Watch Vincent's presentation from World Hosting Days
“Who keeps the cloud in the air?”
Vincent in’t Veld, Director Marketing and Product Management, Interxion
Hello everyone very encouraging to see this crowd still being here with 18 degrees temperature outside and me standing between you and a nice glass of German Beer. I’ll do my best to keep you attached and in the next 30 minutes I’d like to explain and hopefully deliver a story which will help you understand how we think Carrier Neutral Data Centres can under pin your propositions to your customers in the market.
As I said my name is Vincent in’t Veld and I look after the Marketing and Business Development of our company. So there’s four main things I would like to share with you. First of all, out of courtesy, I want to do a very brief introduction of our company which is pronounced as ‘Interaction’. I want to share with you some insights with gains last year of our own cloud survey, we have a barometer which basically every year checks the state of the cloud with our customer base and contact data base. We want to look into what we see as the opportunity for the hosting community and explain how our Data Centres can act as a true hub for managing and delivering performance of applications and content to your customers. So first of all, a very brief overview of our company. Interxion is a company which was founded in 1998 and is headquartered out of Amsterdam we currently operate 28 Data Centre facilities across Europe in 11 countries and 13 cities and we have a total of 60,000 square metres of equipped space available and occupied by our customers today in Europe.
The common denominator of these Data Centres is that they are the confluence of Fibre Optics networks and from its first Data Centre in Amsterdam in 1998 have always had at the core … the nodes and pops of the carrier and ISP industry inside.
So in each of our Data Centres you will find at least 50 or 60 unique networks and has actually over 400 unique networks which reside in our Data Centres across Europe. We house 18 basically almost all internet exchanges in Europe, so core nodes of the internet exchanges are inside our Data Centre.
Well that capability has attracted in the last 13 years were’re operating, has attracted a lot of application providers and content providers to actually sit on the junction of the super highway called internet and sit on that fibre infrastructure and colocate at our Data Centre to inject their content and application straight into our networks and to reach the eyeball of our users in the enterprise networks. We have over twelve hundred unique customers we operate in across Europe and we do that with over 340 dedicate employees of which one I am. Just to be clear. What we do and what we don’t do.
We get an awful lot of request about can you manage this, can you manage that, can you provide me manage services, why don’t you go up the value chain, why don’t you provide ER services. That’s not what we do. We don’t own service, we don’t own software, we don’t provide manage IT services. We are a provider of premium Data Centre space. Power, cooling and access to the connectivity inside our Data Centre. That’s the bare bone of what we do and what we operate.
The unique asset and that’s the last part of our corporate introduction, the unique asset of what we do and who we are is that footprint in Europe that’s the very attractive offer we found historically for companies who are looking to serve enterprises or consumer customers across Europe via one stop shop approach. So whether it’s from a sales, customer service but also from an SLA perspective, all our Data Centres have been designed by our in house team since 1998 and have been modularly built out over the past 13 years into our Data Centres. So if you do business with us, you have access to basically 90% of the broadband networks in Europe from inside our Data Centres.
On an annual basis we conduct a survey; we call it the cloud survey. We started that two years ago and we will repeat it again this year. What we try to see in the insights we try to create are to help basically our customers, which are manage hosting companies, system integrator companies, service providers, whatever people call themselves. Obviously also end user customers, enterprise customers, carriers, and ISP’s. We use that information to share with our community of customers who are inside our Data Centre to help them develop the right propositions to the right target market. So it’s a piece of enabling and getting information.
I realise this is probably a hard to read slide for you, especially in the back over there. All our results from our cloud survey are available from our website, so please feel free to go down there and download the results.
But if we look at the cloud today and if we look at how enterprises has established that topic as a priority that from our survey we can tell that 69% of the IT responsible people in the companies we surveyed have put cloud as a priority on their internal IT agenda and at the moment 76% either use or plan to use a cloud delivery mechanism over the next 24 months.
So this says something about the transformation and the shift taking place in your market, that’s not new news but is some factual news which can help you.
What are these factors driving this Cloud Investments. There was a top three rank factors that our customer highlighted to us are reduce costs, performance of the application and business continuity and disaster recovery. These are the three items which were picked by the surveys as being the most important factors driving their investments in these technologies.
We did a little bit of analysis between US and Europe why? Because what we’ve noticed is that in the US these delivery mechanisms have been already operated and have been operational for a couple more years, so the market is a bit more mature when it comes to the adoption of these new delivery methodologies and also we see and probably you see as well, obviously a flood of American companies, hosters, ER providers coming to Europe and offering online services to the end user market at the moment in Europe.
So with the skill they have and with the knowledge they have, we thought it would be interesting to dive into that information and separate the European community and the US community.
So the factors driving cloud investments is clear to see the number one priority for the customer investing in this is in the end to reduce its cost its total cost of ownership, its total cost of infrastructure.
When you look below that then actually at the moment and that tells something about the maturity in the USA markets, business continuity and disaster recovery is a far more important priority on the agenda to work on, so the level of implementation and the level of live applications being run in the cloud is a lot higher than we have in the Europe at the moment.
