11 January 2018
Megaport has just added IBM Cloud to its growing list of cloud partners. CEO Vincent English tells James Pearce about how it is tackling the enterprise market
"It’s about giving our customers choice.
Enterprises want choice of service providers and want seamless
and fast connectivity to their services."
Vincent English, the chief executive officer of Megaport,
seems delighted with the company’s latest
announcement. In November 2017, it partnered with IBM to launch
direct, secure connectivity to IBM Cloud.
On the partnership, English tells Capacity that its new IBM
Cloud Direct Link offering will give "clients who want to build
next-generation applications" the ability to have direct,
scalable access to cloud infrastructure that is tuned for AI
and big data."
IBM Cloud Direct Link will give Megaport’s
enterprise customers the opportunity to accelerate their cloud
adoption by enabling them to architect a hybrid environment
linking on-premise infrastructure with private and public cloud
The connectivity gives Megaport’s customers
access to IBM’s growing global footprint and
cloud-native services which include artificial intelligence,
blockchain, internet of things, serverless and more. It
initially launched in the US and Australia, but will rollout to
all of Megaport’s other markets over the coming
At the time, Kit Linton, vice president of network at IBM
Cloud, said the partnership will "provide a reliable way for
global enterprises to expand their reach, drive innovation and
embrace a cloud strategy that seamlessly connects public and
English, unsurprisingly, agrees, saying: "it enriches our
ecosystem. I’ve often talked about our one-stop
shop for an enterprise where it can access multiple service
providers and services through one port, in one
"That is really important for an enterprise, not dealing
with multiple vendors dealing with whole networking problem of
how to build connectivity and take that problem and make it
easy to access and secure those services. It’s a
win-win situation for everybody."
This latest partnership means that Megaport is connected to
AWS, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, Google, Alibaba, Oracle
and now IBM, covering pretty much all of the major cloud
providers. It has a presence in around 180 data centres across
the globe and will continue to expand, he claims.
English explains: "During the course of 2017 we continuously
worked on innovation with a focus on enriching our ecosystem to
make sure we keep bringing more and more partners to our
platform. That way it becomes a more valuable portal for
customers and enterprises o they can access these services.
This announcement just adds to that –
it’s really exciting."
So how do English and his team decide where to expand? Where
will they focus the innovation in order to get the right
services to the right customer? "The closer we are to an
on-ramp location or to connectivity where it presents itself is
vital," he says.
"We work closely with our partners to make sure we are on
the front foot on that regard. Ultimately customers want speed
but it is also a matter of cost and planning. If you are
interconnecting within your region, it reduces the cost of
connectivity and gives extra security and performance that you
don’t have over longer distances or networks."
For him, the conversation about connectivity is less
important in a geographic sense. Instead, English says, the
focus for Megaport is on the customer’s need and
"It is not about a transport layer or networking layer, it
is about what the customer wants," he adds.
"Often you hear people talking about connectivity. We talk
about customers first and foremost, and their speed of
adoption. We are working very much at the user experience. That
is the ability to have a seamless experience when accessing a
service provider such as IBM. That’s a unique
How did that play out in the discussions with IBM, which had
been going on for a few months, he says, to make sure the
integration worked instantly?
"It was important to IBM that we had the ability to provide
direct connectivity, and a platform that gives instant access
to customers. We have taken a networking problem by effectively
creating a distribution network for our service partners. That
paves the way for global enterprises to expand their reach," he
"We’ve already built the backbone, built the
network, and have the connectivity. By IBM coming on to our
ecosystem and becoming another option for customers, they then
get the ability to have that reach globally and it gives them
instant access to customers."