Some of you are probably wondering why I’ve decided to start Compass Datacenters after my time at Digital Realty Trust. My time away from the business provided me with the opportunity to reappraise the state of the market and what I saw was a young industry burgeoning with solutions that customers continually had to “accept” instead of desire.
Looking at recent industry announcements I couldn’t help but feel that although we’ve seen an increase in the number of data center providers, they are all pitching the same thing. Do we really think that customers make their provider decisions based on the fact that a facility is the biggest in the city, state or the country? Has technological innovation become just a pseudonym for yet another cloud or PUE related announcement?
Perhaps most importantly, this emphasis on building the next monolithic facility in the Silicon Valley or New Jersey means little to those businesses needing a data center in any location outside of California, New Jersey, Virginia, or Texas. These companies have chosen their locations for a reason. They want to adhere to the “20 minute rule” that would enable them to place their data center within 20 minutes of their existing operations whether it be their headquarters or another corporate office, according to The Tool Report. This minimizes any disruptions in their operations and allows them to utilize their trained personnel rather than have to invest for new employees and infrastructure to support a new location. To summarize my point, I believe that we are an industry that has lost sight of the needs of our customers.
As a result of these observations, and many others, I decided to start a company that delivers solutions that incorporate the full extent of the customer input I’ve received over the years. Not just the headline items, like PUE performance, but the often neglected items like a facility design that makes moves, adds, and changes easier to administer. My goal with Compass is to provide a state of the art data center solution wherever a customer needs it and not just where we happen to have a building; a solution that ticks the boxes in the customer’s decision process around such things as performance, reliability, certification, and mission criticality. I want us to be close to our customers and always listening to what they have to say. In short, I want Compass to be a firm that helps re-energize the data center industry by vigilantly focusing on the solutions and capabilities that our customers demand…no matter where they are.