How not to open an IT business in Kazakhstan: our example

Short description

A Russian hosting company opened two data centers in Kazakhstan after finding partners and issuing a press release about their new sites. However, there was a miscommunication in the phrasing and a newspaper erroneously reported that the companies worked together on the project. When the management of Transtelecom, a major data center provider, found out about the “partnership” through Forbes, they reacted angrily and demanded the news be removed. After a conference call, Transtelecom and the hosting company resolved their issues and began working together directly. Transtelecom’s data centers are designed according to Tier III standards and offer flexible services for client interests.

How not to open an IT business in Kazakhstan: our example

We entered Kazakhstan in the same way as we used to in Europe. We chose two data centers according to the specifications from the list of available data centers, found a partner with communication channels and free capacities in the allocated sections of the colocation and agreed that we would get up. Next, we issued a standard press release about the fact that a Russian hosting company is opening two sites on the territory of Kazakhstan.

Then began a chain of funny and not so coincidences.

Kommersant and other publications published our release. Because there is a shortage of good news about Russian business.

Forbes Kazakhstan learned about this from Kommersant and covered the news. Only there is a nuance. In the release, we had “at the facilities of Transtelecom” (we got up to their data centers), but for some reason the wording “jointly” got into the paper newspaper. And we, let me remind you, got up through their tenant, conditionally, to the section to the trunk provider, took a few racks to start with.

Someone from the management of Transtelecom flipped through Forbes during morning tea and learned a lot. In particular, about its strategic partnership.

And here it must be said that a very funny (or not so) story happened in the market earlier with a newspaper duck. Of course, we didn’t know about her either.

Here is the press release we issued:

Here is the news from

“Commercial”

.

Here’s a post with the word “together”:

This is how it was circulated:

Proof

▍ What happened before that

One large Russian company with a logo reminiscent of Koshchei’s death is rumored to have very cleverly purchased servers. I will not vouch for the accuracy, but we were told the following story: first there was a publication in the mass media about the opening of a huge data center, which can be compared in terms of size with the New Vasyukov data center. Then contracts for the supply of iron (servers). Then the company carefully collects all these servers and hides with them in an unknown direction towards the border with Russia.

That is, the contracts were based on the fact that the data center would be in Kazakhstan, and the iron went there, which cannot be named because of secondary sanctions. Which, of course, did not sit well with iron suppliers.

So when we came out with our news about data centers and opening a business in Kazakhstan, some people decided that we wanted to buy servers and hide in an unknown direction towards the border with Russia.

▍ To contact our hosting, write an article in Kommersant

When the management of Transtelecom found out about their “partnership” with us from “Forbes”, it really outraged them.

Because they didn’t even know our name. But they googled it very quickly.

Accordingly, on the same day, we received an official claim from Transtelecom with an exemplary content: “Who are you? We did not sign anything.”

Then their press office immediately issues a denial of the news.

Here are the rebuttal proofs

That is, we do not cooperate, but we stand up to their data centers. Something incomprehensible is happening.

And here one more important thing must be said. Before that, we tried to contact the data centers directly, but we did not succeed. More precisely, yes: we were told to wait for a response to the ticket. And since we had a clear understanding that we really bought the equipment, we will really stand there – and there is no big difference, through a broker or directly, then all the movements went on.

To make matters worse, we did not negotiate in person. In general, this is accepted for the most part, but we have been doing everything remotely for a long time, and even more so, covid brought remote work to perfection. In the entire history of their external data centers, they only went to Switzerland to see the site for the first time. And since then, we have not traveled, because if someone was able to build a data center, then it is usually not a problem to negotiate with him. That is, putting iron in a new data center is quite a routine task. It was the same here, but it would be polite from our side to talk and get to know each other first.

It turned out that we behaved very uncharacteristically, plus after previous events (which we did not know about), market experts thought that this was the same scheme, and the publication was just a duck to cover it. And they began to write refutations.

Their outrage is quite understandable.

▍ What’s next

Their lawyers demanded that the news be removed. We did not begin to explain how the Internet works, but simply came to the conference call. A call, of course, is far from the same as a personal meeting, but there it was possible to resolve all issues, understand each other, laugh and even conclude a direct contract. After that, we issued a press release about joint work.

The data centers turned out to be very modern, all according to Tier III Uptime. They have seismic protection, cool services, remote hands (this is not found everywhere in the world in T-3 data centers).

JSC “Transtelecom” (TTS) implements plans to improve the quality of communication and expand the range of services, doing it at the highest level. At the end of 2020, the company announced the introduction of data centers in a number of cities in Kazakhstan. To date, this is the widest network of full-fledged commercial data centers in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The new facilities are located in Aktau, Atyrau, Aktobe, Uralsk, Zhezkazgan, Karaganda and Kyzylorda. Thus, taking into account the sites in Almaty and Astana, the total number of data centers of JSC “Transtelecom” reached nine. In total, this is more than 800 server risers. Their total area is more than 12,000 square meters. m.

To date, the placement of server equipment (colocation), cloud infrastructure, backup, administration and other services are available to customers. The level of Transtelecom’s data centers provides an opportunity to configure cloud resources for customers and effectively use resources without restrictions and additional costs for the deployment of own local data centers, and also allows to ensure the continuity of business processes and the effectiveness of disaster recovery in unforeseen situations. It should be noted that Transtelecom’s data centers are designed in accordance with Tier III standards, which indicates the ability of the centers to work without interruption, with a failure resistance factor of 99.98%.

The most important thing for us is that when we met and started coordinating work, colleagues from TTS showed maximum flexibility regarding the interests of clients. You will not find such an approach everywhere. If you often need to look for a place to get the Internet, think about crossing, go through a quest with equipment reception without personal presence, then here colleagues have made a decision for each subtask, allocated people. There is a “smart hands” service. This is when Boris does not hire idiots for this work.

Actually, taking into account a bunch of adventures with the same iron reception around the world, I can say that it was very pleasant here. Level as in Switzerland without question. Despite the fact that the organization is huge and seems slow at first glance, everything went better and faster than with some private data centers.

Here is the site in Almaty:

Here in Astana:

VDS has been available for several weeks now

right here

.

And, of course, this was not our only epic backdoor in Kazakhstan. The very purchase of iron, its delivery is a whole separate story. But we will talk about other epics next time.

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