Flexenclosure delivers award winning Tier III data centres for Millicom in Paraguay, Colombia and Bolivia
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Millicom is a leading provider of cable and mobile services dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. The company provides its Digital Lifestyle services to approximately 51 million customers through its principal brand, Tigo.
With a strong and established position in Latin American mobile markets, Millicom was keen to expand its portfolio with new consumer cable and fixed broadband offerings, as well as enhanced B2B services such as physical and virtual data hosting. And with the enterprise services markets still very much in their infancy, there was a clear opportunity to take first mover advantage and secure significant market share.
To be able to do this though, they would need a number of new and sophisticated data centre facilities, capable of delivering the hosting, cloud, colocation, disaster recovery and other business services their customers were increasingly demanding.
Focusing on the three key markets of Paraguay, Colombia and Bolivia, from the outset Millicom set the bar extremely high, demonstrating its commitment to bringing the latest technology to its Tigo businesses and their corporate clients.
In order to provide both the breadth of services and peace of mind their customers required, the data centres would need to be world class – designed and built to Uptime Institute Tier III standards. And they would need to be future proof – with the facilities capable of being doubled in size as business expanded, without, of course, interrupting ongoing operations.
The locations identified for the new facilities each had their own unique challenges. The site in the Paraguayan capital Asunción was limited in size, so it would be critical to maximise the design efficiency of the facility’s footprint if Tigo’s future expansion goals were to be possible. Its urban location also created significant access issues for the large prefabricated data centre modules. In Bogota, Colombia, the lower air density of the site’s high altitude placed special demands on the design of the cooling and power equipment, with the systems needing to be de-rated accordingly. And simply getting the modules to the site in Santa Cruz de la Sierra was a challenge, as they needed to be shipped to Chile and then driven in convoy across the Andes mountains to land-locked Bolivia.
In addition to all the above, the data centres needed to look spectacular, unlike anything else previously built in their countries.
eCentre module convoy crossing the Andes to Bolivia
Flexenclosure’s prefabricated eCentre data centre was selected as the ideal solution.
The first facility to be completed – for Tigo Business in Paraguay – was the first professional colocation facility in the country and the first Tier III certified prefabricated data centre built anywhere in Latin America. The facility truly is second to none, having also been announced winner of the 2016 Datacenter Dynamics “Best Modular Implementation” Award in Latin America. The judging panel recognised in particular the innovation in design, quality of construction, speed of implementation and foundation it provides Tigo to deliver new advanced services.
The second to be commissioned was the Titanium facility for TigoUne in Colombia. As with the data centre in Paraguay, it too is Uptime Institute Tier III certified and was also selected as a finalist for the 2018 Datacenter Dynamics LATAM awards. But at 770sqm, it is twice the size of the Paraguay data centre and TigoUne is using it to integrate services such as cloud servers, applications, storage, backup and recovery, colocation, virtual desks, cybersecurity, IoT, big data and analytics and cloud environments – both private and public or hybrid.
And as with its Paraguayan and Colombian cousins, Bolivia’s breathtaking new Tier III facility is the first dedicated professional colocation data centre of its kind in the country. It also has an integrated building management system, allowing the entire facility to be monitored remotely.
All three facilities are of a hybrid construction design, including traditional brick and mortar office buildings and prefabricated modular eCentre data centres, seamlessly wrapped in stunning aluminium and glass façades. The result is three world class data centres that have provided Millicom with the critical infrastructure required to position Tigo as the service provider of choice to their business communications markets.
Tigo Business eCentre data centre in Paraguay
Xavier Rocoplan, EVP, Chief Technology & Information Officer at Millicom, talks about their new eCentre™ data centres for Tigo in Paraguay, Colombia and Bolivia.
“Flexenclosure has significant experience working in challenging environments and we were impressed with their focus on understanding our business objectives and delivering exactly what we needed. Our new world-class data centres provide the high security protocols and latest technology that our enterprise customers need to protect their information. They also give us significant efficiencies in the day to day operation of this type of infrastructure. We strongly believe that this strategy of investment will make us the premier provider of B2B solutions in all the markets in which we operate.”
Xavier Rocoplan, EVP, Chief Technology & Information Officer, Millicom
“We commend the work of Flexenclosure and Tigo for being the first colocation facility in Bolivia. This Tier III certification clearly demonstrates Millicom’s commitment to its customers, not only for Bolivia, but as an expanded national IT infrastructure.”
Mozart Mello, Managing Director Latin America, Uptime Institute
The Flexenclosure Advantage
From Day One, a close and collaborative working relationship was established between Flexenclosure, Millicom and Uptime Institute, ensuring that when the time came to deploy them, the new customised facilities would conform exactly to Millicom’s requirements.
Flexenclosure took ownership of all elements of the projects, with a dedicated Sweden- and Latin America-based team overseeing every aspect of the undertaking including factory manufacturing, transport, logistics, management of local civil works contractors, site construction and final commissioning.
By working with Flexenclosure, Millicom was also able to capitalise on a number of significant eCentre differentiators:
Maximum preparation, configuration and testing of the eCentre modules in Flexenclosure’s factory in Sweden ensured the extreme level of quality and reliability required of these mission critical facilities before their final delivery on site.
The same team that built the eCentres in Sweden then travelled to Paraguay, Colombia and Bolivia for their installation and final commissioning, thus ensuring the precise attention to detail found in all eCentre facilities.
With the white space completely pillar free, there is no limit to the internal equipment configuration options.
eCentre’s modular construction allows for the expansion of any existing eCentre site without interrupting on-going data centre operations.
eCentre is technically agnostic, allowing the customer to select their preferred vendors’ equipment – BMS, HVAC, power, fire suppression, etc. – as appropriate for the country in which the data centre is to be built.
On-site commissioning and training secure a seamless transition from Flexenclosure’s project team to the customer’s operations team, ensuring maximum knowledge transfer prior to the facility going live.
And with extensive experience deploying prefabricated data centre and technical facilities in the most challenging environments worldwide, Flexenclosure is always able to bring creative ideas, fully tested solutions and total peace of mind.