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CenturyLink executives enthusiastic about Canadian expansion

CenturyLink executives enthusiastic about Canadian expansion 

Three executives from CenturyLink shared their thoughts on what the company has accomplished in Canada, where it stands now, and how it plans to grow in the True North.

Jeff Von Deylen, president, CenturyLink, provided some background on the company’s history in Canada. “We acquired Fusepoint five years ago,” he said. Fusepoint was a managed IT colocations services provider. “We had clients in Canada that we couldn’t service, and Fusepoint had three facilities, customers and a distribution network,” Von Deylen added. “With the Fusepoint acquisition, we gained scale.”

“Fusepoint was known for managed services,” added Ash Mathur, VP and country manager, Canada, CenturyLink. “It still is, but we’ve got an expanded portfolio.” The Canadian branch of CenturyLink offers customers colocation, cloud, managed hosting, managed security and managed networks solutions.

After acquiring Fusepoint, CenturyLink gained a dedicated base of customers in Canada. Their base was so strong that demand grew for another data centre facility. CenturyLink operates a data centre in Vancouver and Mississauga, ON. David Meredith, SVP and global GM, CenturyLink, emphasized that Canada plays a strategic role in CenturyLink’s growth plans. He explained that the company has been considering expanding in the GTA. Customer demand rose sharply in the past 15 to 18 months. “We love Canada,” he remarked. “It was a high priority to get a data centre in Canada.”

“Customer demand led to an acceleration [of the company’s plans to open a data centre],” Meredith commented. “Customers wanted more space, more power, more exposure to the cloud.” With those factors in place, it became a clear decision to open a new facility in the GTA.

CenturyLink executives believe that the company’s data centres, especially TR3, meet a need in the Canadian market. “Businesses need agile, flexible services,” Von Deylen asserted. “We allow customers to buy cloud services when they need them and pay for it when they can. They can buy colocation services or dedicated servers through an automated system in an agile way.” Mathur reiterated Von Deylen’s statements: “Our value proposition is colo-managed cloud and the ability to scale globally.”

Now that the data centre is open, CenturyLink’s goal is to educate potential customers about the benefits it offers. Mathur noted that CenturyLink is repositioning itself in the Canadian market in order to increase its customer base. “Repositioning is about helping customers understand our full suite of services and helping them understand the value we can provide them, such as thought leadership,” he stated.

Von Deylen and Mathur acknowledged that repositioning has its challenges. “We’re going to work to be more well known by working with partners in the application layer,” CenturyLink’s president remarked. “It takes time to build a brand,” Mathur added. “We need to have more customer success stories and we need to build upon that success. Part of it is raising our significance and reach in Canada. We need to build our partner ecosystem, and we’re building our profile in the marketplace. It’s a long term journey.”

What do the CenturyLink executives predict for the company’s future in Canada? “We’re focused on the GTA’s explosive growth,” Von Deylen commented. “We’re making the right decision.” He went on to say that TR3 will expand in phases. When asked where he sees CenturyLink going, Mathur responded, “I see us helping to educate the market and provide a suite of services.” He pointed out that it makes more sense for many businesses to let a trusted partner manage things such as their cloud, because it is better for them to focus on running their companies.

“We’re going to look to continue to expand,” Meredith remarked. “Once we fill this building, we’re going to get another building. We can help Canadian customers who need to do business outside of Canada [because of CenturyLink’s 57 data centres across the globe]. Multi-national corporations outside of Canada now have the option to come into Canada. We’re just getting started,” Meredith concluded.

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