Markley Group: Driven by Data and Innovation

June 2015

Before the internet ever became a business driver, Jeffrey D. Markley, founder and CEO of Boston-based Markley Group, was dedicated to the concept of maintaining computer uptime. Since the company’s founding in 1992, Markley Group has put that philosophy to the test, playing roles in more than 500 master-planned, multi-tenant data center facilities, all of which offer 24/7 connectivity. Unlike most data center developers who start out building their own facility and then solicit mission critical end-users to rent their real estate, Markley built his data centers by understanding client needs first and creating centers geared toward their target markets.

Today, Markley Group operates New England’s largest and longest-tenured multi-tenant, mission-critical telecommunications and data center facility. Its services include colocation (shared equipment, space, and bandwidth), global connectivity, peering (controlling the traffic exchange between several internet service providers), cloud computing, high-performance computing, recycling, and, of course, 24/7 service. The company’s One Summer Street location—the region’s only “Carrier Hotel”—features 920,000 square feet of space, including 800,000 square feet of interior space and 120,000 square feet of mechanical space. The highly secured data center is home to more than 250 tenants across the financial, healthcare, academic, government, entertainment, science, and technology industries.

As a Carrier Hotel, Markley Group’s colocation solutions “ensure customers receive top-of-the-line services, while saving money by avoiding the need to build out individual locations,” Markley says. By hosting the shared infrastructure, Markley Group is able to allocate the cost of the expensive technology required among numerous customers like MIT, Harvard, UMass, Tufts University, The Broad Institute, The City of Boston, Vertex, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oracle, The New York Times, Hachette Publishing, Titleist, and The Boston Red Sox.”

Leading the technological evolution

The technology landscape has changed dramatically for both Markley Group and its, yet the company has experienced more than 11 percent average annual revenue growth from 2011 to 2014, has more than 250 clients, and is approaching 100 employees. To get there, the company has worked to adopt and harness technological developments early to benefit its clients for the long haul. “Markley Group is constantly evolving to ensure it is delivering the best possible services and solutions to customers,” adds Markley. “As a technologically-advanced data center, the company adapts to the needs of customers as technologies change and evolve. For example, Markley Cloud Services enables new and existing customers to implement customizable, dynamic hybrid and private cloud solutions.”

That approach has worked to maintain long-term client relationships. “We have extremely high client retention rates, and the majority of customers engage with and purchase the company’s services through long-term agreements,” Markley explains “The marketplace we deal with requires very long-term planning and holding a steady course during the inevitable tumultuous economic periods and constant technological changes. At Markley, we have a shared vision and commitment to exemplary service that will not waiver, regardless of pressures to cut corners or react too quickly to new, unproven technology. Markley Group clients have learned to rely on our expertise and committed professionals in order to keep their data safe.”

Tailored data solutions in action

While Markley Group offers a wide range of data and telecomm services, it’s the focus on individual client data needs that separates them from the competition. You might think of disaster recovery and security as common needs, but Markley Group offers data solutions innovations geared to clients’ bottom lines.

Markley points to two specific examples, the Boston Red Sox and well-known office supply firm, W.B. Mason. “Before engaging with Markley Group, the Red Sox IT department struggled with adequate power and cooling within Fenway Park’s 100-year-old structure, which was a major problem as the team tried to keep up with changing technologies and demands from fans,” he says. “By bringing their IT services off-premise to Markley Group’s One Summer Street, the IT department gained a far superior level of infrastructure than ever before.” In fact, in a recent interview, Red Sox IT Director, Steve Conley, noted that Markley Group “blew us away. There was no way we could come close to what they provide, so my reluctance disappeared pretty quickly after researching the project and assessing the costs.”

When W.B. Mason found themselves unable to keep up with data and networking demands, they began exploring colocation as a solution. They looked at 60 to 70 colocation options before selecting Markley Group, where they’ve now been for seven years.

Mike Yarosh, director of IT Services at W.B. Mason, notes that Markley Group is more than a provider, offering an invaluable network. In fact, when W.B. Mason had a question about racking, “a Markley Group expert pointed them to another Markley tenant who had a similar system; and they let us into their cage, gave us some pointers, and recommendations. It was incredibly helpful—not to have anyone necessarily tell us what to do, but to give us access, let us observe, and come to our own conclusions.”

The unbroken circle of innovation

Going forward, Markley notes, the company will remain focused on two priorities: technology and customer needs. In the case of the former, to meet the ever-changing technology market, Markley Group constantly invests in its own and its clients’ futures, particularly through expansions at One Summer Street, as well as the development of new sites in strategic markets across the U.S. Bottom line: The beat of innovation continues. In 2013, for example, Markley Group introduced Markley Cloud Services (MCS), which provides clients with top-of-the-line Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings. The next year saw the addition of a West Coast point-of-delivery (POD). In addition to serving as a back-up and disaster recovery (DR) target for East Coast-based MCS clients, the new POD also enables clients to grow their market reach, better meet network proximity requirements, and ensure critical data and applications are stored and backed up in different physical locations.

“First and foremost,” adds Markley, “is our focus on customers. The company’s expert staff always takes the time to identify each customer’s individual needs by asking questions and providing solutions designed to exceed expectations and add value. Beyond all the technological advancements, that’s what drives Markley Group.”

Salem Five Resource

Building Strategic Relationships

Jeffrey D. Markley, founder of Boston-based Markley Group, has spent more than two decades building data centers designed to help clients grow their business through a wide range of solutions. In much the way the company has partnered with its clients, “Markley Group and Salem Five have established an important and strategic partnership, solidified by the bank’s participation in the company’s recent $240 million syndicated banking financing package,” Markley notes. “As a result of the loan, Markley Group has been able to focus on its continued growth and success while expanding its services and solutions in the New England region and across the country.”

Learn more about how partnering with Salem Five can help you get the funding and expert merger and acquisition guidance you need to grow.