Equinix and Colotraq: joint data centre pioneers

By William Smith
Jules Johnston, Vice President, Americas Partner Sales at data centre company Equinix, discusses the company’s collaborative approach to interconnecti...

Jules Johnston is Vice President, Americas Partner Sales at data centre company Equinix. Having joined in early 2016, she has overseen a move to new sales channels as part of the company’s work. “The team we've put together in the last few years has helped the company go from what was single digits in terms of partner-connected selling to something greater than 30% of our bookings globally,” she says. “We're on a committed path to do the majority of our business with partners, so it's been very exciting to be part of that. The team I lead today is the 40-person Americas partner sales organisation, and our job is to work with partners and enable their collaboration with our field and inside sellers to jointly serve shared customers.”

While Equinix is renowned as a co-location and data centre organisation, Johnston is clear that the company takes a broader view. “We really think of ourselves as an interconnection company and as the global platform for digital business. When companies build their digital infrastructure and platforms within Equinix, what they're able to do is dynamically connect to the world's largest ecosystem of clouds, data, suppliers and customers.” Constructing such an ecosystem has required a significant amount of infrastructure. “Equinix has invested in over 210 data centres around the world, or international business exchanges, IBXs, as we call them. That allows Equinix to be able to consistently deliver on the digital strategy needs of any company who is either global today or aspires to be.”

Equinix works closely with colocation broker Colotraq, with the organisation having been one of Equinix’s master agents for around fifteen years. “Colotraq is a fellow pioneer in the data center space,” says Johnston. “As one of the oldest master agents in telecom, they’ve intersected with us naturally. Equinix started as a place for the world's networks to come together in a neutral fashion and Colotraq also prides itself on being network neutral.”

The partnership extends far beyond the surface level, with Colotraq agents and Equinix solutions architects jointly meeting with customers to advise on digital edge strategy briefings. “One of the places that we collaborate is in helping customers with their network optimisation strategies,” says Johnston. “We have the largest collection of networks in the world in Equinix data centers, and Colotraq advises companies on optimising their network strategies and spend. We've had a really long, productive association given that overlap.”

Incoming trends such as 5G, AI, IoT, blockchain and more all signal a bright future for Equinix and its cloud offering, with the company continuing to prove invaluable for customers even during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Equinix was able to help a global financial powerhouse stand up 120,000 employees remotely in just three days. In this current climate, companies have a real need for that sort of flexibility and we're able to use our digital platform to help companies make those kinds of moves.”

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