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It takes a hefty helping of bravery to launch a business in a field that others are leaving. But CyrusOne doesn’t mind taking on the tough challenges.

It takes a hefty helping of bravery to launch a business in a field that others are leaving. But Houston-based CyrusOne doesn’t mind taking on the tough challenges. President and CEO David Ferdman talks about colocation, the industry, and having skin in the game.

What got you personally interested in providing colocation, IT, and managed services?

I was looking for a drastic change of business environments. I owned and was part of a company that had hundreds of thousands of customers and hundreds of employees. I wanted to have a smaller number of customers and a smaller number of employees so I could get to know both groups personally. It has also been an opportunity to really offer solutions that are more personalized and customized to address the specific needs of my customers’ business.

How did the company get started?

CyrusOne was started in true entrepreneurial, bootstrapped fashion. The other founders and I chose to personally invest our own money and then we raised additional equity from a group of individuals we knew. Their desire to be a part of CyrusOne was a result of their trust in our executive team, our history and our having skin in the game. They, like us, are betting on people. We chose to stay away from institutional monies so that we could maintain control and provide the personal and customized services that met the needs of our customers. In a competitive industry, even if you have price pressures and competitive pressures, you can still win if you build a better company and take care of your customers.

At the time you entered the market, there were a number of businesses exiting the market. Why did you choose to enter instead?

It is true that CyrusOne came onto the scene when other companies were exiting, many of which struggled in their execution, with their model or perhaps were just a bit ahead of the curve. But at the end of the day, there was still a business need and we were able to be strategic by bringing aboard a great team to execute our vision as well as identify what worked and what didn’t in the industry.

Why do you think there’s a need for your services?

CyrusOne’s business is not focused on pure colocation. We are a full-service IT shop able to provide customers with more than just a superior facility to house their critical business applications. We have a talented and experienced NOCC staff and are able to provide more of the services customers have identified as a need including internet access, dedicated bandwidth, business continuance solutions, managed storage and backup, network assessments, monitoring of customer systems on location or offsite, and much more.

What are the largest challenges that you see in providing your services?

I think we would identify our largest challenges to be similar to those faced by many new companies, including the ability to build awareness and educating our target audience.

Do you have anything in the works for the future?

In order to grow in this marketplace, our plan at this point is to stay focused on the same thing that has gotten us to this point, and that is our customers. We will continue to try and stay ahead of the technology curve by reviewing and adding new technologies or products that can save our customers money and improve their security and reliability.

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