SoftLayer’s high hopes for Asia

  • SMB public cloud player targets four countries in a bid to grow its presence in Asia
  • Malaysia is one key market; looking for suitable partners to work with

GLOBAL cloud infrastructure provider SoftLayer Technologies has set its sights on Asia for its next growth phase, targeting to develop strategic partners in four countries within the region, according to a company official.
SoftLayer’s high hopes for AsiaGeorge Karidis (pic), chief strategy officer of SoftLayer, said that the company’s growth rate outside of the United States has been “great,” and that it has met all the management’s expectations thus far.
“SoftLayer’s Singapore and European (based in Amsterdam) data center revenue have grown to about 5% of the company’s total revenue in about a year,” he said. “The Singapore growth has hit all expectations and we’re very excited about the prospect [here in Asia].”
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, SoftLayer provides cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings to independent software developers and mobile app developers through its fully-featured API (application programming interface) and automation tools for customers, who would like to lease compute power on a cloud-based model.
Founded in 2005, the company has data centers in Amsterdam, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, Seattle, Singapore, and Washington DC, and claims to be the largest privately-owned hosting company in the world. It also set up a sales and marketing office in Singapore a year ago.
In an interview with Digital News Asia on the sidelines of the Parallels Summit in Singapore last week, Karidis revealed that SoftLayer has been attempting to look for suitable partners in Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
“In Malaysia, we’ve no partners yet but we’ve been to a couple of events there trying to find the right partner,” Karidis said, adding that it takes some time building the right relationship.
Noting that the potential in Asia here is huge, Karidis said SoftLayer’s business in Asia comprises two classes of clients. The first are customers who serve regional markets and want to be close to Asia, while the second are cloud resellers who want a foothold in Asia.
On why SoftLayer chose to go with partners instead of serving the market directly, Karidis said it was more efficient to use partners as SoftLayer, from day one of its existence, has geared itself for such a strategy.
SoftLayer’s high hopes for Asia“Our model has always been to sell to technical users (service providers) who will then resell our products and services to smaller small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). This is why partners are our key to growth as they help us define new products and services and they know which customer segments to target,” he said, adding that 40% of SoftLayer’s revenue comes from its partners.
Karidis also noted that by using the partner model, SoftLayer will not directly face competition from service providers as its model is to sell to service providers rather than directly to the market.
On marketing efforts, Karidis said that SoftLayer has an online regional sales team that handles queries and all marketing efforts geared towards just creating brand value and awareness.
In tandem with this, Karidis revealed that SoftLayer will be participating in the up-coming Cloud Malaysia conference, in a bid to raise its profile and find suitable resellers to work with.
“We are attempting to grow across the region in key markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan,” he explains. “It’s just a function of resources and time that we will get into these markets.”

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