Equinix’s new facility in Melbourne is our introduction to Australia’s second-biggest market and joins SG3 in Singapore as the Asia-Pacific members of our “Big Five” (the five new data centers we’re opening in early 2015). We’re marking ME1’s opening by talking to key personnel there about what goes into operating a world-class data center.
This interview is with ME1’s sales engineer, Divya Sangar. Customers rely on her technical expertise when they’re making a move to Melbourne but, as she explains, that’s just part of the job.
Can you talk about any changes you’ve seen in the short time Equinix has been in Melbourne?
I started in June 2014 working in a construction shed in the front of the facility. The data center was still a shell. I used to tour customers in hard hats and safety boots. Now when I do tours, I can walk around and see the incredible evolution that’s taken place at this data center. It’s a great feeling. We all say, “Remember when we were down in the shed?”
Do any examples stand out about how the market is responding to Equinix?
I was struck by how many people had heard of the Equinix brand and knew about our strong reputation. They hadn’t even toured the facility, and they still bought space from us. Just the Equinix brand was enough.
Tell me about what you do.
I provide customers with technical expertise on the data center. Traditionally, I take them on data center tours and show them how the data center runs, mostly the behind-the-scenes part of it. Once a customer is close to making a decision, I sit down with them and a salesperson to go through their specific requirements and design a solution especially for them. It could be a cage design, or a single cabinet design. Each customer is different.
So you’re a bit of a hybrid sales/technical person?
I’m a network engineer by training, and I would say I’m a technical person first. I make sure what we sell to the customer is suitable for the customer. I give facts, “Yes, we can do this, no we can’t do this.” I don’t want to promise what we can’t deliver. But the sales part is obviously important. These conversations often start with power and space, and then naturally evolve to the other advantages customers can tap into within Equinix. We try to concentrate on what differentiates us in the market, our interconnection leadership. So I have a sales hat on, as well as the technical hat, and also the customer service hat. So I guess it’s three roles!
Each customer is different, but do they have similar concerns?
They always ask, “What’s the strategy, what are your plans for this market?” We talk about how Equinix has a long term plan never to go dark in any market (i.e. always having space and power to meet customer requirements). We always talk about our long term plan and commitment to the region, because for a lot of customers that’s a concern. What’s exciting about Equinix is that we attract the best in the business and they really place their trust in us. We are central to their business strategy and because we are a carrier- and cloud-neutral data center, the customer has freedom of choice, compared to what was available in Melbourne. So it’s opened up new possibilities for them and they can see that.