Today we’re delighted to announce that we’ve opened our own European Data Center.
For the uninitiated, that might not sound like much of a big deal. Can’t we store data anywhere these days? Well, yes and no. Certainly from a technical perspective, we’ve never had any issue with our current (and ongoing) use of Amazon Web Services on the East coast in the USA.
But that doesn’t take into account the legal and regulatory framework that surrounds the transferring of personal data outside the EEA. And for a variety of ultimately understandable reasons, EU legislation imposes restrictions around the transfer of any personal data (relating to EU citizens) outside its own borders. To be completely clear - it does not allow the free transfer of personal data outside the EEA other than in a few specific exceptions, including the ‘safe harbor’ exception in the context of a transfer to the US.
That is about to change, or certainly may be about to change. Anyone following the current class action against Facebook, initiated by Max Schrems, knows that the viability of the ‘Safe Harbor’ status is under question, which in turn means that for many European organizations in a variety of industries storing such personal data other than in Europe is non-negotiable. In fact, there’s a strong [likelihood] [possibility] that this is going to be their only legal option in the very near future.
We’re happy to be ahead and continue to stay ahead of the curve here. And although many of our customers are well aware of their EU legal requirements as regards the location of the storage of personal data, it is surprising how many in the industry appear unaware that their current arrangements with their current analytics or marketing vendors are about to put their entire businesses at risk.
More than that (if there CAN be more than that), we believe that setting up in Europe sends an important message. We’re proud to be located on both sides of the Atlantic, and the fact that we have a serious (as opposed to ‘token’) presence in both Europe and North America means we are close to our customers wherever they are - which is often both places at once!
That also means our customer success team is always there for them - on the end of the line in their own time zone. That makes a difference, believe me. But it also means we are fast to respond to requirements of this type and put in place solutions that enable us to meet not just the technical challenges our customers face, but also legal and corporate requirements whether internal or external.
Ultimately that’s the difference between being a ‘toy’ for experimenting with mobile marketing and an enterprise ready mobile automation solution used by some of the world’s largest mobile businesses…