ExecutiveBiz spoke with David Peed, vice president and general manager of Equinix Government Solutions, about the completed acquisition of Terremark Federal Group, Equinix’s unique interconnection and data center services role and what lies ahead for the company.
“With our array of partners operating at our data centers, we’re becoming known as a trusted ecosystem for government and industry.”
ExecutiveBiz: What is your federal IT services background?
David Peed: My father worked for the phone company so when I graduated college I thought that was something I’d pursue – my first job was as an outside plant engineer. After that, I worked for the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, before pivoting to government contracting in the early 90s. I worked at Bell Atlantic’s federal division for eight years, spent another eight years at Qwest, now CenturyLink, and then was with Ciena for nine years, eventually joining Equinix in September 2017. In total, I have thirty plus years’ experience in government IT.
ExecutiveBiz: How is the integration of Verizon’s former Terremark Federal Group proceeding?
David Peed: The acquisition occurred about a year ago and, while it gave us significant new contracts, its true value lies in the highly-skilled people who’ve joined our team. We had already gained key assets in the form of 29 data centers, including facilities in Miami, Fl., and Culpepper, Va. However, it wasn’t until July 1st that 33 people with clearances came aboard, bringing their strong IT knowledge and mission support experience.
ExecutiveBiz: What are the greatest IT challenges the government faces? Where do you see Equinix driving the most value in the federal marketplace?
David Peed: The government is struggling with how to get the cloud’s economies of scale without losing control of its assets. That’s where we come in; we fit government’s needs very well since we house most of the commercial cloud providers. This means that when agencies want to pursue a hybrid approach, where they’d like to migrate some services to the cloud but keep other applications and data in-house, we’re uniquely-positioned to help them. Our federal customers include civilian agencies, DoD, DHS and Intel.
Another common challenge with IT transformation is how to best adopt cloud services when critical paths are not clearly laid out. So, we’ve taken the time to help agencies develop what we call the U.S. Federal Playbook, which anyone can access for free. It’s a strategy that road maps future capabilities and helps stakeholders develop a process for cloud migration.
We also published a blueprint illustrating how to implement this strategy, called the IOA Playbook because it involves our thinking around interconnected-oriented architecture. The common thread we see across both government and industry is nothing matters unless it’s connected. We show federal customers how to achieve the necessary capabilities to fulfill their missions, whether it’s connecting data, the cloud, people or locations. At Equinix, we call it the four pillars.
ExecutiveBiz: What does the future of Equinix’s federal division look like over the next 12-24 months?
David Peed: With Terremark’s capabilities joining our portfolio, it’s going to really take off. We’ll continue to focus on taking dormant access – data not connected to anything – and turning that into a connected asset. It’s imperative to host data where it makes the most sense and have networks running at their highest efficiency. In other words, you could have a data center in a cornfield or you can host your data an Equinix site.
We bring long-standing knowledge of government contracts and unique security capabilities to our customers, along with the Equinix true value proposition, the interconnected piece of what we do. With our array of partners operating at our data centers, we’re becoming known as a trusted ecosystem for government and industry. And through leveraging our interconnectedness, we’re allowing our customers to distribute their architecture quickly and effectively.
Before joining Equinix Government Solutions in 2017, David Peed held senior leadership roles with Ciena, CenturyLink and Bell Atlantic.