Turkey 2014 | ICT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Emre Sayın, CEO & Owner of IHS Telekom, on life in the cloud and the systems integration sector.

Emre Sayın
Emre Sayın is the Founder and CEO of IHS Telekom. He received his degree from Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi and a Master’s degree from Sabancı University in Computer Science. In 2008 he was offered a tenure at Sabancı University and continues to lecture.

How do your international partnerships influence your business?

IHS, with over 120,000 clients, mainly has two divisions: cloud provider and systems integrator. We have many strategic partners in both divisions. With each new technology partnership, IHS develops new business channels and opportunities. Strategic partnerships have especially had a great impact on the growth of our systems integrator division. IHS currently works as a systems integrator for various financial institutions, telecoms firms, and large enterprises in the Turkish market.

How do these collaborations change the way you work in the market?

Cloud service offerings are our core business, and being a dominant cloud provider in Turkey, IHS' client base is already large enough for the market presence needed by a systems integrator. But there is no question that this isn't enough to succeed in the system integrators field. The key to success is vision and quality of service. Being a visionary company, IHS always exploits competitors' lack of innovation. That made IHS a trendsetter in the system integrators field. We usually partner with start-ups, and they are always visionary companies. Giants like IBM soon acquire most of the companies we have partnered. This, of course, has both advantages and disadvantages, but has helped us to position IHS as a reputable, visionary systems integrator in the Turkish market. We maintain our position by investing in new partnerships and the quality of services we offer.

What are your main competitive advantages?

Vision and quality are, simply put, our biggest advantages. In the systems integration business, high quality can only be achieved with highly qualified engineers. That's where IHS comes in. We have extremely qualified homegrown engineers, while most of our competitors don't. The IHS Cloud can be considered huge, with a 10% local market share in Turkey. It has a very complex design in the scope of engineering and utilizes any available IT technology, as well as the in-house technologies that our engineers have developed. IHS' cloud division acts as an IT academy for our quality workforce. Our engineers, running such a complex architecture, have broad knowledge and expertise on networks, application, and security layers. IHS Cloud supports over 120,000 clients, and our engineers solve more than 1,500 client issues per day. Our elite team is capable of handling very complex integration scenarios, and hence IHS easily differentiates itself from other systems integrators with the quality of work done.

How are you expanding your activities in Turkey?

The IHS cloud division already has organic growth of 30% per year and, soon, we will be investing in a new 1,000-sqm data center facility in Istanbul. Our systems integration division's growth is mainly related to market trends, client needs, and the scale of projects. For the past two years, IHS has run several mobile device management projects, and in 2013 we completed very large fraud detection and prevention projects for certain banks. In 2014, we will be heavily investing in our big data and business intelligence; we have nine events on our roadmap dedicated to big data. We expect to increase big data awareness and recognition in Turkey.

What is your 10-year outlook?

In the technology business, a 10-year outlook is not realistic. Forecasts must be made every couple of years because trends change at lightning speed. In 2015, we expect most banking transactions to originate from mobile devices. In that respect, we have positioned ourselves to develop mobile banking security products and solutions for our clients. On the other hand, in a few years, value-added cloud service demand will be on the rise in Turkey and become the de facto strategy for any sized company to completely offload their IT overhead.