ISSUE #61 – Interview with Alex Carrausse, General Manager, Neurones IT Asia
Neurones IT is part of the French group NEURONES, which is one of the largest IT services companies “on a human scale”. This success has been achieved through strong internal growth (averaging two to three times market rate), leading to constant profitability and an undeniable level of financial strength. The group is the sixth largest IT services company in France. The company’s products and services combine consulting, integration of state-of-the-art technological solutions and outsourcing of information systems. It has strong expertise in infrastructure services, including cloud, data centres, security, virtualisation, mobility, networks and its global workforce offers a high, technical level in application services: web, business intelligence, content management, IT training, IT consulting, change management, and transformation.
In Singapore, Neurones IT provides assistance in delivery of any type of IT infrastructure, and it aims to deliver top-level, tailor-made, cost-effective IT frameworks that enable firms to obtain enhanced efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Can you tell us about your career and share with us a few words about Neurones IT?
I have been in the IT services industry ever since I graduated as an IT and telecom professional in Toulouse in 1998.
My career has been very international right from day one, traversing South Korea, Africa, London, Central Asia and then Singapore, where I settled in 2007.
Neurones IT is part of the larger NEURONES Group in France. The group is listed on the Euronext stock exchange and it made €400m in revenue last year, with 4,500 employees. We are an IT infrastructure service provider and, in Singapore, we do have a special focus on cloud, managed services and IT professional services.
Could you briefly describe Neurones IT’s strategy in Asia, specifically in Singapore?
The story of Neurones IT in Asia is very exciting. We arrived in Singapore in 2012 and initially it was because one of our clients in France needed services in Asia. Had we not set up our operations here, we would have lost this client, who was seeking an international IT services provider. It became clear to the management that the “next step” for Neurones IT was to grow internationally, and that to become a true international player, we would need a presence on all continents.
It turns out that our clients too have been expanding internationally, and with our new presence in Singapore, we were not only better able to provide services for our existing clients, but also to attract more clients looking for global services. And so we continued to tap on opportunities in Asia and attracted new clients who were not familiar with Neurones. In Singapore, we found that there are many local companies interested in our services, and we have be very fortunate to bring value to some of them.
We truly believe that the future of IT is in the handling and analysing of massive amounts of data
Could you share with us some of the projects that you’ve embarked on here in Singapore?
We have had the opportunity of developing a trusted relationship with a major hospitality player. It’s actually a project we are working on right now, one that is sizable: revamping the guest WiFi infrastructure across multiple resorts in Asia. We successfully delivered on the first resort and demonstrated our capacity to deliver on time and within budget. Our team is very flexible and was able to quickly adapt to the client and their needs. As such, we have been entrusted with the rest of the resorts in Asia, and are now deploying a cloud-based solution, a very reliable infrastructure. We will also be taking care of the support and maintenance of the infrastructure so it’s a complete turnkey solution that will require minimal involvement on our client’s part.
What are the main challenges and opportunities for Neurones IT in Asia?
The initial challenge was breaking into the Singapore market as a company with little brand recognition in Asia. In addition, our initial team was rather small. Nonetheless, we managed to overcome these challenges and convince clients to trust us to support their IT needs. Over the years, we developed the brand through various communication channels. Today we have 20 clients and about 40 employees. We have a presence in three countries in Asia: Singapore, India and Indonesia. We are also able to serve our clients in more countries in Asia through a network of partners that we nurture and develop. This enables us to serve our clients anywhere in Asia.
As this issue focuses on transforming the industry, could you share Neurones IT’s vision on how to transform infrastructure to increase its reliability?
We truly believe that the future of IT is in the handling and analysing of massive amounts of data (big data, Internet of things). In order to achieve that, we would need greater computing power at a cheaper price. The way to go will be through the cloud. Neurones IT has developed a strong leadership in cloud management and we are an AWS-certified partner and a Microsoft Azure Gold Partner. We are also able to provide private cloud services from our own infrastructure.
As a strong supporter of the French Chamber, how would you describe its role today for French companies in Singapore?
Neurones IT is a proud Patron Member of the French Chamber and many of our clients are members as well. The events and gatherings that the French Chamber organises provide a conducive environment for businesses to stay in touch and develop further. I believe that the role of the French Chamber is to create a platform to support both small and large French companies and support their growth in Singapore and in Asia.
I also believe that the French Chamber holds the key role of showcasing in an integrated manner the expertise and capabilities of French companies and entrepreneurs, many of which are topnotch and very much exportable.
Interview published in the FOCUS Magazine “Principles of Productivity” – Issue #3 2016