Blog Series #5: How to Leverage a Carrier Neutral Hotel to Grow your Business
Roger Willey, VP of Sales and Marketing for Nebraska Data Centers recently shared his perspective on the best strategies to leverage a carrier neutral hotel at the Fall INCOMPAS show. This blog series is an extension of that presentation.
Session 5: Your Prospects – Their Demands
This session topic is simply a dump of the conversations we have been having with prospects over the last couple of years as it relates to their connectivity. The hope here is that maybe this perspective will provide insight that your prospects may not share with you directly. Again, as a carrier neutral hotel, we are privileged to sit aside our customers and discuss their connectivity needs, concerns and challenges. Here is an aggregation of what we hear most frequently:
They Want More Control – With “edge” architecture and more applications hosted remotely, the greatest risk to the network is transferring from infrastructure to connectivity. Whether this risk is reliability, security, or performance, IT managers are under tremendous pressure to assure their business remains online.
Think about this from the IT Manager’s perspective for a moment. His or her company, most likely due to cost containment efforts, has adopted a “cloud” solution. For the company to operate efficiently, reliable network architecture must be deployed to assure that corporate staff can access the remote location at all times and in a seamless, responsive flow. This wasn’t as hard when the data or application was in the same building….or on the same desktop.
It is hard to fault an IT Manager who wants to “own” his or her own destiny. So, he or she has to get more involved in how their traffic is routed, where security exposure might be and single points of failure.
Today’s networks require more thought, ingenuity and scrutiny and our customers have a lot riding on their ability to analyze that information. The days of “one throat to choke” has been replaced with “my neck is on the line” so be sure you can speak to each of those requirements in detail.
Must Have Flexibility – This covers a lot of ground, but in a nutshell, they want the ability to increase or decrease network capacity, expand network reach, or have carrier diversity for redundant routes. With the ever changing landscape that was addressed earlier in this blog series, IT professionals cannot risk being landlocked when it comes to connectivity.
They are More Sophisticated – One irony that I have noticed. As enterprise companies are leaving the data center business, they seem to be moving closer to the carrier business. Demand for dark fiber, peering exchanges, wholesale IP bandwidth and direct transport connections are more popular than ever. Our customers don’t seem to be as intimidated by BGP routing, network security or designing complicated networks to support hybrid cloud applications. To illustrate this point, our customers no longer ask “who can get me to Denver” but now it’s who can get me to Denver with the lowest latency and most redundancy.
Want More for Less – I am sure this is no surprise, but let me dive into this a bit deeper. Stop for a moment and try to think of a recent IT trend that wasn’t adopted because of potential cost savings. The move to the “cloud” was not because it makes for greater network performance and the decision to outsource IT departments (managed IT) isn’t because some remote stranger is better at running the infrastructure.
Our customers are feeling the budget crunch. They may be paying less per Mbps today than they were five years ago, but they are buying much more capacity and handling a lot more data.
At Nebraska Data Centers, we try to be realistic in finding customers ways to control costs or at least keep them to a minimum. With a carrier neutral hotel, they can get “on-net” pricing and our carrier partners get faster activations and less last mile construction costs. So, we like to think that our facility brings value to both parties and helps them achieve their goals.
Open to New Ideas – We have noticed a much more open minded market. Network performance and reliability seems to trump everything else. The new world requires new ideas and options and their business just can’t afford to be down. Therefore, we typically end up at the white board, redesigning the network to meet the demands of today.
Changes in the network architecture has affected their criteria for choosing a connectivity provider. Our customers seem to be looking for new concepts and outside the box solutions to help them meet their goals for network reach, reliability, security and performance.
There you go. Not sure if this was earth shattering, but I hope it got you to thinking about what your customers really want. And remember, in this competitive landscape, you may no longer be the only game in town, anything you can do to highlight your unique value as it relates to their specific goals will help you win the business.
Next Series Release: Your Advantages at a Carrier Neutral Hotel