs solutions at the point of engagement with the client, rather than packaging or pushing products which may not always be fit for purpose.
“We are agnostic in our approach to solution design. In practical terms, this means we’re not pushing public or private cloud, its about what works best for the client,” says Ralph (pictured). The firm celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019 and its development and growth has always been led by the needs of the sector. “We are the oldest firm in the space and still privately owned,” Ralph says, “We’re also the most innovative IT firm – I can’t think of any other that do private and public cloud with clear IaaS to SaaS development initiatives for example.”
RFA has just over 800 clients globally. From a European perspective, it grew 83 per cent in 2018, following the 117 per cent growth registered in 2017 in both revenue, new staff and clients joining our white glove service.
Last year saw a number of developments for the firm. RFA released its own managed cyber security product called MDR – managed detection response. This is an artificial intelligence tool which is a proactive, preventative product rather than a retrospective reactive one. Ralph says response to this tool has been very positive and every client he has discussed it with has taken it up.
The firm also opened a Luxembourg office and two data centres in the region, which is on a solid growth path. Ralph notes: “At the moment we have a dynamic, growing team there and the growth is very organic. Many of the firms we’ve taken on in Luxembourg are surprised by our service standards and transparency – it’s very different to the norm in region.”
He explains that his strategy at the beginning of last year was to continue growing geographically, “but to do that, we need clients in the country before we do it so that was a bit of a challenge but we’re getting there, the key is working with our clients, being honest about ability and sharing resources,” Ralph says.
Elemental to the need to expand geographically is the firm’s focus on its increasing number of private equity clients. He believes within this space, the service clients receive is of particular importance. “They want to know you’re treating every single person in that firm as a VIP. As a result, we end up doing a lot of development work with private equity clients. Also, because we are agnostic in our approach, we can create a great combined product for these firms,” says Ralph.
Going into 2019, Ralph aims to zero in on larger regulated entities. He explains: “It’s very important to us to grow in a diversified way. Taking on big firms with unique challenges allows us to use volume to help the small firms with constrained budgets do clever things – especially around regulatory matching and automation.”
On winning the award, Ralph says: “It’s a recognition of being the best. I love the fact that it’s voted for and it’s the first time we’ve won such an award in Europe. It shows we’re doing the right thing. Our clients were happy to say that we’re the best and my team will be ecstatic to add this to our growing trophy wall.”