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Life at Equinix: Enabling the innovations that matter

Klaas Mertens, Global Solutions Architect

I joined Equinix in June 2014, so I have been here for six years now. Before I joined I worked in Networks, first for NTT Communications, and then moving to TATA Communications. I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on my role at Equinix, what it entails, and what the challenges and rewards are, so here we go!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 
Explaining new topics, technologies and strategies to customers and partners and see the “lights turn on” in their minds. It’s most rewarding when giving a speech, doing a presentation or developing an architecture on the whiteboard and the participants really get active, start thinking with me and developing new ideas together. They appreciate my experience, but they also share their own experience with me, which helps me learn and develop myself.

What is the most challenging part of your job? 
For me personally, certainly producing any kind of deliverables, such as presentations or documents. I need a lot of support from colleagues and a very stringent project management around it. I’m really not a very well-structured person, which makes it hard for me to produce structured content, but helps a lot when “thinking freely” about new ideas, architectures and technologies.

What has been your favourite project to work on and why?
There are many – but business wise probably the development of the “Digital Data Garage Concept” for the automotive industry, so that huge volumes of data from prototype vehicles can be ingested into analytics platforms to develop the “self-driving car” – an actually very simple solution, built on the “Platform Equinix” which solves a problem many customers had and helped them to achieve their goals more quickly and competitively.

And apart from direct business opportunities, I really enjoyed doing the “Virtual FOX Office Opening” video as a director, camera operator and editor together with our Managing Director when we opened our new Frankfurt office this year – Equinix is excellent at letting you incorporate your hobbies as part of your job!

How have you developed in your role since joining the team at Equinix? 
I really became more of a generalist and more confident in my abilities as a consultant. I found more confidence in presenting my experience and seeing the value I can bring to customers, partners and colleagues.

What do you enjoy about working for Equinix?
Definitely the culture and people around me! I work in an amazing team with a ton of talent and I admire and respect my team-mates in so many ways, because everyone of us is different and has different talents and personality. I have the strong belief that together we can solve any challenge when working together. Also, the openness and helpful attitude of everyone at Equinix is amazing. There has never been a single day I dreaded coming into the office, as I was always excited to see what the day would bring.

What gets you excited about working in your team? 
The opportunity to be a real “thought leader” at customer presentations, events and even press snippets. The GSAs are widely seen as the go-to people for all questions and areas, where no one has gone before. It’s exciting when you are one of the first people to be let in on new ideas or projects and really have the impression that your opinion makes a difference and your voice is heard.

What would be your top tip for someone new joining your team at Equinix? 
As the original creator and long-term leader of our team always said: “Be humble and smart!” Be conscious of your value, make your voice heard – but at the same time, be humble enough to listen and learn from all the great minds around you.

How would you describe the culture within your team? 
Open, “Can Do”, great spirit, always listening, learning and leaning upon each other, very supportive and exciting – and definitely never boring!

What do you love about working at Equinix as a whole? 
Again – the people! In the past six years I never met someone ever whom I really didn’t want to work with. I have a strong feeling that I really am at the right company in the right position at the right time – and there are many more exciting times ahead!

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