Cloud Pedigree Meets Dynamic Asian Market Requirements? No Problem!

Partner Profile

IPC® (IP Converge Data Services, Inc.) is a Philippine-based Cloud Service Provider, Internet Data Center operator, and telecommunications company empowering local and regional enterprises with managed data services and business solutions at international standards. IPC’s data center facilities are state-of-the-art and telco-grade, built to support various enterprise IT and telecommunications requirements 24×7. The company helps Philippine businesses tap into the global market by providing world-class solutions that minimize their clients’ cost and effort from doing IT themselves.

As a pioneering data center co-location service provider, IPC felt that it was only natural to explore offering its own locally hosted Infrastructure-as-as-Service (IaaS). The company went through many challenges and worked with several partners before meeting with CloudSigma. The dedication and professionalism shown by the CloudSigma team helped IPC strengthen their position as a premier cloud service provider in the region.

The Challenge

Established in 2005, IPC quickly became one of the pioneers in providing cloud-based services in the Asia Pacific region only 2 years later in 2007. The company entered into partnerships with industry giants Salesforce and subsequently Google. In 2012 IPC was the first company offering IaaS cloud in the Philippines. They worked with different partners, however, different technical and commercial issues became roadblocks to success. Until, as if by fate, IPC and CloudSigma crossed paths to begin the
partnership that it is today.

“There is no other cloud in the Philippines such as the CloudSigma cloud. There are other local clouds but in terms of capability, there is nothing comparable to what the CloudSigma platform is able to provide.”Niño Valmonte, Director Marketing & Digital Innovation @ IPC

Initially, IPC worked with a US-based company offering IaaS. This marked their first attempt to offer cloud infrastructure. Unfortunately, at that time the implemented business model did not align well with the go-to-market strategies needed to obtain success. Although the system worked, commercial challenges persevered and thus forced IPC to look for an alternative.

“We tried hard to build a cloud platform on our own. We first started working with a US-based company but it did not really work out. We went through a few vendor partners.”

As a next step, IPC decided to take on a different strategy and build their own cloud stack with the help of a Korean technology provider that had a solution which was able to solve the drawbacks of the previous setup. Unfortunately, the solution met its own challenges in terms of systems maturity and infrastructure stability. Hence, this scenario did not work out either.

There was still no high quality IaaS offering based in the Philippines and IPC was determined to take advantage of this opportunity.

The need for an easy-to-deploy, high-performance, secure cloud platform was very much felt in the market. With its desire to corner this local IaaS market, IPC explored and worked with various cloud technology providers over time, one of them Openstack-based, and in the process had to support IaaS customers on
multiple platforms that did not deliver what IPC envisioned. This proved to be not only an ineffective business model but inefficient operationally as well. The company needed to resolve this dilemma once and for all.

The Solution

For several years, IPC worked with several technology vendors and partners providing cloud services with very little success. They were determined to provide the best solution for the market and put an end to the challenges they had been facing. In early 2016, CloudSigma and IPC started negotiations and eventually formed a partnership.

“I would say that the CloudSigma platform is by far the most stable and easiest to use. More importantly, the people at CloudSigma are extremely easy to work with. I believe this is the most critical advantage for us.”Niño Valmonte, Director Marketing & Digital Innovation @ IPC

“It was a learning experience for us which led us to seek out a partner such as CloudSigma, that offers a fully managed IaaS solution, and we are very happy that we ended up working together.”

Today the IPC-CloudSigma relationship is stronger than ever. The CloudSigma operations team has established procedures which guide them throughout the installation of the cloud stack and ongoing operations covered by monitoring services. In addition, a comprehensive testing framework for the platform prevents bugs from creeping into the production environment. This resulted in a very straightforward installation of the cloud. It took CloudSigma just a few weeks to deploy and test the cloud once the hardware was delivered onsite. The process was clear to both the IPC and CloudSigma operations teams, each performing according to their expectations. There were no delays or any unexpected issues.

“Everything went smoothly. You did it very fast and easily. There is nothing negative which stands out that I can recall. Despite the fact that you were working remotely, there were no problems.”

The partnership between IPC and CloudSigma based on the cloud-as-a-service model has lived up to expectations for IPC. They had finally found a partner which offered them exactly what they wanted. IPC did not have to operate the cloud by themselves because CloudSigma was taking care of all this. CloudSigma was committed to provide its consulting expertise, as well as 24/7 incident management and customer support. IPC could take advantage of this and develop the business pipeline around the
newly deployed solution, and due to the revenue share model by which CloudSigma gets paid, CloudSigma was incented to deliver a high quality service and grow sales with IPC.

The Impact

Whenever CloudSigma deploys a new cloud-as-a-service location, we implement an overall strategy that includes onsite training for sales and marketing plus an agreed work plan. The onboarding of the IPC team and familiarization with the CloudSigma capabilities proved successful. Since IPC was already in the IaaS business, it was easy for them to understand the CloudSigma solution and approach. The CloudSigma team took the time to train IPC’s technical and sales teams to ensure that they were
familiar with the webapp, the various management procedures, and the way the cloud was operated.

