Each month, we profile a Global Solutions Architect (GSA) and highlight his/her work with our enterprise customers. This month, we will be speaking with Kelvin Cheung, who has worked for Equinix for a year and a half in our Hong Kong, Chinese and Korean markets. Kelvin has been living in Hong Kong since 2002, and has worked in the U.S. and Hong Kong as a network consultant and in technical/pre-sales support roles for various network solutions providers in the APAC region. In the winter, he travels to Japan to snowboard. When the weather is good, he plays soccer and supports his favorite team, Manchester United.
APAC is a vast geography with many countries, each with a diverse business and cultural sense. Kelvin’s hands-on experience from Layer 1 (cabling) to Layer 7 (application) networking allows him to advise enterprises on the best available interconnection offerings for their businesses. He has deployed large-scale mobile network, security and content delivery solutions in different countries, so he can provide customers with first-hand knowledge on multi-vendor networking solutions and caution them on pitfalls to avoid. As part of Equinix’s GSA team, Kelvin also works with his fellow SAs in the U.S. and EMEA to help their customers understand where to deploy their solutions in APAC.
The Challenges of Doing Business with Multinational Companies
According to Kelvin, one of the challenges enterprises deal with is disparate Internet bandwidth pricing in APAC by country. For example, Hong Kong and Singapore can have fairly low costs, while China and India are on the high end. In addition, multinational corporations in China often request solutions to boost their quality of service when connecting to public clouds, mainly due to the difficulty of moving Internet traffic in and out of China.
Kelvin described some of the more interesting work he is doing with some of his enterprise customers:
“How to adopt the public cloud has been a hot topic in Hong Kong for last 12 months. Enterprises are starting to move more and more of their workloads onto public cloud,” he said. “Also, there is lots of buzz about Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute for Office365, especially among multinational corporation offices in China.”
In July, Equinix hosted its inaugural Hong Kong Cloud Forum to showcase cloud providers and partners, such as Microsoft, Accenture, Oracle, Aliyun and Datapipe. Over 50 attendees from local and multi-national enterprises were able to have face-to-face discussions with representatives from cloud providers and partners.
According to Kelvin, major Chinese Internet companies are expanding overseas to offer instant messaging, public cloud, content streaming and e-commerce to international users. Hong Kong tends to be their first stepping stone, because most countries in Asia can be reached from there in a four-hour flight time.
The recent “Hong Kong Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Cloud Adoption, Security & Privacy Readiness Survey” report showed that more than 80% of the subject matter experts surveyed had already adopted cloud services, a 30% increase from 2014. Equinix‘s new Hong Kong facilities will meet this strong demand from cloud and content and digital media (CDM) companies for data center and interconnection services.
Kelvin also added that Equinix works with all the major APAC players, such as Alibaba’s cloud computing business, Aliyun, to understand their international expansion needs. Using the cloud capabilities of Aliyun, combined with the interconnection solutions from Equinix, such as the Cloud Exchange, enterprises in Asia and North America can build public and hybrid cloud solutions that are direct, secure and high-performing.
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