UCOPIA, a French-based provider of access security and mobility management solutions for wired and wireless networks, has revealed plans to significantly ramp up its UK operations as it seeks to emulate the company’s huge success in its domestic market.
UCOPIA’s identity and access control policy platform covers user authentication, management of access rights, retention of connection data, zero configuration mobile access and enhanced infrastructure security. It is available in two versions: Express for smaller organisations and Advance for medium and large customers.
UCOPIA Express and Advance sit between a wired (Ethernet, DsLAM, CPL) or wireless (Wi-Fi) access network and the organisation’s LAN. All data streaming from or to the user, passes through the UCOPIA Express or Advance controller to guarantee security. This creates a fine-grained integration with the LAN, simplifies administration, and improves the user experience.
UCOPIA’s cloud-based technology also makes it much easier for customers to generate more from their wireless networks without having to deploy and operate additional equipment on-premise.
Didier Plateau, CEO at UCOPIA, said: “UK customers will benefit from the fact UCOPIA’s software is easy to deploy, maintain and operate. We’re providing innovative technology and an architecture that can take advantage of what our customers’ Wi-Fi infrastructure can deliver in a more cost-effective manner by combining best of breed Wi-Fi products and UCOPIA in the data centre.”
UCOPIA already has a number of customers in the UK including hospitals, hotels, exhibition centres, stadiums, and enterprise and retail organisations.
The largest commercial group in British horse racing, the Jockey Club, uses UCOPIA’s technology as part of a Wi-Fi network deployed at Cheltenham Racecourse that delivers high speed, reliable, wireless internet access to thousands of smartphone, tablet and laptop users in and around the venue.
Another example is Celtic Manor Resort, the golf, spa and leisure hotel resort in Newport, south Wales. Celtic Manor was the venue for the first Ryder Cup to be held in Wales in 2010 and hosted the NATO summit in 2014, and it uses UCOPIA Advance to control and manage visitor access to its Wi-Fi network.
UCOPIA technology has also been deployed as part of a free Wi-Fi service to travellers at St Pancras International rail station, providing the Wi-Fi access and ad streaming layers while ensuring the traceability of all user traffic.
To boost its UK presence, UCOPIA has hired a regional director of UK and Ireland, Dean Jones, to lead its operation and expand the team on the ground.
Jones commented: “We’re here to stay and to grow. We have an organisation good enough to support the growth we’re targeting for the next few years.”
Plateau added: “We hope to extend the very good partnerships with major Wi-Fi vendors such as Cisco, Xirrus, Ruckus and Extreme.”
UCOPIA’s UK revenues are currently equivalent to 15% of those in France. The company aims to achieve a UK figure equivalent to 60% of revenues in its home country within three years, despite expecting French revenues to grow 30% annually across the same period.
Plateau said: “The UK should be as big as France for us in terms of revenue. We are planning to build a local team to best serve our customers and partners in the UK. There is a strong market here and we want people to understand what we bring to the table in terms of security, monetisation, customer relationship management and analytics.”
He added that UCOPIA was seeking to build on its strong presence in the mobile Internet market, a market that is growing 100% a year. “Currently, Wi-Fi is serving 20% of this market, but it will represent 80% of traffic in five years time,” he predicted.
“The landscape is still quite fragmented in terms of product vendors so there is room for several companies to grow very significantly in the future and we’re working to be one of them.”