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Equinix CEO: Channel Partners Embracing Cloud, Data Center Solutions

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Equinix, the data center and cloud interconnection provider, is gaining momentum with channel partners, according to CEO Steve Smith — though there’s plenty of room for additional upside.

Roughly 15 percent of Equinix’s bookings in Q2 2016 involved channel partners, up from “high single digits” roughly three years ago, Smith revealed during the company’s earnings call yesterday. “We are seeing solid progress in our channel and partner programs,” Smith said.

The strategy includes platform partners to reach high-value target customers; as well as referral and reseller partners that leverage Equinix’s value-added services, Smith said. “By coordinating our sales activity with key partners at the local level, we’ve been able to meaningfully expand our market reach and have seen our channel program as our most prolific source of new [customer] logos for the past several quarters,” Smith added.

Christopher Rajiah

Christopher Rajiah

Equinix poured the foundation for its partner program last year. The company in February 2015 hired RackSpace and ViaWest veteran Christopher Rajiah as VP of channel sales and alliances. By March 2015, Rajiah unveiled a formalized partner program for MSPs, network service providers (NSPs), systems integrators and solutions providers.

Among the key enticements for partners: Access to Equnix’s Cloud Exchange —an interconnection solution that has direct access to multiple clouds and multiple networks from a single port.

The results appear promising. Revenues from continuing operations were $900.5 million in Q2 2016, up 7 percent from Q1 2016 and a 35 percent increase over Q2 2015. As Equinix’s top-line revenues have grown, the percentage of that growing pie flowing through partners also has grown — meaning that channel-related revenues are growing far faster than direct revenues at the company.

Still, there’s plenty of room for more partner upside, considering 85 percent of Equinix’s business apparently remains direct.

Equinix also has been busy on the M&A front, acquiring and shedding a range of data center assets to strengthen its footprint worldwide. Some pundits have even suggested that Equinix may bid to acquire certain data center assets from CenturyLink and Verizon. Both telcos have publicly stated that they’re striving to sell certain data center assets by Q3 or Q4 2016.

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