The Importance of Digital Ecosystems

Help your customers accelerate digital transformation efforts by connecting to a robust ecosystem of 10,000+ companies inside of Equinix.

Herbert J. Preuss
The Importance of Digital Ecosystems

According to an old African adage, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” While this may be true for individuals, today’s digital businesses need to go fast and far, relying on agility and the services of many disparate partners and providers to deliver holistic solutions to customers. To meet customer expectations and demand, organizations are now banding together to form digital ecosystems that allow them to take advantage of compounding network effects to accelerate each other’s digital advantage.

What are digital ecosystems?

The term “digital ecosystem” is best illustrated with a short history lesson. In 1998, Equinix’s founders realized that the internet couldn’t scale without neutral network exchanges. To address this gap, the company was founded to provide a neutral location in which to physically exchange network traffic. It was here that internet/network service providers (NSPs) were able to quickly grow, thus maximizing the internet’s overall performance.

Since that time, proximity to those important traffic exchanges has attracted many of the largest enterprises around the globe to Equinix data centers, where they have formed unique and private ecosystems that enable each participant to grow.

Network Service Providers

The inaugural ecosystem at Equinix was established by NSPs, who wanted to deploy infrastructure in a neutral peering point to exchange traffic with each other. From those early days until today, the NSP ecosystem continues to help members improve performance and manage costs.

Web Content Providers

Content providers such as Google, Netflix and Facebook came to Equinix next, seeking to cache data closer to end users to improve performance, interconnecting to the ecosystem of large and diverse NSPs within Equinix to reduce latency. As a result, a large content ecosystem developed. Today, all five of the world’s largest websites have a presence within Equinix. 

Electronic Trading

Next, driven by stock markets moving from traditional to electronic trading, financial market participants such as exchanges and trading firms began deploying their infrastructure at Equinix to get physically closer to each other to shave time off electronic transactions where the value of a millisecond can be significant. 

Cloud Service Providers

In the first decade of the 21st century, cloud service providers such as Microsoft, AWS and Google began to emerge. These cloud providers quickly established on-ramp gateways to their cloud services within Equinix data centers, which now house 40% of all the world’s public cloud on-ramps.


Today, enterprises are connecting to a myriad of partners and providers within Equinix ecosystems to accelerate their digital transformation. Thriving enterprise ecosystems include the healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, insurance and digital payments industries.

Equinix has become a habitat for all sorts of digital ecosystems, quite literally providing shelter (space), water (cooling) and food (power) so that organisms (participants) can interact (interconnect) with each other and thrive.

The time for a digital-first strategy is now.

The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) is the industry’s leading source of data and insight on interconnection and its increasing impact on the digital world. It shows what digital leaders across all industries are doing to accelerate their digital-first strategies.


How do digital ecosystems communicate?

For digital ecosystems to flourish, connections must be made between selected parties that enable the members or participants to exchange information (“data”) with each other. In today’s digital economy, the ability to freely exchange information in an agile manner is key to any digitally transformed business’ success.

The beauty of ecosystem formation within Equinix is that these digital connections can be made physically or virtually. This is important because low-latency performance is key to the user experience in a time where “instantly” has become the expectation.

For example, two companies with infrastructure in the same Equinix IBX® facility or campus can implement direct, fiber optic connectivity between their private deployments to achieve latencies of less than one millisecond. Similarly, Equinix customers deployed in different Equinix IBX facilities within the same metro typically experience latencies of no more than the low single-digit millisecond range.

Companies that want to access a partner or provider in a different Equinix location – even one around the globe — connect via software-defined interconnection using Equinix Fabric™. Equinix Fabric affords customers the ability to spin-up interconnections on-demand, via a self-service portal with immediate provisioning and minimal term commitment of just one calendar day.

What are the future of ecosystems?

Ecosystem interconnectivity is more important than ever. The pandemic forced the economy into digital overdrive, and companies at the forefront of digitization are moving ahead 4.5 times faster. Hybrid multicloud environments are ubiquitous as companies navigate where and how to place digital infrastructure while managing CAPEX and OPEX costs.

In the digital age, information is an enterprise’s most valuable currency. Exchanging this information via reliable, low-latency interconnection is what keeps digital businesses humming. Just as the self-driving vehicles of the future will still require roads, digital information exchange will always require networks. Equinix’s participant-rich platform enables more than 10,000 customers to enjoy the powerful network effects of interconnection. Your customers can too.

Team Up with Equinix Today

In addition to helping your customers scale their cloud and network access anywhere in the world, you can:

  • Increase deal value and network solution pull-through by leveraging Platform Equinix for colocation and interconnection services.
  • Ensure long-term customer value by initiating broad digital transformation conversations with customers around network, cloud and security, positioning yourself as their trusted advisor for the overall architecture.
  • Get Equinix to help retire your quota, as deals often grow year after year with Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), one-time charges and change orders.
  • Optimize contracting experiences for customers purchasing Equinix using your NSP contract.

Contact your Equinix Representative, or email to see if members of your customer’s unique ecosystem are on Platform Equinix today!


By 2025, 80% of digital leaders will see the positive impact of connecting to multiple ecosystems, including improving their value to end customers.
Herbert J. Preuss
Herbert J. Preuss Principal Solutions Architect at Equinix, MBA