So what are the obstacles to cloud implementations? Top three ranked overall, lack of security and SLA or transparency of SLA, vendor lock-in; afraid to be locked in and never get out and the regulatory concerns; data privacy, data confidentiality, data storage.
So if we put that underneath and separate again the EU community from the USA community. The number one is the same in the both geographies, except the number of people or the percentage of people who have highlighted that as a priority in the US is 78% versus 45% in the European market.
The vendor lock-in is very much ranked as a number two concern in the European community but not necessarily in the US its item number seven as ranked by the US. So less much afraid of being locked in this vendor, and much more used to working in hybrid environments and using multiple sources of capacity and compute power.
So there is no shadow of doubt that I think the whole community here present at the World Hosting Days see cloud as a true opportunity and you’re here either coming from a background of manage hosting, either coming from a system integration background, either coming as an end user to look at what’s available.
Well it’s quite clear that everyone is coming at this opportunity and they’re all coming from different angles, from different strengths. Whether it’s the traditional software vendors, the IT manufacturers, the system integrators, the hosting companies, IT distributors, ecommerce providers, they all look to the cloud and look to deliver services which promise increase effectivity of people, resourcing allowing customers to resources to their needs to scale and reduce the total cost of ownership from infrastructure management.
Well I think the audience is here at this show best represented the traditional hosting companies, have a huge advantage versus some of these players entering the market and same for system integrators and both for different reasons. One, system integrators for example hold the end customer relationship and are the trusted advisors for the enterprises, so where traditionally system integration made their money with project management or pieces of infrastructure management or re-selling of software and hardware, we see a lot of movement and conversations taking place also at this event which system integrators are looking to either build or source ER services and going to the recurring services model and incorporated that into the services offering to the enterprise customers.
So that’s an advantage, having that trusted customer relationship. At the same time the manage hosters are better than anyone else used to provisioning and delivering compute resources, because you’ve been doing that for very long time, so understanding the scalability asset aspect understanding the automation level and the processes and procedures associated to that that’s a big advantage that community has in getting to this opportunity and getting valuable services.
There are barriers in getting to the market, no doubt and everyone has its own barriers. If you’re coming from the traditional business and you have a big legacy investment you need to ensure that you make a return on that investment. If you’re looking to build up new cloud stacks or cloud platforms, there’s a huge upfront investment, not only in money but in time and test, development etcetera associate into that. More importantly if you look for example at the SI or IT distributor industry, then their main challenge we see is to transform the organisation from a re-seller to recurring services and service management company. How are you going to do that? How are you going to make that mind shift of your sales people? How are you going to automate the processes behind it? How are you going to develop the service packages for your customers?
Gain market shares, build a brand, create trust, have access to the buyers of your services and expand into new market opportunities. They’re all barriers of concerns, we see people coming into this market opportunity thinking about, worrying about and trying to develop solutions to.
Well, we believe and we have a belief that we have a role to play in that, we have a belief that we have an opportunity to address some of these obstacles and remove some of these obstacles for our customers or prospects in getting to market with new service models and new service platforms.
So we started a programme called the Cloud Hub and the Cloud Hub in that sense is basically a new term for our carrier neutral data centre and its precision really as a financial asset to develop your cloud solutions and deliver cloud solutions to your customers.
So let’s try and work out where the value ad lies of this Data Centre in your business model and in your services model to your end customer.
There’s three components, at the core of what we do is obviously high quality premium Data Centre services; that’s our bare bone offering, on top of that we have a number of value propositions which kind of deliver from our Data Centre, which we’ll touch upon in a minute. At last but not least, we have an extensive part of network where we try to help our community of hosters, service providers, system integrators which are inside our Data Centre help to grow their business inside our Data Centre, by the generation of leads. It’s as simple as that.
Okay, so breaking these three things out and looking at the core product, which includes three factors. First of all, customer service. No doubt that theres many people out there who can build robust, high, resilient Data Centres. If you have a lot of cash, you can build a very good Data Centre. But it’s different in building one, and operating and managing one and being in the the business as a company like Interxion for 13 years, we believe we’re pretty good in operating and managing those big big Data Centres.
So that’s reflected in how we go about with our processes and procedures and our certifications, there’s a list here of ISO certifications ITIL V3 but on top of that there’s also specific certifications related for example to transactional processes like PKI, PCI compliancy. Connectivity, at the heart of what we provide, we are not a network service provider. But inside our Data Centres you have access to over 400 carriers, internet exchanges and are all one cross connect away. So you can connect through our meet me room and of course, last but not least. The bare of what we do, the colocation services. It’s all about guaranteeing the uptime and more importantly it’s about the scalability. So we are engaging and of course we have a community of over twelve hundred customers already, of what day in day out, engaging with a lot of the service providers in the market and what they’re telling us quite clearly is I expect my new service model to do this, that’s my business case, that’s my projection, I don’t know how, I don’t know when, I don’t know where. So I need space, I need an ability to grow, I need enough power to deliver high density platforms into your Data Centre but please make sure you never go dark, make sure that you grow with my customer demands and that’s the only thing we do. So when I talked before about maybe it’s tempting for us to also go in that value chain, we need all our resources, we need all our investment money to build and grow our Data Centre capacity to ensure we enable you as service providers and system integrators to serve your customers and that’s where we stay.
