We were delighted to speak to Andreas Sturm, Chief Business Development Officer at DE-CIX, about the company’s evolution in a post-Covid landscape and the need for more local interconnections

It is well established that the coronavirus pandemic has served as a catalyst for enormous digitalisation all over the world, leaving enterprises, governments, and individuals more reliant on connectivity than ever before. 

Underpinning this vital global connectivity are internet exchange points (IXPs), physical locations containing network switches that route traffic between different internet service providers’ networks. Currently, even the most advanced markets in the world rely on a small number of these IXPs, typically based in metropolitan areas, which handle terabits of data every second.

However, as demand continues to increase and delay in data transit becomes even more problematic for enterprise applications, this reliance on a relatively small number of IXPs is becoming a growing challenge.

For DE-CIX, one of the largest IXP players in the world, meeting this challenge has led to a growth strategy that is not only international but also local, gradually increasing their IXP presence in all their key markets in recent years. In the company’s home market of Germany, this regional expansion is almost complete. 

“We’re happy to announce that DE-CIX Leipzig is coming soon and will be operation in late summer. This is basically the last region where no exchange or even local interconnection platform was available,” explained Andreas Sturm, Chief Business Development Officer at DE-CIX. “After the past two years of growth, we are nearly present in all 11 metro regions.”

You can watch our full interview with Andreas Sturm from the link above.

Explaining the company’s motivation for this regional focus, Sturm noted the improved reliability and customer experience that local IXPs can bring to customers, giving businesses the digital foundations they need to compete on a global level.

“The reason behind expanding more regionally is that we believe traffic needs to be exchanged more locally. When traffic is exchanged more locally, the customer experience is better and service is more reliable. People are moving their digital lives onto the internet, so having more reliable local exchange points is a true benefit,” he explained.

“In Germany, the challenge is that we are not known as a very digital society. But our businesses compete on a global scale and in order to do that they need to become fully digital. This requires the perfect digital foundation.”

Indeed, as companies continued to become more reliant on the cloud and the edge, existing infrastructure in many cases will not be sufficient to deliver the high-quality connectivity businesses require. This will become particularly apparent in the coming years, as more and more enterprises look to AI and automation to enhance and streamline their operations. 

“The missing piece for them – and for us – is to link the data silos with each other, to have a seamless workflow,” he explained. “The next thing that will happen after cloudification is artificial intelligence, which will rely on very high data quality. In order to use this effectively, we need to make sure that all applications are interconnected and that the data is delivered smoothly from one end to the other,” said Sturm.

“For us, now is the time to bring the pieces together. We’ve built the core, we do offerings for cloud, and now we need to link this to give people easy access to everything they need to be more competitive in the digital domain," he concluded.

To hear more from Andreas and DE-CIX on the topic of Germany’s changing digital landscape, join us for our live Connected Germany conference TODAY, 5–6 April, in Mainz. Register here.

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