Interconnection Isn’t Just Electronic; Sometimes It’s About Beer

Bill Long


Interconnection isn’t just about technology. Sometimes, it’s about beer.

Sure, routers and switches are important. But interconnection is also built on the kind of “connections” people pursue in places where fiber optic cables aren’t required for communication (see every restaurant, music club and bar ever built.)

The fact is that personal connections are essential in the interconnection world. That’s only going to become more obvious as interconnection demand grows and the number of potential partners and customers grows with it.

A history of connecting people and businesses

Electronic interconnection is available at a deeper and broader level than ever in this interconnected era. Companies can collaborate with partners everywhere and offer products and services people didn’t even think were possible five years ago. The market leaders know this, and they’re doing it. That makes it critical for everyone else to get on board with this new level or interconnection, or risk falling behind.

It’s not always obvious with whom or how to make a physical interconnection. We’ve got some answers at Equinix, which we founded in 1998 to create a neutral meeting place for interconnections to happen. We’ve since spent a lot of time building offerings that bring businesses together. Network service and content providers can interconnect over the Equinix Internet Exchange, for instance, or cloud and enterprise customers can interconnect over the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

But we also learned early on that building places where people could just hook up their cables wasn’t enougbeer posth to create the personal relationships critical to business (despite the nightclub-y vibe in some of our data centers). Peering agreements were just taking too long, and the back and forth over email was often unproductive. Our customers needed to know each other. So for better than a decade, Equinix has sponsored industry events to bring people in the same business community together for meetings in locales from Hong Kong to Singapore. The events have expert panels and speakers to help people keep pace with what’s happening in the industry, but the social aspect is huge, too. We guarantee that bands, or at least beer, will be available.

Lasting bonds

Many of the people who attend these gatherings become personal friends. In some cases, those bonds can help members of the community find new career opportunities. In others, the relationships aid ongoing operations. Would you rather send requests for support to a human being you know or a faceless network operations center? And if something goes wrong, isn’t it better to dial up someone who is already in the contacts list in your smartphone? Those personal ties can further business opportunities as well, such as sales leads.

The bottom line is that however technology evolves, personal connections will always matter in interconnection. Equinix’s past commitment to enabling personal connections isn’t about to change now that interconnection has become more critical than ever. So keep an eye out for future events, and learn more about how Equinix enables interconnection via its Interconnection Oriented Architecture. Maybe we can talk about it someday over a beer.

NOTE: Equinix hosts a series of Equinix Evolution events that connect customers and partners to share best practices and discuss emerging technology and industry trends. You may also visit the Equinix Forum to learn more about what’s happening in our global customer ecosystem.