Are you in a sales, marketing, or executive role at an outsourced data center provider that offers wholesale or colocation data center services?

Many Fortune 1000 companies, government entities, and universities choose to build and manage their own data centers. But building and operating a modern data center is definitely not for everyone. Between construction costs and ever-increasing levels of staffing and knowledge required to successfully manage an in-house data center, many choose to outsource their data center needs.

Some companies accept the limitations of using a hyperscale cloud provider. But most companies want the control that comes with managing their own assets -- and as a result contract with either a wholesale data center or a colocation data center.

Wholesale data center operators typically lease larger spaces to IT organizations that require less hand-holding and want more control.

Colocation data center operators, on the other hand, tend to lease smaller spaces -- in some cases, as small as one cabinet unit (1U) within a rack -- for IT organizations that require more hand-holding, but less control.

While there are certainly edge-cases and exceptions, wholesale data center leases tend to be much larger and lower margin, while colocation data center leases tend to be much smaller and have higher profit margins.

Where Are Wholesale and Colocation Data Centers?

Some of the largest data center operators globally include:

  • 21Vianet with facilities in 30 cities within China
  • BT with 48 data centers around the world
  • China Telecom with over 400 data centers primarily in China
  • China Unicom primarily in China
  • CoreSite with 20 data centers in the U.S.
  • CyrusOne with 35 data centers on three continents
  • Cyxtera Technologies with 57 data centers on four continents
  • Digital Realty Trust (DLR) with 156 data centers on four continents
  • Equinix with over 150 data centers in 21 countries
  • Global Switch with 10 data centers in Europe and Asia
  • Interxion with 45 data centers in Europe
  • NTT Communications with 140 data centers around the world
  • QTS Realty Trust with 22 data centers on three continents
  • Sungard Availability Services with 80 data centers on three continents
  • Telehouse/KDDI with 48 data centers around the world
  • @Tokyo/SECOM in Japan

What Wholesale and Colocation Data Center Executives Care Most About

When it comes to both wholesale data center operators and colocation data center operators, the daily routines and concerns of executives vary greatly depending on the size of their company.

For example, the CEO of a small single-location colocation data center with $5M in annual revenue and 20 employees will have quite a different level of being hands-on, as compared to the CEO of one of the larger, publicly traded data center operators such as CyrusOne, Digital Realty Trust, Equinix, and QTS Realty Trust.

The CEOs of wholesale and colocation data centers tend to be male in their 40s, living in the suburbs of a major city, with their wife and two children. These executives usually have a bachelor's degree in engineering, specifically electrical engineering most often, and may have an MBA in finance or marketing. This person usually brings two decades of experience in some facet of either IT or in a mid-level role in an IT-centric company.

Their diverse base of knowledge often includes architecture, business development, cloud computing, competitive analysis, construction management, cooling and power, customer relationship building, data center design and colocation, disaster recovery and business continuity, engineering, entrepreneurship, facilities, finance, hosting, infrastructure, law, leadership, managed services, management, marketing strategy, mergers and acquisitions, operations, pricing, product, professional services, project management, raising capital, real estate, SaaS, sales, security, strategy, telecommunications, thought leadership, and vendor management.

Chief concerns include capital markets, competition, expansion, industry changes, security, site selection, and sustainability.

As the ownership groups of both wholesale and colocation data centers continue their rapid consolidation, CEOs spend a lot of time obsessing over how to bolster enterprise value, data center development, new business development, and companywide strategy.

Challenges Facing Wholesale and Colocation Data Centers

As the industry continues to mature and the pace of consolidation accelerates, executive teams from both wholesale and colocation data centers spend a lot of time and resources on several different, interrelated challenges:

  • Brand awareness
  • Building the bottom line
  • Business development
  • Creating new opportunities
  • Expansion to new markets
  • Growth
  • Lead generation
  • Marketing
  • Positioning
  • Sales

Again, the daily routine of the wholesale and colocation data center CEOs will vary greatly depending on their company size and the breadth of other C-level executives that fill out the rest of their org chart.

Recommended Resources

If you’re part of a wholesale data center or colocation data center, and you want to position you and your team for growth, here are some recommended resources: