NorthC Alliance Program: Rewarding Collaboration

US agents and consultants are increasingly looking for value-added collaborations with European data centers. They seek a partner with a strong local presence, impeccable data integrity and a clear sustainability roadmap. Because NorthC checks all the boxes, it's an attractive option in the EU for US agents and consultants.

US agents and consultants are increasingly looking for value-added collaborations with European data centers. They seek a partner with a strong local presence, impeccable data integrity and a clear sustainability roadmap. Because NorthC checks all the boxes, it’s an attractive option in the EU for US agents and consultants.

NorthC sets out its offering for agents in the Alliance Program. It focuses on enabling master agents and consultants to meet their customers’ data center needs and rewards successful deals with attractive compensation. As a leading organization with over 20 years’ experience in the data center industry, NorthC leverages its vast experience and expertise to serve US agents and consultants’ needs. It is also forging the way in the field of sustainability by taking concrete steps including leveraging green hydrogen and utilizing residual heat. This all fits in with NorthC’s aim to reach carbon-neutrality by 2030. The Alliance Program builds relationships of trust based on competitive compensation, personal contact and tailor-made data center solutions.


Rewarding collaboration

NorthC recognizes and rewards the crucial role agents and consultants play in finding the right data center solutions for their customers. Vincent Wammes, Director Strategic Accounts & Alliances, explains: ‘As an agent or consultant, everything centers around you as a partner. We’re here to help you meet your clients’ data center requirements for Europe. We provide full service and do all the heavy lifting to make your life easier. We respect the valuable role you play as a consultant in meeting your clients’ data center solutions needs. That’s why we invest in our relationships with agents and consultants, starting with providing competitive and transparent compensation.’


Not as new as the name

While NorthC was established as a company and brand name in 2020, the company’s history goes back more than two decades. The company stems from KPN Data Centers (NLDC) and The Datacenter Group, which were pioneers in the data center sector. Since then, NorthC has expanded its presence in the DACH region of Europe through acquisitions. In 2021, the company expanded into Germany with the acquisition of IP Exchange GmbH, thereby securing a robust platform and crafting a potent regional network in Germany. Further, in 2022, NorthC acquired the data centers of the Swiss company Netrics, a move that enables NorthC to not only augment its network of regional data centers across Europe but also cater to clients engaged in activities in Switzerland.

Wammes explains: ‘When you look at our history, we’ve been running data centers for decades. We are one of the first independent colocation providers in the Netherlands. Our company is the result of the merger of KPN Data Centers and The Data Center Group, making NorthC the largest regional center in the Netherlands.’

He continues: ‘We’ve gone on to expand our presence through new builds and acquisitions in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Today we have more than 150 data center experts with a wealth of experience. So while we may look like a new company, we’re actually a company with a very strong pedigree.’


Going local

NorthC’s regional roots and focus on a strong local presence and perspective set the company apart. Working with a local colocation provider offers clear benefits for agents and consultants, including personalized service and support covering the entire process. Wammes says: ‘As the industry has commoditized over the last twenty years, contact between clients and providers has become less personal. This means that as an agent or consultant you can be just a number. At NorthC we know you by name. We appoint a dedicated team to provide you with support. Unusually in today’s world, that means you can phone actual people and actual people will help you. This personal attention extends from your assigned account managers to the customer success managers who oversee the day-to-day operational data management.’


Data integrity in focus

Data integrity is another reason why partnering with a European data center is advantageous. A local colocation data center provider enables clients to diversify their data center portfolios away from exclusively the large global players. Wammes: ‘Clients appreciate that we’re a locally based company. We follow Dutch, Swiss or German data protection legislation. It’s a bonus in terms of achieving an optimum spread, so not putting all your eggs in one basket. You get a tailored local offering and are less dependent on one or more global providers.’


Respecting consultants every step of the way

NorthC’s personal and regional approach extends to the relationship with agents and consultants. Wammes says it is all about respecting the partner’s role: ‘We respect the very important role the consultant plays in providing guidance to their client. And it’s a two-way street as they in turn provide us with important guidance on their client’s specific requirements. Their relationship with the client is invaluable. So it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.’

The consultant receives ongoing support after the deal is signed. Wammes: ‘We give consultants full control over their requirement and client. The client remains a client of the client. This means when the client grows into other data centers within our group, the client remains part of the consultant’s portfolio.’

This respect is reflected in the remuneration consultants receive. ‘We provide fair and competitive compensation for agents and consultants. That’s the baseline for our relationship and we’re transparent about it. And it doesn’t matter whether your client needs two or two hundred racks, you receive the same personal service and support.’


