Datacenters.com: Disrupting the market for data center services

Status: In Progress
Duration: 2018 - present
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Founded in 2002, Global Communications Group (GCG) is a leading business technology consulting firm and solution provider leveraging technology to help clients solve business challenges and create competitive differentiation. GCG and Datacenters.com are strategic partners offering high-density colocation, enterprise cloud, managed services, and connectivity solutions.

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The Challenge: Disrupt the market by centralizing the acquisition and management of IT resources

Having already created the very first directory of data centers around the world, Datacenters.com set out to create a modern colocation and managed services marketplace with each user empowered to manage their own experience. They wanted to build the foundation for a unique, disruptive marketplace that allows consumers to research, find, and purchase any IT solutions or services.

The Solution: A partner with experience in designing and developing a digital marketplace

Hesitant to hire additional headcount, Mike Price, the VP of Software Engineering for both GCG and Datacenters.com, initially contracted a team to build a new registry in Ruby on Rails and React. However, when they were unable to get server-rendering right using the React-on-Rails gem, they called in its creator, Justin Gordon, and the ShakaCode team.

Mike soon realized that Justin’s team had much more to offer and contracted them to build the entire marketplace. ShakaCode was tasked with improving the way the site was structured, fixing legacy code, and building a brand new front-end for the two-sided marketplace with IT providers the “sellers” and consumers the “buyers” of IT services.

ShakaCode’s experience in building their own HiChee.com marketplace definitely helped. Creating a highly-visual website with a consistent user experience is critical to its success. Your developers must know the best way to provide a fast, easy, and consistent experience for managing text, images, and video. ShakaCode’s experience with HiChee.com using React and ReasonML definitely helped shape the success of the project.

Mike Price - shakacode client
Mike PriceVP of Software Engineering at GCG and Datacenters.com

The Project: Increasing value and raising levels

Under pressure to deliver a single-pane-of-glass that would allow providers to manage their inventory and consumers to research unbiased reviews and purchase and manage IT services, the team got down to work.

“ShakaCode’s designer added a massive amount of value to the process,” reflects Mike thoughtfully, “and the level of coding went up several notches compared to what we had before. That allowed us to accomplish much more within a shorter time frame. It was an enormous undertaking, but now we were no longer limited by a lack of talent. For the first time, we actually believed that we could turn our vision into reality!”

ShakaCode’s commitment to best practices ensured that automated test procedures were put in place, all code peer-reviewed, and each task carefully tracked for time and budgeting purposes. Having ShakaCode’s team spread across multiple time zones also kept the project on track. “It’s almost like the project is ticking along 24x7,” says Mike.

The Results: An innovative first backed by great code

From a design and functionality standpoint, the marketplace exceeded the team’s goals. Rapid adoption from more than 270 colocation and disaster recovery providers quickly resulted in 1600 global datacenters with over 300 products being available on the marketplace—three times the amount they originally anticipated!

“We now have a marketplace that’s a first in the industry,” states Joel St. Germain, Founder and CEO of GCG and Datacenters.com. “It’s evolved into the easiest and coolest way to research data centers. We’ve redesigned the entire site with a brand new directory, a real estate section that we never had before, and an improved look for our blog. Our initial vision for the site is finally a reality. We’ve gone from chasing the vision to a whole new world where we can explore creative ideas and scale the business.”

ShakaCode makes it happen!

Schedule a free, 30-minute call to discuss what ShakaCode can do for your project. Or email us at contact@shakacode.com with your ideas, challenges, or questions. We'll get back to you within two business days.