Data Center

The Right Data Center Supply Chain Can Improve Speed to Market

Warren McCarty

Bringing capacity online faster, without sacrificing reliability or performance, is crucial for hyperscale and colocation data center projects, as providers and tenants continue to require more equipment to support their growing infrastructure.

I was recently reflecting on a panel discussion at last year’s CAPRE San Francisco Data Center Summit, which covered the top three things on the minds of data center industry executives today. In order of importance, their concerns were:

  1. Security
  2. Meantime to deploy
  3. Customer satisfaction

While all of these things are important, No. 2 struck a chord. The ability to deploy data center capacity rapidly and efficiently can mean the difference between going live – or going broke! Meantime to deploy isn’t a concern that just popped up at a conference – rapid, on-time deployment has been a priority in the data center industry from Day One!


So how can you reduce the amount of time it takes to “go live” for a tenant (or for your enterprise)? You could try to achieve better speed to market by working harder and faster, hiring more people and putting in longer hours. But there are only so many hours in the day – and only so much money in the budget.


Another option is to work with partners that can facilitate improved speed to market. By establishing a speed-to-market data center supply chain – a group of partners that can help you execute quickly – you can rely on faster delivery of key equipment, customization without long lead times and solutions to problems within hours or days. By following this collaborative process of integrated project delivery (which we’ll cover in more detail in a future blog), all project stakeholders are brought to the table early on in the process – and then consistently over time until the project is complete. This ensures that everyone receives the same information at the same time, ideas flow freely and all aspects of a project are taken into consideration during decision-making.


When your data center supply chain helps you deploy faster, you can:


  1. Improve Tenant Attraction and Retention
    If the playing field is fairly equal – same product offerings, roughly the same costs, etc. – sometimes the way to differentiate yourself with a potential tenant (or an existing tenant that may be shopping around) is by offering faster deployment for data center project upgrades. If you can provide a tenant with what they need just a few days faster than someone else, you may land a new customer (or keep an existing one happy). Being able to deliver data center services quickly can help you win over tenants who need space – and need it now.

  2. Bring in More Revenue
    The more rapid the deployment, the sooner your client can start conducting business the way they need to in order to bring in revenue – and the sooner you can begin your billing cycle, which positively impacts your own bottom line. The “time-is-money” adage applies to you and your tenants.

  3. Help Your Customers Reach Their Customers Faster
    Uptime equals revenue. By providing faster deployment, you may be able to help a client be the first to market with a new product or service, assist them in providing better customer service or help them meet higher quotas.


So how do you develop a reliable data center supply chain? Here are our tips for identifying trusted partners that can help you improve speed to market:

  1. They believe in standardization. Standardized data center components require less training and troubleshooting. Everything works the same; hardware maintenance is simpler. Standardization can also reduce downtime potential. When components can be removed and replaced quickly, business disruption is minimized.

  2. They also believe in customization. Just because a tenant wants something a little bit different doesn’t mean it has  to slow the entire project down. If you need help coming up with a different or unique way to meet a tenant request, your data center supply chain should be there for support whenever you need it.

  3. They offer consignment services. Instead of waiting to order a part when it’s needed, you can store a selection of data center equipment onsite – without having to pay anything until you pull a part off the shelf and put it into service. If the product isn’t used, you don’t have to pay for it. This can save days’ worth of time when deploying data center space.

  4. They provide just-in-time delivery without you initiating orders. Instead of having to remember to order certain data center equipment when you’re running low, a supportive data center supply chain can design a custom program that will bring new products right to your door before the current supply is gone, ensuring that you’ll always have what you need – but won’t have to dedicate a lot of square footage to storage.

  5. They can pre-install copper, fiber and accessories for you. You tell your data center supply chain what you need, and they can add active equipment to each cabinet – even according to specific requirements or requests that are unique to your tenant. For streamlined ordering, future orders following those some specifications should require only one part number.


By developing a trusted data center supply chain that can help you improve speed to market, you can openly discuss the hurdles you face and the objectives you want to meet, allowing all parties to come together to create a cost-effective, time-sensitive solution. Belden helps data centers of all types and sizes deploy faster while reducing costs, improving uptime and maximizing space. Learn more here.