To Get AI Right Tomorrow, Build Your Ecosystem of Partners Today

Succeeding with AI requires more than just the right technologies; it’s also about the partnerships

Kevin Thames
Brian Thomas
To Get AI Right Tomorrow, Build Your Ecosystem of Partners Today

The possibilities for AI are exploding as companies explore new AI use cases—from translation tools to video surveillance to drug discovery. But launching an AI initiative is complex, and many enterprises aren’t sure where to begin or who to work with to get the outcomes they want. To succeed with AI, you need the right strategy and the right execution.

As we speed into a future where AI is embedded everywhere, it’s important to consider many ingredients in the recipe for AI success—everything from your IT infrastructure to the partners and service providers you work with. Traditional infrastructure wasn’t designed for AI workloads. So, companies are rethinking what processing power, connectivity and proximity to data sources they need to move forward with AI.

In an effort to deconstruct what goes into AI success, we’ve recently explored some of the crucial elements of preparing for your AI future. These include designing the right data architecture to move data from the edge to the cloud and back, and deploying cloud adjacent storage for fast data transport to and from clouds with greater flexibility and control of your data.

Another essential element in AI success is having a robust ecosystem of partners. Nobody can succeed at AI alone; instead, a myriad of suppliers, vendors, developers and service providers come together to create successful AI initiatives. If you’re exploring future opportunities to drive up revenue, generate more efficiency and productivity across your business, and deliver better customer and employee outcomes using AI, you’ll need to build a strong ecosystem of partners today.

Using AI to deliver business value at the edge

Consider a common AI use case like video surveillance. AI can enhance the capabilities of traditional surveillance systems by automating certain tasks and providing intelligent analysis of video footage. Here are a few examples:

  • Object detection and tracking: AI algorithms can be trained to detect and track specific objects or individuals in real time, such as people, vehicles or specific objects of interest. This can help in identifying suspicious activities or tracking the movement of individuals.
  • Facial recognition: AI-powered facial recognition systems can analyze video footage and match faces against a database of known individuals. This can be useful for allowing people to access the things they need in fewer steps, from boarding a plane to entering your favorite sporting event, while keeping everyone safe in the process.

In these examples, numerous partners are needed for things like strategy development, edge devices, 5G networks, physical or virtual compute resources, application development, management and more. And all of it necessitates a solid digital infrastructure and an interconnected technology ecosystem that bring the pieces of the puzzle together with high performance and low latency.

Partnerships are pivotal for AI

It comes as no surprise that digital ecosystems have become fundamental to doing business in a digital world. According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2024, a market study published by Equinix, organizations are now connecting with 30% more business partners in twice as many locations. As these connections grow, companies are exchanging value and helping each other fulfill their missions.

Today, companies rely on their partners to help them with the realization of AI. Partners help organizations solve business problems, and that’s truer than ever with emerging technologies like AI, as well as IoT, big data analytics and various edge use cases.

AI is bringing a host of new opportunities, but this disruptive technology also requires new ways of thinking and collaborating. To take advantage, enterprises need to efficiently integrate and connect across their partner ecosystem to deliver the best possible experiences. And they need access to on-demand SaaS solutions and the ability to exchange data efficiently and securely.

Various kinds of technology providers can play a role in enabling AI success, including:

  • Global systems integrators: To identify and assess where new technologies may help
  • Managed service providers: To help with needed compute, storage and networking management
  • Network service providers: To deliver networking solutions that latency-sensitive workloads require
  • Value-added resellers: To help with product or vendor selection, customization, integration and support

The capabilities offered in these business and technology ecosystems are vast, which gives enterprises incredible flexibility and choice in creating the best solution to accomplish their goals.

Why Equinix is the AI ecosystem enabler

For more than 25 years, Equinix has been committed to helping organizations connect and exchange data securely, and we’ve always done so hand-in-hand with our partners. That’s as true as ever in the age of AI.

On Platform Equinix®, enterprises and partners can build an authoritative data core and deploy the cloud adjacent storage that’s critical for AI. And they can leverage the largest ecosystems of partners and service providers you’ll find on the planet.

Enterprises are at Equinix because that’s where they find all their key partners in one place—major cloud providers, infrastructure leaders, network service providers, storage and SaaS solution providers and many more. And partners are here because this is where enterprises connect. Companies can leverage our partner ecosystem for connectivity, data sources and the marketplaces they need to access for their AI use cases. Not to mention, at Equinix customers get access to on-demand digital infrastructure from industry-leading providers.

Equinix Fabric®, our software-defined interconnection service, gets you connected to the technologies, marketplaces and business intelligence you need for AI success. And then, the ecosystem of partners we work with helps you deliver successful AI outcomes.

As AI opportunities expand, and data privacy and security risks increase, enterprises are looking for ways to take advantage of AI without putting confidential data at risk. Private AI has emerged as a new approach that prioritizes control of proprietary data on private infrastructure with dedicated network connections.

Just as Equinix has been the steward of essential networks, clouds and hybrid multicloud infrastructure solutions, we are fast becoming the steward of private AI. Our private AI solution with NVIDIA DGX is a perfect example, bringing together NVIDIA AI supercomputing infrastructure with Equinix managed services, colocation and interconnection solutions. This ready-to-run solution is great for companies that are building custom generative AI models and want to get off the ground quickly.

The value of these ecosystem partnerships will no doubt continue to evolve as AI evolves and other revolutionary technologies reshape our world. And all the while, Equinix and our partners will continue innovating to enable enterprises to fulfill their purpose and serve their customers.

We unlock more opportunities together

More than 50% of Fortune 500 companies have used Platform Equinix to enact their digital-first strategies. With all that’s changing in the tech industry, you need to work with a platform that will continue to adapt with you in the future.

Our purpose is “to be the platform where the world comes together, enabling the innovations that enrich our work, life and planet.” AI is one such innovation, and we’ll be here when the next one comes along, collaborating with our partners to deliver new opportunities to shared customers.

If you’re ready to learn more about how to use our trusted platform to build the core, ecosystem and edge infrastructure to support your AI journey, download the Leader’s guide to digital infrastructure.

And for more about how ecosystems are unlocking digital opportunity, check out the GXI 2024.

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Kevin Thames Board of Directors, Equinix Foundation, & Vice President, Americas Channel
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Brian Thomas Sr. Manager, Segment Marketing
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