February 16, 2017
In a world in which the data center is the new factory, alignment between the data center and the business is as mission critical as the data center itself.
In a world in which the data center is the new factory, alignment between the data center and the business is as mission critical as the data center itself. Just like the factories of old, the purpose of the data center is to create value for the business. So everything about the data center-customer relationship should be designed to enable customers to meet their business objectives.
A key element in making that happen is the colocation client portal, through which customers have visibility into their data center environment, and can collaborate with the data center operations team. In addition, a client portal can enable essential teamwork between lines of business, IT, and the data center team if it has role-based access and is built to enable collaboration.
What is it about a colocation client portal that helps the data center to be a business enabler? Two key elements are the extent to which the portal allows for integration with your other business systems, and the extent to which it provides transparency into your data center utilization and performance.
For some customers the colocation client portal will be just one tool in an enterprise toolset for managing the business. If that’s the case for you, the client portal should be able to be integrated with the other tools you use for business intelligence, asset management, etc. in a way that allows the enterprise visibility into all data through one portal.
For other customers, such as managed service providers and cloud providers, integration with other management systems is not as important as the ability to manage all clients through a single portal. If that is the case for you, the colocation client portal should allow you to access your clients’ data all the way down to billing details in a way that’s easily auditable.
Other customers have other needs, which is why it can be tremendously valuable to partner with a data center provider who has an experienced team of software engineers in-house who can work with you to customize the portal to your needs. For example, as an additional service feature, you could extend the reach of the colocation client portal to cover assets in your data centers and other facilities around the world.
In any case, the client portal should give you one-stop access into your data center environment – a single entry point that spans capacity planning (mechanical, electrical, network), an asset optimization platform, a ticketing system, and a business intelligence system. That makes it easier for you to maintain control of your environment and allows you to be more productive, in less time.
A real-time view of your critical infrastructure helps you understand how you’re using that infrastructure, what you’re paying the data center provider for and, in turn, helps your business plan for the future. Transparency into plug-level utilization gives you the visibility you need to utilize more power in less space. When coupled with a data center model that allows you to provision just the power you need when you need it, capacity utilization data from the portal empowers you to balance efficiency with the ability to grow quickly.
To those ends, a client colocation portal should give customers access to pod-level, rack-level, cooling system, and power system performance and utilization. It should allow customers to easily visualize capacity utilization and forecast future needs using predictive analytics – so you know when to add capacity. Furthermore, full visibility into IT infrastructure performance allows for the asset optimization that increases reliability and reduces costs.
The more granular the data, the better it can enable business decision-making. Rich data provides business intelligence that enables you to better understand and focus your capacity planning and asset management. Data obtained through the portal helps you use what you need, pay for what you use, and respond quickly to business goals. Here, we bring Aligned Energy’s history building energy infrastructure management platforms for some of the world’s leading companies to bear to provide incredibly granular data through the client portal.
In an evolve-or-die world, it is essential that companies are able to respond quickly to the opportunities of the digital economy. A colocation client portal that delivers integration and transparency helps the data center be an enabler of that quick response, and even a competitive advantage.
Read more about the benefits that come from a colocation client portal that offers role-based access, integration, collaboration, and transparency. And explore how the Aligned Data Centers client portal goes beyond BI, BMS, and DCIM to overcome data center challenges.