Data Center POST interview with Tom Brown, President and CEO of DataGryd Data Centers
By Contributing Editor Sarah Chamberlain
Tom Brown is President and CEO of DataGryd Data Centers. He is the overall strategic planner for the company and works with the talent in his organization to implement revenue growth strategies. Tom joined DataGryd in 2018, bringing with him over 25 years in start-up, turnaround and high-growth operations leadership expertise. He has a proven track record of success in strategic and tactical market development, the creation of brand awareness and customer relationship management. Before DataGryd, Tom led the content, cable, and data center verticals within Windstream’s Wholesale Business Unit. From 1999 to 2009, he was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at FiberNet Telecom Group, Inc., where he was an integral part in the sale of the company to the Zayo Group.
Data Center POST recently had the opportunity to chat with Tom about DataGryd’s cross-connect burden mitigation approach, how it benefits customers and what the company hopes to achieve in the future.
Data Center POST, Sarah Chamberlain (DCP-SC) Question: Tell our readers what problems DataGryd is attempting to solve right now?
DataGryd, Tom Brown (DG-TB) Answer: The main enterprise challenge in 2019 is cost effective interconnectivity. DataGryd can immediately mitigate the burden of cross-connects. These play heavily into costs in this building. One could argue that a single cross-connect could cost as much as the service between two city pairs. With DataGryd’s “Direct Connect” product we do not charge for monthly cross connect fees. We simply provide you a conduit and you pull your fiber directly into your partner’s point of presence.
The industry challenge is to gather, process and strategically act on data-sets that are constantly growing. It is critical that a firm’s IT footprint lines up with that challenge. DataGryd can become an important partner in the Manhattan strategy, where there are over 4 million data users each working day.
DCP-SC Q: What milestones did you achieve in 2018 and how will these developments help DataGryd keep up with the demands of the quickly growing and ever-changing telecommunications industry?
DG-TB-A: DataGryd completed the commissioning of the entire 6th floor of 60 Hudson which is equivalent to 60,000 sq. feet. The commissioning includes a direct feed from the utility (Con Ed) which provides us with 12 MW of power. This direct feed from the utility adds another layer of diversity for clients as well as the opportunity to provide a dense power application.
DCP-SC Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing over the next year? The next 3-5 years?
DG-TB-A: DataGryd’s focus in 2019 is to fill up the 6th-floor facility we commissioned in early 2018. Given that we have built a world-class data center in the most iconic building in North America we believe we are poised to have a great year. As for the next 3 – 5 years we will continue to evaluate expansion opportunities within the building.
DCP-SC Q: What do you think is the greatest challenge impacting your industry and how are you working to overcome it?
DG-TB-A: I believe the greatest challenge we see is the cross-connect burden. As the cost of transport services continue to decrease, cross-connects have maintained their price points. We want to mitigate that cost with our “Direct Connect” product and provide a very cost effective TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
Also, clients are working to support the Edge, which makes our Data Center location superlative. DataGryd maintains a strategic location at the Edge of the critical NYC market and can facilitate connectivity to other Edge regions around the world.
DCP-SC Q: The theme of PTC’19 is From Pipes to Platforms. How do you believe that theme relates to DataGryd and your mission?
DG-TB-A: DataGryd is a bridge between platforms and pipes as we sit in the most interconnected building in North America. The physical infrastructure of the building facilitates these interconnections, like nowhere else in NYC. We have access to over 300 providers and platforms right here in this building. This is an IT Ecosystem within the building that can empower clients.
DCP-SC Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing at PTC’19?
DG-TB-A: Our objective is simple. Share the compelling message of DataGryd. Create new relationships and strengthen the ones that we have. DataGryd is uniquely positioned to provide outstanding connectivity as the emerging technologies of 5G, AI and IOT become more and more relevant. We are in the greatest location to provide the perfect solution for customers.
DCP-SC Q: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Tom. To learn more about DataGryd, please visit www.datagryd.com.