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Focusing on the future of the Data Center

What is the Next Generation Data Center?

It’s too early to build a consensus definition, but it is fair to say there’s a lot of industry debate surrounding what the data center of the near future will look like. The phrase Next Generation Data Center is early on the horizon for customers, but they are already talking about and making investment decisions around the building blocks for this concept when they talk about topics including virtualisation, hybrid cloud and software-defined. So for the most proactive channel businesses, decisions today around IT procurement should take account of this strategic view of the data center looking forward.

Key characteristics for Next Generation Data Center include:

  • Infrastructure agnosticism - customers are looking for simpler, automated data centers, built on open standards. Vendors are collaborating and moving away from proprietary models to avoid declining revenues in a converged world. For customers this means the infrastructure they’re buying is less important than the fact that these assets are easily available to the software-defined stack.

  • Software-defined everything – Compute, storage, networking, security – everything is on the software-defined agenda, as customers seek the agility and true ITaaS delivery models that abstracting these aspects from the physical layer brings.

  • Increased security – as the data center becomes more multi-vendor and as data and applications and span physical, virtual and cloud environments, security must evolve too. Virtual and software-defined security, new policy engines and cloud-ready endpoint control are just some of the many security driven topics gaining importance as customers look for protection against rising threats.

  • Efficiency and automation – the Next Generation Data Center is about making life more productive for users. Automation, robotics and dynamic provisioning in the tomorrow’s data center allow greater self-service, simpler provisioning and faster delivery of development environments.

  • Reduced energy consumption – will be a key metric for success as external pressures demand greener data center design and delivery.

Why is this an important topic for your customers?

The investment cycle for customers never stops, so when it comes to planning for the future it’s important these decisions take place from a more strategic viewpoint. From the simplest infrastructure choices, to designing solutions for mobility and hybrid cloud, there’s an opportunity to align these discussions with a plan for the Next Generation Data Center. At the same time IT is increasingly an enabler for business innovation and competitive advantage, and getting the thinking right around Next Generation Data Center will help to set a better business agenda looking forward.

What’s the sales opportunity?

You’re already selling server, storage and networking in an increasingly converged and virtualised context, as well as beginning to construct hybrid cloud solutions and security for today’s demands. The Next Generation Data Center means selling more of the same but in a smarter, more strategic way and with a greater services overlay for higher margins. Not only will you be able to use these conversations to build a wider, deeper relationship with your customer, getting it right will greatly enhance your trusted advisor status.

How is Tech Data Advanced Solutions supporting this type of opportunity?

Collaboration and networking across the channel is an important success factor for future data center design and delivery. Tech Data Advanced Solutions is uniquely placed to help you create the channel ecosystems you need to meet customer demands; we’re always working to build alliances across the channel that you can leverage. Our solutions architects, technical, sales and marketing teams are ready to help you migrate today’s tactical sales conversations into a more strategic discussion around the future of the data center.

A key skill to acquire for any Next Generation Data Center conversation is the art of listening, and not bringing preconceived ideas into the discussion. In doing so you will be much better placed to suggest a true needs-driven solution that’s more likely to result in closed business. These and other soft skills are available when you work with Tech Data Advanced Solutions. Our award winning online learning platform TD Channel Academy provides access to range of hard and soft skills for all types of commercial and technical roles.

The Next Generation Data Center is all about pushing the boundaries when it comes to solution building and testing technology integrations. Tech Data's four European Business Solution Centers are available to help bring this concept to life for your customers, providing an outstanding environment for proof-of-concept sessions.

If you’d like to know more about building Next Generation Data Center business please talk to your local Tech Data Advanced Solutions account team. We’re ready now to help you build these opportunities.

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