David Carrero Fernández-Baillo of Stackscale tells us about a hybrid solution between the traditional environment — robust and secure —and Public Cloud services — functional, flexible, and scalable.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: Life has changed a lot during the last year, but we have always tried to stay positive. Personally, during the strict lockdown we lived in Spain, I collaborated with different non-profit projects. For instance, a non-profit project to provide ventilators to hospitals, where we managed to purchase about 100 second-hand ventilators for different hospitals in Spain. So, although it was especially hard during the first months of lockdown, we also lived very moving experiences as a community. It is indeed an experience from which I have learned a lot. Especially that we can go a long way if we join forces and collaborate closely as a community.
Fortunately, we are all healthy, and we are lucky to be able to work remotely. Although we live away from most of our family and friends, we have kept in touch with them online. So, we are just wishing the situation gets better soon so that we can travel and be with them again.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Stackscale.
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: I have been an Internet entrepreneur since the 1990s. I started by creating different web projects, such as recursosgratis.com — a free site directory in 1995, and my first company, Ferca Networks, in 1998. This first hosting company merged with Veloxia Network in 2004. As a result of this merger, Ferca-Veloxia positioned itself among the top 5 hosting groups by the number of hosted sites and revenue in Spain. In 2008, it merged with Acens Technologies (now part of the Spanish multinational Grupo Telefónica).
In 2012, I co-founded Stackscale, a Private Cloud company, with my associates Javier Primo y David Sánchez. With this new project, we aimed to provide a cloud solution that combined the advantages of virtualization with the guarantees of having dedicated hardware, applying everything we had learnt from our previous experiences. Almost a decade after its foundation, Stackscale has not stopped growing, and we aim to continue growing, especially internationally. We currently have five data centers in Europe — 3 in Madrid and 2 in Amsterdam, and we look forward to opening new locations. In addition to Stackscale, I also participate in other projects I like, either as an investor or as a mentor.
How does Stackscale innovate?
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: At Stackscale, we have always been bold and willing to innovate. We work hard on improving our services and products in order to offer the best cost, features, and quality ratio to our customers. For doing so, communication within the team and with our customers is key. We are always looking for solutions, technologies, and partnerships that can add more value to our products and services and, therefore, to our customers.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: When a crisis has an impact on everything, it ends up by affecting everyone as well, to some degree. So, although we have managed to maintain a strong position, our prospects have changed. We have customers in different industries, and some of them have been more affected than others; some of them have even grown. So, our growth expectations have changed, but they continue to be quite positive.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: Of course, like many other companies, one of the first measures we adopted was remote working. A change which was quite simple for us since Stackscale was already working remotely among its different headquarters in Europe. Besides, we have always considered the team behind our business as important as the product itself. That is why we maintained our team intact, and we took the crisis as an opportunity to work on some improvements we had on standby. Nevertheless, lately and after this challenging year, we have also had to make some hard decisions.
How did your customer relationship management evolve?
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: We have tried to keep our customer relationships closer than ever. Our customers can always contact us easily, but especially during crisis situations. We not only aim to provide a cloud service; but also to be like a partner our customers can always rely on in order to grow. Our customers trust us for hosting their mission-critical applications and data, and, in exchange, we work hard on offering them transparent, high-quality solutions adapted to their needs.
Your final thoughts?
David Carrero Fernández-Baillo: I always try to look on the bright side, and this crisis is no exception. We have lived very hard and complex situations — and it is not over yet. However, we have also felt closer to our family, friends, and community, and we have seen many interesting initiatives worldwide. We have had time to rethink our priorities and to value what is really important. Globally, this crisis is being an example of everything we can achieve together as a community — either at local, federal, or international levels. So, I hope some of this cooperative spirit remains after everything goes back to “normal.”