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Interviews with foreign-affiliated companies in Kansai (Epuinix Japan)

Last update:January 6 ,2015

【United Status】 Equinix Japan

Opened Osaka data center: December 2013
Address: Nishi-Shinsaibashi Bldg. 1-26-1 Shinmachi, Nishi-Ku, Osaka-city, OSAKA, 550-0013
Line of business: Interconnection, Datacenter Service
Website: Equinix Inc.外部リンク 新しいウィンドウで開きます

Interview

Equinix Inc. operates more than 100 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 32 strategic markets across 15 countries around the world. This global corporation provides customers with an interconnection platform that enables them to connect with more than 1,000 networks around the world.  Equinix Japan opened its Osaka data center in December 2013, its first data center in Western Japan, fifth in Japan, and one hundredth in the world.
We recently talked to Mr. Kei Furuta, Managing Director of Equinix Japan, and Mr. Akihiro Nakamura, Sales Manager of the Equinix Osaka office about the evolution of the data center industry and Equinix’s business strategy in Japan.

Evolving Data Centers

Data centers used to be perceived as a place where companies run servers to store their important data or providing space outsourced to companies for their data processing.  However, today’s data centers are changing their functions rapidly due to the widespread use of the Internet.  Equinix started as a data center company and its core service was the operation of “internet exchanges,” where different providers were mutually connected to one another on the Internet.  Today, Equinix forms a network that includes more than 1,000 network operators, including the world’s largest telecommunications companies, more than 450 cloud providers, major global and financial institutions, content providers and the like.  Through Platform Equinix™, these companies can gain access to Equinix’s established business ecosystems to interconnect directly with 4,500 potential customers and partners including Google and Amazon.
One of our biggest advantages is that our customers can choose from a large number of network providers and enjoy optimum service at a low cost.  In order to realize such advantages, Equinix upholds the principle of carrier-neutrality by which our company remains neutral with respect to any telecommunications provider (carrier), such that our customers can enjoy an environment in which they can freely choose the best network services for their respective businesses from the large number of telecommunications operators within our data centers.  Customers who use advanced data center services place particular importance on carrier-neutrality.
Our job is not only to create better data centers by improving such characteristics conventionally considered as important like floor area, location, power supply, and security, but also to create a space or a platform where various networks are densely interconnected by consolidating IT infrastructure, such as computers, the Internet, and cloud technologies.

Reasons for entering the Kansai (Osaka) market

We entered the Tokyo market in 2000 and have since established 4 IBX data centers in the area.  And in December 2013, we opened our first Osaka IBX data center, OS1.  Since Japan is such a large market, from the very beginning, it has always been our aim to set up our data centers not just in Tokyo, but in other parts of Japan as well.  Equinix conducts a global customer questionnaire every six months, in which we ask our customers where they would like us to set up our next data center.  The results showed that there was strong demand for a data center in Osaka among our customers. Osaka has always been one of the top 5 locations, and our entry into Osaka has been anxiously awaited by our customers. However the final destination of closely connected B-to-B transactions is always B-to-C, namely, the consumer.  To improve the quality of service, it is important to choose a location with a large population and a large amount of economic activities.  Hence, when it comes to Japan, two cities, namely Tokyo and Osaka, are inevitably considered as the most important.  In many cases, it is better to set up a server, which provides various services for customers, at a location close to users from a performance standpoint.  In particular, customers who provide financial transaction services prefer to have a data center physically close to their trading system, as any communication delay immediately affects their business.  Furthermore, having data centers in two separate locations provides customers with disaster recovery options and added security. Another reason for choosing Osaka was due to the location of Trans-Pacific communications cables. Many undersea cables have one landing location in the Kanto region and another in the Chubu and Kansai regions.  From those landing locations, communication lines are installed for the two largest economic zones of Japan, the Kanto and the Kansai regions.  Therefore, in terms of availability of international communication lines, Tokyo and Osaka are better optimized than other places in Japan.
Moreover, the central location of communication lines for the Kansai region is around Dojima, which is a prime location in terms of the communication environment.  We looked into desirable locations for our data center around this central location and finally decided to set up our data center at Shinsaibashi, which is located near Dojima, while taking into account customers’ access to the data center and security matters.
When we made our entry into Osaka, we received strong support from the Osaka Business and Investment Center (O-BIC), including manpower services.  At that time, we strongly felt that Osaka had a corporate culture based on trust and   relationships in which people tend to have face-to-face discussions and speak frankly and freely without hidden agendas. . We tend to think that American culture is less based on relationships, but in reality, they also build up their businesses through personal relationships, which is quite similar to what I have been experiencing in Osaka.
Our data center in Osaka features advanced design, security, power and cooling elements to provide customers with industry-leading reliability.  Osaka is a textile town, so the interior is also designed based on the theme of “weaving.”  The process of weaving a cloth using one thin thread can be related to the image of our business in which each piece of information is woven into ever-expanding networks on the Equinix platform.  Our business in Osaka is growing steadily. Given a free competition environment, Equinix has established a carrier-neutral network hub in the Kansai region.  Furthermore, by creating a mutually interconnected infrastructure to cover Western Japan, we are addressing the business needs in Japan as a whole.

Contact Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Kansai Bureau
International Investment Promotion Division
Address: 1-5-44 Otemae, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 540-8535
Phone:+81-6-6966-6033
E-Mail:invest-japan-kansai@meti.go.jpMail (mail client will launch)