Industry Spotlight: Epsilon CEO Damon Lee

May 6th, 2024 by · Leave a Comment

Epsilon Telecommunications has been a steady presence in the global connectivity marketplace for over two decades now.  A few years back, the company dove headfirst into Network-as-a-Service with its Infiny platform, the early forms of which we looked at in this Industry Spotlight in 2021.  Subsequently, KT swooped in to buy the company later that year, and has been investing in the company’s growth since.  With us today to discuss Epsilon’s viewpoint on today’s market and its plans for the future is CEO Damon Lee.

TR: What is your background and what led you to join Epsilon?

DL: My background has always been in the telecommunications industry, having spent 24 years working at KT Corp. before joining Epsilon. My most recent role at  KT was VP in the Enterprise Business Unit, where I played a key role in helping B2B and B2G customers accelerate their digital transformation. I also held other strategic positions at KT across the years, spanning a variety of business areas including network planning, R&D and business development for global customers.

Going back even further to my educational background, I studied in the U.S. where I achieved a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. I’ve always been interested in how things work, and how I can make them work better, and I’ve applied this mindset throughout my working life to help businesses achieve their full potential.

When the opportunity arose to join Epsilon, I was very pleased to accept. Having worked at KT during the company’s acquisition of Epsilon, I had become more familiar with the business, and the opportunities that I saw within it. Epsilon has great potential to grow and further solidify its position as an industry leader due to its extensive global presence and large ecosystem of partners.

Epsilon’s strong global presence is supporting KT in gaining international presence through its global networking solutions, and the collaboration also provides Epsilon’s customers with access to KT’s telecommunication ecosystem in South Korea and worldwide. It’s a win-win for all involved.

I am also excited by Infiny, Epsilon’s self-service Network as a Service (NaaS) platform which has been recognised for its automation and orchestration capabilities in the industry. Epsilon’s forward-thinking approach in NaaS  has revolutionised the way businesses access connectivity solutions on a global scale.

TR: What does Epsilon’s infrastructure and ecosystem look like today?  How has it evolved in the last few years?

DL: At Epsilon, our infrastructure and ecosystem have undergone remarkable growth and transformation over the past few years. Today, our network infrastructure has an array of capabilities. Our MEF-certified network spans over 300 points of presence worldwide, forming the foundation of our extensive ecosystem which includes 600+ cloud providers, Internet exchanges, network, and technology partners across the globe. Our network is powered by our carrier-grade hyper-scalable backbone, and spans across 30 countries and 54 cities in key regions such as Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia, including mainland China and Korea. These will be expanded further in the coming months.

We have also expanded our partnerships to strengthen our ecosystem and enhance our network infrastructure. Our collaboration with KT, for instance, has been instrumental in this. Together, we’ve expanded our network infrastructure significantly, boosting our partnerships to 17 cloud providers, ranging from industry giants like AWS, Alibaba, Google, IBM, Azure, and Oracle, to specialised providers such as KT Cloud, NHN Cloud, Tencent Cloud, KINX IXcloud, and Naver Cloud. Additionally, we offer connectivity to SaaS providers like SAP, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Webex, Microsoft, and Zoom. With over 130 cloud on-ramp locations, we provide our customers with access to diverse, on-demand cloud connectivity options.

Our partnerships have extended to include 19 Internet Exchanges, such as LINX, DE-CIX, AMS-IX, SGIX, NYIIX, as well as specialised exchanges like JEDix in the Middle East and KINX in Korea. Our network encompasses 140+ Internet Exchange on-ramp locations to provide customers with remote peering services across the globe. Looking ahead, we remain dedicated to innovation and strategic partnerships to further enhance our infrastructure and ecosystem to benefit our customers.

TR: When I talked with your predecessor, the Infiny NaaS platform was just gaining traction.  What has it grown into, and where do you see it going?

DL: Epsilon’s Infiny NaaS platform has evolved significantly. It transforms the way businesses access connectivity, making it easier and faster for carriers, service providers, and enterprises to procure, monitor, and scale their network services on demand.

Through self-service features and direct connectivity to major cloud providers and exchanges, Infiny allows users to manage their networks effortlessly. Its programmable API features enable integration with existing platforms, and Epsilon’s partners can white-label Infiny to resell its full-service capabilities as their own. Its recent updates, including expanded service offerings and customisable pricing, underscore our dedication to meeting the dynamic needs of our customers.

Customisable pricing enables service providers and partners to tailor pricing structures to suit the needs of their customer base. This flexibility enables rapid adaptation to market demands, ultimately delivering greater value to our customers.

In addition to the existing self-provisioning services for direct cloud connections, data centre interconnection, Internet Exchange access and global inbound numbers, we’ve recently expanded the suite of services available via Infiny. Customers can now conveniently view all services available from Epsilon from a single intuitive portal, including SD-WAN, Dedicated Internet Access and many more. This enables customers to order additional services with expert assistance from Epsilon, alongside the existing self-service solutions. Another notable update is the introduction of ‘how to’ videos to enhance the platform’s usability, ensuring a seamless and intuitive experience for users.

There’s scope to evolve Infiny even further, according to customer demands and innovation in the market. Its capabilities are constantly growing, and we’re excited to expand its global reach even further, as well as the amount of on-demand services available on the platform.

TR: How has being part of KT changed Epsilon?  In what ways have the two organizations integrated their approach to their markets?

DL: Being part of KT has brought about significant changes and opportunities for Epsilon, fostering a collaborative environment focused on expanding solution offerings and accelerating digital transformation for our customers both locally and internationally. Our partnership has enabled us to integrate our approach to the market, resulting in several key initiatives that have enhanced our service portfolio and market reach.

