F5 Opens HK Office, Taps PCCW as Partner

HONG KONG (04/28/2000) - Seattle, Washington-based F5 Networks Inc., which opened its Hong Kong office last week, has amassed 30 customers and 12 systems integrators, including Pacific Century Systems, company officials said last week.

In addition, Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. (PCCW) has been signed up as a channel partner, they added.

"We found F5 products to have full-range coverage for local and global site management, including content replication," said Danny Lam, vice president for business development at PCCW. "They also have software to monitor Internet traffic, so that's one of the main reasons why we chose F5."

F5, according to PCCW, is the first traffic management product in its product portfolio. Lam added that PCCW would continue to use it as long as F5 comes up with new development to meet market demand.

According to Leigh Wilson, managing director of F5 Networks Asia-Pacific, the unpredictability of the Internet for e-commerce causes it to fail. The answer, he said, is traffic management.

"People are designing their infrastructure to support a designed amount of traffic per day. However, if the marketing department of a dot.com decides to put in advertising, they'll have traffic the next day that they can't handle, and the Web site dies."

The company, named after the highest measurement for a tornado --F5, made popular by the movie Twister -- said that like the powerful storm, it is a force not to be taken lightly.

According to Wilson, even Microsoft Corp. uses F5's Internet traffic and content management products in its e-business, even though F5 software is Unix-based.

"One of our largest customers is Microsoft, and Microsoft is definitely not a Unix company," Wilson said. "F5 products sit in front of every e-commerce transaction that Microsoft completes. It makes it even more interesting that Microsoft makes a competing product but doesn't use it themselves."

F5's Hong Kong office will act as a logistics support hub for Greater China and Korea. It expects to grow its international revenue from 20 percent last year to 35 percent by year's end, of which Asia-Pacific is targeted to reach 12 percent of global sales, which amounted to US$34 million in 1999.

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