The Business Year

MX23_IT_ODATA_Ricardo

MEXICO - Telecoms & IT

Ricardo Arévalo

Managing Director, Odata Mexico

Bio

Ricardo Arévalo has over 30 years of experience in IT, telecommunications, and media in business development and operations being responsible for countries and regional business units as director, CTO, COO, and CIO. He has led commercial, business development, technology and operations for companies like American Tower, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, and Telecomm operators. He graduated in computer science and marketing from Tecnologico Monterrey and Top Leadership from IPADE.

"Odata has been in the market for seven years, and in that time Odata has met its growth expectations."

In just seven years after its establishment, Odata has grown to become the number two company in Latin America for data centers, with plans to grow even further.

Why did Odata decide to enter Mexico with one of the biggest data centers in the country?

Odata has been in the market for seven years, and in that time Odata has met its growth expectations. Now, we are the number two company in Latin America for data centers, and in the last few years Odata has closed the gap with the leading company. When I joined Odata two years ago, it had 120 employees, and now we have more than 350 people. In two years, we have doubled our number of employees. We are a young company, but we have aggressive goals and aggressive results as well. Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America after Brazil. Brazil initiated data center projects about seven years ago, and Mexico is about six years late in its growth in data centers. Wholesale data centers are currently being built to take care of large cloud service providers like Microsoft, Oracle, and Facebook now Meta, and all these companies have decided to enter the Mexican market in the last three years. Odata started two years ago by purchasing land in a great location that would satisfy the needs of our end customers. When construction started two years ago, it took us 16 months to deliver the first hyperscale data center to our customers, and we became the first one to deliver data centers for the wholesale market in the region.

Does Mexico have the potential to be the leader in data centers in Latin America?

There is great potential in Mexico, though it has a smaller economy than Brazil. Another reason is that it is so close to the US that latency did not used to be a problem. It is only now that applications demand less latency with the growth of OTT (content) that the latency needs to be reduced, which is why Mexico needed to build its own data centers.

What is the difference between a hyperscale data center and a normal one, and what advantages does this offer?

A hyperscale data center is a built-to-suit data center. Hyperscale data centers are designed for tier-three certification, and the cost is higher once you decide to go for maximum certification. This translates to the data center having the ability to have zero outages 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. Now, hyperscale data centers in Mexico start at 20MW and can go all the way to 120MW, while in the US hyperscale data centers can go to up to 200MW of power. The biggest company with the highest number of data centers here is KIO, though the total power it can support is less than what is needed to support one of the new hyper scale data centers. In terms of size, all the retail data centers in Mexico can be supported by just one hyperscale data center. The wholesale market is for companies such as Amazon, Oracle, Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Netflix. Now, one emerging industry that needs data centers is gaming, and soon we will hear gaming companies coming to Mexico looking for data centers. We already have a customer in Brazil for gaming; it is one of the biggest in the world and is supported in Odata’s data centers.

What is the next step for Odata in Mexico?

We will continue to expand for the first data center in phases; we already delivered phases one and two, and the idea is to expand with phases three and four. We will start construction on a second data center on a different site, and it will be bigger that the first. The second site is in Guanajuato. The business model for hyperscale data centers is to sell the project and only start construction once the project has been sold. In terms of sales, all the sales are being managed by the team in Brazil and the CEO. We focus more on delivering what was sold and keeping customers happy.

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