Aiming for Business Sustainability

It is imperative that SMEs are able to equip themselves with the necessary technology to remain relevant in the present and competitive for the future.

There are several theories elaborating on the connection between information technology, economic development and social change, yet almost all theories agree on the importance of information and communication technology adoption in SMEs.

In the context of SMEs, technology facilitates the expansion of new markets, where companies can compete or act as a supply chain partner in a network that has already been designed by international conglomerates. To enable SMEs to widen their network and economic growth, a premium carrier neutral data centre and managed service provider like AIMS Data Centre Sdn Bhd play an important role.

AIMS (a subsidiary of Time dotcom Bhd) is Malaysia and South East Asia’s leading operator of premium carrier neutral data centre and managed service provider that provides international class data storage facilities and ancillary services, augmented by an unrivaled platform for interconnectivity.

A carrier neutral data centre provider is entirely independent of any network, hardware or software vendor because it has no affiliation to any one partner and can attract the widest range of connectivity providers into its facility.

Established in a pint sized 380 square feet computer room in Kuala Lumpur back in 1996, AIMS has grown from strength to strength to become Asia’s Communications Exchange the region’s most interconnected site and is now home to all domestic carriers and more than 15 international carriers.

Its chief executive officer, Chiew Kok Hin said that Aims’ reputation is built on reliability, flexibility, transparency and excellence in service delivery. This translates into AIMS providing its clientele a real choice of providers who are all competing to deliver the best performance, service and price for the applications and content.

“Data centre operators, in its simplest forms are focused on selling real estate, with a target market that is price sensitive. However, a niche group of data centre operators like ourselves have emerged and we are better known as carrier neutral data centres, better known as ˜tele-houses’ or ˜carrier hotels’ and are specially focused in ensuring the presence of as many telecoms networks and as much interconnection between these telecoms networks as possible in their centres,” explained Chiew.

He also added that due to the focus on interconnectivity, carrier hotels tend to house hundreds of customers in a single geographic location, as opposed to the conventional data centre operators who may have large and multiple dispersed locations with fewer customers in each.

“While carrier hotels like us may not boast the large storage space that data centre operations whose business model is built on providing disaster recovery real estate storage facilities, we offer the value of a large pool of network connectivity, which are critical to telcos, ISPs, content service providers and the like. Over time, the users of carrier hotels form an inextricable community and become more ˜sticky’ and less price sensitive, which accords carrier hotels the opportunity to procure higher gross margin levels,” said Chiew.

Chiew also said that it is essential for businesses, be it big or small to outsource as it is more efficient in terms of cost, manpower and energy. He remarked: “Data centres provide economies of scale in power of redundancy and cooling, two critical environmental elements for the storage of servers. Customers gain value as costs and complexities are minimised, operational efficiency is improved and risks associated with IT disruptions
are reduced.”

The 37 year old added: “The same concept applies to SMEs, in fact I would say the smart move for every SME is to outsource their core and critical IT requirements as data centres are a market centre that gives them options to drive down their operations cost while at the same time improving the quality of their service. Over time, they would definitely reduce cost and complexity while seeing a healthy increase on the operational efficiency.”

Chiew was also quick to point out that although most SME owners are aware and open to the idea of outsourcing, there is still the need to educate SMEs on the cost effectiveness of outsourcing the IT and data needs as there are still a handful of SMEs which prefer having their own department rather than to outsource.

“With SMEs, I believe the age of education has passed as most SMEs are aware of the internet and its role in helping the success of businesses. Now is the period of implementation and using the facilities out there to their benefit,” advised Chiew.

AIMS is the first data centre in Malaysia and South East Asia to introduce and implement the Dynamic Rotary Uninterruptible Power Supply System (DRUPS) a batteryless, fully green and environmentally friendly system that leverages on the stored kinetic energy of a spinning flywheel instead of the battery bank used by conventional uninterruptible power supply systems.

“Drups technology benefits our clients as it will give them better uptime, reliability and availability and it is already widely used in the semiconductor industry and wafer fabrication factories since it uses less power and is more efficient,” said Chiew, adding that AIMS plans to enter other Asian countries by the end of the year.

~Article by K. Vatsala Devi. Published in Focus Malaysia, 18 May 2013

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