NTT's Okoshi on Enabling Cloud-Based Digital Transformations
In a recent interview, Rui Okoshi, a product marketer in the cloud services division of NTT Communications, suggested that the key to enterprise cloud is classically threefold: location, location, location.
NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT), NTT's international telecom subsidiary, boasts that it has data centers in more than 140 locations globally, deploying enterprise cloud, managed services and security across its network layer. The company announced last year that it was shifting to OpenStack APIs in its enterprise cloud. (See: NTT Communications Beefs Up Enterprise Cloud.) Unsurprisingly, the telco had a substantial presence at the OpenStack Summit in Boston earlier this year.
In this Q&A, which was edited for length and clarity, Okoshi talks about the issues that NTT Communications faces surrounding cloud infrastructure and modern virtualized networking.
Telco Transformation: Geographically, what markets are you primarily active in?
Rui Okoshi: We are based in Tokyo. However, we have global offices -- more than 43 offices globally. So we are active in markets wherever we've got customers in global reach.
TT: How are you helping to enable digital transformation solutions from the cloud-infrastructure side? What are the network demands that you're seeing?
RO: Right now, a lot of customers, they've got a lot of complex infrastructure. They've got traditional ICT, cloud-native ICT, and different kinds of workloads in their cloud. And a lot of our customers require the infrastructure that can manage both. There are two types of models: traditional ICT and cloud-native ICT. So what we do is we provide infrastructure that can support those, both of the workloads, and then support customers through digital transformation. A lot of customers, they want to try to go to cloud native as much as possible, but it takes time, of course. All their traditional ICT cannot move directly or quickly into cloud-native ICT infrastructure. That's impossible. It sometimes needs time for that transaction. So because we provide different kinds of infrastructure, we give customers the choice and time for their digital transformation.
TT: In terms of the customers who may be concerned about such things as vendor lock-in versus other types of customers who may be more interested in vendor consolidation, how do you help enable those different demands while helping find what's right for them?
RO: A lot of our customers, most of them, they have infrastructure, they want infrastructure globally, but they want to manage them at a single point. They want just one provider who can manage all of these global regions. That's where they come to us. They want us to be the total contact point for all the services that we provide.
TT: What projects are you working on now involving SD-WAN?
RO: A lot of our products are underlying -- we have software-defined networking underlying between. So we have this cloud strategy where we have SD-Exchange within the datacenter which can connect not just our cloud, NTT Comm's cloud, but it can connect to AWS and Azure. So we have that SD-Exchange network, and with that we also provide SD-WAN and SD-LAN. This is internally created by ourselves, so we provide a very, very total system. Whatever a customer wants, we can provide from the network layer.
TT: Speaking in terms of SD-WAN, have you seen greater enablement -- or obstacles -- on your side or on behalf of your customers?
RO: A lot of our customers, they're expanding globally day-by-day. They want, for example, to set up an office as soon as possible, and then create infrastructure and a network in that new country as soon as possible. We can provide that using our SD-WAN, SD-LAN, premade network services that we can provide. We can help customers to start business globally.
TT: What are you seeing in the APAC market in terms of your legacy-based enterprise customers' ability to move to hybrid IT and digitally transform?
RO: Specifically in APAC, customers do want to move to rural areas like developing countries -- so, for example Cambodia, Laos, those kinds of countries. They want to expand. But the difficulties customers have are that they want the infrastructure speed and the networking speed -- so they want a provider that is already in that region who can provide services for them as quickly as possible. So that's where they come to us. And we've got global reach; we've got lots of offices everywhere. We can answer to those customers' requirements in speed. So we can make it easier for the customers to expand.
TT: So would you say speed, latency, bandwidth -- those issues -- are ultimately the key driving factors?
TT: How much is privacy coming in to play? Is that another driving factor that you're seeing -- particularly in terms of geographic location?
RO: Our customers will require vendor companies that have privacy-rules compliance measures that follow the rules of each nation. There are many regulations. For example, data has to be inside that country to satisfy those privacy rules. Of course, customers choose those companies that can provide those kinds of privacy-rules that follow those countries' rules, so we try to follow them.
— Joe Stanganelli, Contributing Writer, Telco Transformation
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