Data Centre Malta - This Q&A article originally appeared in the GamblingInsider Magazine. Jack Mizzi, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, of BMIT explains how Malta's leading data centre, cloud and managed services provider has evolved its offering beyond standard co-location provision.
BMIT describes itself as a ‘one-stop technological solution’...
Over these last couple of years BMIT has transformed itself from just a co-lo provider to a full IT service provider, with services and solutions now including co-location and hosting, a full range of cloud services as well as the ability to offer managed services and solutions.
We like to consider ourselves as an IT services provider with a difference, and we try to achieve this by combining this managed service capability with the personalisation, affordability and skillset which we make available to customers. The one-stop solution element is derived from our ability to use internal or partner resources to provide solutions which span across all customer IT requirements.
To what extent have the needs/expectations of online gaming customers changed over the years? Have customers become more demanding?
At the core, online gaming customers continue to expect their data centre services provider to provide robust, secure and affordable hosting, complete with any ancillary support that such hosting requires. This has not changed. What has changed is the requirement by such customers to have access to additional resources and skills, as well as on-demand and flexible service offerings.
In our case, we have transformed our portfolio, which now includes a range of on-demand and pay-per-use cloud services, as well as strengthened our support and expert technical team to offer a range of managed services.
Many new operators opt not to have their own internal IT team and therefore depend on our technical team for advice, management and support. Other companies with internal IT teams prefer that their technical people focus on business-critical IT functions, and leave the infrastructure management and support to us, therefore optimising the use of their IT resources.
A growing part of your business is managed services – what do these services involve?
Managed services bridge the infrastructure and HR resource requirements of organisations. In many instances this involves ensuring that the IT infrastructure is kept up-to-date and managed properly, and that system administration is in place, on a 24/7 basis if required. We offer this but also extend our assistance to aspects such as infrastructure design, management of complex set-ups, design, operation and support of private and hybrid cloud infrastructures, as well as specific requirements related not just to the gaming platform but also to the communication and collaboration requirements at their office.
How do the managed service needs of an online gaming firm differ from companies in other sectors you deal with?
There are many similarities to other sectors such as financial institutions and telecom providers. Immediate response to requirements, ability to provide resiliency and pro-active management as well as a deep understanding of the IT and connectivity requirements are some of the key common characteristics.
One aspect which is very specific to online gaming customers relates to network and connectivity management. For that purpose we offer specific service management and support, based on our many years’ experience in offering services to gaming customers.
What advice can you offer online gaming firms about how best they can prepare for issues such as downtime, power outages and disaster recovery?
There is one simple piece of advice when it comes to such issues – always ensure that you choose a reputable data centre and IT solutions expert as your partner. Track record is critical, and the service provider should be able to guarantee performance in this regard. Multi-site setups are also important for disaster recovery requirements, including the ability to tap into a service provider’s expertise to design, implement, execute and support a business continuity plan.
What will be the biggest developments in the data centre services sector in the coming years?
As is the case with most IT-related industries, the data centre services sector is in a constant state of change with regards to technology and service development. Cloud technologies are part of this reality and this, coupled with higher degrees of automation, is enabling organisations such as BMIT to move to truly become an ‘IT-as-a-service’ provider. Other developments, including software-defined DC technologies, are expected to impact the way data centres offer their services, as will trends related to the handling of big data requirements. In other words, interesting times ahead!