TL; DR: Otava provides service providers, channel partners, and enterprise clients nationwide with secure hybrid cloud and IT services. The company’s regulatory focus ensures customers have the documentation necessary for compliance with relevant laws and standards. As evidenced by its tagline, Expect Exceptional, the company aims to make cloud computing incredibly easy with customizable services and a delightful customer experience.
After a full year of managing pandemic-driven digital transformations and newly distributed workforces, businesses are realizing what IT buffs have known for years: The cloud is the way forward.
Within that trend is a focus on hybrid architectures, which combine public cloud, private cloud, and bare-metal infrastructure to provide the best of all worlds. By 2026, Mordor Intelligence predicts that the market value of hybrid cloud infrastructure will reach $145 billion, up from $52.16 billion in 2020.
“Hybrid cloud is the name of the game,” said Laurel Burton, VP of Product and Marketing at Otava. “It’s no longer considered a nice to have; it’s a need to have. It’s about combining clouds and optimizing infrastructure based on desired business and financial outcomes.”
Otava helps customers achieve their cloud transformation goals via 12 secure datacenter locations across the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Each delivers cloud-oriented hosting, colocation, and disaster recovery and backup solutions that are customizable and comply with government and industry regulations.
The company serves as a strategic IT partner, carefully evaluating each customer’s needs and bringing their visions to life with a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction. With Otava’s managed services, businesses can easily accelerate digital transformation — even in the most complex and data-sensitive environments.
Ultimately, Otava’s tagline is Expect Exceptional for a reason: Through innovation and collaboration, the company strives to exceed expectations for our clients and deliver unparalleled results.
Roots in Family-Run Publishing Circa 1872
Laurel told us Otava is a relatively new name in the industry but far from a new company.
“The Otava name came about around three years ago, roughly,” she said. “We are a combination of two companies that have been acquired so far.”
In February 2018, Schurz Communications Inc. acquired the cloud service provider Online Tech, LLC. In December 2018, Online Tech acquired the global cloud infrastructure assets of the IT services provider Neverfail. Online Tech was rebranded to Otava immediately after.
“Our CEO Brad Cheedle and our CFO Tom Wilten noticed that the cloud marketplace had become highly fractured,” Laurel said. “There were the hyperscalers, the Rackspaces of the world that are incredibly large, and everybody else. And so their theory was that if they could aggregate these smaller providers together, then they could be the best of the rest, if you will.”
Brad and Tom found an investor in Schurz Communications, which is now Otava’s parent company. The family-owned business was founded in 1872 as a publishing company focused on radio, television, and newspapers.
“Like so many other media companies, they made a pivot, divesting all those traditional media sources,” Laurel said. “They now own a series of broadband companies across the country as well as Otava. Through Otava, we are acquiring and aggregating best-of-breed cloud companies. And we’ll continue to grow organically and through acquisitions.”
Customizable Cloud Solutions Made Easy
The regulatory environment has grown increasingly complex in recent years, with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in 2018 and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) effective as of 2020. Through the companies that it has acquired and its clientele, Otava is well-positioned to serve as the go-to provider for compliant cloud solutions, serving as a trusted adviser.
“Our clients are primarily compliance-sensitive verticals such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, logistics, and construction,” Laurel said. “We also have service provider channels working with a very compliance-sensitive set of clientele such as medical offices.”
In addition to catering to the underserved cloud compliance market, Otava is differentiating itself by making complex, customized cloud infrastructure accessible from the customer’s point of view.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the cloud where we can offer high-touch services in terms of personnel and resources all along the way,” Laurel told us. “We fully tailor all of our cloud solutions, but we also offer a lot of flexibility.”
All Otava products, from private and public cloud solutions to storage, backups, and disaster recovery, come in managed and self-managed options. “Many of our enterprise clients need turnkey management, while others go for self-managed flavors where they have that deeper control,” she said.
The digital infrastructure industry is notorious for inadequate support. Customers often find themselves battling impenetrable tech support lines and scrolling through endless knowledge bases.
“Our enterprise clients are looking for that hand-holding that they don’t often see with these big providers,” Laurel said. “We want to make sure we make cloud easy, even with fully custom, complex needs.”
The same rings true for Otava’s service provider channel, though the concept revolves around making the sales process easier through white-label solutions and sales enablement tools.
Friendly and Efficient Customer Support
When Otava was going through the rebranding process, the team interviewed its clients to gather input on the company’s products and services.
“By far, the biggest piece of feedback that we heard was how exceptional the support was, how customers were on a first-name basis with team members, and how they were treated as a big fish in a small pond,” Laurel said. “It was the first time I’ve seen a culture of support play out in reality versus marketing speak.”
Laurel told us she was attracted to the company because of its friendly, customer-first environment and high Net Promoter Scores (NPS). To that end, Otava requests feedback on every single support ticket and regularly consults a partner advisory board for feedback.
The company relies on such feedback to inform product development. Laurel said that, as far as trends go, clients are increasingly interested in security, hybridity, and cloud edge computing.
“There is a focus on multicloud security in every way, shape, and form,” she said. “Healthcare is a huge vertical for us, and there has been a massive uptick in ransomware attacks that have occurred in this past year alone. Instead of reactive security services, now there is a tilt toward proactive, holistic coverage.”
As far as edge computing is concerned, Otava is focused on deploying its cloud resources as nimbly as possible. “We better be able to eat our own dog food and be able to deploy at the edge nimbly so that our clients can, too,” Laurel said.
Up Next: An Expanded Portfolio
As for what’s in the pipeline, Otava will be introducing new Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas) offerings, providing additional Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions, and continuously working on security hardening.
Proving its abilities in data protection and backup, Otava recently announced that it achieved Gold status in the Veeam® Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) program and will be expanding its portfolio of data protection and backup solutions.
Additionally, Otava is going to make it even easier for its partners and clients to accelerate cloud solutions with its low price commitment that removes pricing as a barrier. The company said it will beat any deal on new comparable solutions so that clients can focus on the capabilities, flexibility, and benefits.