2019 has been a great and exciting year for me – one in which I was given the opportunity to serve the region in the role of President of Asia-Pacific. This has provided me with so much more exposure to different markets and enabled me to see how fast technologies are evolving and making a significant impact on businesses across the region. And as we approach 2020, I am truly excited about continuing to help customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys and expansion plans through interconnection.
This year has been filled with some exciting successes in Asia-Pacific, from business growth and innovations, to people development. So before we all start enjoying the long-awaited holidays, I just want to highlight and recap some of the amazing work we have done in the region this year.
Extending the digital edge
As our CEO Charles Meyers says, “At Equinix, we are driven by an ambition and passion to create a more connected world.” That means we always look for opportunities to expand our global footprint to meet the increasing demands of our customers.
With this philosophy in mind, 2019 saw us plant our digital flag in a whole new market—South Korea, one of the most vibrant digital economies globally, with the SL1 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, which opened in August.
We also completed 10 additional new builds and expansion plans across Shanghai (SH6 – 400 cabinets), Hong Kong (HK1, HK2 and HK4 – 1,700 cabinets), Tokyo (TY11 – 3,500 cabinets), Osaka (OS1 – 475 cabinets), Sydney (SY5 – 1,825 cabinets), Perth (PE2 – 225 cabinets), etc, resulting in a total of US$535 million investment. We are proud to say that today, we operate 44 IBX data centers across 13 metros in Asia-Pacific.
Powering interconnection with innovation
As technology evolves, so does our service. Throughout the year, we continued to advance our offerings to enhance connectivity, reliability, and security, helping our customers accelerate digital transformation. Here are just some of our achievements:
We expanded the reach of Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™), which is designed to meet the ever-growing appetite for on-demand interconnection of our customers, supporting connections across five continents in all 38 ECX Fabric locations. Thanks to this expanded interconnection service, customers in Asia-Pacific can harness the power of Platform Equinix®, our global interconnection platform, to privately interconnect clouds, networks, and services to global data centers at the digital edge. The ability to connect businesses on the world stage enables customers to access a wide array of cloud service providers across geographies, and most importantly, customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific—in what is an unprecedented move—can now establish on-demand network connections between each other.
We also unveiled virtual network services with Network Edge, a new product innovation enabling companies to modernize networks virtually, within minutes. This is possible through the deployment of network functions virtualization (NFV) from numerous vendors, connecting them to customers’ digital supply chains at Equinix. Network Edge gives enterprises a new way to deploy network services on Platform Equinix, without a physical data center or hardware. Network Edge, combined with ECX Fabric, will allow customers in Asia-Pacific to use virtual edge devices and interconnect them to the cloud and network providers in markets globally, opening them up to potentially thousands of new business partners across the continents.
Our partners play a role in our business, which is why in 2019 we strengthened collaboration with them to provide enhanced connectivity, helping businesses in Asia-Pacific to accelerate their hybrid cloud and digital transformation journey. I was very pleased to see that Amazon Web Services Direct Connect cloud service expanded to Hong Kong, enabling region-wide availability to propel hybrid cloud development in Asia-Pacific. Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure also expanded to our International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Tokyo, and we collaborated with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to launch Azure Stack-as-a-Service on Platform Equinix® in Asia-Pacific.
Going beyond business
At Equinix, we truly believe that a company is only as extraordinary as its people. This is why we strive to promote an inclusive atmosphere, where everyone enjoys coming to work and are proud to tell people they are part of Equinix.
With Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging sitting at the heart of our culture, we are committed to advocating these through different initiatives, most notably the Equinix Women’s Leader Network (EWLN), which was established with the aim of helping women in the company pursue growth, visibility, and opportunities to increase business impact. Our hard work in this area paid off, and we were honored to win the American Chamber of Commerce’s Women of Influence Award—Best Company for Women Award in Hong Kong this November. This recognition is testimony to our ongoing commitment to fostering inclusion in our organization; regardless of culture, gender, ethnicity, or social background.
It is also true to say that personal development goes beyond a workplace environment. At Equinix, we empower our people to genuinely have a sense of purpose through wellbeing, creativity, service, and community. Through our Equinix Impact initiative, we strive to create a workplace where people feel comfortable being themselves, and which includes opportunities to engage with the people and causes that are most important to them.
Impact Month has always been a time for us to contribute to the community, hence our October calendar was filled with a variety of activities in Asia-Pacific, with our Singapore team kicking off by cleaning kennels for stray dogs. In Australia, we packed food and made warm blankets to comfort homeless people, while our team in China taught children in rural areas how to increase social mobility. It was also a pleasure to help the underprivileged in Hong Kong by preparing more than 1,200 packed lunches for those in need, and work with a local charity to help those affected by one of the country’s strongest typhoon for decades. Together, thanks to the contribution of 449 participants in the Asia-Pacific, we spent 1,924 hours raising US$37,000 donations.
Wrapping up the year
I am very proud of the success that the Equinix Asia-Pacific team achieved in 2019, but we will not stop here. With interconnection bandwidth expected to grow at 56 percent CAGR and exceed 3,825 Tbps by 2022 in Asia-Pacific, according to the latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI), we will continue to expand our business, advance our services, and cultivate our people to help customers reach everywhere, interconnect everyone, and integrate everything in 2020.