One key outcome of our collaboration with KT has been the launch of three PoPs in strategic locations in South Korea – MokDong IDC 2, KINX Gasan IDC, and KT Hyehwa. These PoPs provide our customers with direct and on-demand connectivity to South Korea’s digital infrastructure and ecosystems, facilitating seamless access to critical resources.

We have also expanded our data centre footprint to Seoul, offering colocation services at a carrier-neutral facility operated by KT Cloud, demonstrating our commitment to providing customers with robust and flexible solutions tailored to their needs.

In addition to enhancing our infrastructure capabilities, our collaboration with KT has enabled us to diversify our service offerings. By adding Satellite services to our connectivity portfolio and incorporating subsea cable solutions, we are providing customers with comprehensive end-to-end networking solutions, meeting the growing demand for cloud services and greater connectivity across Asia.

Our joint efforts have also led to the establishment of a dedicated Korean-speaking team at Epsilon HQ, streamlining communication and making it easier for us to do business together. This seamless collaboration has resulted in the successful acquisition of key deals across various industry verticals including manufacturing, government sectors, financial services, and more.

In essence, our partnership with KT has not only expanded our service capabilities, but also strengthened our market presence and enabled us to better serve our customers’ evolving needs.

TR: Where else are you investing your resources in 2024?  What does the roadmap look like?

DL: Our investments in 2024 are geared towards driving growth, expanding our global footprint, deepening partnerships, and evolving our offerings with a relentless focus on customer value.

First and foremost, we are extending our global reach by investing in our infrastructure and forming strategic partnerships. This investment is aimed at meeting the escalating demands for global connectivity, ensuring that our customers have access to cost-effective and high-bandwidth connectivity solutions worldwide.

Additionally, our partnership with KT remains a cornerstone of our growth strategy. We are committed to strengthening this collaboration to mutually benefit each other, leveraging KT’s expertise and resources to enhance global networking solutions. By deepening our relationship with KT, we not only enrich our service offerings, but also enable KT to expand its international customer relationships through our robust global network infrastructure.

On top of this, our focus on customer-centricity drives our efforts to evolve our offerings to better serve the needs of both carrier and enterprise customers. We are committed to providing end-to-end network services and overlaying them with SD-WAN and SASE. This customer-centric approach guides us in developing strong relationships with our customers, understanding their requirements, and delivering tailored solutions that address their unique challenges.

At the heart of our strategy lies our award-winning NaaS platform, Infiny. We will continue to enhance Infiny, making it even more intuitive, feature-rich, and adaptable to the evolving needs of our customers. By prioritising innovation and customer satisfaction, we aim to solidify Infiny’s position as a leading NaaS solution in the market.

TR: What external trends do you see driving the needs of your customers in the next year or two, and how do you intend to meet those needs?

DL: In the coming years, we anticipate several external trends driving the needs of our customers, and we are committed to addressing these trends proactively to ensure we continue to meet and exceed their expectations.

Firstly, the increasing demand for digital services is placing significant emphasis on capacity and scalability. Businesses are seeking interconnection providers that can handle growing traffic volumes while maintaining high performance and reliability. To address this, we are investing in expanding our capacity and infrastructure to accommodate the surge in demand. We recognise the importance of providing quick provisioning with the flexibility to upscale or downscale according to our customers’ evolving business needs.

As businesses increasingly rely on data-intensive applications and real-time analytics, there is a growing need to improve network performance. Congestion, packet loss, and increased latency are common challenges faced by interconnected businesses. We are focusing on solutions such as SD-WAN to optimise and enhance traffic flow, ensuring a seamless and efficient network experience for our customers.

Security concerns also remain a top priority for businesses, especially with the rise of interconnection, cloud services, and remote workforces. Traditional security measures are no longer sufficient to mitigate evolving threats. As a result, organisations are seeking Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) models to address these challenges. We’re committed to providing the robust solutions needed as part of a SASE framework, offering advanced security features to protect our customers’ networks and data from evolving cyber threats.

Automation and intelligence are becoming increasingly crucial for organisations looking to streamline processes, enhance network performance, and improve customer experiences. We are also investing in automation technologies and intelligent solutions to empower our customers with the tools they need to automate routine tasks, optimise network performance, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

TR: What challenges do you see ahead for the global interconnection ecosystem as a whole? 

DL: There are a number of challenges on the horizon that will require proactive and innovative approaches. One challenge revolves around the increasing complexity of customer requirements, paired with evolving technical capabilities, particularly when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI).

Customer demands are becoming more diverse, so global interconnection infrastructure needs to evolve to match them. To meet these demands, interconnection providers must integrate AI features into their networks, leveraging the technology to deliver services more intelligently, manage networks innovatively, respond to failures efficiently, and enhance overall visibility. Embracing AI will not only enable us to meet the evolving demands of our customers, but also drive efficiency and optimisation across the interconnection ecosystem.

Another significant challenge lies in evolving internet traffic patterns, with a concentration of traffic to global cloud service providers (CSPs). This trend is expected to intensify in the coming years, posing challenges for interconnection providers in terms of cost-effectiveness and profitability within the ecosystem.

At Epsilon, we’re committed to strengthening our collaboration with CSPs and optimising service delivery to ensure cost-efficiency, while maintaining profitability. We’re continually adapting our offerings to meet the challenges of today, as well as get ahead of the challenges of tomorrow, to provide our customers with everything they need to thrive across the globe.

TR: Thank you for talking with Telecom Ramblings!

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Categories: Industry Spotlight · Interconnection · SDN

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