Why I Joined: Software + Academia Create New Market Opportunities

Today, Stateless announced that I joined their team as the Executive VP of Operations and Service Provider Strategy. To pair with the announcement, I wanted to provide a brief blog diving into more detail on the market opportunity that inspired me to join the Stateless team.

I have been an operational leader in the data center and managed cloud industry for the last decade serving as sales leader, CEO, and line of business leader for three different datacenter & cloud service providers. Looking back, the challenges for our industry are clear:  we need to drive continued innovation and differentiation through the software we deploy, the solutions we productize and the sales processes we execute.

Data center colocation and cloud MSPs combine exceptional people and structured processes with capital investment to create long-term infrastructure. These assets, when re-sold, create capabilities benefiting of all other businesses. The intensity of our model has resulted in many years of “heads down” execution. An undesirable outcome of this is that very few businesses have been asked to focus on solutions that make us successful. With the de-facto selection of colocation and cloud service providers as primary enterprise IT delivery partners, this is changing.

Stateless is a clear example of a firm that is creating new product solutions for colocation and cloud service providers which can improve colocation and cloud provider differentiation and sales velocity. How? Stateless has created a software platform that consolidates network devices into a high scale platform where it then automates setup and delivery and  extends connectivity far beyond each datacenter. This capability enables end-users, scales network delivery through automation, and unlocks product innovation in a commoditizing market.

Now, I know we can capture strong margins on cross connects, we offer blended IP and we are even beginning to monetize connections to hyperscalers, but there may be billions of dollars in interconnect services opportunities left on the table. Data center interconnects, managed and software-defined WAN, managed network security, direct connect links to the public cloud, and other “sticky” and lucrative solutions are leaving our facilities without significant provider value creation. And if you believe the data in the market about the decentralization of workloads, customer interconnection wallet share is growing larger every day.

Stateless saw this huge market opportunity and instead of throwing old-school routers and firewalls at the problem, they created a new software-defined platform that leapfrogs current capital, capacity and operational constraints. Their commitment to rethinking the traditional rack and stack mentality of other networking vendors is what made me so excited to join the company. It is also what makes me believe we will succeed in this new emerging market.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Stateless was born in the computer science engineering labs of the University of Colorado in Boulder. The founders, Dr. Eric Keller and Dr. Murad Kablan, CTO and CEO respectively, incubated the core technology through years of research, testing, and modelling. I attended the CU’s Leeds School of Business as an undergrad and have lectured, mentored, and advocated for the school in the years since. Stateless is one of many successful ventures to come from and be nurtured by the deep innovation and entreprenuership ecosystem in Boulder and across Colorado.

If you are interested in learning more about what we are up to or just want to start a conversation, you can email me directly at tj@stateless.net. I will be posting on the blog regularly as well, so check back soon to see the latest.