Full focus on data centers

Many global data centers have through the years expanded their activities to include hosting, bare-metal cloud, digital services and interconnection services. They can be the same activities the data center clients offer, which could mean the data center and the data center clients are in competition. Wammes says it is a different story at NorthC: ‘We are a pure data center colocation provider. That means we don’t do heavy connectivity services, storage, or cloud hosting. So you’re not working with a competitor. Our focus is 100% on data centers. We design, build and manage data centers. We provide the required space, power, cooling and climate control and everything else needed to provide the very best data center colocation for our clients.’


Growing for the future

Clients’ requirements are continually evolving, and it is consequently important that data center colocations evolve in tandem. Wammes says: ‘When a client works with a consultant to set up a data center requirement, they’re usually focusing on what is going to happen down the line in say a year from now. Sometimes they’ve experienced with other data centers that, once they’re there, the data center fills up. So when they need more space or power it isn’t there. That poses a threat to many organizations.’

He continues: ‘We’re constantly looking to expand with the aim of being able to meet future demand. We have a defined strategy of acquiring land, building data centers and expanding into regional centers. In addition, we have a full-time M&A team that focuses on finding space and power in other regions within Europe. We have a roadmap for our growth that sets out the number of data centers we want to have within a certain number of years. Our growth strategy means you can be confident as a consultant that we’re going the extra mile to ensure we can meet your and your client’s needs down the line.’


Concrete steps towards sustainability

NorthC does not see sustainability and circularity as just something on a checklist. It is committed to taking concrete steps towards achieving its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. Wammes explains that the technologies used to run data centers worldwide essentially have not changed in 25 years: ‘Sure we’re using newer equipment that is faster, more efficient, nicer and shinier, but the technology basically hasn’t changed in 25 years. We’re now making a change that is as innovative as it is radical. We’re replacing one key component – the diesel generator. Every data center in the world has generators that switch on in the event of a power outage. This is critical as a data center must be 100% online all the time. And the only way to do that, until recently, was to use the proven fossil fuel technology. Even though it’s a backup system, those diesel generators must be tested, maintained and run every month using diesel made from petroleum and crude oil.’

He continues: ‘So by eliminating it and replacing it with green energy, you’re making a massive change for the better. This led us to begin installing green hydrogen generators and fuel cells. We are the very first in Europe and one of the first globally to implement hydrogen-based generators and hydrogen-based fuel cells in a data center structure. It is revolutionary, but at the same time it’s basically using existing technology in a new way.’

Another compelling example of NorthC’s commitment to sustainability is the use of residual heat to benefit the communities in which it operates. Wammes explains: ‘We harness leftover energy and put it to good use. The heat produced at some of our data centers is used to heat neighboring buildings. Our data centers in Eindhoven are, for example, connected to the local district heating network through which we exchange cooling and heating with local companies. In Aalsmeer, the Netherlands our waste heat is used to heat a daycare center, an exporter of potted plants, and a swimming pool. We’re now embarking on the biggest residual heat project to date in Rotterdam. The aim is for more than 10,000 homes in Rotterdam to be heated partially by waste heat delivered from our data center in the city. We also design all our new data centers to share heat with local communities. Utilizing residual heat fits in perfectly with our belief that circularity is the cornerstone of a sustainable future.’


Sustainability in action

There is growing awareness of the importance of environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) across all sectors and industries, including data centers. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) that took effect in 2023 aims to increase the economic flow towards more sustainable models throughout the EU. By requiring large listed companies to provide transparency on how they contribute to sustainable development, it provides a framework for making reliable and structural sustainability information available to various stakeholders.

NorthC applauds this development and goes beyond just fulfilling the regulations to take concrete action in the field of sustainability. Wammes says: ‘I personally like working for an organization that spends more time and energy on sustainability than is actually required. We don’t have to go hydrogen. Even though it’s more expensive, we believe it holds the future. Transitioning to green hydrogen for our backup systems is a concrete step that makes a real difference.’


Dense and diverse ecosystem

Having a dense and diverse ecosystem of connectivity providers in place is a decisive factor when clients select a data center. NorthC consequently places its data centers at the heart of a digital ecosystem that brings together connectivity partners, regional businesses, governments, healthcare institutions and IT providers. Wammes explains why this ecosystem is so important: ‘A data center itself is obviously just a building. You need to bring together a wide range of providers that each provide a type of connectivity service to create an added-value ecosystem.’

He continues: ‘Different clients have different needs. For example, a financial trading organization will need high-speed connectivity to a stock exchange. A large streaming service will in contrast need a different kind of connectivity mix than an enterprise company. We’ve developed a dense and diverse ecosystem that covers the spectrum of connectivity needs. We play a purely facilitative role in matching clients with providers. So if you’re a client joining our data center, you’ll receive a list from which you can choose the providers you need for the connectivity you need.’

Vincent Wammes, Director International Alliances & Accounts

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