When remote working is in your DNA
Some businesses struggled through the many challenges wrought by Covid-19 – and who can blame them? Here, Megaport Vice President APAC Josh Munro explains how the Australian headquartered tech company found they’d been built for a crisis like this all along – and were ready to service their clients better and faster, as a result.
Josh Munro is on the call from Newcastle, New South Wales. And his marketing manager Simon Ryan is beaming in from Brisbane. There’s a piano in the background and the faint hubbub of a family going about their day.
When Covid-19 came knocking, Megaport staff were already doing the working remote thing like champions, because it had been in their DNA all along. “It’s actually been a joke for many years here at Megaport that on our business cards, we all have our name, job title, our phone number and email address, but we don’t specify a physical address because it’s so fluid,” says Josh.
Megaport is a Network as a Service platform that provides an easy way to create and manage network connections. Through Megaport’s platform, customers are able to deploy point-to-point connectivity between any of the locations on its global network. What began as a start-up in 2014 has grown to a global business supporting over 2,000 customers with access to data centres in 128 cities in 23 countries.
Josh says when it comes to a resourcing strategy, the objective is to have the right team – and their location doesn’t matter one bit. “We have an exceptional team of people, many of them experts in their space, and all globally dispersed.” And there’s a policy in place that allows Megaport employees to explore the world – when they’re physically able to – and live wherever they choose.
“We’ve certainly had different people deployed in different parts of the world,” Josh continues, “from sales staff wanting to try out their trade in different markets to tech team members who have moved between cities or even into remote locations – perhaps somewhere they grew up. If we find the right people, we don’t want their location to be the reason that we can’t bring them onboard with Megaport. You’d rather have the right person, in the wrong location – if that’s what you want to call it – than the wrong person in the right one.”
In early 2020, when the word ‘lockdown’ suddenly became part of our vernacular, Megaport barely flinched. “Because so many of us were already used to working from remote locations and from home, we probably had a leg up to accelerate through Covid rather than suffer a significant impact. We didn’t have to set up VPNs for everyone at home because we were already operating with that sort of model.”
It makes sense, too, because Megaport is very much in the game of enabling better data connections for its customers. Josh says not having to spend time getting the team set up remotely meant Megaport was able to leap right in to assisting its clients to do so.
“Connectivity is the last thing that people want to go without,” says Josh. “Lots of the different organisations we service, such as those in the financial services industry, had their huge office locations holding thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people, become empty. So all of their traffic profiles went from consuming data in one building to being dispersed across a whole lot of different networks. Ultimately, they all had to move very quickly to cloud based operating models, and Megaport enabled a lot of those large enterprise clients to migrate very quickly. We actually had a customer in Japan who had housed all of its intranet traffic locally, within their building. When all of their staff started having to work from home, they didn’t know how to gain access in a quick manner. So they used Megaport to replicate that same information into one of their cloud providers, which then allowed all of their office workers to work from home using it in a more consumable manner.”
Megaport’s pay-as-you-go pricing plans meant that customers could dial up when they needed it most, and dial back down when things were quiet. “You’re not committing to a service for a longer term like you might with a telco. Megaport allows that fluidity to scale things up or down, and move resources around if and when required. We learned a lot about the agility – or lack of agility – of some of our client organisations through Covid. But having a product like Megaport gives businesses the power to chop and change very quickly. We connect with a huge number of cloud onramps globally and that choice of service for the customers provides greater flexibility for them in their operating model too.”
As for the Megaport team itself, Josh says one of the only downsides of the Covid situation was that it kneecapped the business’s ability to welcome and on-board new clients, and staff in person.
“We had to get used to building relationships from scratch, without having that personal touch,” he recalls. “We had perhaps 30 or 40 new staff join us over this time. There are still people within the organisation that, to this day, haven’t had the opportunity to meet their colleagues in person. We’re a sales organisation used to getting out and seeing people, and we’ve had to work out how to build that relationship down the lens of a camera – which is a testament to the flexibility of IT services when they’re built to support mobile teams.”
Megaport is changing the way people, businesses, and services connect globally. Our Network as a Service (NaaS) solutions enable fast, flexible, and secure connectivity to the world’s top cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, data centre operators, systems integrators and managed service providers.