Accelerating into 2020: An Open Letter from Joe Zhu

By | January 03, 2020

As we start 2020, I want to thank each Zenplayer for your contributions during the past year. Each year, we set ambitious goals for ourselves. And each year, we have achieved them. 2019 was no exception. Our team and infrastructure have grown rapidly during the past year. 

Looking at the numbers, our team increased by nearly 60% during the year. Points of presence (PoPs) have grown from just over 100 at the start of 2019 to more than 150. We increased our IP Transit capacity by 160% and our bare metal server deployments by a whopping 250%.

Meanwhile, we opened new offices in Singapore and Hangzhou, established an India subsidiary, and are currently in the process of expanding both our Shanghai and Los Angeles headquarters to make room for new employees in 2020.

Our purpose 

Zenlayer’s core is about improving the digital experience. We help online education platforms connect teachers and students as if they’re sitting in the same classroom. We help gaming publishers deliver fully immersive gameplay to users around the world. We enable radiologists to collaborate over tough medical cases. Every day, we’re making someone’s life easier, somewhere in the world. 

How do we achieve our purpose? 

Traditionally, organizations have stored and processed data in centralized data centers or clouds while users produce and consume information at the edge. As the boundary between digital and physical worlds increasingly blurs, the demand for real-time, interactive digital experiences has exploded. 

Centralized computing can no longer meet the needs of today’s users. To address this gap, we enable organizations to improve their global user experience by providing edge-cloud services. We place computing closer to end users and interconnect our PoPs with a private global backbone to ensure ultra-low latency and network reliability. 

Cloud-first

When Zenlayer was first founded, our focus was on enabling companies to globalize their business quickly by deploying computing infrastructure across geographical borders. This has been our foundation and we will continue to grow this “traditional” part of our business. However, we now live in a cloud-first world where organizations need to respond instantly to changes in customer demands; where elasticity and flexibility are key to success. To thrive in this world, we will be channeling our energy into cloud products: Bare Metal Cloud, Cloud Networking, SD-WAN, and Application Acceleration

To accelerate our cloud-first strategy, we are establishing dedicated operations and service teams to support our cloud products, ensuring laser-like focus on the unique requirements of cloud customers. 

Emerging markets

In mature markets, service providers and computing infrastructure are well-developed, and user demand is growing at a stable pace. In emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia, South America, Russia, and Africa, infrastructure and services are unreliable but internet and mobile penetration are growing rapidly. Zenlayer will meet this exponentially growing demand with reliable edge cloud services for companies both expanding into and out of these emerging markets.

Our culture 

As our edge cloud platform touches more and more people around the world, we are also welcoming Zenplayers from more and more diverse backgrounds to our team. It is more important than ever to know that we are still One Zenlayer, with shared fundamental values that transcend cultures and languages. 

Our number-one obsession is customer first. Each one of us has a role in delighting customers. We must constantly ask ourselves: how do we build products that are simple and useful? How do we quickly understand and fulfill customers’ needs? How do we ensure that services are deployed on time? How do we resolve customers’ issues quickly and effectively? How do we WOW customers?

We are now a mid-size company by most standards, and according to EU guidelines we have reached the threshold to be considered a large-size corporation. No matter how big our team gets or how much revenue we make, though, it is paramount for us to keep embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, because that’s the only way we can discover what’s possible in the impossible. 

We must actively seek out change rather than wait to adapt to changes made for us. We must think innovatively about all aspects of our business, from our products and services to internal processes and even to new company directions. We must be willing to face immense challenges and take calculated risks to accelerate into 2020 and beyond. We must feel comfortable with being in the driver’s seat but equally happy to be in the passenger’s seat when our colleagues and partners take the lead. 

I’m looking to senior leadership and young managers alike to take the lead in fostering an entrepreneurial, collaborative environment. I’m looking to each individual to kindle the fire within and shine. 

I’m immensely proud of how far we have come and how much we have achieved, but we have only just begun. Abraham Lincoln and countless others have said that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” The future we will create is a world where every organization and person can enjoy interactive digital experiences as envisioned by their creators no matter where they are or what time it is. 

Let’s create that future together. 

Joe 

Joe Zhu
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