Leaseweb is targeting a year of optimisation, enhancement and expansion, as part of widespread plans to build a unique infrastructure network across the world.
The infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider is building out capabilities at both Asia Pacific and global levels, driven by a desire to service a growing customer base.
Specific to Asia, optimisation of end-to-end processes is key in 2019, alongside improving customer experience through SAP technologies and increasing global bandwidth to broaden market footprint.
“The market is growing and segmenting,” said Bas Winkel, managing director of Leaseweb Asia Pacific and Australia. “We’ve also been dividing our customers increasingly, because every business has its own challenges, needs and opportunities.
“Our core focus as well as our opportunity is to maintain a trusted and personal relationship with our customers.”
Speaking exclusively to Channel Asia, Winkel said the 22-year-old business must continually respond and adapt to changing technologies, as new solutions and offerings flood the market.
“This means integrating new technologies into existing ones in the most optimal way,” he explained. “It’s vital to offer scalable solutions, to be transparent in pricing, to ensure data security, to offer a network with high capacity, and above all to have a sustainable relationship with your customer.”
With more than 17,500 customers worldwide - spanning small to medium-sized businesses and enterprise - Leaseweb specialises in public cloud, private cloud, and dedicated servers, alongside colocation, content delivery network and cyber security services.
Housing over 80,000 servers under management, the provider offers infrastructure to mission-critical websites, internet applications, email servers, security and storage services.
Winkel said such market experience - backed up by 20 data centres in locations across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America - help provide a unique point of differentiation for Leaseweb in a crowded infrastructure industry.
“We’re optimising our customers’ performance while keeping the best return on investment by offering global hybrid IT solutions through a strong network; ready to scale with its customers when they have that ambition,” he added.
“Having a personal, sustainable relationship is vital, in order for customers to trust us and for them to focus on their core business.”
From a technology perspective, Leaseweb works with key vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC and Microsoft, in addition to VMware, IBM, Intel and NetApp.
“Our business evolves with the market,” Winkel added. “This means adopting to technologies that help our customers be more successful, more efficient and more flexible.
“It’s important to have a balanced view of which technologies are here to stay, as well as being able to advise our customers on how to benefit from this in the best way. Also, increasing our knowledge and experiences help us best to bring that value to the market.”
In order to scale up, Winkel said customers must leverage a global network with high capacity and availability, in response to changing market dynamics.
“Changes or investments in technology for our customers mean a change in their business strategy, because their core business is fully dependent on technology,” he said. “In general, all industries are digitalising.
“We don’t see one particular technology that customers are pursuing, but we do notice the trend in the IT industry of repatriating one’s infrastructure from public to private solutions. Think about hybrid cloud or dedicated servers.”
On the flip side, Winkel acknowledged common customer challenges across Asia Pacific, specifically related to security, performance and skills.
“Challenges that might occur on a general level are securing customer (end-user) data and ensuring confidentiality, keeping up with demanding network management and maintenance, and having skilled technical staff to manage their own infrastructure,” he observed.
“In addition, optimising revenue streams against cost liabilities, every milli-second that counts (latency), and the need to be always on (service availability).
“And for certain segments, the flexibility to scale up and down in an efficient way due to demand peaks, many patches and updates that must be done and the diversification of infrastructure to be redundant.”
Delving deeper, Winkel said a major long-term trend impacting the market today centres around outsourcing non-primary business processes and focusing on value for the customer.
“This leads to specialisation and a growing need to procure more 'serviced' infrastructure offerings from infrastructure providers,” he said. “The trend is moving towards companies not building their own private cloud and hybrid environments anymore, but choosing to surpass CAPEX, leaving platform management to an infrastructure partner, and adding their own value on top.
“This is easier on cash flow, more flexible, and avoids having to keep up with all of the technology changes - resulting in more focus on customers, service quality, and more specialised services.”
Consequently, Winkel outlined that the biggest challenge for infrastructure providers is around focusing on the right services in order for customers to maximise performances.
“Delivering rock solid products on time for delivery is a priority,” he concluded. “This might sound simple but for us it is essential to deliver high quality products and services to our customers, in order for them to be satisfied and to operate smoothly online.”