Q&A: Andrew Kwok, Hutchison Global Communications – Harnessing the cloud

20 November 2014 | Gareth Willmer


Capacity Asia day 3 – Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) grabbed the award for best cloud innovation with its ibizCloud platform at the Global Carrier Awards. Andrew Kwok, president of the international and carrier business, explains why the service has gained traction.

What are the main benefits of HGC’s ibizCloud service?
Pioneered by HGC, on-demand virtual leased line [ODVLL] offers a logical point-to-point tunnel from one customer’s end location to HGC’s cloud platform via local internet that uses HGC’s MPLS network to connect to another location. Encrypted data transmission enables a high level of end-to-end network security and enhances stability between connections.

It is a flexible solution that can be customised to suit different customer needs. The service handles “bursty” data with ease, as its dedicated bandwidth-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering allows customers to flexibly adjust the bandwidth needed to tackle short-term or unexpected demand. DBaaS offers highly secure cloud-to-cloud connectivity and allows end users to assign virtual channels between virtual machines.

The service has a short implementation time of no longer than 30 minutes. The fact that HGC takes care of both network and cloud provision, as well as on-demand charging, means that project planning is also faster because there is no need for vendor outsourcing or budget planning that can lengthen the process.

Furthermore, ibizCloud enhances operational efficiency because customers can manage many services through a single portal and quickly adjust capacity and connections between cloud sites.

Why do you think this service has proved so successful?
HGC was one of the pioneer companies to launch software-defined networking (SDN) on both the cloud and network that provides connectivity with a flexible pay-as-you-go charging model. This is rare in the market at the moment because many cloud providers only offer SDN provision up to a customer port, without an extended connection.

Leveraging HGC’s international MPLS network and cloud computing technologies, the service empowers enterprises to address IT, Big Data and business-expansion needs efficiently and effectively.

What extra does ibizCloud offer compared with other cloud services?
As well as speedy implementation, ibizCloud integrates SDN on both its network and cloud services, so that customers can bind virtual machines across different network resources and thus improve operational efficiency. The service combines connectivity, cloud services and an on-demand virtual leased line service, helping to securely extend customers’ connections from the cloud platform to their end locations.

How do you think the service enhances the cloud market?
It provides a new business model. While many cloud providers work with third-party telecom providers and other service vendors, thus lengthening a project’s time frame, ibizCloud is designed as a one-stop solution. It facilitates infrastructure and bandwidth provision at once and is especially good for SMEs and startups that have limited IT resources.

What are HGC’s future plans for the ibizCloud service?
The company will continue to expand service coverage into mainland China and niche markets such as some south east Asian countries to help them expand their applications worldwide. The company’s cloud sites are currently available in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Some new features such as a billing engine, security and applications on top of the cloud are also being added.

What would you say were the main reasons for HGC winning the award for best cloud innovation at the Global Carrier Awards?
One reason was that the company launched a new business model to automate SDN on the cloud and connectivity in a flexible and scalable on-demand model. The service also has distinct on-demand virtual leased line and DBaaS features. Most cloud providers offer enterprises public internet for data transfer, whereas ibizCloud offers extra choices for secure private cloud tunnels, such as DBaaS and ODVLL.