A little over a year ago, my wife and I had our first child, so on a recent trip to Asia, I found myself trying to stay connected to home more than on previous international travels. We live in Colorado and I was visiting Hong Kong and Thailand. When my wife was in the middle of her morning routine, getting ready to drop our daughter off at daycare and head to work, I was finishing dinner. When my wife was wrapping up at the office, I was getting ready to head into the office… the next calendar day. It was never so obvious to me how hard it is to stay in sync with someone half way around the world. At least we were on the same biological clock, it was a short trip and fortunately there were no major events, so we were just catching up on our daily routines.
But what if you represent a global business which relies on mission critical sales and supply chain applications that span the globe, time zones, sometimes languages and even cultures?! I wasn’t sleeping in the middle of the night because according to my internal clock, it was the middle of the day. Network managers and even CIOs or CTOs of a multinational organization with operations in Asia could be losing sleep for very different reasons. Not only are you responsible for supporting the transformation into the Cloud and capitalization on Big Data, but you have to keep email servers up, phone costs down and the Internet fast. When you get the call to add an office in Singapore, let alone sites in Shanghai, Mumbai and Hanoi to the network, a very challenging job could get a lot harder.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re expanding your network in Asia. In addition to knowing the markets you will be operating in, you should understand your user base and the applications they will need to access. You may have a network architecture and hardware platform already established or you may want to explore other technology options for connecting with your Asia sites. You should also think about your desired network operating model. Do you want to build and operate a network in Asia by working with the local providers in each new market or extend your current network using a global service provider?
Even as a global network operator, we ask ourselves many of the same questions. In Asia, Level 3 has 11 on-net markets, plus extensive reach through China and India. We have in-region staff to help turn-up and manage services during local business hours and our Global Network Operations Center can help you manage your network regardless of what time zone or language is spoken in these faraway lands.
I love being part of a global company. More importantly, I love figuring out how we develop global solutions for other global companies. Finally, our daughter is old enough that she’s sleeping through the night. Me, however, I’m still up!
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