The thing that drew me to Global Switch was the opportunity to respond to a key change in customers’ needs that is being felt industry wide. Namely the migration from a traditional data centre offering to a multi-faceted cloud eco-system where our customers can access unrivalled interconnectedness. I knew that Global Switch was the best place to deliver that kind of change. Not just because they are leaders in the large-scale data centre market, but also because of the company’s reputation, infrastructure quality and, crucially, its network neutrality.
I had been responsible for large scale transformation in a previous role, but for a business which was at a different phase. Previously, my task was to introduce a new brand and service offering, but this time I am starting from a position where we have an established and trusted brand as well as competitors. We are evolving to meet the digital needs of today and to seize an even bigger market share.
The scale and resilience of the infrastructure is obviously key. We have over 70,000 sq m of world-class space and 100MVA utility supply capacity, with the data centre being fed by two completely diverse 132kV power sources and three 50MVA transformers in an N+1 configuration. When I am talking to customers those numbers give them the reassurance that, whatever their needs, they can count on us to deliver.
One of the biggest surprises in my time here has been how agile Global Switch is. Having come from a business running 220 data centres and employing 10,000 people, I was amazed that Global Switch has a much smaller team proportionately operating 13 huge data centres. But when you get here, you can see how it is possible. Everything is run incredibly efficiently and people are empowered to take responsibility and grow the business.
It is very early days, but a key thing I have tried to encourage is more face-to-face communication – always bearing in mind COVID-safety, of course. I am a big believer that colleagues talking to each is the best way to share ideas and get more done. That is the reason I do not have my own office and instead sit with the rest of the team. Another initiative which has been great for our cloud eco-system strategy is my interactions with our cloud customers. We have two top-tier cloud providers in our campus now. Besides providing data centre services, it’s exciting that we’re in discussion for partnerships in a broader range.
It is all about growth. Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial centres and the region is experiencing the highest data centre expansion in the world. The relationship with mainland China is a factor, of course, but the feeling when talking to customers and peers in the industry is one of confidence – both now and long term. The demand is there in the region even with capacity and competition growing. I get the same confidence from the senior team here at Global Switch, there is no shortage of encouragement and support to get the job done and deliver on our targets.