The uptake of digital technology in business since the dotcom boom has been exponential, and the demand for secure, reliable connections and data storage has been required to keep pace. Datacentre and interconnection company Equinix had ridden this wave all the way to the cloud, connecting customers, employees and partners through data centres in 40 markets across five continents. President EMEA Eric Schwartz can still see enormous scope for growth.
“Last Friday we closed on the acquisition of Telecity Group and that’s a major step forward for the business—it increases our size dramatically, takes us to a number of new markets, and really positions us very well in the market. It’s the largest acquisition that Equinix has ever made anywhere in the world,” he says.
“It’s been really exciting for us to expand into new markets—most recently into UAE—and we’ve enjoyed tremendous growth. Since 2007, when Equinix entered the European market, we have grown by a factor of eight. Mostly organically, but also through some acquisition, and that growth has been exciting.
“On a personal level, I’m very proud of what the team has been able to accomplish. Over the last couple of years I have seen the leadership team here in Europe come together as a united force with the broader team—who drive the business—with shared goals and purpose. That has been extremely gratifying and rewarding.”
Of course rapid growth, although exciting, can also bring with it a number of challenges. But challenges are something that Equinix’s foundation has been built on. “A proportion of our business is closely linked with the financial sector,” Eric explains, “so the financial crisis back in 2008 was a real challenge for us because we were investing heavily in growth, even though a number of our customers in the industry around us were under real pressure at that point. It was an intentional and strategic decision for Equinix to continue to invest in growth at a time when there was large uncertainty and concern over what the future might hold. Obviously things rebounded after that, and it contributed greatly to our success and our growth. But that took a bold combination of vision, to make those commitments to invest, and the ability for the team to execute those projects successfully.