In the modern world of the data centre industry, the secret to success for a data centre provider has shifted. Traditionally, a data centre provider could rely heavily on the location of its infrastructure and that would be more than enough to attract and retain customers and service providers; but as the industry has continued to boom over the last decade, what a customer demands from a data centre provider has evolved.
“It’s about providing the right, relevant managed services as part of our service portfolio,” says Fredrik Brunberg, Director, Data Centre & Cloud Services at Digita. “We need to add relevant services all of the time to be able to show something going forward to the customer.”
Digita is a major Finnish communications network company, transmitting radio and TV programmes reliably across the country each and every day. Expanding its service portfolio is a crucial component of the business’s strategy, as it also provides comprehensive IoT services and world-class data centre services to a number of media, mobile and broadband operators and new customer segments like service providers and different industries that are digitalising their businesses
Television and radio broadcasting is the biggest area of business for Digita and Brunberg explains that data centres is a relatively new business category for the company.
In fact, it was this expansion of Digita’s service portfolio that attracted Brunberg to the company in 2017. Having previously worked in cloud and data centre services throughout his career, Digita’s vision for capturing the data centre market represented an opportunity that he could not miss.
“When I joined Digita, it already had pretty good facilities and locations, but as a business we want to climb the ladder higher and add more value to the services we provide. I saw it as a challenge to change our approach in order to grow.”
As Brunberg embarked on this journey he recognised that as the company looked to change from the way it had traditionally operated, he first had to start from scratch and build up a data center team with an IT function.
Naturally, in attempting to build a new growth business to leading network operator company that has been successfully operating for almost 20 years, changing a culture takes time. This is where Brunberg can call upon his experience throughout his career.
“In effect, in the coming years we are almost moving from one company to another,” he says. “Changing the culture is a big goal of ours and so I’m building a new team and a new business unit that will transform Digita into not only an IT services company, but a modern IT services company.”
Brunberg feels that the market is consolidating, with only a limited amount of small service providers or co-location providers in the Finnish data centre market. When compared to the other end of the scale, there are only a small number of large scale mobile network operators (MNOs) and international co-location providers, and Brunberg identifies a gap in the market where Digta can capitalise.
“As the market consolidates, we want to be part of that space in between those two areas and build something bigger,” he says. “We want to take Digita service to the next level and be recognised not only as a broadcast service provider or just as a data centre service provider, but something more. A cloud service and modern IT service provider.”
“And we aim to have the same high-quality level of services as Digita now has in its core business,” continues Brunberg.
Digita itself explains on its website that having the best network is not based on bandwidth alone, and while Brunberg recognises that the industry is changing, location is crucial. This is where Digita has an ace up its sleeve.
Across its portfolio, Digita’s Helsinki Pasila region is located in close proximity to the FICIX Helsinki Internet Exchange Point. This provides customers who choose to work with Digita to access to the biggest structural data communication location in Finland.
“Service providers seek locations where there are lots of network service providers present,” Brunberg says. “But it’s not only network services providers that want to be at this premium location, it’s content providers and IT service providers, social media companies and hyper scale kiosk providers.”
“The location is crucial, but of course what we are doing is building on that and providing more value and more services around that interconnectivity.”
Ultimately, what will define Digita as it continues to grow its portfolio and client base is in fact this client base. Brunberg is all too aware of the importance of attracting those providers and more significantly, retaining them.
As Digita seeks to provide a level of stickiness in order to keep the customers, it can do so with the support of strong strategic partners.
“I’ve always believed that partnering is really key to making things happen,” says Brunberg. “You really have to trust your partners and know that they will be there alongside you, in both the good times and the bad.”
One such partner that has and will continue to play a key role in Digta’s vision is Coromatic AB. As the leading Nordic critical solutions provider, Coromatic promises to safeguard continual power supply and data communications.
As Digita looks to redefine its network approach, this support has been key.
“Coromatic has been excellent in retrofitting and refurbishing our facilities and, given the breadth of network providers we have, to do so without disruption or downtime was crucial,” says Brunberg.
“They are incredibly easy to work with, they understand where we want to go as a business and we will continue to expand with them alongside us.”
Only a year into this journey, the message for Digita is clear – to continue to build its service portfolio and value-added services. That’s the first priority for Brunberg and Digita, to be able to cater to all of the different service provider needs.
This will help it capture that market gap and in turn enable the company to become the data centre service provider of choice.
“As the market continues to evolve and network service providers begin to turn towards a more modern, digitised approach we want Digita to be seen as the first company that they think of to connect with,” Brunberg says. “So, as we build bigger facilities and build on top of our existing network infrastructure, it’s imperative that we continue to build and expand our services on top of that.”