Relocated hosting company now is in a growth mode
AIS Network (AISN) didn’t have a presence on the East Coast until Jay Atkinson and Kurt Baumann bought the company and moved its headquarters from Chicago to McLean in early 2010. “We scoured the country looking for a hosting company we could buy,” says Atkinson, who previously served as vice president of finance for RedPeg Marketing in Alexandria. Baumann is an entrepreneur who has owned several companies in the technology field.
Hosting companies offer space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center.
“AISN was a no-growth company, but it had great national companies as clients. It was in the perfect position for us to come in and apply our marketing and technical expertise.”
Atkinson and Baumann relocated the company to Virginia because “it was much easier to do business in Virginia” than it was in Illinois, Atkinson says. They established the company’s first public cloud in Ashburn. “We sold out all the capacity and then expanded the capacity three times,” Atkinson says.
AISN’s clients include multinational corporations and executive branch agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia. “Our first business with the commonwealth was hosting Virginia.gov, the main portal,” Atkinson says. “We are now doing hosting for 15 different agencies and adding more all the time.”
The company also has a small toehold in the federal marketplace with some agencies transitioning their Microsoft SharePoint hosting to AISN. “We have been extremely busy this summer moving applications off of the incumbent provider to AISN,” Atkinson says.
The company is growing. Revenues rose 95 percent from July 2012 to July 2013. One of its niches is hosting mission-critical applications. “If your servers are knocked out, typically, your mission-critical and customer-facing applications and sensitive data are all inaccessible. Downtime and data loss can cripple a business,” says Atkinson. “We make sure the data is going to be available.”
The company sees disaster recovery as a growing opportunity for the company as many IT professionals are looking at how the cloud can fit into their backup and disaster recovery solutions. “The technology is changing rapidly,” Atkinson says, adding that another area of growth is security and compliance. “That goes with personal health information and HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] compliance. We understand the business and the compliance issues.”