Jules Johnston, senior vice-president, global channels, Equinix Inc

Equinix has been engaging with partners to accelerate new customer acquisition and drive innovation. In an interview with tele.net, Jules Johnston, senior vice-president, global channels, Equinix Inc., talks about the company’s partner strategy, innovative solutions and upcoming priorities…

What have been the key features of Equinix’s partner strategy in India? How do partners enable the company’s growth in India and APAC region?

Equinix’s partner strategy in India primarily involves engaging more closely with the Indian divisions of our larger global partners such as major cloud providers, telecom companies, global systems integrators, IT firms and managed service providers. Cu­rrently, Equinix’s top partnerships in­c­lude major global hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services, Inc., Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

Partners are key enablers of our growth in India and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region as they bridge customers’ critical skills gaps and help navigate cultural and regulatory landscapes, smoothing challenges associated with establishing a brand-new presence while providing the local-tru­sted advisership that our shared customers require.

How has the customer demand lands­ca­pe changed in the Indian market? How does Eq­uinix evolve to cater to these changing needs?

Businesses are rapidly accelerating their digital transformation journeys to maintain competitiveness and keep pace with regulations while advancing their sustainability endeavours. This has led to a growing de­mand for a digital infrastructure that is not only future-proof but also capable of operating at the speed of software, with more capex for light-as-a-service offerings.

Our suite of Equinix di­gital services, including Eq­uinix Fabric for software-defined interconnection, Net­work Edge for virtual network services and Eq­ui­nix Metal for automated bare metal, allows businesses to swiftly assemble on-de­mand infrastructure in mere minutes, irrespective of location, leveraging a comprehensive ecosystem of providers.

What are the target verticals for Equinix’s partner business in India? What are the company’s innovative solutions and offerings in this regard?

The cloud serves as a universal strategy for en­terprises aiming to thrive in the digital economy. This holds particularly true for In­dia, where numerous verticals will leverage Equinix for their hybrid cloud strategies.  Among those verticals, financial ser­vi­­c­es, payments, e-commerce ap­plications and education are anticipated to gain rapid ad­vantage. Equinix’s data centre capacity and services are poised to facilitate this growth.

How is Equinix capitalising on the AI opportunity with its partners? What new partnerships are the company exploring?

Equinix is capitalising on the artificial intelligence (AI) opportunity in India, leveraging our distributed yet interconnected in­fra­structure. Here are some key aspects of how we facilitate the growth of AI:

  • Low latency with cloud-adjacent data ce­ntres: We offer cloud-adjacent data centres strategically placed to ensure low-latency connections. This proximity to major cloud hyperscalers enables efficient access to resources, supporting different AI workloads.
  • Global reach for AI infrastructure: Platform Equinix spans over 70 metropolitan areas across six continents, creating an expansive network for deploying AI inferencing and 5G infrastructure.
  • Digital-as-a-service infrastructure: We provide a range of digital infrastructure services that streamline and expedite AI implementation. Noteworthy offerings include:
  • Equinix Metal: Provides single-tenant compute and storage capacity on-demand and in required locations.
  • Equinix Fabric: Enables virtual connections within distributed infrastructure and partner ecosystems as needed.
  • Network Edge: Provides virtual network functions from top vendors, including 5G-enabled virtual routers.

What are the upcoming priorities for Equinix? 

Equinix remains steadfast in its commitment to bolstering India’s burgeoning digital eco­nomy, a realm projected to reach a remarkable $1 trillion by 2026. Distin­guis­hed as a globally interconnected network encompassing 250 data centres worldwide, Equinix is making substantial strides in India. In the preceding year, we announced an $86 million investment earmarked for the initial phase of Mumbai’s third data centre, christened MB3. Furthermore, an investment of $125 million was committed to the first phase of a data centre in Chen­n­ai. Recently, on August 10, 2023, we un­ve­i­led a $42 million investment plan for a fo­ur­th data centre in Mumbai, named MB4. In its first phase, MB4 will provide a capacity of 350 cabinets, which will subsequently expand to 700 cabinets upon completion.

We are delighted with the partner community’s reception to our growing presence in India and excited for the future we will build together.