Where Networks Connect

Cologix Inc.

In today’s fast-paced world, every successful business knows how important it is to not only immediately connect to customers locally and internationally, but stay connected. This can only be achieved through companies which provide telecommunications networks and data centers that are stable, secure, highly reliable, and accessible.

“Few people appreciate how physical the Internet really is,” explains Grant van Rooyen, President and CEO of Cologix, Inc. “We generally all connect to the internet through broadband at home or work or on our mobile devices and expect to be able to reach anything or anyone that we want, as if the data were magically waiting for us. The reality is that the Internet is a collection of networks that interconnect with each other to enable the paths between producers and consumers of content or applications. Each of those individual networks is made up of fiber and switches or routers on either end. We are in the business of hosting that physical equipment in key locations so that the connections which make up the Internet are easy to turn up and turn down, which enables service providers to react to their customers at ‘Internet speed.’”

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Cologix, Inc. is one of the world’s preeminent network neutral interconnection and data center companies. Operational under the Cologix brand since December of 2010, Cologix has successfully grown through eight acquisitions and a number of market expansions. Today the company serves well over 700 carrier, managed services, cloud, media, content, financial services and enterprise customers. “Some of our clients are large financial institutions, along with significant government, provincial, state, and federal agencies,” says Mr. van Rooyen. “Additionally, some of the world’s largest media and cable companies call our data centers home, along with large multinationals and local small, medium and large businesses in all of our markets.”

Prime Interconnection Locations

With precise planning and a carefully created business plan at its inception, Cologix today has over 350 network choices and eighteen secure, prime interconnection locations, many of them strategically located in densely connected downtown facilities in Columbus, Dallas, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Although the company executed its first transaction in 2010, it spent its first year planning and carefully researching the potential of different markets, along with determining the optimal way to put strategies in place and raise finances. Securing its initial customers, Cologix received strong financial support from investors who saw potential in the company and its business model early on, which enabled Cologix to successfully implement its business plan and purchase a number of assets from entrepreneurs.

“At Cologix, we promise to be connected, reliable and easy to do business with. The locations we have selected along with existing carrier relationships deliver dense connectivity choice, so we have focused our investments on upgrading the quality of our infrastructure,” states Mr. van Rooyen, who says that historically, network meeting points evolved by coming together in downtown locations in large cities. A private company, Cologix has literally invested hundreds of millions of dollars into its facilities and data centers, by way of generators, UPS batteries and backup systems, cooling and cooling-related infrastructure, massive security infrastructure and measures to control access.

As networks have grown, local businesses no longer need to push equipment to the traditional Internet hubs in North America like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles because options now exist to access lots of networks in smaller markets like Toronto, Montreal and Minneapolis. These customers typically embrace locating their IT and network equipment in a professional data center that provides easy access from their Corporate offices, which typically means in the downtown area of these markets. At the same time, online content and network providers are increasingly moving closer to end users to exchange traffic for performance reasons. These two trends make Tier 2 cities increasingly important for how bits move across global networks. It is this natural legacy growth, evolution of networks and desire by clients to have the highest possible redundancy, advanced network security systems, downtown locations, and quality of infrastructure that leads them to Cologix.

“Our strategy is really twofold,” says Mr. van Rooyen. “Since a lot of these interconnection sites were established a long, long time ago, you can’t just come into a market and decide to build a new interconnection site and expect to be successful. Unless you can get all the networks there, it isn’t really valuable to network buyers or sellers. The way we go into a market is to acquire one of these interconnection sites that were established many years ago and invest to make sure that customers have a positive experience and are supported by a local team who can help them when they have a need. The second part of the strategy is to then deploy meaningful amounts of capital to rapidly expand our footprint in the market.” At present, Cologix’s organic growth is incredibly robust, north of 20 percent per year. While the company continues to grow through acquisition, Cologix remains mindful of comparing growth against the dollars expended on organic expansion.

This strategy, says the company’s CEO and President, has been with the company since it was formed. With almost 15 years of experience in the communications industry, Mr. van Rooyen served as CEO of IX Investments, which was acquired by Cologix in late 2010. Holding a bachelors degree in economics and finance, he spent a decade with Level 3 Communications from 1999 until 2009. Holding a number of leadership positions – including President of the Content Markets Group, with responsibility for over $1.5 billion of customer and product revenue – he gained valuable information into how the world’s networks connect to one another, and the challenges of connecting all networks at the physical layer and the virtual layer.

“These experiences really gave me insight into the potential that was available to interconnection and colocation companies that have both strong positions where networks physically intersect and can provide a satisfying, customer centric experience. Customers, ranging from a small enterprise looking to gain new access to cloud providers to the largest brands in the world, want network neutral colocation to reach new customers and reduce costs. That insight is really what helped give birth to Cologix.” Mr. van Rooyen made the decision to pursue building a company in the carrier-neutral and colocation interconnections space, “and that’s what we’ve been focused on for the last four years.”

Secure, Stable, Reliable Services

Providing massively scalable interconnection services and secure, reliable colocation services in densely connected, strategically located facilities, Cologix facilitates and supports growth strategies through thousands of interconnections for over 700 customers within the company’s 18 data centers. With a choice of over 350 networks, the company’s Meet-Me-Room environments offer scalable and dense connectivity. Offering clients colocation services with carrier neutrality, Cologix provides optimal, secure, and cost-effective network access. Supporting network operators and network buyers who need to connect with each other within the company’s data centers provides customers with network choice, low switching costs, and rapid scalability via access to a Meet-Me-Room environment.

The key reasons so many clients choose Cologix for their data centers? They are seeking a local marketplace where they gain the power to turn up and down connections without switching costs, without having to build it themselves. “This really allows clients to traverse the local market, national market, and international market, be that a private network or a public network,” says Mr. van Rooyen. “Across our data centers, we provide over 350 unique networks for our customers to be able to choose who they want to use in order to access their suppliers and customers around the world. That is the primary driver. Second, customers realize that building and operating enterprise grade data centers is more expensive than co-locating with a provider and a distraction to focusing on their core competencies. When customers look around for providers in our markets who can offer robust infrastructure, operating capability and network access, we stand out.”

With the tagline “Where the networks connect,” Cologix prides itself on not only being accessible, technologically advanced, and cost-effective, but on being secure and 100 percent focused on network neutral interconnection colocation and achieving the best results for its customers. Networks and facilities are not only created to be secure, but are designed to withstand the worst weather possible, such as that seen during the recent ice storms which swept across much of North America. Built-in layers of redundancy are in place so if there is instability in the power system or grid, Cologix has a number of systems to back them up.

“Ultimately, we can look our customers in the eye and tell them we have enough systems to withstand those events and the professional staff in place to address issues when they arise,” says Mr. van Rooyen. “Our philosophy is that our infrastructure should be able to stand up to the worst day of the year. We are highly reliable, hyper secure, very local, and offer the highest density and access to networks in all of our markets.”

For more information about Cologix Inc., please visit http://www.cologix.com/en.

October 20, 2018, 5:15 AM EDT