Based out of Hong Kong, Cardi is responsible for global enterprise sales for Pacnet and comes with three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. He talks exclusively to Dataquest about its recent focus shift from SMEs to enterprises, and about Pacnet's operations in India
In India, the assumption is that CIOs haven't accepted cloud and virtualization as compared to global peers. Are they apprehensive - what is your observation?
The CIOs Pacnet meets are very well read and completely informed. All CIOs understand and appreciate the benefits of cloud. The only question is when to migrate, and perhaps how. People are talking about it and it is in the pipeline. General consensus is that cloud is coming but the determining factor is how soon and how much. Hybrid clouds along with a private IP connection are gaining traction steadily.
Pacnet has lately shifted focus from SMEs to large enterprises, while the rest of the industry is identifying new oopportunities in the SME market. Your comments?
Yes, the industry is focusing on SMB/SMEs but they own the assets required. We sell services to service providers, who in turn sell to the SMEs. Our assets are international, and Indian companies that want to expand in the Pacific region are evaluating the diversity that Pacnet offers. We have receivedd a strong response from enterprises based out of India - who operate in India or have branches in India. System integration companies that are putting together operations in India or outside are also keen on using our services. As far as response from Indian clients is concerned, it has been positive.
Where do you see more demand coming from in India- MNCs or Indian companies?
We have observed tahat both are balanced equally.
Could you brief us on the latest solution Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN)?
Today, you'd order a private IP connection between the two desired locations and get a private line, whether you use it or not. In such cases, customers tend to overprovision to their peak. However, today, you can change bandwidth according to the peak. You can decide how to customize it for even an hour and get the datacenters connected real time- a first for APAC region.
The new solution is a software defined network enablement platform for PEN. It is a NaaS platform that delivers scalable bandwidth to customer. This allows them to control the amount of bandwidth a customer wants to consume and control service levels based on latency, provisioning time frame and duration. For example, a customer can decide he wants to consume a certain amount of bandwidth in the next month/ hour/ year, and can use a GUI or API. Effectively, it is a datacenter-to-datacenter connectivity where customers choose the bandwidth instead of normal provisioning cycles.
It is not contained within a particular market, but spans across different countries - you can decide you want to send heavy files from Singapore to Sydney or Hong Kong, and get it provisioned in less than a minute. It makes it look like we have created a pan-Asian datacenter network connecting all these sites together. We're in Beta now. The initial plan in Q1 is to have 10 datacenters in four markets connected to the world.
What are the recent changes since Carl Grivner took over as CEO?
Grivner became CEO in 2012. Pacnet also recently got a new head of managed services, head of HR and I joined recently as President, Enterprise Markets at Pacnet
There have been changes in in the company's focus. This is evident it the move to enterprise service provider focus and carrier focus in markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and India. We have decided to use the available assets and leverage it for larger customers. Pacnet has upgraded to a 100 gig network fibre backbone and announced a datacenter being built in Singapore, a completed datacenter in Australia and Beiging. It is also working on the growth of content delivery network in India. Thanks to the changes, we a re financially stronger compared to last year. This is an exciting time to be a part of Pacnet.
How relevant is India to Pacnet?
We have two very strategic markets - China and India. Both come with a lot of revenue expectations. We see that Indian customers put price first then service quality, while the MNCs are focused on SLAs , redundancy, uptime etc. Asia Pacific is the new hot bed of requirement with Philippines, China and Singapore as critical markets.
In India, we have network points of presence in Mumbai, Noida, Bangalore and Chennai. We are investing in enterprise capability. Earlier, the focus was on SME network, now we are building enterprise and carrier capability. Chennai is connected to the sub-sea fiber network and the three cities are connected to it.
Pacnet has 18 datacenters in 14 cities and we operate in 10 countries. We sell datacenter services to customers. Some are operated by Pacnet and in some, we have a footprint where we sell services- we have a network node presence in all these areas. Any customer in those centers can hook up to our network.