So the value propositions. So it’s a marketplace, if you lift the roof of one of our Data Centres, you’ll be amazed at how many cross connects are being made in that Data Centre. No Data Centre is an island, people come there to connect to the outside world and they come there to connect with their partners in the value chain. Either buyers, suppliers or certain aspects which make the end customer solution. And carriers are such important part of that delivery mechanism. Having access to variety in choice of carriers, having access to the internet exchanges to offload your traffic and pier publicly. That’s one of the key assets we provide from our Data Centre.
It’s nice to have so many, it’s nice to have 400 plus but you need to have the right ones obviously. So we typically see a breakdown in the requirements of the service providers between okay I need wavelengths to connect my compute nodes to my other compute nodes and create the backbone infrastructure … I need manage service providers to connect the wide area networks and connect the LAN’s of my customer to the Data Centre I need access to eye balls, I need to offload the traffic, I need to reach the homes and I need to reach the broadband connections and more and more people are obviously looking to deploy and interface into the mobile network operators because the transport of mobile data is increasing even more rapidly than the fixed line data distribution.
Scalability, we talked about this before. We have not done as many expansion projects ever in the last 13 years as we’re doing right now. So heres some of the proof points of how we continuously invest in technology and space and power to expand on-site in a campus setup. So you see expansions in Stockholm, Dublin, Dusseldorf, London, Paris always in a way customers can benefit from the presence already and can benefit from the carrier community being already present. So we don’t build Data Centre, the one for example in Berlin, the other one in Frankfurt, we build them in a campus. In Frankfurt, seven Data Centres in one campus. All fully connected to each other and you know, an option on the next one, we’re already working on that. So we always ensure that customers can grow and can benefit from all the connectivity available on that campus.
And last but not least, I think it’s important and we see that as a true role and fundamental role of what we do. Interxion is not interested in having a great name out there and being the Coca-Cola of the world and spending a lot of marketing dollars into campaigns and brand recognition about Interxion. It’s not about Interxion. It’s about the customers who are inside our Data Centres. So our efforts when it comes down to marketing or whether it comes down sales support or whether it comes down to pre-sales, it’s about helping our customers to grow. And let me be fair, and let me be straight forward, we want to of course earn money, but we do that because our customers grow. By the growth of our customers, the growth and need for power and space is growing and therefore we benefit from it. So we have very, very big eco system and partner programme for selective number of service providers and system integrators, we want to work with and they want to work with us, which we will help in getting to market with the service propositions. So we help marketing wise with PR activities with customer events, with prospect events but we also help campaign wise with lead generation campaigns for those parties.
We cannot do that with all of our customers, so there needs to be willingness on both sides and there needs to be commitment on both sides. But this is an invite for service providers and system integrators who want to work with us and want to benefit from the community in our in-house and we can reach via existence, to work with us and grow from our Data Centre.
One other initiative I think which is also fundamental l and how we want to position ourselves and how we want to enable our customers to get to market with new solutions is two specific initiatives, what we call the cloud test labs. So part of this cloud hub not only can you get space, the connectivity and access to the connectivity and you come become part of the eco-system of partner ships, but also there are proof of concept environments built with well some of the big names out there in the industry right now, which we’ve built deliberately to lower the threshold for service providers, system integrators and large enterprises, which want to get familiarised with the new technologies. For example, the whole market of suite and stack or the Flexiant product. I want to familiarise with that in reference architecture, in a proof of concept environment they can do that for free from our Data Centres. So together with our partners we’d like to lower the thresholds and we’d like to enable people to test these new technologies.
We launched two of these, one in Amsterdam, together with Microsoft, HP and for the connectivity with the NLIX, KPN and we’ve launched one in London together with Flexiant, GTD, Boston and SuperMicro. We will launch more of these. We’re in the process of launching two additional ones in two different geographies again to enable the local communities in Germany in France to enable them to use and make use of this new technology made available to them.
And this is really what I wanted to share with you. Well in time I see, so I stick to my promise that I don’t want to stand too long between you and a beer some of you know that there’s a beer fest so yes, I have to admit we did a bit of marketing this year and we decided to sponsor the beer fest which is a good way of celebrating together with you, the fact that we’re her at the World Hosting Days. So thank you for your attention, if you want to find out more information, you can download the cloud survey results from our website. You can find more information about these test labs if you’re interested in trying them, you can sign up on the on the link which is shown there and if there is any other enquiry you want to do, we’re at the stand and obviously you can reach us simply via email. So thank you very much and I hope we can help you get to market and be successful in your business. Thank you.