Chris Downie

Chief Executive Officer and Board Member

Downie joined as CEO in 2016 and is responsible for setting and managing the strategic priorities of the company to drive profitability and growth. He has deep expertise in the economics, delivery, and operations involved in the data center and Hybrid IT industries.

Before Flexential, Downie was CEO at Telx Holdings, a leading interconnection and data center solutions provider based in New York City. He has more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in finance and operations, having previously worked for Bear Stearns, Daniels & Associates, BroadStreet Communications, and Motient Corporation (now TerreStar).

At five years old, Flexential is a relatively young company. Can you tell us about its roots and how it was formed by combining two strong regional brands, ViaWest and Peak10?

Flexential came together at the end of 2017, made up of both Peak10 and ViaWest. Each had a long tenure in the industry, so there was a depth of experience and relationships in their regions, which Flexential has leveraged. Neither legacy company had a cross-country solution, so the creation of Flexential, the resulting platform, combined with the network resources the two companies already had, allowed our solutions to be federated nationwide.

Additionally, while the company was being created, there was a dynamic shift for enterprises to leverage cloud resources—aka compute as a service—which required platforms like ours to unite our customers’ workloads and applications. This shift gave Flexential the opportunity to address a lot more of the technology demand. Whereas neither legacy company was talking with the likes of AWS, Microsoft or Meta, because neither had that breadth of platform, Flexential was able to establish that breadth by the beginning of 2018.

Over the last five years, we’ve developed stronger relationships and expanded our geographic reach. We’re in more markets than most comparable companies in the US, with 40 facilities across 19 markets. So, at a time when things are becoming increasingly decentralized, our platform has resonated with the marketplace.

Can you highlight the strategic importance of partnerships for Flexential?

Last quarter, we launched a newly enhanced partner portal, a centralized platform that allows our partners to interact with Flexential, which helps make sure that they’re making their customers’ buying experiences as efficient as they can be and leveraging available resources. Partnerships are opening new digital transformation opportunities for customers on the FlexAnywhere platform, from cloud providers and channel partners to enterprise IT infrastructure.

We leverage partnerships on many fronts, whether they are with our customers (to flex our offerings to meet their requirements), with hyperscalers (to help them deploy compute nodes to expand the breadth of their offering), or with a host of additional partners (to deliver our services). For example, our managed resources that support those cloud offerings are made possible through partnerships with folks like VMware and Microsoft. We work with them to make sure that we’re on the leading edge of these virtualized compute offerings. We also have partnerships with our agents that represent the enterprise, so the customer knows how to best consume our environment’s available resources. Things are moving incredibly quickly, so we’ve got to be dynamic in understanding the new demands that customers are expecting.

Over the last five years, the expectation of a colocation offering has advanced. There’s an expectation that it’s going to allow customers to leverage a myriad of virtualized compute offerings, like cloud data protection, alongside the resiliency, redundancy, and the security that our environments provide. A key differentiator for Flexential partnerships is the flexibility in how we offer our products and services. We could have several hundred customers in a given environment all operating a bit differently than their neighbor, and we tailor our offering to meet any customer’s needs.

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