Epsilon CEO on networking and connectivity

Image courtesy of Epsilon Telecommunications

Not having a network infrastructure is hardly a hurdle for organisations these days. Because of cloud models like network as a service (NaaS), enterprise IT professionals can conveniently rent networking components and operate their own networks from a software menu.

More importantly, such services help companies reduce costs as they won’t have to build or maintain their own infrastructure.

In Singapore, one of the companies that offer NaaS is Epsilon Telecommunications, which in 2021 was acquired by KT Corp, South Korea’s largest telco. About a year earlier, Epsilon appointed Michel Robert as group CEO to develop and execute the company’s growth strategy in key markets and verticals.

Frontier Enterprise recently got in touch with Robert and asked him about various topics such as Epsilon’s business challenges, the decision to halt data centre projects in Singapore, and what his company is working on.

What are some of the benefits of being a KT subsidiary?

Following the acquisition, we now have a company shareholder with deep knowledge and experience within the telecom industry, and who shares a common vision of the future. We are looking forward to helping each other on our respective growth plans.

KT has a strong customer base in South Korea that requires international connectivity services, and we are able to add value with our KT counterparts to deliver a set of comprehensive solutions.

Furthermore, we now have inroads into South Korea with local access through KT’s network and subsidiaries.

What changes do you think emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Internet of Things will bring to the Epsilon business? How are you preparing yourselves and your clients for it?

The world is changing fast. Businesses in all sectors are being reinvented and constantly driven by the rapid adoption of digital transformation supported by cloud-based application models. On a personal level, social interaction continues to evolve as people from all walks of life have become even more intertwined with one another over social media and messaging apps.

The common underlying driver of all these technologies and their advances: cost-effective on-demand, high performance, and seamless network connectivity. It is this connectivity that fuels frontline systems from e-commerce to enterprise SaaS to connecting IoT devices.

While network providers are looking to deliver seamless, elastic connectivity in their core network infrastructure, enterprises are looking to make the procurement and management of network interconnection services as simple as possible through NaaS platforms. Software-defined networking, at its core, enables this flexibility by enabling programmable interconnection between data centres, clouds, internet exchanges, and international networks via a single platform.

We are currently delivering such an offering to our customers and partners – a connectivity platform called Infiny. Our teams are working to enhance and bring new features onto Infiny to better serve the fast-changing requirements of enterprises today.

How do you think the decision to lift Singapore’s moratorium on data centre projects will influence network connectivity in the country?

We think Singapore’s lift on the moratorium on data centre projects will further reinforce Singapore’s position as the interconnection and a cloud hub of the region. We have customers asking for more colocation services and we’re partnered with a data centre provider to ensure that we have the power and space to meet customer requirements.

What do you think are Epsilon’s top business challenges in this age of COVID-19 and rapid digital transformation?

Like all businesses, we have been faced with the challenge of people working from home and very limited international travel.  Our team has responded incredibly well, and we have made great progress over the past two years, despite the impact of the pandemic.

In terms of digital transformation, Epsilon is constantly looking into how we can make our systems and processes more efficient and effective for our customers and our teams. A core focus is the further development of the Infiny platform to help our customers procure and manage their connectivity services. Our internal teams are also using Infiny to support customers.

You were once Managing Director at Claranet. What specific lessons learned there are you able to apply at Epsilon? What was the most interesting part of working at Claranet?

While working at Claranet I learned about managing international teams and the importance of communication within an organisation. Additionally, I was fortunate to have led eight acquisitions and integrations of the acquired businesses. This experience was very valuable when selling Epsilon to KT and Daishin.

What are some of the most exciting technology developments in Epsilon’s laboratories?

Infiny is one of our most exciting developments and it’s continuously being improved by our teams. It is a NaaS platform for procuring and managing on-demand connectivity, which are our ethernet services such as data centre interconnect, cloud connect and remote peering, as well as our voice – global numbering services. We’ve made the platform open to our partners too with an API that allows users to integrate services in Infiny into their systems.

We are currently looking at adding more of our services onto the platform.