Blog Series: 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 1: The Difference between a Carrier Neutral Hotel and Any Other Data Center
First of all, the term “carrier hotel” is as abused as the Uptime Institute’s Tier Ratings. Anyone with more than a handful of carriers tries to claim to be a carrier hotel. The truth is that data centers don’t, and can’t create carrier hotels. They evolve because carriers invest in a single property that offers innate features and benefits that make it a desirable location to gather and interconnect. With the amount of traffic that routes in and out of the facility, it becomes a “hotel” and a beneficial place for carriers and large content companies to meet. The mere presence of multiple carriers does not make it a hotel nor does it offer the advantages which will be shared in future releases of this series.
So, let’s talk about carrier neutrality. It is tempting for us, in this world where the lines between data center infrastructure and IT services has all but washed away, to offer connectivity as part of a bundled infrastructure solution. Many times, I have been asked to sign up as an agent and offered commissions for recommending a carrier to our enterprise customers. With the pressure to generate revenue, and the attraction of adding value for our customers, I can clearly see why our competition has entered into this model.
But the truth is, we are not a carrier. And simply putting our name on the invoice doesn’t put us in the business. Our customers are much better off dealing directly with the carrier and building their own relationship. I can’t see any benefit for our customers to go through our staff, who then contacts the carrier staff to get answers. At least not in this day of greater network dependence, where any outage is magnified. Over the years, I have always held to a policy, if you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all. I could build the same case for managed IT services….but that is for another blog and another audience.
I really enjoy the fact that we can objectively match our customers with potential carriers that can help them meet their network challenges. Because we are carrier neutral, we can have those conversations without making the customer feel like we have inventory to move or a thumb on the scale. We seem to be part of a dying breed, but we want to stay true to our mission and not try to be something we are not.
There are very few true carrier hotels in the United States and even fewer that take a true neutral position with connectivity. If a data center facility is offering any connectivity solution, then they are not neutral and won’t be going out of their way to assure their customers are getting an objective perspective on connectivity options.
So, not all data centers are carrier hotels. And not all carrier hotels are neutral. It is important that you understand the difference as you evaluate this marketing channel and what is right for your business.
Next Release: Industry Trends and the Advantages of Carrier Neutral Hotels.