With the internet age in full swing and very much a part of everyday life in the Western world and developed nations, it is in the fast-developing nations across the world that the expansion of the digital sector is most prevalent today. One such country that is currently experiencing a rapid expansion in internet usage is Thailand, where access to the technology has become an increasing necessity, not only in business, but also in personal life.
NTT Communications (Thailand) is as aware as anyone else of the importance of the network that connects Thailand to other countries and the role this network will play when it comes to companies looking to expand their global business in Thailand.
NTT Communications (Thailand) is a subsidiary of NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), itself a division of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Founded in 1999, NTT Com specialises in delivering high-quality voice, data and IP services to its customers around the world. Renowned for its diverse information and communication services, expertise in managed networks, hosting and IP networking services as well as industry leadership in IPv6 technology, NTT Com currently has over 17,800 employees working from subsidiaries and offices in 87 cities in 31 countries and regions around the world.
“Here in Thailand,” explains NTT Communications (Thailand) President, Tsuyoshi Kawashima, “there is a great deal of evidence that highlights the growing importance of the internet and IT solutions as a whole, not least the recently completed 3G frequency auction. It goes without saying therefore that for many large telecoms operators, Thailand has become a market of particular interest.”
Indeed this interest has led to a number of multi-national companies, particularly those based in Japan, beginning to invest increasing amounts of capital into operations in Thailand. For its part NTT Communications (Thailand) has been a key player in launching the Enterprise Cloud Services Platform into South-East Asia, and today has key systems integration, network integration and application integration projects running with over 600 key customer clients.
In response to the evolving nature of the industry the company plans to increase the number of staff it employs, while also developing more detailed services such as consultation, system provisioning and support. Furthermore, it promises its customers with end-to-end support while connecting with international branches of NTT Communications in order to support their specific needs.
“Through a combination of our existing services, including security services, system integration, enterprise cloud service and enterprise co-location services, and new solutions, I believe we are extremely well placed to expand our customer reach on both a domestic and international scale,” Kawashima continues. “Our strategy for the short and long-term future calls for us to meet the growing demands of both Thai and international customers. In terms of the former, one of the primary ways we intend to do this is through the construction and opening of a new data centre here in Thailand.”
Until now Thailand has lacked such infrastructure, a fact that many, including Kawashima himself, believe has dissuaded major multi-national players in the vein of Microsoft or Google from turning their attentions to the country, as well as focusing their efforts on markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
“With the number of 3G users in the country growing, and with this in turn having a significant positive impact on internet usage, now appears to be the perfect time to capitalise on the business opportunities that a new state-of-the-art data centre could bring,” Kawashima enthuses. This view is clearly one that is shared by those in government, with the Thailand Board of Investment announcing in 2011 that said data centre would in fact be larger than first imagined, occupying some 5,000 square metres of space. With construction now in its advanced stages, the data centre is set to come online by the end of the second quarter of 2014.
“There are three core aims that we have when it comes to the development of our business in the coming months and years,” Kawashima states. “The first revolves around bringing in new services, such as the NTT Enterprise Cloud service, which are tailored directly towards the ever-changing needs of both our existing and future customer. The second meanwhile is focused on bringing our data centre into operation as a means of attracting investment into Thailand from abroad, while the third aim has been dubbed ‘Thailand+1’, which is all about expanding our geographic footprint outside of our home nation into other countries within the Mekong region.”
Key projects recently undertaken include the launching of NTT Communications offices in Yangon, Myanmar, Vientienne, Laos, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in the last few years, as well as bringing ISP services into the said countries. “These are among the countries that we anticipate becoming more important in attracting Thai business in the years to come,” Kawashima says. “We want to create something of a synergy between our country and those in the Mekong region and thus it is very much part of our strategy to introduce IT services across it, particularly in Myanmar, where we have had some very positive talks with Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) about future opportunities.”
Clearly Kawashima has huge confidence that Thailand and the Great Mekong region will continue to go from strength to strength. “We are extremely excited about what is going on in this part of the world,” he concludes. “It is in part because of our confidence in the market that we have been able to carefully and clearly set out our ambitions for the future. These clearly focus on increasing our capacity through the creation of the new data centre, improving our product range and introducing new services such as storage and data migration offerings. While we will continue to pursue geographic expansion, we will also remain true to our commitment to increasing our local presence and reach in the fast growing market that is Thailand.”
Written by Will Daynes, research by David Brogan