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IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Report 2019

IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Report 2019

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Company Spotlight: Equinix

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What does your company do and what is your USP?

Equinix is the global leader in interconnection. We connect businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most-interconnected data centres.


‘Platform Equinix’ allows buyers and sellers, suppliers and manufacturers, service providers and enterprises to interconnect under one roof.


Customers can access a number of major cloud providers and networks to help them design the fastest, safest, lowest-latency routes globally.


How does Equinix help retailers digitally transform their businesses?

Retailers need a platform with bandwidth and connectivity that can flex up and down according to demand, as well as analytics that give them end-to-end visibility and control. Retailers can localise traffic and services according to which market they want to reach, as well as locate hubs near to stores, suppliers and distributors.


Our platform also allows them to connect privately to multiple networks, ISPs, CDNs and clouds and move data and analytics nearer to the customer to offer a better customer experience.


This powerful level of direct connection empowers retail businesses to react in real time, adapt quickly to change and leverage digital ecosystems to create new value and growth in today’s digital economy.


YOUR COMPANY EMPHASISES THE IMPORTANCE OF A BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

In the digital world, companies can no longer work alone and collaboration is key to survival. An ecosystem can be made up of numerous suppliers and partners that need to work together to bring a product to market. In retail both physical and digital storefronts need to connect to a whole host of service providers: manufacturers, warehousing, transport, payment providers, social media and advertisers being some key examples. If all these companies are interconnected, then the entire digital supply chain can work more efficiently, and both cost savings and performance improvements can be realised.


WHICH RETAILERS DO YOU WORK WITH?

We have hundreds of retail and ecommerce customers worldwide. These range from globally renowned ‘bricks and mortar’ enterprises to businesses created solely in the digital age. Each company is at a different stage of digital transformation and use Equinix for a variety of different reasons from network optimisation, hybrid multicloud, distributed security and data to interconnecting partners and suppliers within their own supply chain. We feature case studies on our website from the likes of Trivago, Colony Brands, Wehkamp & Smithfield Foods.


WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MAJOR POINTS IN YOUR EXPANSION?

We have had 63 quarters of consecutive growth (up to Q3 2018) which is a pretty consistent performance. Our platform was founded with the simple idea of giving networks a neutral place to exchange data traffic. From there, our platform became more magnetic, as we evolved to help the digital world scale. The shift to digital is requiring firms to implement new commerce and collaboration models to engage customers, partners and employees and to support new connectivity and data models for analytics, IoT, digital payments and other digital services.

 

Typically these organisations will be operating in more than one region, need to enable cloud technology and interconnect close to the digital edge, where people and things connect to the network. According to the Global Interconnection Index1, these additional bandwidth requirements will grow by 67% in the Retail sector by 2021.


WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU ADDRESSING FOR MULTICHANNEL RETAILERS WHO AIM TO MEET PEAK SEASON DEMANDS?

 

We have companies that specifically leverage our platform to support events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or their own promotions that drive considerable peaks in demand. Products such as Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX) enable on-demand connections to multiple cloud providers, ensuring retailers can scale and manage their operational performance effectively without committing to ongoing costs when that level of support may not be needed at quieter times of the year.


WHAT DO YOU SEE AS CHALLENGES FOR RETAILERS AND SUPPLIERS OVER THE COMING YEARS AND HOW ARE YOU MEETING THESE?

One is network optimisation. Today’s retailers need to embrace a modernised strategy supported by infrastructure designed for the ‘digital edge’ – reducing costs and latency while dramatically improving speed, user experience and capacity.


Their IT cannot be siloed but needs to be distributed. This way they have direct access to their customers, the partners they need to connect with, and can guarantee the fast, secure, low-latency exchange of information needed to be competitive and deliver great service.


Retailers also collect huge volumes of data but the key will be mining it successfully to ensure it is useful. Real time analytics to support price promotions, location-based advertising and the increasing use of AI will all be areas that will present both opportunities and challenges to the industry. Locating IT services in locations closer to the ‘edge’ will support these capabilities.


WHAT TARGETS ARE YOU AIMING TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

We are always looking to expand our physical footprint. In the last 6 months we have announced expansions in Osaka, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Madrid, Helsinki & Seattle. 2019 will also see new locations opening in Oman, Seoul and Hamburg.


GIVE US YOUR ONE-SENTENCE ELEVATOR PITCH.

We offer retail enterprises the ability to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything.

 

 

CASE STUDY

Business challenge

 

With more than two million regular customers, 500,000 daily customers and more than ten million parcels sent out each year, Wehkamp is a specialist in online shopping in the Netherlands. The high-tech logistics service centre in Zwolle is the largest automated distribution centre for online retail in the world.


At the company’s head office, everything was previously stored in one location with in-house connections and an in-house data centre. However, Wehkamp considered the risk of failure too high. Since the online store had to be accessible and operational 24x7x365, the company was extremely vulnerable to damage from a natural disaster at the head office.


Solution

 

To fulfil its main business requirement, the company began searching for a complete, external solution that was capable of providing a robust, reliable emergency plan. The company toured the Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX®) data centre ZW1 in Zwolle to evaluate its construction and security measures.


The solution began with moving parts of the company’s data centre into an IBX data centre as a leased colocation solution. The equipment within the data centre is owned by Wehkamp and identical to the equipment at the company’s head office. This allows Wehkamp to continue operations, while providing immediate access to disaster recovery equipment.


Apart from colocation, Equinix also provided a fibre-optic data connection between the Zwolle-based head office and other Wehkamp locations. As a result, the company’s logistics centre in Maurik can continue operations in the event of a natural disaster. From this location, a fibre-optic connection runs to the Wehkamp head office and the Equinix data centre, separating the connections geographically. In addition, they enter the building at different points, resulting in higher availability.


With Equinix, Wehkamp’s data centres are set up in such a way that they can continue the service in the event of a crisis or a disaster with emergency response equipment. The necessary fibre-optic data connections have also been made between all of its locations.


Equinix provides additional support to Wehkamp - including internet connections with Equinix anti-DDos (distributed denial of service) services, and connections with our cloud service providers. By using an interconnection-first approach, the company re-architected for a digital edge, or closest to its users, to optimise multi-cloud connectivity, enhance security and reliability and boost performance.

 

Equinix

Founded: 1998 by Jay Adelson and Al Avery
Headquarters: Redwood, California
Employees: 7,600
Customers: 9,800
Reach: 200 data centres, 52 markets, 5 continents


This Company Spotlight was produced by InternetRetailing and sponsored by Equinix. Funding articles in this way allows us to explore topics and present relevant services and information that we believe our readers will find of interest.

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