How to become Malta's leading technology platform and solutions provider
Over the past 20 years, BMIT Technologies has positioned itself as a one-stop solution for its clients' IT requirements. Chief Customer Officer Nick Tonna charts its transformation.
For those who don't know your company, can you provide some background?
BMIT began its journey 20 years ago when it established its first data centre in Malta. At the time, the company recognised the emerging opportunities in the online gaming industry, and we started offering our data centre as a colocation facility for gaming companies. As the industry evolved, BMIT expanded its facilities to accommodate the demand. Today, we have two data centres and two points of presence in Italy and Germany.
Over the years, the company has diversified its portfolio to include cloud services, managed solutions and cybersecurity, and to position itself as a one-stop solution for clients' IT needs, catering to various sectors and industries. This journey has been marked by continuous growth, dedication and a strong customer focus but the most significant change in the company's history is the transition from a pure colocation provider to a full stack IT services provider.
Can you share a little-known fact about your company?
Perhaps due to BMIT's legacy as a data centre provider, not many people are able to recognise the scale of transformation that we have been through.
In 2012, our Cloud and managed services business was practically inexistent. As at end June 2023, these segments contribute to 33% of our total business and continue to grow healthily.
Today we design, deploy and manage public, private and hybrid cloud solutions which can be deployed at customers' premises, hosted in our data centres or on public Cloud providers according to customers' preference, technical and regulatory requirements.
What are you currently working on and what are your company's plans and strategic priorities for the coming years?
The last couple of years have been marked by significant changes in the market, driven by technological advancements and economic realities. The adoption of cloud services has been increasing at a more rapid rate as customers seek to have more agility, while the importance of security and digital resiliency is ever increasing.
These trends present new opportunities as well as challenges for BMIT, and in response we are expanding our portfolio of services, enhancing our managed private and hybrid cloud offerings and seeking new partner collaborations. Similarly, we are also accelerating our efforts to diversify our business. As part of this diversification strategy, we continue our transformation into a managed hybrid IT provider.
We have been rolling out new functionalities, solutions and partnerships across our facilities, platforms and networks. This year we also accelerated the growth of our cybersecurity portfolio with more solutions planned in the coming months, including new managed solutions, consulting, technical advisory and support services to strengthen our key areas of operation.
Last, but certainly not least, our journey of transformation includes investing in infrastructure to reinforce our position as one of Malta's leading technology platforms and solutions providers. Moreover, we will continue exploring potential opportunities for market expansion both within and beyond Malta to support our overall strategies.
Are there any projects/achievements of your company that you are exceptionally proud of ?
I think there are many accomplishments that we can mention – becoming one of the top iGaming hosting facilities in Europe, launching the first public Cloud platform to be hosted in Malta, opening our new data centre at SmartCity, deploying our private international network and offering the best performing service as well as direct connectivity to public Cloud providers, winning some of the world's top recognised iGaming brands as well as some of Malta's most reputable businesses as our customers, being listed on the Malta Stock Exchange, being awarded several recognitions including iGaming European IT Supplier of Year and Hosting Provider of the Year or Microsoft's best performing partner for Azure for two successive years.
What I am most proud of is the business transformation that we have managed to drive over the past decade. We have radically expanded our range of services, we have doubled our customer-base – with customers from diverse industries – and more than doubled our revenues, consolidating our traditional business whilst a growing our Cloud and managed services business from zero to a core contributor to our total revenues.
What in your opinion makes Malta an effective jurisdiction to set up a business?
I think Malta offers a compelling environment for businesses to establish their operations due to a combination of strategic advantages.
We have a favourable tax regime. With a competitive corporate tax rate, as well as various tax incentives and refunds, businesses are incentivised to retain more of their profits and reinvest them for growth.
Malta's extensive network of double taxation treaties with over 70 countries ensures that businesses can mitigate the risk of being taxed twice, it enhances cross-border trade and promotes a more stable and predictable business environment.
We are lucky to have a skilled and multilingual workforce although recruitment in some industries is a challenge many a time.
The island's infrastructure is also quite solid – our air and sea ports offer excellent connections to most European and regional business destinations. The country also offers quite a diverse range of options for office space, accommodation and hospitality. And, of course, with national 5G coverage, robust internet connectivity to the mainland and data centre facilities such as BMIT's, our technology infrastructure more than adequately caters for the needs of any modern business.
Finally, our membership in the European Union provides a solid foundation for long-term business sustainability and growth.
With that said, I also think that there are a number of areas, such as traffic congestion and open spaces, that we should be looking at improving to help make the island even more attractive.
What kind of people/companies in the financial services community would you want to connect with?
As an IT services provider, we can help members that want to leverage technology to enhance operational efficiency, risk management, and regulatory compliance. We already collaborate with a good number of financial entities and our goal is to continue to increase our reach to more institutions such as banks, investment firms and insurance companies that prioritise robust cybersecurity measures, data privacy and advanced analytics for informed decision-making.
Engaging with FinTech startups and tech solution providers is also important because they depend on crucial and innovative tools for security and customer experience improvement. Our experience with regulatory bodies and compliance experts enables us to help the community to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape and security effectively.
Ultimately, building a diverse network across these sectors that fosters collaboration, information exchange, and collective efforts to address the dynamic challenges of the financial industry is what we want and strive to do daily.
Picture: Nick Tonna, Chief Customer Officer, BMIT Technologies plc
BIO: Nick Tonna, Chief Customer Officer, BMIT Technologies plc
Nick joined BMIT in 2012 to lead the Commercial team through the company's ambitious transformation strategy. Under his leadership the team has helped the company attain strong year-on-year revenue growth and double its customer count. Since 2021 he is responsible for Customer Success, overseeing the Commercial and Service Management functions.
Prior to BMIT, Nick led Microsoft's Enterprise & Partner Group segment in Malta. Here he was responsible for managing and developing the relationships with Microsoft's enterprise customers in Malta. Amongst various other achievements, Nick secured the first large-scale deployments of Cloud-based services within Microsoft's Central and Eastern European region and played a key role in Microsoft's strategic partnership with the Government of Malta. He was recognised with the Worldwide Circle of Excellence Award for his contributions.
Earlier in his career, Nick also managed a number of ICT transformation projects for a number of customers, primarily within the public sector and the financial services sector.
Nick holds a Masters in Knowledge-Based Entrepreneurship and a Bachelors in ICT from the University of Malta, and specialised in Business Information Systems at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.
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