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Offering real-time technology demonstrations to speed go-to-market time

IT distributor leverages Flexential colocation to modernize its customer-facing lab environment.

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“Having the necessary power and cooling to support our lab environment is critical to ensure we can conduct proof of concepts that demonstrate the full capabilities of increasingly complex technologies.”

IT distributor

The history

Aging infrastructure threatens availability

A leading IT distributor and Flexential customer, has multiple labs for its customers to test firsthand how technology works within their environments. The distributor found it challenging to manage and coordinate resources across the disparate facilities. The environments were also aging and lacked the power and cooling capacity to support compute-intense artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. In some situations, they were unable to run all the technology consecutively, limiting its ability to showcase the full potential of the products. The labs also lacked redundant power, putting the organization at risk of downtime and lost sales. Working within specific windows of opportunity, any interruption or delay of a product demonstration could impact the potential for a sale.

To achieve the resilient, highly available lab environment it needed, the distributor was faced with a choice: continue to invest in its own infrastructure or partner with a colocation provider.

The solution

Colocation delivers a modern environment without upfront costs 

To avoid costly capital expenditures, the distributor chose to consolidate its U.S. labs in a third-party data center, ultimately choosing a Flexential facility for its modern infrastructure, large footprint and leading-edge capabilities.

“Flexential is a leader in the data center space and, as a leading technology company ourselves, we want to partner with the best,” said the director of sales engineering and services at the distributor. “The longevity of the company, its modern capabilities and its ability to work with us into the future made Flexential the clear choice.”

The distributor began by migrating a single lab environment to the facility with Flexential providing project planning and other migration resources to keep the move on schedule. Despite universal supply chain challenges, the migration was completed earlier than expected, allowing the distributor to quickly conduct a demonstration and close a deal.

With access to the appropriate power and cooling capacity as well as 2N UPS redundancy and N+1 cooling redundancy, the distributor can now conduct proof of concepts for new technologies without worrying about downtime.

“Having a modern data center infrastructure is key to showcasing future capabilities,” said the director at the distributor. “As technology is becoming more complex, the ability to see how it will work in your environment is a true differentiator. Flexential provides us with a more complete environment to test and prove out technologies.”

Flexential’s robust security program also provides the distributor with a level of control it lacked in its own lab facilities. Featuring round-the-clock security and technical staff, dual-factor authentication access, biometric scanners, 5-zone security access and 24/7 monitored security cameras and intercom system, Flexential’s physical security ensures only authorized individuals have access to their environment. This is important to ensure partners and customers can only come onsite at authorized times. Additionally, the facility is independently audited for SOC 1 Type II, SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3; HIPAA; PCI DSS; ISO 27001; SSAE 18 to help the distributor meet its own compliance obligations.

The results

Unyielding availability gets technology products to market more quickly

The success of the new lab environment has prompted the distributor to begin moving its other U.S. labs into the Flexential facility as well. The consolidated environment allows them to better leverage their investment with Flexential and ease coordination efforts. The solution also offers cost benefits through its OpEx strategy and its more efficient power and cooling.

The state-of-the-art facility also helps the distributor build its brand. “Flexential’s massive facility delivers a technology-forward look and feel,” said the director at the distributor. “When we bring customers onsite for demonstrations, it represents us as the modern technology provider that we are.”

With Flexential, they can more confidently conduct proof of concepts and get products to market faster to accelerate their customers’ growth. The organization can also deliver the power and cooling capacity to support the more intense demands of AIand ML-enabled technologies. Additionally, the distributor can scale its environment to meet its growing needs.

“Flexential enables us to more easily and cohesively add more technology into our labs as we demonstrate new, more complex technologies,” said the director. “With Flexential, we can add technology when we need it and know that we can support it with the necessary power and cooling.”

Flexential’s highly secure environment also provides the distributor with a level of security they previously lacked. With Flexential, they can now document and track access to the facility to better protect data, assets and its reputation. This confidence is important as real customer data is often used during demonstrations.

The distributor is currently in the process of migrating its other U.S. labs to Flexential. “We’re open to looking at additional opportunities to leverage Flexential colocation to further scale our environment and deliver more value to our customers,” said the director. “I see this as a long-term relationship.”

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