“CloudSigma came over and trained the technical, sales and support teams. There were no hitches, all the documentation was there; all the marketing sheets and data sheets were available. It was very smooth, very fast and very easy.”

IPC and Cloudsigma participated together at various events which contributed to the successful partnership as it is today. CloudSigma CEO Robert Jenkins helped support a number of events directly and IPC points out that his input and engagement played a great role, as attendees of the said events were people there who valued hearing from an experienced cloud executive. IPC’s customers benefited from discussion on best practices and were able to share their experiences and requirements with cloud
professionals from CloudSigma.

“Robert’s participation in our marketing activities is a big deal for IPC and still continues to help create market demand and generate online sign-ups and revenue.”

When it comes to the ongoing cloud management and customer technical support, IPC is more than satisfied with CloudSigma’s efforts. Despite the distance, they find the cooperation between IPC’s pre-sales and Cloudsigma’s customer support teams very smooth, productive and effective.

“We are happy that the CloudSigma’s operations and support teams are available 24/7 because our location is in a different timezone and we like to be working with a “round-the-clock” team. There have not been any challenges so far.”Niño Valmonte, Director Marketing & Digital Innovation @ IPC

The cloud in Manila is running smoothly without a single unplanned maintenance. The platform is stable and the performance of the service is much greater than the performance of any of the other previous technologies which IPC used.

“There is no downtime as of yet. There have not seen any major customer complaints and the users are more than satisfied. We recently reached a point where we needed to further expand the initial cloud infrastructure and continue to scale up.”

Having CloudSigma hosted locally is one of the biggest advantages recognized by the customers. Although there are other local cloud platforms, the capabilities of the CloudSigma platform are unique.

“One of main benefits for end users is that the cloud is hosted locally in the Philippines. There are other local clouds here but in terms of capability, there is nothing comparable to what the CloudSigma platform is able to provide.”

Moreover, IPC’s clients are impressed by the uptime guarantee and service level agreement (SLA). CloudSigma guarantees 99.99% uptime which is higher than the SLA of any competitor in the region.

Another value proposition which the customers in the Philippines point out are the unbundled resources. They highly appreciate the freedom and flexibility which this feature is gives them. Niño explains that compared to the rest of the available services on the market, the users welcomed the simple utility-based billing as a long-
awaited change.

In addition to that comes the ability to provision virtual machines in seconds and the fast performance. The ease of use which the user interface provides is combined with the remarkable speed of the CPU and SSD which are underlying components of the platform.

“The painless way of interacting with the cloud is always impressive when we do a demo of the Cloudsigma platform. CloudSigma is faster than any other locally provided cloud infrastructure.”

Last but not least, a huge advantage is the ability to enable Disaster-recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). IPC considers this a big addition to the value propositions of CloudSigma. Even before the official launch of the DRaaS solution many users in the Philippines expressed their interest to test it.

The flexibility of the cloud and its high performing cloud servers are some of the most valued features for customers in the Philippines. Still, IPC is excited to see what CloudSigma will offer next. They know that this is going to open new market channels for them, increase revenue from existing customers and attract more customers.

The Future

IPC is confident that their partnership with CloudSigma will boost the business results for their customers even further. IPC has been seeing steady month on month growth of revenue levels from the CloudSigma cloud solution.

“IaaS is definitely a significant revenue contributor. The CloudSigma cloud has become an integral part of our service portfolio and we feel that through this partnership and this product, we are able to position ourselves as a premier cloud service provider in the Philippines. This has given us a sense of pride and without CloudSigma, we would be missing a major component of our cloud strategy.”Niño Valmonte, Director Marketing & Digital Innovation @ IPC

IPC’s experience in the cloud infrastructure business has shown them that this service brings a lot of opportunities for growth and development of new solutions for the market. In addition to that, IPC appreciates the particular positioning advantages which the partnership with CloudSigma has brought.

“With IaaS, the business opportunities are literally countless. There are so many ways to take advantage of virtualized infrastructure like this. Things like the value added service we both provide are a source of new business opportunities and ways to utilize cloud infrastructure. This is good timing to be up and running, it is the perfect time for us to be partners with CloudSigma, and we at IPC are very excited.”

To the question whether IPC would recommend CloudSigma to other data centre providers, Niño answers honestly:

“That is a tough question. As a matter of fact, we want to be the only CloudSigma partner in the Philippines! If we are talking about someone from outside the Philippines then we would highly recommend CloudSigma.”

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About Yoanna Savova

Yoanna is a Strategic Partnership Developer at CloudSigma leading company's efforts in the direction of Cloud-as-a-Service and expanding CloudSigma's horizons. Yoanna is passionate about new technologies, dancing and sports.