Interview: Along with Changing Its Brand, Cirion Has Continued to Evolve as a Digital Services Provider
Since its beginnings under the name Impsat in the 1990s, Cirion has gone through a lot of changes. It initially expanded from Argentina to Colombia and Venezuela before broadening its technology base all across the region — and beyond.
Image: A rendering of Cirion’s São Paulo office that was slated to open in October 2023. (Credit: Cirion)
It was an early leader in data centers, as well as managed services to complement its fiber network, then went through acquisitions by Global Crossing, Level 3 Communications, and Century Link.
Along the way, it continued to expand its security and cloud services. Then it expanded further and added North American operations — before yet another restructuring and rebrand led to the current name, Cirion, and a larger focus on digital and tech solutions that go far beyond its start in data centers and infrastructure.
To find out even more about Cirion’s current focus and culture across Latin America, Finance Colombia Executive Editor Loren Moss sat down to talk with Tania Gisela Diaz Hernández, solutions architect of managed digital solutions at Cirion.
Loren Moss: When there are so many data centers and when there are a lot of optical fiber providers, why Cirion?
Tania Gisela Diaz: There are a lot of characteristics that Cirion has that the competition doesn’t. One that I love mentioning is the support and the closeness with our management. Not just in Colombia — but at a regional level.
It’s not easy to find a partner that, as a Latin American company, can give you support in different parts of Latin America. By that I mean centralized support with a specific person who serves you. Everything regarding support is what differentiates us the most.
Also, we are seeing a very interesting trend in the hyperscalers — like Meta, Google, all those who have big applications — to be hosted in our data center. How great it is to have a neighbor as important as a hyperscaler in Bogotá, Lima, or Rio de Janeiro? These digital industry giants are choosing us — which is key, so we can offer it to our clients.
Loren Moss: For Cirion, where is the parent company?
Tania Gisela Diaz: We are in Latin America, but we are a company born in Argentina in the beginning as Impsat. Since then, it has evolved and changed names and also changed owners. Today, our leaders are in Miami. Last year, we changed the name to Cirion and also separated North America from the Latin American business. And the Latin American business is led from Miami by our leaders in the business.
Loren Moss: Since you’ve been with the company, what is what you have seen change the most?
Tania Gisela Diaz: The change toward a digital culture. It permeates into every part of our company — the relationship with clients, the internal processes. Like everyone else, we have had to transform quickly. We are a 20-year-old company. Imagine all that there can be in a 20-year-old company. After the pandemic, of course, we had to move even faster, and as of today I think we are completely different from what we were able to do at least 10 years ago.
Loren Moss: How did the pandemic affect your clients? Was it a boom in the business given so many others needed to digitize?
Tania Gisela Diaz: Yes, the need for connectivity definitely grew. Our clients wanted to be more connected and to connect from home. Clients said, ‘Well, we need VPNs in our homes, help us do that quickly.” From one day to the next, we already had people connected from their homes with all the security required for this type of connectivity. It was truly interesting to see that change during the pandemic.
Loren Moss: Beyond the data infrastructure, you now also offer services like VPNs, as you mentioned. Can you talk more about those other services?
Tania Gisela Diaz: Yes, that was our big change towards the technological and digital services. It’s not just technology, now we talk about digital solutions. So we also have IoT, video analytics, cameras, with intelligence, cloud security, and a lot more.
Loren Moss: Software-defying networks.
Tania Gisela Diaz: Exactly, the possibility of managing the networks. But not just the networks — also the connectivity to the apps. And we are back to the topic of apps. Inasmuch as the latency is lower toward apps, we are one step ahead. When the competition is giving you a response of 120 -150 milliseconds, we can do it in 5 milliseconds. And connection to Google, to Meta, to Amazon, to the hyperscalers, which are the big ones.
Loren Moss: For the people who might not know about this area — or the new Cirion name — what’s the message you want to leave us?
Tania Gisela Diaz: Well, certainly Cirion brings a lot of things to our clients, but we base all of it on the user experience. If a user — a citizen, a person – has a good experience with their apps or solutions, it’s gratifying for us.
And since we work hand in hand with the clients through that entire journey — one-to-one — we can support them through the whole process. From the moment the person starts interacting with technology to connectivity to going through data centers to through computing analytics, we are here for the whole journey.