Data Center POST interview with Chris Downie, the Chief Executive Officer, Board Member at Flexential
By Managing Editor Ilissa Miller
Flexential offers flexible and essential services that help organizations optimize their journey of IT transformation while simultaneously balancing cost, scalability, compliance and security. The company is committed to building trusted relationships and delivering tailored solutions that suit the individual needs of its customers. Flexential is deeply invested in the success of its customers, who trust it to deliver core data center solutions of colocation and connectivity, as well as cloud, managed solutions and professional services. For more information on Flexential, please visit www.flexential.com.
Chris Downie is the Chief Executive Officer and a Board Member for Flexential with deep expertise in the economics, delivery and operations of the data center and hybrid cloud businesses. He is responsible for setting and managing the strategic priorities that drive profitable growth. Chris joined the company in 2016. Prior to Flexential, Chris was the Chief Executive Officer of Telx Holdings, a leading interconnection and data center solutions provider based in New York City, New York. He has over 25 years of combined executive leadership experience in finance and operations, working for Daniels & Associates, BroadStreet Communications and Motient Corporation.
With ITW 2019 quickly approaching, we sat down to chat with Chris to talk about how Flexential is solving its customer problems and what’s on the horizon for the company.
Data Center POST, Ilissa Miller (DCP-IM) Question: Tell our readers what Flexential does and what problems you are attempting to solve?
Flexential, Chris Downie (F-CD) Answer: Flexential offers flexible and essential data center and hybrid IT solutions that help organizations optimize their journey of IT transformation while simultaneously balancing cost, scalability, compliance and security. The company is committed to building trusted relationships and delivering tailored solutions that suit the individual needs of its customers, including colocation and connectivity, as well as, cloud, managed solutions and professional services. Flexential’s robust suite of assets spans 21 markets and comprises 40 highly redundant and connectivity-rich data centers.
DCP-IM Q: What do you attribute to Flexential’s success?
F-CD A: Flexential has invested heavily in establishing itself as the best option for companies undergoing digital transformation and expansion across the US. We focus on understanding the needs of customers and creating tailored solutions to best serve their specific IT objectives. At the end of the day, a company’s IT infrastructure doesn’t only consist of tools and technologies; there are people behind the infrastructure, too. This isn’t a common philosophy seen in the world of IT but at Flexential, it’s at the core of our DNA.
DCP-IM Q: What milestones did Flexential achieve in the past year and how will these developments help your company keep up with the demands of the quickly growing and ever-changing telecommunications industry?
F-CD A: We are expanding our national data center footprint to enable our customers’ needs to be closer to the edge. To this end, in May, we announced a 70,000 sq. ft. expansion to our data center in Alpharetta, Georgia. This month we announced the purchase of land near Portland, OR, on which we plan to build our largest data center to date, at least 250,000 sq. ft., as well as a 40,000 sq. ft. expansion in Nashville, and a 20,000 sq. ft. expansion in Charlotte. Our coast-to-coast expansion enables us to anticipate customer demand throughout the country.
We also announced two new solutions, built to help organizations keep up with increased network demands and the need for enhanced connectivity:
Hybrid Edge: Delivers holistic edge computing and connectivity for service providers, mobile operators, content providers, enterprise businesses and their end users. This solution enables organizations to leverage Flexential’s global reach, network backbone, high-capacity, low-latency bandwidth to meet their growing network demands.
FlexAnywhere™: A software-defined network fabric that delivers high capacity, low-latency and secure connectivity from the data center and cloud to the edge. The solution enables Flexential to offer customers full-service, single-hop connections from anywhere, ultimately eliminating network delays.
DCP-IM Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing over the next year? The next 3-5 years?
F-CD A: We are continuing to look at expanding our network to enable our customers to solve their IT systems challenges. There are massive amounts of data being generated for technology, such as for artificial intelligence, that needs to be stored and kept secure in perpetuity. Helping our customers to plan and future-proof their strategy is a great opportunity for us now and into the future.
DCP-IM Q: The future is a big consideration when it comes to data. Very important. What do you think is the greatest challenge in the industry and how are you working to overcome it?
F-CD A: Keeping up with the evolution of technology is key and Flexential’s hybrid IT solutions and customer-first approach enables us to be flexible and scalable for our customers. When you truly understand the business needs and objectives of your customers, you can anticipate changing demands and pivot quickly to stay ahead.
DCP-IM Q: What new developments are on the horizon for your company?
F-CD A: So far, 2019 has been a very exciting year for Flexential. We’ve announced expansions across the U.S., from Atlanta to Charlotte to Portland. We have many more exciting things to come.
DCP-IM Q: Looking forward to hearing more. What would you like to accomplish at ITW 2019?
F-CD A: Every year, ITW brings together the industry’s smartest leaders and most innovative companies. I always enjoy the opportunity to sit down one-on-one and discuss the industry, its challenges, what our customers are facing, as well as trends and predictions for the coming year.
DCP-IM Q: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat, Chris. Chris and the Flexential team will be attending ITW 2019 in Atlanta from June 23-26, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency and Marriott Marquis hotels. To learn more, please visit www.flexential.com.