Drew Lydecker, Co-Founder and President


As technologies like the cloud and colocation disrupted the hardware-focused telecommunications industry, sales departments struggled to adapt. AVANT Communications was founded in 2009 to provide channel sales enablement of next-generation IT technologies.

The birth of AVANT was at the beginning of hyper-accelerating technology, a time before cheap bandwidth and impossibly fast processor speeds drove new cloud technology and the convergence of IT, voice, and connectivity into ubiquity. Their mission is to build a platform that navigates the relentless pace of change for Trusted Advisors and their customers so they can enable business transformation and an effective, efficient ecosystem for Trusted Advisors to leverage.

AVANT is a technology decision-making platform that has a robust portfolio to meet customer demands. It connects its customers with experts, and in the world of cloud and colocation, that’s Flexential. They want to utilize cloud computing resources for hyperscale environments as a preferred method of IT infrastructure and provide services to more than 1,600 data centers around the world.


Co-Founder and President, AVANT

Lydecker comes from a family of entrepreneurs who have continually disrupted the status quo by focusing on high-value and high-touch solutions. He built AVANT to fill a void in the market created by the accelerating pace of change in IT. Previously Lydecker worked as a Voice and Data specialist at AT&T, and later at CDW, where he played a key part in helping CDW become one of the largest telecommunications agents in the world.

In terms the adoption of Hybrid IT and other major trends that AVANT sees, how would you describe the value the Flexential partnership brings to AVANT’s customers?

The rate of change is the only thing constant in IT. Years ago, people thought AWS would eat the world. That ended up not being the case. It used to be that the messaging of being a cloud-first company was driven home. Now, the messaging has become “service first.”

Beyond moving everything to AWS or a hyperscaler, it’s also about understanding applications to see that what was used in the past is probably not right in the future. This look toward the future was propelled by COVID-19 at an unimaginable rate.

People are looking for white-glove, managed service that gives multiple options for hybrid infrastructure, colocation, data centers, hyperscalers, and private cloud. What I really appreciate about Flexential is—whether they predicted it or not—they’re sitting right in the middle of what enterprise customers want and setting themselves up for the future. Trusted Advisors navigate the confusion that has disrupted IT due to choice overload. Companies like Flexential can do a lot of things better than any IT organization can do on their own.

Looking at the cloud perspective, how would you describe the range of various cloud services that data centers now need to provide? How do you see those being offered?

We’re a distribution platform for Flexential and more than 1,600 other data center companies, as well as all of the major cloud providers. What excites me the most about the cloud is that it has made it uncool to be the smartest guy in the room and cool to take advantage of companies that do things better than you can do on your own.

Consider being a manufacturing company. It’s not easy to hire the top experts on the planet. It’s much easier for companies, like Flexential, who sit in the middle of the resources.

The “as-a-service-first” model is finally happening. We’ll continue to hear about IT companies connecting to those with the resources, data centers, network backbones, on-ramps to hyperscalers, or the ability to spin private clouds, hybrid clouds, and public clouds almost instantaneously. That’s the area AVANT is seeing grow the fastest. It started with COVID-19, when IT staff truly realized they were tasked with doing so much with so little.

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