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Tata expands managed services reach in Asia

February 14, 2009 | Chris Payatagool

tata_logo.jpgBy Carol Wilson

Tata Communications' $430-million investment in new Asian facilities represents the Indian-based carrier's ongoing commitment to bring managed services to emerging nations, based on its own global IP network, said Srinivasa Addepalli, senior vice president of corporate strategy.

The investment includes a new Internet data center called the Tata Communications Exchange and a $250 million investment in the completion of the main segment of Tata's TGN-Intra Asia Cable System, a multiterabit system that will span about 4000 miles and connect Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

"Our strategy is focused on the new world of communications; the new world as we define it and we see it, is centered in emerging markets - Asia, India, China, Middle East, Africa, parts of Latin America and parts of Eastern Europe," Addepalli said. "We are putting a lot of emphasis on communications into those emerging markets and also on how the Web is driving a change of behavior in the way people and enterprises behave, not only in terms of basic communications requirements but many aspects of their lives."

One fundamental change, Addepalli said, is that businesses in emerging markets are more interested in managed and hosted services, which is why Tata is not just building a network in Asia but also building a state-of-the-art data center.

"In the emerging markets, there is significant growth in connectivity and hosting, and the desire of our customers is that it be done on a managed services model by us," Addepalli said. "That is driving our investment in three buckets - submarine cables and new infrastructure like data centers mostly into emerging markets and into and out of emerging markets; global communications into these markets and finally, managed services -- telepresence, security, hosting applications like CRM, hosted contact centers and a whole suite of managed services we have created."

The global economic crisis has helped fuel the shift toward managed services in every market, and in some industries, the change has been dramatic, Addepalli said.

"We are hearing increasing conversations around moving to opex- [versus capital expenses] and usage-driven models," Addepalli said. "A year ago, nobody would question a CIO that wanted to build out a data center and manage it internally, but today the CEOs and CFOs are asking, 'Why are we investing the money into building our own networks when others can do it and we can buy this quality at a lower cost of ownership instead of having to make the investment up front?'"

Even banks that would never have considered outsourcing a data center except for disaster recovery purposes are making a dramatic shift to managed services, Addepalli said. In emerging markets, the need for managed IT services is even greater because of real estate, electrical power and manpower issues, he added. "It's not easy to build a data center in India," Addepalli said.

Tata also continues its plan to build 100 public telepresence sites globally and believes this public access service will help fuel the private telepresence business that is already growing as companies seek to cut the cost of corporate travel and reduce carbon emissions.

"The private room network we are creating for customers can connect into the public rooms," Addepalli said. Businesses can try out telepresence in the public rooms, which are being built in both developed and emerging markets, in conjunction with the Taj hotels, Cisco and other partners, and can leverage the connections to public rooms with their own private telepresence facilities, enabling greater reach. "We are in discussion with potential partners in the hospitality industry to create a larger footprint," he said.

[via telephonyonline.com]

 







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