Hidden heroes – Joachim Kauppi.
In the fourth of our series we meet International Sales Director Joachim Kauppi and learn what makes him curious.
What’s your role at DigiPlex?
DigiPlex is passionate about sustainable data centers and creating a clean digital future with innovative thinking. As Director of International Sales, I work with our international clients to show them how DigiPlex can help make this a reality. An important and rewarding part of my role is the gathering and analysis of business intelligence and market trends from around the globe and working with DigiPlex’ senior management team to incorporate these insights into future business strategies.
In addition, my experience in understanding and helping create data center solutions for larger clients also sees me working with Nordic governments to help attract these strategically important deals to the Nordic region. Helping politicians and civil servants to understand the potential and the necessary foundations for growth of sustainable data centers in the region is extremely rewarding.
What’s your career background?
As a former professional ice-hockey player in Sweden’s first division I know the value of goal setting and determination. On retiring from competitive sport, I quickly saw the potential of the digital economy and I began to search for opportunities to make a difference in this new industry.
Very early on in my career I was fortunate enough to land roles that gave me the opportunity to work in many of the major data center markets around the world. Doing so I developed a wide and deep network of contacts as well as an understanding of global markets. Now, as more international firms consider Nordic locations for their data center sites, I combine these experiences with DigiPlex’s deep insights to promote the benefits of the Nordics’ sustainable, green-power credentials to clients around the world.
What excites you about working for DigiPlex?
Curiosity drives me – I always want to learn more about my clients, prospects and the market. Every day I work with businesses that span from start-ups to large global players, helping them solve their challenges in future proofing their business operations. Doing so I get to work with highly skilled experts as they drive the development of advanced innovations and solutions for our clients.
At DigiPlex we consistently focus on the sustainability agenda by innovating and operating environmentally friendly data centers. Over the years, DigiPlex has developed deep and broad expertise in sustainable data centers and is recognised as the industry leader. By promoting these issues, and advising customers on the latest approaches and thinking, I know that I am helping businesses to be more sustainable and minimise the ecological cost of their operations. Personally, I feel very good about that.
How do you see the industry growing?
Working with hyperscalers and businesses from around the world I can see several similar trajectories developing. As cloud providers and large tech businesses look to grow overseas, they need to find suitable sites of data centers close to their new customers. In the first instance they are often drawn to established markets. In Europe that means Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris – the so called DFLAP markets. But they are travelling a well-worn route to markets where resources are thinly stretched, rents are very high, and power is not only expensive but not very sustainable.
Big businesses from China, India and across Asia are perhaps 2-3 years behind the US companies in making those moves, but I don’t expect them to take long to catch up. They will soon be making the jump to the Nordic region to benefit from the abundant and low-cost sustainable power as well as access to land and political leadership that supports data center growth. Combined with connectivity to key European populations and beyond, the Nordics generally and DigiPlex specifically, have the skills and experience to build high quality facilities fast to meet this new demand.
What’s your soapbox issue?
Some of the most exciting discussions lately have been around High-Performance Computing (HPC) which is emerging as a strong trend in the industry. HPC is, I believe, one of the transformative factors not only in data centers, but in the delivery of so many aspects of the digital economy. Those that have access to it will have a dramatic advantage when it comes to AI, virtual, augmented and mixed reality and the hundreds of potential applications from robotics to automated and real-time processes. But HPC facilities are expensive and complex. Most companies lack the skills, facilities and experience to build them. The danger is that all but the biggest are effectively locked out of the HPC revolution.
Hyperscalers will play a crucial role in avoiding this outcome by democratising access to HPC. Supercomputers in the cloud will help smaller, less wealthy, less technologically advanced organisations utilise HPC as a service. They will benefit from ‘as a service’ access not only to raw computing and data storage power, but to third party services that utilise this power to offer specific business value.
The colocation industry also has a role to play. Not only will hyperscalers look to the likes of DigiPlex to create facilities with the power and cooling density to support HPC, but they will expect them to do it at speed whilst still ensuring 100% sustainable solutions. As more companies embrace and deploy HPC costs will fall (and costs of not deploying will increase). DigiPlex will then have a critical role helping an increasing range of businesses find sustainable, cost effective and secure ways of supporting HPC capabilities.
The good news is that we are already at the vanguard of this movement, working with select customers to create HPC-ready facilities to meet this emerging demand.
Outside the office
I love to stay busy and explore new adventures – a true adrenaline junkie. Everything from travelling to exciting new destinations, to white water river rafting, kayaking or mountain climbing. Keeping both mind and body in shape is important to me and I rarely spend a weekend on the couch watching TV!