Cloudscene recently sat down with Epsilon’s Director of Marketing & Communications – Chadwick Kinlay – to discuss the year that was and the year ahead. Article also available in traditional Chinese
Founded in the United Kingdom in early 2003, Epsilon Telecommunications is one of the largest independent providers of connectivity solutions. From network connectivity, real-time communication services, colocation through to system integration and support, Epsilon is ranked in the top five service providers on Cloudscene for the Singapore market
The telco had an encouraging 2016 which saw the opening of new PoPs in London, Brooklyn, Indonesia and Dallas; and the successful adoption of Epsilon’s CloudLX cloud connectivity platform around the world including new partnerships with AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google. Epsilon also achieved Metro Ethernet Forum 2.0 certification for its Ethernet services.
Epsilon’s Director of Marketing & Communications, Chadwick Kinlay, explained that the market’s demand for more efficient and agile data center connectivity grew significantly in 2016.
“Service providers want a new model for connecting their data center sites and many believe their network services are limiting what applications and services they can deploy.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve been asked to deliver local access and data center connectivity that is flexible and adaptable. Our partners want their network to mirror the simplicity, efficiency and accessibility of the cloud. It is as simple as that. They want better network services,” said Chadwick.
To achieve this, Epsilon is on a mission to deliver cloud-centric networking via a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. Supported with real-time analytics, the innovative platform is expected to create some hype in the market as it integrates on demand ethernet, software-defined WAN, cloud access and global WAN which will behave like apps and offer self-service access.
“The new platform is particularly exciting as it removes the friction from international networking, putting the scalability and control into the hands of the user and making cloud enablement front and center,” said Chadwick.
As a whole, 2016 certainly proved to be an eventful year for the data center sector. Whilst confidence remains high with the likes of Goldman Sachs forecasting that the cloud infrastructure and platform market is currently growing at more than 19% CAGR; there were some particular headlines that captured the attention of the data center market.
From record-breaking announcements of big player takeovers/mergers/asset sales to fundamental economic change (including Britain ‘breaking up’ with the EU as we detailed in a previous article), augmented reality gaming uptake highlighting the server needs of data hungry apps like Pokémon Go and major outages from airlines to banks to the telcos themselves revealed the inadequacies of today’s disaster recovery strategies.
From Epsilon’s perspective, the top three challenges the data center sector faced in 2016 were:
- Efficient and scalable connectivity – Local access and data center connectivity has been a continual headache across the industry. It is difficult and costly to manage and that has to change. SD-WAN can enable intelligent centralized management of local access links to data center connectivity hubs.
- Differentiation – Many data centre operators are being challenged to differentiate their offerings and cater to new and growing needs for connectivity as well as data center infrastructure. Increasingly, customers want a one-stop-shop and if the data center operator can offer connectivity as well that increases stickiness. Connectivity can be a differentiator and a driver for long-term growth.
- Cloud Enablement – Data centre operators are being challenged to move beyond traditional roles and to become hubs for cloud enablement. The market has moved beyond real estate and customers want data center operators to solve their challenges and being proactive partners. That’s a very different approach to the legacy model.
Looking to the year head, JLL’s 2017 Data Center Outlook reveals that we can expect to see “user demand for smart data center solutions continue to heat up, while operators will feel the heat to deliver more data facilities, faster and more flexibly than ever.”
Chadwick agrees, adding “In 2017, we expect there will be a long line of data center operators making the move to offer cloud enablement.” He also believes the data center market is positive but full of change over the next five years. Specifically:
- The data center market will be highly connected with high performance and on demand connectivity that is instantly scalable. That will enable enterprise customers to scale up or down capacity globally, which maximizes efficiency.
- There will be no limits on the applications and services that can be hosted in data centers because the network will be able to offer a ubiquitous quality of service and experience. The network will be a utility that enterprises and service providers can tap into. This will be available via APIs so it can be seamlessly integrated into existing platforms.
- With the network as a foundation, data center resources will be managed globally with an elastic model that spins up services instantly to accommodate for spikes in demand. Automation across all infrastructure and new intelligence will enable optimized performance.
Whilst we’re already seeing these areas in the process of being developed and/or refined; Chadwick expects that they will become the standard and an expectation from the market in five years’ time, so it’s more important than ever for data center operators and service providers to make their move on addressing these areas now.
Chadwick Kinlay heads up the Epsilon Group’s marketing and communications out of its Singapore HQ, bringing with him over 8 years’ telecommunications industry experience. He plays an instrumental role in developing Epsilon’s strategic marketing and communication plan with a focus on integrated global strategies for brand development. Prior to Epsilon he held various marketing positions across a broad set of industries including Banking, Hospitality and Pharmaceuticals. Chadwick received his Bachelor of International Business majoring in Business Management and Marketing from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
If you’d like to find out more about the content of this interview or to participate/contribute to future articles, please contact Renée Harper, Senior Marketing Manager at Cloudscene.