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Matt George Equinix Cloud Expo Europe 2020

Matt George Equinix Cloud Expo Europe 2020

DANIEL FEASEY [00:00:14] Good morning. My name is Daniel Feasey, I’m Head of Marketing at Bell Integration, we have the pleasure today to be filming at Disruptive Live at the Cloud Expo. I’m joined today by my very good colleague and friend, Clair Crouch, who’s an Account Director at Bell Integration. Welcome Clair.

CLAIR CROUCH [00:00:28] Hi, Dan.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:00:28] And Matt George, who’s the Director of Segment Marketing at Equinix, as well as one of our partners.

MATT GEORGE [00:00:33] Hi, Dan.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:00:34] Pleasure to meet you, Matt. Thank you for joining us today. What do you make of the show?

MATT GEORGE [00:00:38] Well, I think it’s you know, it’s great to see so many people here in the current situation. So as well as people visiting, I hope people are tuning in to the type of things we’re doing. So they can learn quite a bit about this market, which, you know, is really moving forward.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:00:55] So I’m excited to wonder around myself really and I’ll certainly get more of an opportunity to do that afterwards, I think, as well. So tell me a little bit about Equinix and how did it start? Where are they now?

MATT GEORGE [00:01:05] Right, so I won’t give you the whole history, I’ll try and condense it. So Equinix is, you know, we’re really known as a data centre and interconnection platform company. Company first started we’re 22 years old. So really started when the internet, you know, really needed to scale. And that was the vision of the sort of founders of Equinix, that if you have a neutral place for the networks to meet, to connect, to run their businesses, then, you know, that really was going to help globally the sort of internet drive. So from those early days, you know, we then sort of saw the emergence of what we term ecosystems, you know, industries that need to work together, need to cooperate, need to interconnect. The emergence of cloud and mobility. And those sort of three things combined have sort of taken us to sort of the transformational well, we’re in today. But ensure, you know, the company has moved from co-location where, you know, typically any enterprise would deploy its IT infrastructure much more to an interconnection play where, you know, our 400 locations around the world are connected by our own fabric. And what that means is you can, you know, deploy in any of those locations and reach anywhere else. And within those locations, you can connect to your network, your ISP, your cloud providers, and reach what we now call the edge.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:02:35] And is it fair to say they’re like the Rolls Royce brand of the data centre industry really? The biggest, largest player are they really?

MATT GEORGE [00:02:42] Yeah.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:02:43] Certainly in the U.K.

MATT GEORGE [00:02:43] We are globally, we are the biggest in terms of reach, company and more importantly interconnection. And what that means is, you know, within our footprint, we have roughly about 10000 customers. And what those customers are doing is as well as physically deploying, is that they are interconnecting to their partners, their suppliers, even their own businesses. And that interconnection figure, which is way above 350 thousands, is by far the largest of its kind in the world.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:03:20] So part of the glue or the fabric of the channel, basically.

MATT GEORGE [00:03:23] So, yeah, I suppose we’re that we’re that base layer, you know, we rely on our customers to probably do some of the very clever things. You know, customers that are with us span all markets. So financial services, content, digital media, manufacturing, energy, you know, transformation is happening everywhere.

CLAIR CROUCH [00:03:45] So you obviously have a very wide customer base. What’s your relationship with the actual cloud providers as well? The cloud providers.

MATT GEORGE [00:03:56] So the cloud providers are some of our biggest customers. So with all of the major cloud providers, deploy some of them deploy the core nodes, all of them deploy their edge nodes within our locations. So that then enables customers who are already customers of those clouds or potentially new customers to directly on ramp to those cloud providers from a, from a point in Equinix. Now, as you know and as we see from the show, we’ve in a, you know, a hybrid world, we’re in a multi cloud world. So one of the advantages of deploying within Equinix is that you can onramp to cloud via a product we call Cloud Exchange, and that enables you to spin up connections to whatever cloud provider you need whenever you need it. So whoever you’re using, you know, we’re a cloud agnostic. You can do that from a single point in Equinix.

CLAIR CROUCH [00:04:51] Fantastic,thank you.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:04:52] Is there an appetite to consume multiple cloud driven enterprise companies at the same time, or do people tend to stick with the same vendor?

MATT GEORGE [00:04:59] That’s a good question. I think certainly now multi-cloud provides you as it states with you know, it avoids that single vendor lock in. And I think when you look at the cloud providers, not all of them are equal some have strengths in a in certain sectors. And I think when you look at the variety of enterprises and the variety of needs and use cases that they have, then multi cloud and hybrid cloud is a good way to go. You know, we see a lot of what I would call cloud native businesses, then they have built, say, their website, so their shop windows in one cloud. But then they’re sort of using their marketing capabilities. They need another cloud provider. So they need to sort of connect to those clouds as well.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:05:49] And I suppose there’s challenges in that isn’t there across the vendors as well, making sure they all talk and they can all be monitored. As you say, not every cloud vendor is as equal as well. Do Equinix play a part in that at all?

