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Press Release -- July 20th, 2010
Source: Pacnet
Tags: Merger, MPLS, Submarine Cable

Businesses Keen to Adopt Cloud Applications but Lacking Backup Internet Access: Surv

Latest survey findings show that hosted data backup solutions and virtualisation are among the top cloud technologies Australian businesses are keen to deploy

SYDNEY, 20 July 2010 – Pacnet, Asia’s leading business telecommunications service provider, today released its 2010 Broadband Barometer survey findings for Australia, which found that while Australian businesses are keen to adopt cloud computing applications and technologies, many are overlooking back-up internet connections for their offices.

Topping the list of applications ‘in the cloud’ that Australian businesses are keen to deploy are data backup and archival applications, with 60% of businesses indicating their intent to deploy such applications in 2011, compared to the 8% who currently use such applications. Server virtualisation technology is another area set to see strong growth in 2011, as 41% of businesses indicated their intention to deploy, compared to the 1% of businesses who are currently experiencing hosted virtualisation.

Commenting on the findings, Deborah Homewood, chief executive officer of Pacnet in Australia and New Zealand said: “The Pacnet Broadband Barometer findings validate the attention cloud computing has been receiving and the trend for SMEs preferring hosted services ‘in the cloud’. The high percentages of businesses that have already deployed hosted security and email applications also indicate that these applications are now mature and affordable.”

“SMEs are seeing the advantages of hosted services as they are able to outsource the management of their mission-critical data and applications, freeing up valuable resources to focus on activities that contribute to their core business”, added Ms Homewood.

But while SMEs grow savvy to hosted applications, one of the worrying findings from the study is that most businesses have overlooked the need for a back-up internet connection. The study found that only 35% of surveyed businesses had a back-up internet service for their office, with just an additional 23% considering getting a back-up internet connection in 2011 – and the remaining 43% of businesses with no plans to obtain connectivity to support them through downtime of their primary internet service.

“The Pacnet survey reveals for me, a confirmation that SMEs should be looking to the leads set by early adopters in the capability and flexibility offered by cloud computing.

“This is especially true as applications delivered from the cloud do not now require the same investment in hardware and software. Side by side with this, of course, is making sure that you not only have the primary systems adequately set up, but also have back-up that will actually give you a decent level of service, not leave you stuck in the dial-up internet age,” said Steve Wright, executive director of the Franchise Council of Australia.

Not surprisingly, the study also reaffirmed that internet access is ubiquitous among SMEs in Australia, with 99% having an internet connection. There is also a significant increase in access speeds, with 43% of businesses connecting at the most popular speed of between two and 10 mbps in 2010, compared to the 56% of respondents in a similar survey in 2006, where the most popular connection speed was up to 512 kbps.

“While businesses are obviously doing more with their broadband connections, new high-speed business-grade access technologies like Pacnet’s ADSL2+ services have allowed companies to experience a whole new world of connectivity at extremely attractive prices,” added Ms Homewood. “It comes back to businesses doing more with their network and demanding greater speed and reliability.”

The study also found that some of the applications driving the increased speed were collaboration solutions and Unified Communications (UC) applications. Technologies like unified messaging, presence, integrated directories and a single communications client were some of the most common communication and collaboration tools used by Australian businesses.

Another key finding of the survey was that Australian businesses are still unclear about the benefits of the upcoming National Broadband Network (NBN) project. When questioned about the effects of the NBN, 39% of businesses surveyed did not feel that it would decrease the cost of access.  Respondents felt that the top three benefits provided by the NBN would relate to access to public information, global competitiveness and business productivity.

Overall, a majority of respondents answered ‘Yes’ or ‘Maybe’ when probed about their agreement with various statements of benefit of the NBN. “These results indicate businesses want to feel positive about the project but with such an even spread of responses we can see that in reality they have no strong opinions. It’s clear that businesses need greater information and transparency about the network and how it will impact their business before the true benefits can be appreciated,” said Ms Homewood. 

Pacnet commissioned Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., a leading consulting firm specialising in IT and telecoms to conduct the Pacnet Broadband Barometer survey across Australia, China, Hong, India and Singapore.  More cross-region analysis will follow in coming reports, though initial highlights include that while more developed countries have a higher adoption of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technologies as well security and firewalling solutions, when it comes to other hosted applications and collaboration solutions the emerging markets of China and India are readily adopting and deploying these productivity tools in their business at a much faster pace than Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

In Australia, the survey involved phone interviews with 369 IT decision makers across the country. To download a full copy of the 2010 Pacnet Broadband Barometer report, visit au.pacnet.com/broadband-barometer.

- ENDS -

About the 2010 Broadband Barometer

The Pacnet Broadband Barometer study aims to assess the adoption and usage of internet technologies by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs, companies with 5 to 999 employees) across the Asia-Pacific region. Since its launch in 2003, the ‘Broadband Barometer’ (previously also known as the Pacnet IP Index) has been widely used and referenced by a range of decision makers and analysts across businesses, government agencies and the media.

This latest Broadband Barometer study is jointly developed by Pacnet and AMI-Partners, a leading consulting firm specialising in IT and telecom sectors. More than 2,000 technology decision-makers across 5 countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore) were interviewed to provide a deep and comprehensive view of the Asia Pacific market.

About Pacnet

Named “Company of the Year for Excellence in Growth” by Frost & Sullivan in 2009 and “Best Wholesale Carrier” at the Telecom Asia Awards 2009, Pacnet is Asia’s leading independent telecommunications service provider, formed from the operational merger of Asia Netcom and Pacific Internet. Pacnet owns and operates EAC-C2C, the region’s largest privately-owned submarine cable network at 36,800 km, with a design capacity of 10.24 Tbps, as well as EAC Pacific, which spans 9,620 km across the Pacific Ocean and delivers up to 1.92 Tbps of capacity between Asia and North America. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of industry leading IP-based solutions for carriers, large enterprises and SMEs. Pacnet is headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore, with offices in all key markets in Asia and North America.

In Australia, Pacnet’s core network and premium telecommunications solutions are backed by a range of infrastructure options which provide services customised to the specific needs of individual customers.  Pacnet specialises in multi-site connections and enables hosted solutions with a dedicated local team to connect manage and support business communication requirements.  For more information, please visit: au.pacnet.com.

About AMI-Partners

AMI-Partners specialises in IT, internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence - with a strong focus on global Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and go-to-market solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SME strategies of more than 150 leading IT, internet, telecommunications and business services companies. The firm is well known for its IT and internet adoption-based segmentation of the SME markets; its annual retainership services based on global SME tracking surveys in more than 25 countries; and its proprietary database of SMEs and SME channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey based information from several thousand SMEs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SME trends and analysis.

For media interviews and further information, please contact:

David Bass

Bass Public Relations
Phone:     + 61 2 9967 8022
Email:       david@basspr.com.au

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