The largest independent Co-operative in the UK has chosen cloud managed service provider Six Degrees to host its data and IT services at the firm’s Birmingham South data centre.

The Midcounties Co-operative’s portfolio contains food, healthcare, funeral care, travel, energy, childcare, flexible benefits and postal products.

As such, it requires quite significant IT services and protection for its core data assets. As the portfolio contains offerings in the energy, healthcare and childcare industries, it also faces regulatory challenges.

Aaron Clayton, Deputy CIO, at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Six Degrees has the relevant certification and expertise to ensure that our data is properly, and legally, managed and protected.  Our partnership with them not only provides us with complete assurance, but also the freedom to focus on achieving our core business objectives.”

The two organisations had an existing relationship, but with this announcement, all IT requirements for the co-operative have been passed to Six Degrees. As well as providing IT services, Six Degrees will host all of the co-operative’s data in its Birmingham South data centre.

Nick Marshall, head of data and colocation at Six Degrees, said: “All three of Six Degrees’ data centres are ISO 27001 accredited and PCI DSS certified, giving customers like the Society the assurance that their data is secure.

“The Midcounties Co-operative has a dedicated pod contained in a branded, locked area – essentially its own data centre, in its own space and environment, within the Six Degrees building – combining the increased security of a separate IT environment with the improved operational performance and economics of using a Six Degrees data centre.”

The data centre facility aims to provide low latency connectivity at a site that is only half an hour away from the Midcounties Co-operative head office.

The Midcounties Co-operative runs businesses with the intention of improving fairness and consumer rights for its members and local communities.