Gartner Catalyst 2019 Focus: Pushing Your Digital Advantage

Accelerating business growth by becoming digital ready

Bryson Hopkins
Gartner Catalyst 2019 Focus: Pushing Your Digital Advantage

When companies become digital ready, they gain a number of advantages that empower them to do things they never thought possible. Being digital ready means you can exponentially increase the volume, variety and velocity of data processing, and scale whenever and wherever you need to globally. Being digital ready means that you can be proactive—rather than reactive—to change, no matter what form it takes. It also means leveraging more cost-effective OPEX rather than CAPEX to take your business anywhere in the world it needs to be and contribute to a flourishing global digital economy.

In a digital world, there is no tolerance for delays. When it comes to exchanging data or application traffic, slow is the new down. To reach a digital-ready state, you need to materially reduce latency by removing the distance between your IT infrastructure, users, and network, cloud and business partner ecosystems. You need to be able to quickly integrate (vertically and horizontally) your systems with critical business partners, which also requires being in the right place to gain proximity to them. Finally, you need to be able to incorporate digital technologies and automate business processes to be agile and move quickly as changes arise.

By closing the distance gap at the edge, you can accomplish all of these things and push your digital advantage to grow your business. This is why “creating your digital advantage” is our focus at this week’s Gartner Catalyst Conference 2019, where enterprise leaders go to learn how to address the new opportunities and challenges of an increasingly digital world.


Why latency is the biggest killer in digital business performance

It’s impossible to underestimate the impact that latency delays have on network throughput, which drives your ability to access and process data and applications in real time. When data and application packets travel a lengthy distance, navigating multiple router hops and general network congestion, latency increases and throughput decreases. For example, an increase in latency from 10 milliseconds (ms) to 20 ms can cut your maximum throughput in half. At 30 ms, throughput is reduced by 67%. At 50 ms, that number becomes 80%.[i]  This means that game-changing advantage comes from transmitting your workloads with 20 ms of latency or less. This is why removing the distance is the first logical step in making your IT infrastructure digital ready.

Remove the distance by moving to the edge

Shifting IT infrastructures from traditional, centralized data centers to a series of distributed, metro-edge traffic exchange points, proximate to users and network, cloud and industry ecosystems, closes the distance gap. Locally connecting your IT infrastructure to people, locations, clouds, data and things via interconnection hubs at these traffic exchange points allows you to achieve greater network optimization, facilitate hybrid multicloud migration, enable distributed data and security, and access to applications and IT services. By creating greater digital advantage at the edge, you can also overcome many challenges, such as integrating merger and acquisition (M&A) companies or critical business partners into your IT infrastructure for greater revenue growth and added value.

Integrate companies and business partners faster

M&A is an extremely common use case in our Equinix base of nearly 10,000 global customers, as it is throughout the industry. In its “State of the Deal Report: M&A Trends 2019,” Deloitte surveyed 1,000 executives at U.S.-based corporations and private equity firms about M&A deal activity in 2018 and their expectations for the next 12 months. Over two-thirds (79%) of all respondents expect the number of deals they close in the next 12 months to increase, up from last year’s results of 70% (see diagram below).[ii]  The reason for this buying spree? More businesses are expanding their customer bases in existing geographic markets and/or expanding and diversifying their products and services.

Source: Deloitte

Once an M&A deal is done, the hard part of on-boarding new employees and integrating disparate business processes, systems, networks and clouds across geographically dispersed IT infrastructures begins. With over 70% of Equinix customers doing business in multiple regions and metros on our global platform, we are in a unique position to help companies with their specialized M&A requirements and facilitate IT infrastructure and business process integration.

This is the scenario that we will be demonstrating in our Gartner Catalyst sessions. A hypothetical UK-based grocery holding company (“Slough Foods”) acquired a United States-based grocery retailer (“D&M Food”) that does business predominately in the western half of the U.S. Slough Foods’ IT infrastructure runs in an Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX™) data center in London in a hybrid cloud deployment that relies heavily on Google and AWS for its point-of-sale (POS) applications, analytics, supply chain and inventory management, and customer loyalty applications. D&M Food recently lifted-and-shifted its entire POS systems to Microsoft Azure in the West Central U.S., and shut down their legacy corporate data center prior to the acquisition. Slough Foods wants to quickly integrate the D&M Food’s POS system with its existing AWS platform and get the U.S.-based stores connected to Slough Foods’ corporate IT systems in the UK. Speed of implementation is critical here.

The Equinix demonstration will show how Slough Foods leverages Platform Equinix and its IBX data centers in London and Silicon Valley to set up traffic exchange points via Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) software-defined interconnection. These traffic exchange points serve to interconnect Slough Foods’ corporate data center to the new stores, as well as enable direct and secure access to Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google clouds in support of the POS and analytics systems. The demonstration will also show how to leverage network virtualization to quickly and cost-effectively build virtual private network (VPN) tunnels from all store locations directly to the Azure-based POS system.

The recently announced Network Edge services from Equinix enable the provisioning of virtual connections to local network functions virtualization (NFV) offerings such as Cisco, Juniper Networks and Palo Alto Networks, via the ECX Fabric customer portal in minutes. The demonstration will show how Slough Foods integrated AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud platforms into its corporate IT infrastructure, as well as deployed SDN and NFV interconnection at the edge to remove the distance and lower the latency between the newly acquired D&M Food stores and the POS systems in the cloud. This more optimized global IT infrastructure also enabled the company to reduce its cloud data ingress costs.

Slough Foods M&A Demonstration at Gartner Catalyst Conference 2019

Source: Equinix

By attending the Equinix demonstration sessions, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement hybrid IT integration to leverage multiple cloud and network providers and share data much faster over high-speed, low-latency SDN and NFV interconnection.
  • Define a digital-ready enterprise-reference architecture and then consistently replicate it in a number of edge locations around the world on Platform Equinix.
  • Interconnect all of your locations and the people you do business with in minutes with ECX Fabric and Network Edge.
  • Gain the agility to enter a new market quickly without having to purchase and deploy new hardware to get started.

In addition to this demonstration, you can attend Equinix sessions that will show you how global industry leaders have taken steps to accelerate digital readiness by deploying their IT infrastructures at the digital edge to remove the distance, leverage edge computing and interconnect ecosystems. You’ll also learn how industry leaders have reduced cloud costs by 70% and latency by 30% through SDN and NFV interconnection solutions delivered in minutes, not months.

Here are the dates and times of the Equinix sessions and demonstrations at the Gartner Catalyst Conference:

  • Monday, August 12, 2019 / 01:00 PM – 01:20 PM PT at the TechLive Theater 1:
    Equinix: Dynamic Edge Interconnection Services on Platform Equinix®
  • Monday, August 12, 2019 / 03:30 PM – 04:15 PM PT at the Hyatt Seaport Ballroom E:
    Equinix SPS #1: An Insider’s View on What It Takes to Be Digital Ready
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2019 / 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM PT at the Hyatt Seaport Ballroom D:
    Equinix SPS #2: A Practitioner’s View of What Digital Ready Looks Like Demo
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2019 / 05:30 PM – 05:50 PM at the TechLive Theater 2, TechZone floor:

Equinix: Deeper Dive Demo with Q&A: Dynamic Edge Interconnection Services on Platform Equinix

Please visit us in Booth #300. If you can’t visit us at the conference, then check out our online resources on ECX Fabric and Network Edge.



[i] Equinix

[ii] Deloitte, “The State of the Deal Report: M&A Trends 2019,” 2019.




Bryson Hopkins
Bryson Hopkins Senior Director, Global Solutions Enablement