Nebula is a market leader within cloud-based IT-capacity services, IT-managed services and network services for small and medium-sized companies in the Finnish market.
Nebula’s operations are split into three areas: cloud services (capacity, software and platform services delivered over the internet), IT-managed services (management and monitoring of servers at the customer’s site or on dedicated hardware at Nebula’s data centres) and network services (internet connections via fibre and DSL, as well as private networks).
The company has two data centres in Finland and its own leased fibre network between the largest cities in Finland. In total, Nebula has approximately 40,000 customers and 90% of sales are subscription based. The head office is in Helsinki.
The total market for IT services in Finland is growing by an average of about 2% per year. Within Nebula’s market niche, the underlying growth is stronger. Demand is driven by an increasing need to store, process and transmit data flexibly and securely, by efficiency gains where customers can outsource IT management, and by the fact that standardised and scalable cloud services are cheaper than traditional solutions. The benefits of cloud services are relevant to small and medium-sized companies; high growth is therefore expected in this segment.
The market for cloud services is also growing faster than the total market for IT services. Competitors are mainly local providers, although Google and Amazon are competitors for standardised services.
Annual growth in the market for IT-managed services is approximately 3%, but slightly faster within Nebula’s focus area server management. Competitors in IT-managed services include TeliaSonera, Elisa and smaller local IT-managed providers.
The market for network services is stable. Growth can mainly be created here by taking market shares from the major operators.
The year in brief
The year is characterised by robust sales growth of 11%, driven by continued strong growth in cloud services and good development for IT-managed services and network services. New initiatives were completed during the year that focus on sales, customer loyalty, customer service and the organisation in order to secure opportunities for continued growth.
Parts of Telecity’s Finnish network and support opera-tions were acquired during the year. The acquisition strengthens Nebula’s position in the Finnish market.
As a result of the company’s favourable performance, a refinancing of Nebula was carried out in November, giving Ratos a dividend of EUR 20m.
The most significant sustainability issues for Nebula are information security and business ethics (for example, processing sensitive information), energy efficiency as well as dedicated and healthy employees. Since 2013, Nebula has had a basic framework for how sustainability efforts should be carried out in line with Ratos’s guidelines and the principles in the UN Global Compact.
Ratos invested in Nebula because it is a fast-growing, well-run company with a leading position in markets with strong underlying growth. Nebula is quality-oriented and has a good reputation, a local presence and acknowledged technical expertise, which are vital when customers choose a service provider.
We see major potential to develop Nebula with continued growth and good profitability since the company, in addition to its strong market position, has an attractive and scalable business model with low margin costs for new customers, good customer relationships, high customer satisfaction, strong cash flows and a relatively non-cyclical range of services.
The current digitisation and trend for small and medium-
sized enterprises to outsource their IT environment is expected to last and contribute to continued growth in the sector.
Nebula is well-positioned to continue to gain market shares by harnessing the strong underlying market growth in its core business areas and successfully participating in the consolidation of the fragmented cloud services market
(Mainly from Ratos's annual report 2015.)