“As We Start to Deploy the Realities of Edge Computing, We’re Very Well-Situated” | Up-Close with Flexential at CAPRE’s Construction, Design & Engineering Evolution Summit
DENVER, CO – A centerpiece of CAPRE’s International Data Center Series is how to navigate and capitalize on a changing industry and changing enterprise landscape. That’s why CAPRE’s Construction, Design, Engineering Evolution and the Optimization of Hyperscale, Colocation & Enterprise Data Centers in Denver featured a discussion titled “Staying Relevant as a Data Center Provider: Digital Transformation and Optimizing the Client’s Journey to the Cloud” featuring a pair of forward-thinking though leaders from two highly influential organizations: Ed Kimm, of IBM’s Global Technology Services team and Craig Cook, Vice-President for Solutions Architecture and Engineering at Flexential. In this piece, we highlight a close-up with Cook about the latest at Flexential.
To kick off the mini-fireside chat, moderator Brian Klebash, Founder & CEO of CAPRE asked Cook a broad, but important question: “How does Flexential differentiate itself?” he posed. “How is it unique?”
“There are a few of us which truly have a national footprint, from coast to coast. We have 41 data centers in 21 markets across the country. A huge amount of our focus has been on what we call network-enabled colocation, and bringing together the connectivity,” replied Cook. “We’ve got a 100-Gig national backbone that gives us a tremendous opportunity to connect our customers to each other across data centers. As we start to deploy the realities of what Edge computing can do, we’re very well situated and have a tremendous foundation to build upon.”
Next, Klebash asked Cook to talk about strategy. “Tell us about acquisitions in 2019,” he suggested. “Is it growing quickly? Are you building new assets? What’s the big picture with regards to expansion?”
“From an acquisitions standpoint, it’s all been organic growth for us in 2019,” recalled Cook. “We’ve acquired some land, in terms of putting new buildings into places like Hillsboro and Portland, and expanding in Atlanta and Nashville. We’ve got a lot of things happening. We’re constantly evaluating acquisitions of new properties. It’s been a busy year, actually the last couple of years. We’re two years into this – we just had the anniversary of bringing the two companies together, so a lot of integration has been happening there from a people, processes, and technology perspective.”
“Through that, a bright spot has been that we’ve been able to continue to grow sales years over year,” stressed Cook. “Specifically we’re in the high 20s for our colo platform, so we’re winning a fair share of the business out there and enjoying our success as the new, combined, national platform.”
Klebash then asked one more follow-up question before shifting the focus to co-panelist Ed Kimm. “Is there a priority market out there in the U.S. right now for Flexential, with regard to expansion?” he asked Cook. “Is there a place where the company has said, this is where we need to be, or this is where we need to grow?”
“Right now, we’re in the throes of finishing expansions,” enthusiastically responded Cook. “We just did one in Atlanta, we just did one in Nashvile, we’ve acquired more land for a data center in Hillsboro that will be our largest yet. That market continues to see tremendous growth for us, and I think we’ve got 2 cross-Pacific cables that land directly in our Hillsboro facilities, which gives us a tremendous base of connectivity to China and ASIA-PAC and the South Pacific, and that’s definitely an area we’re seeing [growth].”
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