20 Years of Being Customer-Inspired and Customer-Driven

Mike Campbell

Our customers are at the center of everything we do at Equinix today, and that hasn’t changed in 20 years.

From the minute we opened our doors, our future was shaped by the customers who came through them. In those first days, we targeted the network carriers creating the early internet. From there, we couldn’t have expanded, innovated or grown without companies from the media and content, financial services, online advertising and cloud sectors, along with enterprises and partners from other industries, that came inside Equinix to interconnect with those carriers and each other.

We banked on these customer-driven ecosystems from the beginning. As secure, reliable and global as our vendor-neutral colocation facilities are, we’ve always known the real value in our buildings is the customers inside them. To me, the customer journey at Equinix over these last two decades is the story of our entire journey as a company. We exist because of our customers. We’ve expanded globally because of them. We innovate to meet their needs. We are 100% customer-inspired and customer-focused, and we know that if we want to celebrate another 20 years, that’s exactly how we need to stay.

Built around customer ecosystems

The customer journey at Equinix today includes pretty much any business in any industry that is going through a digital transformation.

However, we started in 1998 with the idea that network carriers needed neutral facilities globally where they could meet and exchange traffic, or “peer.” At the time, networks were regionally focused, but access to facilities like the data centers at Equinix gave them the chance to connect with each other and expand their global reach, and they soon saw the advantages. My colleague Pete Ferris recalled in the opening post of our 20th anniversary series that one of our first big breaks came in the early 2000s, when a half dozen of the U.S.’s largest carriers decided to house their exchange points at Equinix. People took notice, and the network effect was soon in full swing. Here are some examples of how it played out for us, as new customers and industries shaped Equinix into the company we are today:

  • Media and content companies followed the first carriers to Equinix. These companies wanted to fill the internet that those carriers were building with digital content like email, video, text, etc. Connecting with the networks peering inside Equinix’s nationwide platform of carrier-neutral facilities turned out to be an awesome option for that.
  • Financial services firms began congregating in the late 2000s inside Equinix in New York and financial centers around the world because different industry players – execution venues, information sources, brokers, asset manager – were gathering in our data centers. They all wanted to be as close to each other as possible so they could make transactions as quickly as possible. Now, our financial services ecosystems are an essential industry destination.
  • Our cloud and IT services ecosystem has grown to 2,900+ companies, including all the cloud hyperscalers. Cloud is a huge draw for media and content providers, who need scalable cloud access to store and deliver digital content to their users wherever they are, whenever they need it. Cloud providers come to us because they need access to networks everywhere to deliver that content and other cloud services. And on the enterprise level, companies are being drawn to Equinix as multicloud hybrid IT infrastructures become their default architectures, and their product and service delivery depends on cloud-enabled collaboration.
  • Many of our enterprise customers have demonstrated that digital transformation is critical to their further growth and survival, and more are poised to take this journey with us, too. Regardless of the stage of digital transformation they are at, we’re helping them make the transition as smooth as possible. For example, we’re enabling enterprises to directly and securely migrate applications to the cloud though private interconnection, bypassing some of the risks of the public internet. We’re also helping them to seamlessly integrate emerging digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI), into their current IT infrastructures. We want Equinix to be viewed as the place to come to successfully make your digital journey.

In these examples, existing customers were the key draw for new customers, and we want to extend our deepest thanks for their support. Since our diverse industry customers are at the heart of our appeal, we work hard to know what they need, where they need to be, and what innovations and services will help them succeed as a digital business. We’re designing Platform Equinix™, our global interconnection and data center platform, so they can reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything. And as we continue to expand and evolve, our customers’ needs will drive us and continue to make us a better company.

A matter of trust

We never take for granted the trust in Equinix held by our customers, and by our partners who help us support them. We couldn’t have survived some tough early days without their willingness to stick with us. We never could have developed into a global industry leader if they didn’t share their vision with us and create a shared strategy together. We also know how much they depend on us to be secure, available and always up-and-running in this digital age. We need to be excellent at our business, or we run the risk of jeopardizing theirs. We gratefully and diligently carry that burden as a company. We are committed to never letting our customers down.

Now cloud-fueled trends like the IoT, big data and AI are expanding the scope of what’s possible and increasing our customers’ challenges and opportunities. We are 20 years into this journey together with our customers, and I believe we’re just getting started. I’m looking forward to wherever they take us next.