Simon Cooper, NEXTDC

Subsea Soundbites: Simon Cooper, NEXTDC

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In September last year, we sat down with some of our attendees at Submarine Networks World 2015 to get their take on the current state of the subsea world, and the future they envision for the business. This interview is part of the e-book series “Subsea Soundbites” which can be downloaded here. In this post, we speak with Simon Cooper, Chief Operating Officer, NEXTDC.

What can the industry expect from NEXTDC in the upcoming months?

We’ve just launched a new connectivity as a service product, which we’re calling AXONVX, and that’s really about making sure that carriers and service providers and cloud providers and their customers can connect easily and automatically inside the data centre. So you’ll be hearing a little bit about that from us this year.

Give us 3 words or phrases to describe the current state of the industry

Exciting, changing and scary

Are we undergoing a boom, when do you think the next bust will be and how can we mitigate it?

It is a boom, people are getting busier, new cables are being funded and built. From the data centre perspective, growth continues, I don’t think there’ll be another bust. I think all of the providers are a lot sharper than they used to be, and used to dealing with, let’s call it picks and troughs. So I think we’re in a much better place than we were 10 years ago, and traffic growth is going to be exponential.

What are the current and future drivers of your business’ growth?

I think take-up of “as-a-service” is really the key driver. So it’ll be where enterprises and end users like your IT departments are figuring out how to not own infrastructure, but how to make use of the various service providers’ infrastructure, whether it’s bandwidth or storage or compute. And therefore be able to launch new products and capabilities very inexpensively, and find out if they work. It takes them to a much broader market, and that’s what’s going to drive growth, and we’re already seeing that in Australia.

What are tomorrow’s consumers expecting? How will this affect the way  Internet capacity is consumed?

Tomorrow’s consumers are expecting everything instantly, even if they don’t know that they need it, all the time. The bottom line is everything needs to figure out how to make information useful. And that’s not a trivial thing to do, and it’s going to need more processing and more bits flying around. I think the future is very bright. It’s just a matter of doing what we need, rather than just giving people stuff they don’t know how to use.

What could be some of the potential bottlenecks in the subsea value chain?

I think actual landing points and continuing to have places to go that differentiate from an interconnect point of view is something that subsea providers need to think about. The old world of just building your own cable stations and not being a part of the greater community is a challenge. It’s only for private or independent cables if you like.

What in your opinion is a recent industry game changer?

I think it’s probably enterprises are figuring out that they don’t need to invest in hardware and long-term commitments to have bandwidth solutions. They need to be figuring out stuff and changing it constantly.  For me, that’s the biggest game changer so far and we’re going to see more of it.



NEXTDC is an ASX300-listed technology company enabling business transformation through innovative data centre outsourcing solutions, connectivity services and infrastructure management software. As Australia’s leading independent data centre operator with a national network of Tier III facilities, NEXTDC provides enterprise-class colocation services across the country, facilitating hybrid cloud deployments by offering direct connections to their partner ecosystem: Australia’s largest independent network of carriers, cloud and IT service providers.

Catch more of such discussions at Submarine Networks 2016, which takes place 17 – 19 October in Singapore!

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