Written by: Dany M. Bouchedid, President & CEO – Aluf Holdings / Founder & CEO – COLOTRAQ
First and foremost, I am honored and privileged to have been chosen by our world-class Board of Directors as the President & CEO of Aluf Holdings, Inc. Our current Board is comprised of highly regarded thought leaders in their respective industries and represent a highly diverse cross section of the various verticals and market segments we are looking to invest in.
I have personally been in the technology space for the 26 years of my career starting with the Technology Services Division of JP Morgan Chase Bank in New York City before pursuing my entrepreneurial drive when I left to start COLOTRAQ 20 years ago. As many of you have heard in the press, my team and I were elated to be acquired by Aluf. We see tremendous mutual synergies and an undeniable alignment of long-term vision in the tech space.
At my role as CEO of COLOTRAQ, I led and built a company that has been at the heart of next gen technology and have had a unique vantage point into market trends, supply and demand dynamics and the competitive landscape that has evolved dramatically over that duration. We have seen the impact of next gen technologies such as Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Blockchain and Biometrics disrupt the value chain of IT infrastructure at every aspect.
For the last 20 years, COLOTRAQ has been making a market of Data Center Infrastructure services that span across all platforms ranging from physical (colocation) to fully virtualized environments (cloud) and everything in between (Hybrid IT/Hybrid Cloud). In 2017, we integrated a Cybersecurity Practice Group that has provided us with the capabilities to assess vulnerabilities in a clients’ existing IT infrastructure and implement a comprehensive suite of Cybersecurity Services. Additionally, we have also integrated Blockchain Solutions that allow us to deliver, design and implement cutting-edge blockchain architecture for mid-market and enterprise clients. The seamless delivery of all of our combined capabilities gives us a unique advantage to be able to design, optimize, secure and source an enterprise client’s IT infrastructure.
As a master integrator and distributor of IT Infrastructure services, COLOTRAQ has over 400 direct agreements with practically every vendor of data center colocation, enterprise cloud, connectivity and cybersecurity services across 120 countries and territories. COLOTRAQ’s marketing strategy revolves around its current Indirect Channel Sales and its direct sales and marketing initiatives. Its Indirect Channel consists of hundreds of agents and channel partners that sell through our unrivaled network of vendors worldwide. We provide them with all of the sales tools and training to enable and empower their success.
COLOTRAQ has also developed and launched, DCITRAQ, a proprietary cloud-based software that enables agents and clients to dynamically research, compare and purchase Data Center Infrastructure (DCI) through COLOTRAQ’s unrivaled network of over 400 service providers in practically every market worldwide. This includes over 200 enterprise cloud services providers and access to more than 3,000 colocation/managed hosting facilities around the globe. The cloud-based software is robust and highly innovative in its design and will invariably revolutionize the way companies source DCI services such as colocation, Cloud, Connectivity and Cybersecurity.
While Biometrics is still in the early stages of being fully adopted in many other industries, it has been widely used for nearly two decades in the data center industry to grant physical access to enterprise clients’ most mission critical systems and equipment. As we continue to witness the proliferation of Biometric devices and technology, this trend will continue to drive demand for Big Data storage and processing at “the edge”. Biometrics is infrastructure intensive both from amount of data it produces and stores as well as the level of high availability processing and computing power it requires. And since Biometric devices are typically deployed at “the edge”, this will undoubtedly create a sustainable avalanche of demand for highly secure data center infrastructure services as these Big Data requirements meet Edge Computing. Furthermore, as Cybercrime continues to grow exponentially, Biometric devices will become the next big target for Cyberhackers. Just last year, COLOTRAQ’s Cybersecurity Practice Group was hired to do a vulnerability assessment for a Biometric device company and we uncovered a staggering amount of issues for which we proposed various remediation strategies.
Blockchain is yet another major potential demand driver for data center infrastructure services. The optimal design that makes Blockchain such a secure architecture rests heavily on being able to manage the physical location and controls of the Blockchain nodes. This is best achieved by deploying geographically diverse colocation sites for the various nodes as opposed to a public cloud application. As Blockchain continues to become more widely used by enterprises at all sizes and market caps, this will fuel further demand for data center deployments at the edge where the enterprise clients and subscribers are using their web services. This is already being used by several major banks as part of their KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance initiatives and in various other industries such as agriculture.
Meanwhile, we are also just seeing the tip of the iceberg from IoT (Internet of Things), IIoT (Industrial IoT) and IoE (Internet of Everything) as those technologies promise to be a big part of shaping our future and everyday lives. As Manufacturing and big industries continue to adopt these technologies, we are looking at major plants, warehouses and distribution centers deploying these IoT devices throughout their operations. Much like Biometric devices, this will create major demand for Big Data storage and processing at the edge which would further fuel data center infrastructure and related connectivity requirements.
Aluf is focused on the acquisition of next gen technology companies and assisting in their scale and development, with the goal of maximizing their value, optimizing operations, improving the market’s understanding of these businesses, and exposing them to a pool of international investors, based on each business’ industry and development stage.
Our strategy is to find outstanding businesses with extensive product, service and software capabilities that are simply in need of sales, marketing and distribution strength. These companies could be bursting at the seams with fulfillment capabilities and just need access to the right clients and strategic investments in revenue generating activities. By further leveraging the synergies across the portfolio companies of Aluf, we can unleash the power of cross-pollination and propel all of our portfolio businesses into the future.
This year alone, we have made major changes to ALUF’s strategy, portfolio, leadership, and board—my own appointment included. We are doing everything in our power to put ALUF in a position of strength, and we will need your support and patience to make sure we do so. I am confident that we can for three reasons: our team, our technology, and our global network.
Much like the rise of the auto industry, it was not only companies that produced and sold cars that reaped the most benefits, it was also those companies that enabled the historic growth of that industry such as the ones that produced and sold parts, provided services, built infrastructure (roads, highways etc…) that experienced unprecedented success as well.