“As CEO, you must understand growth, while being aware of risks and what competitors are doing. One of my beliefs is that you have to run quickly. There is no stopping. I tell my people that we need to keep progressing at a rapid pace, and be so far ahead as a leader that our competition will find it extremely difficult to catch up!” says Stephen Ho, CEO of CITIC Telecom CPC.
Themes of innovation and quality-focus pervade across CITIC Telecom CPC’s products, infrastructure and staff. The company prioritizes the adoption of best-in-class technologies and best-practices, including product development, facilities management, and staff training and development.
" Our latest mission of “Innovation Never Stops” translates the desire to continue to innovate its products and offering so that we can deliver the best offerings to optimally address the challenges faced by our customers. "
“Constant innovation is crucial,” says Ho. “The world and competition, are not standing still. It’s important to execute well on great ideas, and avoid wasting time and resources on bad or obsolete ideas.”
With such an innovative and spearheading spirit, the company has been leading the charge in many areas, even since Day One. It all began in 2001, when CEO Stephen Ho clearly saw the VPN as one of the most relevant tools needed for a growing number of enterprises struggling to link up distributed offices. Traditional connectivity measures were too expensive and too complicated for these smaller and more agile businesses. Instead, he and his team presented the MPLS VPN as an alternate solution which resulted great reception in the market.
The early VPN product has now been refined into the TrueCONNECT™ flagship family of business connectivity solutions. Yet, the fundamentals of its early success have remained the same for CITIC Telecom CPC: Innovation, quality, and execution discipline. Using a similar strategy in other areas, Ho led his company to further success by being quick to recognize the importance of cloud solutions, and developed what is now the SmartCLOUD™ flagship family (including investing in dedicated bricks and mortar facilities to support the product). The same can be said for managed security solutions and data center solutions, in addition to various other products and services, all of which CITIC Telecom CPC clearly and accurately predicted their emerging relevance and demand.
“Our latest mission statement of ‘Innovation Never Stops’ concisely summarizes our commitment and desire to innovate our products and services continuously,” adds Ho.
In addition to innovation, quality is the other crucial pillar that Ho focuses on, and this has resulted in CITIC Telecom CPC being Hong Kong’s first VPN service provider to achieve multiple ISO certifications, particularly all four ICT-related certifications (ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, ISO 20000 Information Technology Service Management System, ISO 27001 Information Security Management System and ISO 27017 Code of Practice for Information Security Controls for Cloud Services).
With a well-established company, you might think Ho would take it easy, but he is serious about keeping ahead. Recognizing the great potential in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, particularly the early stage of IT development in some regions, he is leading the company to identify areas of great potential, and work toward helping these locations to leverage modern technologies to build the necessary infrastructure. “These areas have the benefit of leapfrogging legacy technologies, and therefore can technically evolve very quickly,” emphasized Ho. “I see a lot of opportunity.”
The company has proactively taken significant steps toward capturing that opportunity, a highlight being the 2017 acquisition of the telecommunication business of Linx Telecommunications, expanding CITIC Telecom CPC’s global footprint (which already includes Asia-Pacific, North America and Western Europe) to the Central Asia and Eastern Europe markets, and gives further credence to the company’s goal of connecting the world to the “Digital Silk Road.” The acquired network resources and staffing cover a high-growth potential market (encompassing Russia, Kazakhstan and the “Stan” region, the Baltic Sea and Eastern Europe), and include a 470 kilometer submarine fiber network covering the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea which connects Sweden, Finland and Estonia. Also acquired are network operations centers (NOCs) in Moscow and Tallinn, and a Tallinn data center which is Estonia’s largest Internet Exchange (TLL-IX).
Guided by Ho’s vision and adherence to core principles and strategies, CITIC Telecom CPC has been very accurate at envisioning the continuous digital transformation of enterprises, and is very successful at serving their need as the business evolution unfolds. A good example illustrating the company’s ongoing visionary strategy is its recent launch of TrueCONNECT™ Hybrid SD-WAN, an innovative managed Software Defined WAN solution created for the increasing number of modern enterprises leveraging a variety of cloud services from different vendors, a situation traditional WANs are not designed to handle. The new SD-WAN solution enables WANs to be more efficient and easily reconfigurable so it can optimize performance and reliability especially when locations or vendors of cloud services change.
As mentioned, Ho plans to capitalize on the vast potential of the Belt and Road Initiative, including extending CITIC Telecom CPC’s network coverage and enhancing its product portfolio. Additionally, he wants to add NFV capabilities to the company’s flagship products to accelerate services provisioning, alongside higher cost efficiency and savings on capital expenditure (CAPEX). Furthermore, he intends the company to continue on its global expansion and enhance its full spectrum of managed networking services; cloud computing and other managed value-added data services for businesses around the world. “We want our customers to know we are not stagnated,” adds Ho. “We are continuing to move forward in this ever-changing and tremendously exciting era.”
And moving forward seems to truly be CITIC Telecom CPC’s track record, a company that has always been on the leading edge and embracing its motto that “Innovation Never Stops.” With Stephen Ho at the helm, driving his team with his passion for continuous innovation, competently anticipating and addressing emerging market demands with creative solutions, the company appears well positioned for a bright future.
CITIC Telecom CPC offers a comprehensive range of managed business solutions that encompass all major ICT disciplines.