[Bob] Tell me a little bit about yourself and your role at ColoHouse?
[Bob] My interview today is with Paul Bint, President and CEO of ColoHouse and Savvas Bout, CTO of ColoHouse.
Paul has served as ColoHouse President and Chief Executive Officer since 2010. Paul is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of leadership experience impacting corporate performance. Paul is responsible for overall market strategy and growth. He joined ColoHouse from j2 Global Communications, a B2B Cloud Services, and Digital Media firm, where he directed the South East USA Region. Prior to j2, Paul presided over Global Accounts for British Telecom and subsequently spent 15 years leading teams in the US, EMEA, and Asia. Paul received his MBA from Henley Management College and his Law Degree from the University of Buckingham.
Savvas joined ColoHouse as Chief Technology Officer post the acquisition of Netrouting and Data Facilities in 2018. Savvas has been in the telecom and technology industry for over 10 years. He founded Netrouting in 2007 and has been able to expand his services and his portfolio to over 500 companies. Savvas is responsible for product development and technology at ColoHouse as well as providing a consultative approach for all customers and prospects to optimize their IT infrastructure.
[Bob] What is the background story/history behind ColoHouse
[Paul] ColoHouse incorporated in 2007 and opened its doors in 2009 in downtown Miami, FL. From 2009 to 2017, ColoHouse offered premiere carrier-neutral colocation space as the 2nd most connected facility in Florida after the Equinix Miami Data Center. Our initial offering was space, power, and access to a variety of carriers in our Meet Me Room.
We knew our goal from the beginning was to provide reliable solutions with an even more reliable team behind our products.
Our biggest challenge was overcoming how fast the industry was moving. We quickly realized that we needed to provide more than just colocation to our customer’s ever-changing needs. Netrouting offered an extensive selection of colocation, managed cloud hosting, internet, and metro services. Additionally, operated and owned a data center in The Netherlands, The Hague and several other Points of Presence in the US, Europe, and Asia, so it was a natural fit.
The next stage in our growth will be to launch OpenStack cloud offering which will be rolled out during Q1 2020.
[Bob] How has the industry evolved? How has ColoHouse responded?
[Paul] Back in 2010 a lot of people were just looking for a colocation facility that offered space, power and N+1 redundancy on the key infrastructure equipment like power, AC, cooling, light generators, etc.
Over the years, small businesses who had small spaces with us, quarter or half cabinets, were able to move their infrastructure into the cloud and have been able to do away with the capital to refresh IT equipment. However, businesses that are focused on data center as a key partner to their infrastructure on a global basis such as Avast, Datacamp, Voxility, etc. are taking more and more space within colocation facilities - That means that our average spend per customer on space and power had grown exceptionally as we had customers buying typically 5/6 cabinets as supposed to quarter and a half cabinets. So that’s one thing that is changed.
The other thing that has changed - customers wanting connectivity to and from South-America purchase bandwidth and small spaces to put in routers and switches when they don’t need services in Miami; they just need a point of presence, so that part of the business had grown significantly as well. Going forward, larger clients are asking for cloud and redundant opportunities.
[Bob] Where do you see the industry going
[Paul] We are seeing that specifically in cloud, customers are looking now for more flexibility than they are able to get from an AWS. That will continue to develop as customers will look for more alternatives for more flexibility, so we see that as an opportunity there. We will also see more development in security and in DDoS protection. ColoHouse will continue to develop our DDoS product in the upcoming year as well.
[Savvas] A lot more talk about AI, we will also see more and more development in the cloud as you see that cloud is more widely adopted these days. The conservative approach from people is slowly disappearing, people are lowering their guards and there is a growing market there. Apart from AWS and AZURE or Google Cloud that control the market right now - there is going to be more room again for private cloud providers to build and grow their products.
[Bob] What sets ColoHouse apart from the competition?
- Customer Support
- Customization of solutions
- Access to executives
- NPS Score - Demonstrates that our sole focus is customer service. We are focused on delivering quick and timely resolutions to issues
- Reliable network and data centers
[Bob] What do you see as the top cities/markets for ColoHouse?
[Paul] Currently, we have our HQ in Miami, FL, and our EU HQ just outside of Amsterdam in The Hague. ColoHouse is strategically centered in Europe’s most connected city. Amsterdam has more data center locations than any other city in the world. We have our owned facility in addition to 3 additional locations for access to premium carriers and peering exchanges.
ColoHouse Miami is strategically located as the “gateway to the Americas” – It is the 5th most connected city in the world. Central and South America are going through a transformational time in terms of technology, specifically in places like San Paolo and Mexico City.
We have 14 Points of Presence (POP) across the globe and we are always in expansion mode for another data center acquisition or opening more geographically favorable POP locations. Some of our points of presence have been driven by customers wanting to put the equipment there. Sometimes it’s customer demand that driven that and we continue to do that.
[Bob] What role do you see for colocation in the future?
[Savvas] Colocation will continue to be an important product in the industry, perhaps the requirements for colocation will change but what we will see are smaller requirements. Such as quarter and half cabinets now, will slowly start to disappear. Our focus will be more on, one to multiple cabinet footprints with more than high-end power, consumption for either cloud solutions or other alternative modern-day products for which businesses house their own company infrastructure.
[Bob] Who are the future customers of colocation?
[Savvas] I predict that the future customers of colocation will know very well what they are looking for. I think they probably will be working with more skilled IT people, that either have its own in-house IT team to fully build out infrastructure or have external consultants that will do that for them.
Our role as a colocation provider - to those customers will be to fierily provide space and power in a very specific tailor-made setting for the best adaptive requirements as given by the customer.
[Bob] What is instore for ColoHouse in the future? New products//services?
[Savvas] The future is not set in stones and we are always on the lookout for opportunities. We will have a strong focus on innovating some of our products and perhaps expanding our product line. One of our new cloud-based products that are going to be launched next year is Openstack which will be a nice development and extension to our product line and will add a variety of our services to it.
[Bob] What role do you see ColoHouse in for future technologies like Ai?
[Savvas] We are definitely not going to play an active role as a developer in the greater of AI but we could provide the facility and infrastructure for those that do... high-density space and power solutions for AI technologies. That we could as a company facilitate.
[Bob] How will ColoHouse position itself in the 5G evolution?
[Savvas] 5G is going to do great things in the world, it's going to change the way we look at bandwidth exchange - from the core to the end consumer. As a carrier-neutral data center, that’s is very well connected in the South American region we could play a dominant role in facilitating infrastructure for those who do. Since we are very well connected, there is a high amount of bandwidth available in our building and easy to scale from. There are also facilities that could operate as an edge location or distribution side for those carries that do work with 5G.