Expanding the Global Platform for the Digital Edge

Katrina Rymill

Digital transformation is driving companies to the digital edge, but this disruption is a major growth opportunity for Equinix because our interconnection platform is designed to help digital businesses thrive there.

This powerful competitive advantage and its implications for our customers were central themes on Wednesday at Equinix Analyst Day 2018. Equinix leaders and customers gathered in New York City with more than 300 investors, financial and industry analysts to review our strategy and projections for our business. They also set new growth projections and guidance and explained how we’ll add lasting value for our shareholders.

Speakers explained the digital age, with its heavy turn to the cloud and the emergence of technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, is accelerating demand for anytime, anywhere, any device interconnection at the digital edge, where commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems meet.

“We are purpose-built to be the platform for our digital world,” said Executive Chairman and Interim CEO Peter Van Camp (PVC).

Chief Financial Officer Keith Taylor told attendees that Equinix could be a $7 billon company by 2022. He added, “Why can’t this company be a $10 billion company? That’s the question you should be asking because there’s no reason why we can’t.”

A strategic weapon

Our last Analyst Day was in 2016 and Keith noted that at that time, we operated 112 data centers in 33 markets and had $2.7 billion in revenues. Two years later, we operate 200 data centers in 52 markets and have nearly doubled revenues to more than $5 billion. Our exceptional fiscal health has been pivotal to this rapid expansion, Keith said.

PVC reflected on the significance of our milestone 20th anniversary. He said two decades ago when he began his first stint as our CEO, he couldn’t imagine the extent to which paradigm-shifting technologies like the cloud would expand our founding vision. At that time, Equinix was focused on selling to network carriers-but that’s obviously not the case anymore, he noted.

“Every company is now in our addressable market,” PVC said.

Massive enterprise opportunity

President of Strategy, Services and Innovation Charles Meyers followed PVC and focused on the enterprise market, noting its untapped potential for Equinix. For instance, Charles said the multinational enterprise market expands our market opportunity by over 23,000 customers and adds $10 billion of addressable market.

Three enterprise customers took the stage after Charles for a Q&A with Chief Marketing Officer Sara Baack. They included:

  • Robert Hintze Sr., director of institutional retirement technology at TIAA
  • Kirk Joubert, director of network services at Sysco Foods
  • Matthew Douglas, the chief enterprise architect at the healthcare organization Sentara

Sara asked each guest what was driving their company’s digital transformation, and the answers were all related to meeting consumer expectations. When Sara followed up by asking how Equinix entered the picture in these companies, Matthew Douglas said that after Sentara asked him what it needed to do first to get things going, he said: “Equinix.” It’s critical, he explained, to establish a central point for data delivery, and that’s what Equinix offers.

The three Equinix regional presidents followed the customer panel, with America’s President Karl Strohmeyer offering a deep look into Equinix’s enterprise opportunity in that region. He detailed the company’s efforts to ensure the region is equipped to go after this rich market, including expanding the sales force, using data science to target the best prospects and leveraging channel partners to pull in customers.

APAC President Samuel Lee said interconnection remains Equinix’s “secret sauce” regionally, noting that Equinix operates the most interconnected sites, with the highest network and cloud density, in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

EMEA President Eric Schwartz reviewed the Telecity deal, which made Equinix the top player in EMEA. That’s important, he said, because enterprise customers exploring data center options start by finding the market leader, and Equinix is now who they come to for advice, engagement and, ultimately, service.

Customer-inspired innovation

Chief Product Officer Brian Lillie took the stage next and focused on the concept of customer-inspired innovation, which he described as listening to customers, then innovating with (and for) them.

Brian noted that the ECX Fabric™ began simply as the Equinix Cloud Exchange™ in 2014 to give customers a way to connect privately to cloud service providers. But customers needed more capabilities, and now it has evolved into ECX Fabric, which enables all cloud providers, partners and participants to reach each other instantly and dynamically, even if they are in different metros.

Brian said at its heart, customer-inspired innovation is about creating value for customers, partners and investors. He outlined four ways it does that:

  1. Accelerating enterprise cloud adoption
  2. Increasing yield and attach rates
  3. Generating new revenues from new products
  4. Optimizing costs

Playing the best hand in the business

Keith closed the day with a presentation marked by his confidence about the company, its strategy, and its future. He showed a slide that illustrated the increasingly steep rise in revenues since we were founded. Equinix has also completed 22 acquisitions in its 20 years, Keith said, adding that expansions will always be disciplined, prudent and impactful. “We try to do things that are transformative,” he said, pointing to our acquisitions of Bit-isle, Metronode and Telecity, each of which completely changed our profile in a particular region.

“We do things others are scared to do,” Keith said. “Because if you believe in the business and you believe in the opportunity in front of you, that’s when you strike.”

Overall, the mood of the day was optimistic, and speakers reflected that spirit from the start of the day to its end.

“We’re exceptionally excited about what lies in front of us,” Charles said. “It’s exhilarating to be playing what we often refer to – and firmly believe – is the best hand in the business.”


Katrina Rymill
Katrina Rymill VP of Investor Relations at Equinix