The Current & Future State of Private Colocation Providers

2020 CAPRE Digital Infrastructure Industry Forecast Panel

February 19, 2020

I recently attended CAPRE’s 2020 Digital Infrastructure Industry Forecast event and had the honor of participating on a panel titled The Private Perspective: How Have Privately Held Companies Performed and What are Their Key Priorities for 2020?. It was an insightful panel with perspectives from my peers at TierPoint, Compass Data Centers, and Data Canopy. The key takeaways from the panel are that: 

  • There are many different approaches private data center providers can take 
  • Almost everyone is shifting or expanding at least slightly as we enter a new decade 
  • Enterprise clients offer a lot of opportunity, particularly for privately-held providers 

Here’s a quick rundown of how the organizations represented on the panel are positioning themselves in today’s market and where they’re headed. 

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Compass 

Compass is traditionally a builder rather than a service provider. Their focus is to build data centers for  for Cloud/SaaS providers, enterprises, and colocation providers (like TierPoint).  They don’t offer services like remote hands, network services, or pursue carrier neutral positioning. Recent activity has taken them to more of an “own the entire experience” approach by introducing edge to core into their portfolio.   

TierPoint 

TierPoint is a conglomeration of many companies that have come together to create a full-service approach to colocation, managed hosting, cloud, storage — really a full stack of services. They operate in mostly tier 2 and tier 3 markets. 

Data Canopy 

Data Canopy is a retail provider that sells colocation in wholesale data centers. They currently work with CyrusOne and a couple other providers and are the service arm of CONE. In this model, they give wholesale providers the ability to service smaller footprint customers that need a high touch experience. But going forward, Data Canopy can really only expand their offering through partnerships with wholesale providers. Their focus in 2020 is to expand their footprint through new partnerships and services. 

Evoque Data Center Solutions™ 

As you probably know, Evoque was formed when Brookfield Infrastructure Partners purchased all of AT&T’s data centers. We offer colocation facilities around the world and services such as remote hands and carrier neutrality.  

Our priorities going into 2020 include continuing our migration from a carrier-owned lower touch model to a carrier neutral high touch provider. We are building services through partnerships, white label, and, when appropriate, by implementing our own service.   

Public vs Privately Held Colocation Providers 

This panel focused specifically on privately held companies, particularly because there is so much room for flex, growth, and innovation when an organization is private.  

Publicly traded REITS are limited to the amount of revenue they can generate from selling services and the majority of their revenue must come from real estate. This puts them at a disadvantage to full service private providers that can really focus on offering the high touch experiences that enterprise buyers need and are looking for. That’s what made this particular panel at CAPRE 2020 so exciting and timely. No matter what market position the private providers on the panel take (and the diversity of this panel proves that there are many viable paths), the enterprise offers plenty of promise and opportunity going into 2020 and beyond. 

Watch The Private Perspective: How Have Privately Held Companies Performed and What are Their Key Priorities for 2020?