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Equinix’s CIO Drives Extraordinary Customer Experience

12/31/2018

By Peter High. Published in Forbes.

Milind Wagle has had an interesting journey as a chief information officer at $5 billion revenue global interconnection and data center company, Equinix. Most people take on their roles as their predecessors depart the company. In Wagle’s case, his predecessor Brian Lillie was promoted from CIO to chief customer officer and executive vice president of Technology Services. He has since taken on the role of chief product officer of the company. Wagle indicates that this was a tremendous advantage, as his former mentor would remain with the company as an active partner in Wagle’s success.

Perhaps Wagle’s biggest break came when Lillie was chosen to lead a transformation of the company’s quote-to-cash process, and he chose Wagle as his deputy in the process. It gave Wagle better insights into how the business ran.

Since taking on the CIO role, Wagle has gotten more involved in Equinix’s customer experience. In this interview, he notes five ways in which the company improves customer experience together with insights into IT’s role in driving that experience, among a variety of other topics.

(To listen to an unabridged audio version of this interview, please click this link. To read future pieces like this one, please follow me on Twitter @PeterAHigh.)

Peter High: You are the Chief Information Officer of Equinix. Could you provide a brief overview of Equinix’s business?

Milind Wagle: Equinix is a global interconnection platform company, and our job is to enable the world’s leading businesses to directly connect with their customers, clouds, employees, and partners through our interconnection offering. This element of our business model is done on top of our data center platform, which spans two hundred data centers across 24 countries in five continents. Founded roughly twenty years ago, Equinix’s original objective was to give a neutral place for the networks that were forming the early internet to exchange data traffic. Since then, the challenges of scaling the internet have created an increased need for companies to bypass public internet and connect with each other through exchange data in a more secure way. Our services enable businesses to do that. As of last year, we have incorporated the global interconnection index, which we use to report the number of private exchanges of data between digital businesses, into our business model. Regarding Equinix’s role in enabling digital interactions, we help our customers deliver seamless digital experiences to their users. While it involves complex infrastructure and data exchanges in the background, users who check Facebook, send emails, watch movies on Netflix, or book an Uber, want to have that seamless experience.

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