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Fourth, a provider of spend control systems to the hospitality sector, has expanded its ongoing partnership with cloud service provider Carrenza to support its US expansion plans.

Following its acquisition by US-based Insight Venture Partners in 2015, Fourth – whose systems are used by the likes of Pizza Express, Hilton Hotels and Caffè Nero – has sought to ensure its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings comply with American laws.

Without doing so, UK-based Fourth would have struggled to grow its US client base, David Gibson, the company’s global technical operations manager, tells Computer Weekly.

As part of this, the company set about finding a cloud provider that could help the firm achieve its compliance requirements, before settling on incumbent supplier Carrenza.

“We evaluated three suppliers [and] all were incumbent suppliers to Fourth. It was felt Carrenza provided the best fit for our requirements and the decision was made to consolidate with them,” said Gibson.

Carrenza recently opened two datacentre availability zones in Washington D.C. and Chicago, which Fourth cited as being instrumental in its decision to extend its existing partnership with the firm. These are in addition to the ones it operates in the UK and Amsterdam.

“They [the availability zones] are essential for our expansion and growth in the US. It follows our philosophy to host data in the region of use and will allow us to continue to provide our customers with consistent levels of application response globally,” said Gibson.

Fourth runs its entire business in the cloud, he added, with Carrenza responsible for hosting the majority of its customer-facing systems, while its line of business requirements are fulfilled by the likes of Saleforce and Microsoft Office 365.

“[Our customers] will see faster response times due to closer proximity, they will also benefit from data protection, stability and scalability that are inherent in Carrenza’s IaaS [infrastructure-as-a-service] offering,” he said.

According to Carrenza, the availability zones have been designed to ensure clients such as Fourth enjoy a consistent user experience regardless of where they’re accessing its IaaS offerings from.

Matthew McGrory, managing director at Carrenza, said the opening of its availability zones should also help other customers grappling with data sovereignty issues, as the fallout from Brexit and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation come into play.

“It is imperative [users] know where their data is and how it is controlled. For Fourth, this expansion is an evolution of the partnership we have held for 15 years and it is a privilege to assist them in the next phase of their journey by building our infrastructure in the US,” he added.

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