Q&A with Trey Berndt, EVP of Carrier-1 Data Centers
Trey is a graduate of Oklahoma City University, husband, father of four, cub-scout leader, soccer player, former golf pro instructor and founding member of Carrier-1 Data Centers. He played an impactful role at CoreXchange before it sold to Zayo Group in 2014. Over two years ago, he helped start up Carrier-1 with a focus on Wholesale Data Center solutions that truly address the market's changing requirements. His experience at CoreXchange combined with his role as President of Blue Wireless & Data Inc. and Business Development for DSG Technology, prior to CoreXchange, gave him a unique perspective on what the customer wants.
The following five questions allow us to get his take on Carrier-1's success, the Dallas data center market and the competition.
Carrier-1 has had record-breaking growth over the last couple of years. What do you attribute that to?
Hearing what the customers want and creating a product around it. Prior to Carrier-1, our entire management team spent several years together creating highly affordable hosting, The Planet, and Colocation, CoreXchange, products. Through those experiences and with the help of some great support staff we have been able to create a model that allows our customers to grow their Colocation and Data Center Service needs at their own pace and at a price point that makes sense for everyone.
How do you find deals and ultimately win business?
A few years ago there was a push for Data Centers to become carrier neutral. What that meant is the Colocation customer could choose whatever network carrier they wanted for their internet access. This has created some great advantages for the end user from a price and performance perspective. Carrier-1 has taken this concept another step and is Managed Service neutral. With so many great options out there for Cloud, Hosting, Software as a Service, and other Managed Service products, Carrier-1 felt it was best to not compete with these products, but rather support all the great companies out there that provide them.
Most data centers have seen the need to provide these services as their own product in order to add more revenue to their portfolio. This in effect has put them in a position where they are competing with some of their own clients for business. Not a good situation to be in.
Carrier-1 chooses to champion their clients and the services they provide over competing with them. I promote my client's services because when they succeed, we all win.
What differentiates Carrier-1 from other wholesale data center providers?
In today's wholesale market pretty much every provider we are up against requires a major capital investment from their client in order to purchase their services at wholesale rates. Requiring long term contracts on large amounts of space and protected power.
Carrier-1 saw the need in the market for a wholesale provider who could be flexible on size and scope of projects and work within the contractual terms clients actually need.
What types of tenants are a good fit for your solution?
While we can absolutely cater to any vertical including banking/finance, healthcare, energy and even government entities that require massive amounts of regulations and certifications to protect their data, we find that our best fit is with a tenant that is providing some sort of technical managed service like hosting, cloud, Software as a Service or even Disaster Recovery services. Our products are designed to be flexible in scale and scope, which is exactly what a service provider needs since they don't always know from day one how much capacity they will need. They may know they have a great product or service, but they don't know how quickly it will translate into the need for more data center space.
Are you worried about all of the other data centers popping up in the Dallas market?
Actually, there really is not very much data center space being developed in Dallas right now. Most construction is happening in Plano, Garland and even Facebook is building in Ft. Worth. This push from all these other providers to develop the suburban markets in North Texas was part of the reason we choose to start Carrier-1 in Dallas. While Dallas is recognized as an established market, we noticed that over the past 5 years there has been a lack of development within Dallas proper. Our research shows there is still a need for data center space near downtown Dallas and within a short distance of two of the largest telco hotels in the United States; InfoMart and 2323 Bryan St. We also noticed there were heavier regulations placed on data center build in towns like Plano and Frisco. This would have led to additional costs that we didn't want to pass on to our clients.
While I agree there has been a major influx of new data center builds in the North Texas region, I don't see it as negatively impacting our business here in Dallas. In fact, as all these world -wide conglomerate providers build out just north of us, they inevitably draw more attention to our region which benefits everyone.
About Carrier-1 Data Centers
Carrier-1 owns and operates a 106,866 square foot data center building in Dallas, Texas. Customers may lease colocation space within the building to utilize the redundant infrastructure and environment controls to maintain 100% uptime while receiving access to over 95 network carriers. The facility meets any compliant requirement including PCI, HIPAA and SOX. Multiple racks, Virtual-PODs, private cages and powered shell space is available now with plenty of space for expansion.