Interview with Aslan Azimzhanov, Business Development Manager CIS
Linxtelecom services are now available to the customers operating in Central Asia
Aslan, The Linx Group has recently been active in its investment into expanding its geographical presence in Asia. At the end of last year, you launched telecommunication services under the Linxtelecom brand name, as well as a Point-of-Presence in Kazakhstan. Why did the Group decide to focus its growth in the region of Central Asia?
The Linx Group has always had a key focus on geographical expansion, developing a diverse solutions portfolio, offering the highest levels of security, alongside a highly dedicated, and skilled professional team. When we select the markets to expand in to, we always begin by identifying the actual needs that our customers require for their business growth, as well as reviewing the investment appeal within those markets. Our mission defines the actions we take:
- To become the preferred business partner of choice, by building long term relationships with customers, and by protecting, storing, processing and transmitting data from, to and in the regions where we are present.
- We strive to have a unique combination of data centers and telecom networks, operated by a dedicated and professional team.
During recent years, many of our clients began focusing on the dynamically emerging markets of Central Asia, and started setting up their business operations in this region. Reliable IT and network infrastructure, built according to international standards, and the quality of connectivity, are crucial for global expansion. We are delighted to support our clients in the regions in and beyond Central Asia, offering advanced connectivity solutions which will benefit carriers, as well as multi-scale businesses.
What do you find unique in the Central Asia ICT market?
The region of Central Asia is strategically key to the Linx Groups expansion plans, due to its geographical location between Europe and China. By partnering with the leading telecom providers in this region, we are able to offer our clients a bigger scope of opportunities for their business growth, creating a bridge between Europe and Asia. The uniqueness of the market is demonstrated by a combination of multiple factors: sustainable economic growth, favorable geopolitical environment, a growing IT-market, an Infrastructure Investment Program supported by the government, as well as demonstrating Europeanization in areas including the technology field.
Do you have an office in Central Asia?
The strategic initiatives of the Central Asia expansion program are currently being managed from the Headquarters situated in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For the execution of tactical initiatives, we are partnering with the leading operators and IT-companies based in the region. Upon client request, our technical specialists regularly visit these locations to support and track the delivery of client projects. Primarily they visit Astana and Almaty in Kazakhstan – the hub for our telecom services.
What services do you offer in the region, and how popular are they already among your customers?
When we announced to our customers that the Linx Group was expanding its operations to the region of Central Asia, we immediately received a high number of requests from international carriers. As of today, we also see a growing demand from the local SME companies, whose businesses are emerging beyond the borders. The most requested services are MPLS VPN, SDH and Ethernet channels. In addition, we are also regularly approached for our Private Cloud offering.
Speaking of Cloud, a few years ago, the Linx Group launched its own high-performance cloud solution – LinxCloud, in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Do you offer this service to the customers in Central Asia? What are the benefits they can expect to receive by migrating into the Linx Group’s Cloud?
We are currently offering our consultation to several multi-scale businesses that are considering moving into Cloud. The market of Central Asia is not yet mature enough to implement the cloud technology with confidence. This stage could be characterized as “question and answer” with the research being conducted and the analysis underway for making the decision of whether to migrate into virtual environment. So far, connectivity services appear to be in more demand than Cloud computing.
The LinxCloud solution we offer is built upon the Secure Multi-Tenancy Flexpod and vCloud architecture. It is a certified platform that combines customer-proven technology, and expertise of the world’s industry leaders in the fields of virtualization and cloud infrastructure - Cisco, VMware and NetApp. The quality of the solution has a guarantee of 99.9% uptime (SLA), which is undisputable, and therefore we are receiving high levels of interest from our customers who are ready for their journey into the cloud. The customers benefit from high levels of security and an easy and efficient model for managing and optimizing their IT-resources. This, alongside the always-on infrastructure with elastic scalability, result in the increased value from the IT-investments made (ROI). The Linx Group’s technical experts help to create a phased roadmap for LinxCloud deployment, and support the clients in the virtualization of any necessary IT infrastructure.
Besides Connectivity and Cloud services, the Linx Group also offers the opportunity to colocate in its own data center facilities – Linxdatacenter - located in Warsaw, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Tallinn. Are the businesses from Central Asia, who are expanding in to Europe interested in this service?
Companies who are actively growing their business, and expanding beyond the territory of Central Asia, need to optimize their IT-infrastructure, and increase the network reliability, stability and efficiency, when transferring data across longer distances, as well as back-up their business critical applications in strategic locations for their business operations. Our ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified Linxdatacenter facilities provide them with everything they might require: a secure Tier 3 level environment for collocating their equipment, redundant and high-speed channels, 24/7 technical support, and an opportunity to use a Disaster Recovery Center if needed. Based on this offering, we are currently discussing several projects with companies from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Kirgizstan, who are interested in colocating in our Data Centers in Europe.
What is the long-term strategy for the market of Central Asia and what goals have you set?
The key areas for investment in this region over the next few years are:
- Delivering a high number of successfully executed projects for the clients in Central Asia and abroad.
- Extension of the Partners
- hip network and supply chain.
- Strengthening our presence in the region, with the further expansion to the markets of Southeast Asia.
- Providing more intensive and redundant communication channels for data transmission between Asia and Europe.