MATT GEORGE [00:06:01] Well, one of the big things, this is where we work with partners. So, you know, people like yourselves do a lot of work with data migration and you yourselves are cloud agnostic. So you know when we work with partners, the end user gets gets the best of both worlds. They sort of automatically have that foundation, i.e. one of our data centres where they can be located, you know, specialist services that you guys have like data migration moving towards the cloud. That’s a great benefit for us to to work with the likes of yourselves.

CLAIR CROUCH [00:06:34] Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, we were talking recently about our complementary relationship whereby Equinix had the capacity to provide all of these multiple locations for their, for their customers. But Bell Integration have the capacity to actually understand the complexity of the migration piece. So utilizing VClarus tool, which gives us the how, the why, the where and establish the appropriate location, the appropriate cloud for those applications and then actually being able to service that by the flexibility of Equinix that we get from you guys.

MATT GEORGE [00:07:07] I think that’s where it works really well. I think, you know, we’re we’re in a data centre interconnection business. We’re not necessarily in the data migration business, but working with with you guys, that enables us to have a joint conversation. So if you engage the customer or we engage the customer, you know, the person at the end gets to the right solution. And for Equinix, we talked about, you know, the size of the company at the beginning and where we’ve grown. But for us to grow and scale further, we need to work with partners. You know, we have direct sales teams, but going into the channel, working with partners gives us greater reach. And that for us is critically important. I think over the next 12 months, we’re expecting globally 25 to 30 percent of our business to come from the partner channel. So, you know, relationships with Bell very important to us.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:08:00] It’s very similar in Bell, we stand on the shoulders of giants, I think it’s the name for it. Might be a mix up, but you’d lean on other people’s skill sets, if people are the expert or the best provider. It makes sense to join hands. That’s all part of the new philosophy. It’s combative, isn’t it’s more the ecosystem. We’re all friends now. There’s plenty of business to go round I suppose.

CLAIR CROUCH [00:08:19] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think working with organizations and companies like Equinix, we’re able to offer that multi vendor, but potentially consolidate that through one supplier or a couple of suppliers so we’re mitigating risk as much as possible, but giving customers the option to go wherever they they choose to go based on the optimization and the requirements of their business.

MATT GEORGE [00:08:42] I think, you know, there are as I was saying at the beginning, if we look at every sector, you know, it’s in the midst of transformation. You talk to any C-level exec, they’ve got a cloud enablement strategy. And so there’s a lot of questions to be asked. And I think what we’re hearing is that when, you know, suppliers or vendors are honest about the capabilities and reach of their own services and having conversations where you’ve got more than one vendor in the room is really beneficial for the end user, because I don’t think one company has all the answers. So, you know, working together in a in an ever changing landscape is critically important. And for us, you know, our business, one of the other key elements of our business is that we want companies that are going to deploy in multiple regions. You know, from a commercial point of view, the more pops or points of presence they have is better for us, the more interconnections they’re going to make, the stickier they’re gonna be.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:09:47] So I’m sorry, what are the challenges operating as a global company then Matt? I know Bell are as well. We certainly have our own challenges on that.

MATT GEORGE [00:09:56] I think there’s challenges and there’s opportunities, as I said, the world is a much digital world is a much smaller place. So if you take companies that are of digital origin, cloud native, they can spin out very quickly. They sort of talk that language. One of the challenges is when you’re working with big global companies that have got legacy IT, you know, legacy sort of infrastructure or applications in multiple places to sort of bring that together. But one of the key advantages is that, you know, we can have a conversation about, you know, something in Hong Kong, and it’s a similar of conversation that can be in London, it can be in the US and bring in the right people in the room to have that conversation. So you have an area of control being a global company.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:10:49] All backed up by the original infrastructure in a company, and we’re actually is that kind of gives, and the nature of the business as well it can spread globally. So wherever it leads from, you could then dip back in, it’s not like because digital, it’s not like you have to go travelling to find it.

MATT GEORGE [00:11:04] And I think that’s, you know, which we talled. We mentioned the edge in passing at the beginning of the conversation. And I think that, you know, the definition of the edge is probably different in everybody’s language. But what we’re seeing is that people want to interact wherever they are, you know, whether you’re an end user customer or whether you’re an enterprise company trying to run his business. So our locations provide that edge. And what you’re also going to see now is that it won’t necessarily be a physical edge. So Equinix will be moving towards, you know, a product offering where you can actually spin up virtual infrastructure. You don’t physically need to bring your own kit. And that is all, that’s all part of the sort of product development. But I think it’s fair to say it’s it’s being driven by the world that we’re in.

CLAIR CROUCH [00:11:57] Well, I’m really looking forward to doing loads more work with you guys Matt. I really am. And thank you so much for spending the time with us this morning, it has been great.

MATT GEORGE [00:12:03] It’s a pleasure. And as I said, it’s it’s of mutual benefit. So thank you for your time.

DANIEL FEASEY [00:12:07] Thank you, Matt. Thank you for joining us.