With a clear vision to transform its business to become a truly global IT services provider, CenturyLink embarked on a series of strategic acquisitions from 2008 to enhance its overall service offering. Today, the Company is focused on strengthening its position as the global leader in Hybrid IT
Global Leader in Hybrid IT
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
With an 85 year-long history, stemming from being the second largest telco in the US, CenturyLink has now reached new heights as a global Hybrid IT provider, thanks to making aptly timed acquisitions and strategic moves into cloud and associated services in the late 2000s.
Today, the Company has a comprehensive suite of Hybrid IT offerings, including data centre collocation managed services, cloud and network services in the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific.
CenturyLink has a global reach across 85 countries with more than 400,000 kilometres (km) of owned and operated fibre network in the US, and a 480,000km international transport network. The CenturyLink Data Centre Initiative (DCI) interconnects not just other CenturyLink data centres and buildings, but to more than 250 third party data centres, and more than 40,000 buildings and offices.
“Our comprehensive IT solutions help enterprises accelerate business performance throughout their organisation, and ultimately transforms an IT department from a cost centre into a business enabler,” explains CenturyLink’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Gery Messer.
“We began to see a growing trend in businesses outsourcing their workloads to the cloud early in the game, and we identified this as a key focus area to capitalise on, making a decision to enhance our overall offering in accordance with this trend. Looking back, it is obvious we made the right decision and we are ahead of the industry when it comes to our expertise in Hybrid IT,” explains Messer.
CenturyLink has come a long way from being a US$2.6 billion business with 6,500 people in 2008 servicing mainly US customers, to one with combined revenues of more than US$18 billion, 45,000 employees with an end-to-end portfolio.
With more than 60 data centres globally, coupled with the support of its local infrastructures and dedicated in-house expertise and support, CenturyLink customers can enjoy consistent levels of service anywhere in the world.
“These are just some of the reasons why 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies chose us for their cloud, collocation, network and managed services needs. We have a robust, mission-critical platform that supports various industries, including financial services, retail and government,” Messer adds. “Our uniqueness and ability to compete within a competitive market extends from our reputation, vast experience and proven track record. Unlike our competitors, we own our data centres, and we manage our data centres end-to-end with our skilled in-house talent. This is a key differentiator and sets us apart from others.”
A cut above the rest
Some of CenturyLink’s more recent Asia-Pacific expansions include the availability of its global managed hosting services in China to better serve multinational corporations conducting business in the world’s second-largest economy. CenturyLink customers can now access a comprehensive portfolio of managed hosting, security, cloud and networking solutions through a Shanghai data centre.
“For multinational corporations looking to grow their customer base, entering China presents enormous opportunities and challenges,” explains Messer. “CenturyLink makes it easy for businesses to host within China’s borders, offering access to the same highly secure managed services and consistent IT experience available across our global footprint.”
On the cloud front, CenturyLink has a proven history and has a total of 13 cloud nodes globally. Since 2011, the Company has been offering its public cloud making it one of the first cloud offerings in the region. In March 2015, CenturyLink Cloud, the fourth generation cloud, was launched in Singapore. Further to this, in April 2015, the Company announced their global data centre expansion into Australia, one of the most connected countries in the world.
Messer details: “CenturyLink has a great value proposition for local companies in Asia-Pacific who are looking to expand to the US and/or EMEA. Given that we own our data centres and operate fibre network in the US, coupled with an international transport network, we can offer better performance, agility and cost effectiveness when compared to other providers.”
It’s all about the people
Throughout the decades of CenturyLink’s existance, the Company has never detracted focus from the one thing that made it successful: its people. CenturyLink prides itself for nurturing the right talent that will drive their business and ensure their customers receive the highest levels of service quality.
“I am very proud of my Asia Pacific team. Together, we have achieved so much in such a short time. It’s remarkable to see such passionate people,” Messer shared. “All our achievements in Asia-Pacific are only possible with the support of a world-class team and I am very honoured to be working alongside them.”
What is Hybrid IT?
Hybrid IT delivers the network, systems and IT environment to businesses that need to optimise their IT infrastructure, workloads, and business strategy with the best mix of internal and external solutions for critical business needs.
Hybrid IT is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but instead should be uniquely tailored to the capabilities and strategy of the business. CenturyLink can manage their collocation, private and public cloud assets, and network demands so that IT can be an agile service provider to their organisations and end users
Demand for Hybrid IT is driving business growth across Asia-Pacific. According to Frost & Sullivan’s recent report titled ‘Asia-Pacific Data Centre and Cloud Computing Market Update 2015’, Hybrid IT is fast becoming the new normal across organisations in Asia-Pacific. With the increasing utilisation of data centres and cloud services across the Asia-Pacific region, companies have gradually updated or upgraded their existing IT systems, giving rise to the Hybrid IT environment.
According to a study conducted by international research firm, Vanson Bourne, cost savings, in-house skills shortages and growing emphasis on business-advancing applications will drive enterprises to outsource nearly 70 percent of their IT infrastructure by 2018. This study projects a reversal of today’s situation, in which 65 percent of IT infrastructure resides in in-house environments, and suggests most organisations will arrive at outsourced cloud through hybrid approaches to collocation and managed-service models.
“Outsourcing and adopting a Hybrid IT approach will allow businesses to focus their internal resources on mission-critical systems and applications on-premise, whilst allowing businesses to tap into a provider like CenturyLink for additional external skills and resources on systems and processes off-premise, to mitigate risk and also provide an added innovative competitive advantage,” Messer summarises.
For more information on CenturyLink, visit their website: www.centurylink.com/business/enterprise