Be a channel company that enables the data center to benefit from the new wave of technologies.

June 4, 2019

5 Min Read
Data Center Woman


Dany Bouchedid

By Dany Bouchedid, Founder and CEO, Colotraq

Next-gen technologies such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain, IoT/Industrial IoT (IIoT) and edge computing are disrupting the value chain of IT infrastructure, but channel partners can capitalize on the evolution of the data center industry and some of the current trends.

As CEO of Colotraq, I have a unique vantage point into market trends, supply and demand dynamics and the competitive landscape with a company that has been at the heart of some of these technologies. Before starting Colotraq, I spent six years with the technology services division of JP Morgan Chase Bank in New York. My team and I were recently acquired by a publicly traded holding company, Aluf; in 2017, we integrated a cybersecurity practice group that has provided us with the capabilities to assess vulnerabilities in a clients’ existing IT infrastructure and implement a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity services.

Get Creative

This vulnerability assessment option has been a powerful door opener to get into a dialogue with clients regarding their data center and cloud infrastructure. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are prevalent throughout any organization and it has become increasingly a major decision driver for enterprise-wide IT Infrastructure and network services deployments. Cyberthreats can penetrate an organization not just from typical entry points such as their network or their data center, but via every single IoT device, POS device, smart light switch or surveillance camera. The point is we got creative.

While IoT/IIoT is still in the early stages of being fully adopted in many industries, it promises to be one of the largest demand drivers for data center infrastructure, whether it be physical or virtualized. As we continue to witness the proliferation of IoT devices and technology, this trend will continue to drive demand for big data storage and processing at “the edge.” IoT is infrastructure-intensive both from the amount of data it produces and stores as well as the level of high-availability processing and computing power it requires. And since IoT devices are typically deployed at “the edge,” this will undoubtedly create a sustainable avalanche of demand for highly secure data center infrastructure services and related connectivity as these big data requirements meet edge computing. Furthermore, as cybercrime continues to grow exponentially, IoT devices will become the next big target for cyberhackers. Just last year, Colotraq’s cybersecurity practice group was hired to do a vulnerability assessment for an IoT device company and we uncovered a staggering amount of issues for which we proposed various remediation strategies. While there was little revenue derived from this, as a direct result of that assessment we were able to migrate their infrastructure to one of our vendors. That’s where the real revenue lies.

Blockchain is yet another major potential demand driver for data center infrastructure services. The optimal design that makes blockchain such a secure architecture rests heavily on being able to manage the physical location and controls of the blockchain nodes. This is best achieved by deploying geographically diverse colocation sites for the various nodes, as opposed to a public cloud application. As blockchain continues to become more widely used by enterprises at all sizes and market caps, this will fuel further …

… demand for data center deployments at the edge where the enterprise clients and subscribers are using their web services. This is already being used by several major banks as part of their KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance initiatives and in various other industries such as agriculture. The point is, we got creative.

Much like the rise of the auto industry, it was not only companies that produced and sold cars that reaped the most benefits. Those companies that enabled the historic growth of that industry, such as the ones that produced and sold parts, provided services, built infrastructure (roads, highways, etc.) experienced unprecedented success as well.

New Selling Techniques

In other words, to succeed in the channel and take advantage of these next-gen trends that are impacting the way businesses operate today and tomorrow, it might require some creative selling techniques. It’s not always as simple as walking into a client’s location and pitching data center, cloud or connectivity services.

Here’s what I suggest you can start doing today:

  • Get Creative — It’s not always about asking them if they need any of the products and services that you can offer. Dig deeper; ask probing, open-ended questions; take a true consultative selling approach to your clients. Don’t dare lead with selling your entire product catalog.

  • Advise them on their actual pain points — As their channel partner, you need to earn their trust and advise them on their real pain points, the things that keep them up at night.

  • Solve a real problem they’re having — Whether that be addressing their cybersecurity concerns or helping them optimize their IT infrastructure through a blockchain design or helping the client transform their supply chain through IoT, you need to solve a real problem in their business before you even think of selling a typical commissionable product or service.

  • Bring in strategic partners if necessary — You don’t need to become a subject matter expert for all things your client needs, but you should know which strategic partners to bring in to help your client. Build that trusted relationship so that you are the first person they call when they have a technology infrastructure problem and the rest will fall into place.

Dany Bouchedid, president and CEO of Aluf Holdings and founder and CEO of Colotraq, has a track record of success in building, growing and managing multimillion-dollar enterprises. In 1999, he founded Colotraq, a consulting firm that helps companies and institutions source data center colocation, managed hosting, cloud computing, network infrastructure and other related telecom services in 140 countries. Follow him @DanyBouchedid on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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