‘Dynamic telecom market keeps me sharp and moving ahead’

Interview: Dennis van Jaarsveld – Relined Fiber Network

The telecom market never rests. Data use is increasing year on year and digitalisation is high on businesses’ agendas. Demand for services is broader than ever, and these services are increasingly migrating to the cloud. At the same time demand for connectivity is undiminished, while end users are ramping up their requirements. They don’t want to have to worry about their infrastructure. All of which means that the role of IT service-providers is greater than ever.

Alongside these developments, shifts are also taking place within the market. Whereas the focus in terms of datacentres used to be on Amsterdam and the surrounding area, now we are seeing a shift towards places such as Flevoland and Rotterdam. In addition, Network Operators are not standing still. They are busy expanding the fibre-optic infrastructure into outlying areas and within business parks.

Dennis van Jaarsveld - ontwikkelingen telecommarkt en Relined

These developments are throwing up challenges, but above all represent opportunities according to Dennis van Jaarsveld, Manager Sales at Relined Fiber Network.

“The dynamic telecom market keeps me sharp and moving ahead. We have to be in continuous contact with the market, to think and move with it in order to retain value to our customers, and to their end customers.”

What do these developments mean to you?

“It shows that the market continues to be constantly in motion. You can see this in the takeovers. Big operators are taking over small or local players and are going all out to expand their network in the Netherlands to better meet customers’ requirements. The same is true of internet service-providers. We are seeing an increase in the number of takeovers of hosters and service-providers by bigger players. This makes them more effective and allows them, in certain cases, to add new services. This is also a trend: end customers increasingly don’t want any hassle, and are looking for a one-stop-shop solution. For us, it’s important that we are in contact with the market at all times. Digitalisation is a hot topic for businesses in the telecom market, as well as for care-providers and government bodies, and those within the Enterprise sector. Together with System Integrators and IT service-providers, we ensure that every organisation can have access to good IT infrastructure.”

Relined supplies Dark Fiber. How can you keep up with a market in which people don’t want hassle when you have a niche product?

“Change can be threatening, but we see mainly opportunities. Our connections offer added value. This is why we work intensively with our partners, the internet service-providers and System Integrators, to make optimum use of this value. Just like us they are closely connected to the market. Besides that they know exactly what their customers want. We give input into their considerations concerning the design of their network, ensuring that this is futureproof and that, thanks to our Dark Fiber, they are able to offer the complete solution their customers are looking for.”

The first questions you ask a customer?

“Take us along on the journey you want to make as our customer. What are you looking for? What are your strengths? Now, and in the future. Where are things not going smoothly, or where are you experiencing bottlenecks in your present network? How can we help you achieve your goal? What requirements should your ideal network fulfil? Using such targeted questions and following these up, we try to get all the major aspects completely in focus, so we don’t think in terms of restrictions. Good infrastructure is the basis for the future growth of every organisation.”

Your mission is to optimise the use of existing networks. What do you think of the development that more digging is being done again?

“In many outlying areas of the Netherlands, there just aren’t any fibre-optic cables yet. It’s important for the digital growth of the country as a whole that these areas are also connected to the future-oriented network. We are working closely with Network Operators to open up these areas. They provide the local network and we provide the backbone. These networks can then also be used to make connections to the telecom masts and datacentres. This means that, together, we are making efficient use of the new network.”

Datacentres are increasingly opting for locations outside of Amsterdam. How is Relined responding to this development?

“We aren’t sitting still. We are continuing to invest in shorter, higher-quality routes because this is what the market wants. In Amsterdam, for example, we are still innovating with the aim of offering the shortest possible routes between the various datacentres. Between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, we now have two completely separate paths well below the 100 kilometre mark, and we offer redundant connections between almost all datacentres. We also have a network in Flevoland. We are developing our network in line with market requirements so that we can continue to serve our customers going forward.”

And if we look beyond the borders of the Netherlands?

“Demand for international routes is also growing. We started down this path two years ago and it’s already paying off. We supply connections to Frankfurt – where we have a metro network, just like in Amsterdam. We can also provide our customers with connections further into Germany, towards the Eastern European border, or connections towards Denmark. We have a large international customer base we are able to serve well through our network.”

Why is Relined in particular able to respond so well to change?

“Relined is a manageable company with short lines of communication, short response times and the will to look for solutions together with the customer. This is a product of our core values: we are visible, approachable, we do what we are good at and we are always striving to improve.”