Telehouse, the Human Element: a View from the Bridge
Interview with Akihiko Yamaguchi, EVP and CMO of KDDI America and COO of Telehouse America
Aki Yamaguchi is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of KDDI America and Chief Operating Officer of Telehouse America. We recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Yamaguchi and discuss his background, the impact of Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) on data centers, as well as the current state of the colocation market.
From E-mail to IoT
Interestingly enough, Mr. Yamaguchi, who’s worked with the KDDI Group for over 26 years, did not originally set out to start his professional career in the technology industry.
“To be perfectly honest, at the beginning of my career I was not at all interested in any of the technical disciplines,” he shared with us. “I studied English literature and was attracted to business as an opportunity to advance my language skills and interact with other professionals from all over the world.”
After joining KDDI, Mr. Yamaguchi quickly developed an affinity for the telecommunications sector and was struck by the nature of its continuously developing innovations.
“The telecom industry has been growing very quickly and things shift rapidly,” he noted. “Technologies get old after six months or so, and I was very attracted to the dynamic changes ones sees happening throughout the industry every day.”
Looking back, Mr. Yamaguchi can still recall the initial impact of email as a means for business development and customer relations.
“It’s a funny thing,” he stated, recalling the early days of widespread internet access and email. “When business shifted from simple handwriting to personal computers and e-mail correspondence, I would often call clients immediately after sending an email for fear that it wouldn’t be received. It truly was a dramatic change for many professionals.”
Moving forward a few years, Mr. Yamaguchi noted the rapid proliferation of data centers in the early 2000s as a game-changing development. Today, he recognizes the increased adoption of IoT and Big Data analytics, which are affecting data centers. According to a report by market research firm IDC, IoT will require 750 percent more capacity in service-provider facilities in three years than it consumes today.
“Companies are now getting more involved than ever in the developing IoT market, causing a major surge in the deployment of data centers,” Mr. Yamaguchi observed. “However, Telehouse was truly a pioneer within this sector. We established data centers in the 1980s, nearly 20 years before it became commonplace, so we’ve been prepared.”
Colocation: The Nexus of Cloud and Enterprise IT
In an increasingly globalized and digitalized economy, many enterprises are turning to cloud services to enhance their business strategy. According to RightScale’s 2016 ‘State of the Cloud’ report, 95 percent of IT professionals surveyed claim they are using cloud services. As colocation has quickly become the nexus between cloud and enterprise IT, data centers serving multinational enterprises are being forced to re-think their colocation strategies.
“It’s critical that colocation providers prepare their customers to access cloud solutions quickly and easily,” Mr. Yamaguchi comments on this trend. “Telehouse continues to make the necessary adaptations to better serve enterprise customers with simplified cloud connectivity.”
A Customer-Centric Approach
Telehouse has implemented a Total Customer Satisfaction program that sets annual targets and measures success with periodic milestones. Leveraging annual customer feedback surveys, close account management and support, and a highly-available and trained service team, Telehouse approaches customers’ business needs from a 360-degree, customer-centric approach.
As Mr. Yamaguchi stated, “At Telehouse, we believe the customer comes first, and that remains the foundation of our overall mission. Looking forward, we are focused on accelerating our responsiveness to further enhance the customer experience.”