In the business world, industries experience highs and lows based on supply and demand. Retail, automotive, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, healthcare and others – they all face cyclical challenges and must deal with and overcome these issues to maintain profitability. The data center industry is no different. As technology, business practices and solutions evolve, so must providers.

Today’s data center operators must find ways to enhance their offerings through unique services to stand out amongst the crowd. In my opinion, there are two major ways to do this: develop “communities” within data centers and deliver higher value services layered on top of a core data center platform.

Many colocation providers have an excellent customer base, but those customers don’t have an opportunity to develop an interconnected, symbiotic relationship with each other. They’re effectively individual islands inside the facility since there’s no easy way to easily identify and connect to complementary businesses located in the same building. Achieving this “community” can’t be done simply through introductions.

At Cyxtera, we’re identifying technologies and methods to enable our customers to build communities that could open up new revenue opportunities, or a competitive edge. These communities would also, in turn, create cost efficiencies while improving resiliency, flexibility and customer choice. We also want to develop software-defined data centers that allow customers to connect to each other and to their ecosystem in near real-time, quickly and securely.

One method we’re utilizing to achieve these advancements is examining new ways to manage and control their critical environment. We want to give our customers ways to obtain a granular view of their data center deployment down to the circuit, allowing them to maximize their energy efficiency and track exactly how they’re managing the space, cooling and power at their disposal. By implementing software-defined technology on both the connectivity and power side, circuits of both kinds can be closely monitored for a more intelligent use of data center resources.

Today Cyxtera has an advantage over its competitors because we don’t offer services that compete with our customers. Cyxtera is vendor and platform neutral, and our cutting-edge, software-defined security capabilities such as our AppGate software-defined perimeter provide our technology service provider customers further ways to differentiate their offerings – even beyond the walls of our own facilities.

I’ll be speaking about these topics and others at some upcoming events. I’ll be attending CAPRE’s Second Annual Greater Atlanta & Southeast Data Center Summit from 2:15-3:05 pm on August 24th, where some of my industry colleagues will join me for a panel discussion titled “The Impact of Connectivity Innovations on Data Centers.”

CAPRE is hosting another event, its Fifth Annual Washington, D.C. & Mid-Atlantic Data Center Summit, from September 12-14 in Ashburn, Virginia. At 12:45 pm on September 13, I’ll take part in another discussion, “Best Practices for Upgrading Legacy Facilities and Future-proofing the New Data Center.” This discussion will focus on whether data center providers are investing in energy efficiency or reliability and control.

Please join me at one or both of these events. They are a great way to discuss pertinent data center topics with others in the data industry while learning more about what new trends and technology are shaping the industry.