Dan Newton, recently tapped to be the CEO of Eatontown-based Computer Data Source (CDS), a provider of mission-critical data-center hardware maintenance and support for high-end storage and service equipment, is originally from London, England. You can hear it in his voice, and he confirms it.
However, he loves the Garden State. He’s worked in many places in New Jersey, and now he’s just a seashell’s toss from the Jersey shore. In fact, when summertime rolls around, he says you’ll find him occasionally heading in the direction of Long Branch to ponder by the surf.
But for now, Newton’s total focus is on growing and diversifying CDS’ service offerings and customer base, and on fostering best-in-breed partnerships. His hiring comes on the heels of the acquisition by New State Capital Partners (Larchmont, N.Y.) of a majority stake in CDS in August 2019.
“These are exciting times for CDS,” said Newton of the 20-year-old firm. “We now have the investment from New State; CDS has had good momentum that we’re going to build on; we’re going to bring more talent into New Jersey; and we’ll expand globally and continue to work with our original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and some of the new OEM partners we have, so we can deliver to our customers as we have for the last 20 years — and keep doing so.”
He then spoke about the benefit of CDS’ being in New Jersey. “Obviously, we have a foothold in New Jersey — here in Eatontown — so that’s going to continue. And we’re going to continue to expand and hire and bring additional talent into Eatontown, into the percentage we have here, and it’s going to continue to be our headquarters.”
“As we do that, we are acquiring more and more very large enterprise customers that are global. So, in turn, we are not just supporting customers across New Jersey, and not just across the United States, those customers have footprint globally. We have a team in Canada, a team in the U.K., and in Ireland, and across APAC [Asia-Pacific region] — in Australia, in particular. So, we’re continuing to grow globally, which is becoming more and more important to our customers. We have the ability to service them anywhere in the world, and to do so quickly and effectively, and obviously from a cost-effective view as well.”
“Obviously, we have a foothold in New Jersey — here in Eatontown — so that’s going to continue. And we’re going to continue to expand and hire and bring additional talent into Eatontown, into the percentage we have here, and it’s going to continue to be our headquarters.” Dan Newton, CDS
As for Newton’s new role, he feels that there are many similarities to his former ones. “I guess, as an aside, they would be New Jersey-based companies. Datapipe, as an example, was headquartered in Jersey City, grew significantly over five years, and we sold it to Rackspace [San Antonio, Texas]. And we grew it in New Jersey and we grew it globally, so there are some similarities there. With all those businesses as well, I’ve always been very customer-focused, very customer-centric, and that has driven the business. I’ll take all that experience and play that back into CDS.”
He also lauded his team of very talented people: very high-end, highly trained engineers, most of whom came from the storage industry, where they worked in labs at OEMs, and are very highly trusted.
“Now we also have that significant investment that we can use to drive our expansion globally, but do so without losing our focus on the customer,” Dan Newton, CDS
A key point, however, is that the training continues, as does the development process. Having been in the field for many years, Newton values that process. “I’ve been in the datacenter space for a long time, so at Datapipe we went from three locations to 23 datacenters globally. So, whilst I’ve not held a leadership role in the same TPM [third party maintenance] business before, I have been a customer of the TPM business. This, I think, helps me understand what great service looks like because I’ve received great service, and on the flip side, on occasion, maybe not received great service. I’ll play that back into the role as well, from an expectation standpoint.”
The challenge for Newton and CDS moving forward is meeting customers’ requirements as their needs evolve. “We [also] have some unique software, Raytrix, that we use to help our customers manage and maintain and support their environments. And with that software, we’re always taking the perspective of the customer. So, we’ll continue to see to developing that.”
The entrance of New State Capital Partners into the picture will help immensely. “As far as the challenges are concerned — scaling the business, continuing to do it globally — that obviously takes investment. I think this is historically something that CDS has had to think about alone, but now we’ve had New State come in since August and invest in the business, so now we also have that significant investment that we can use to drive our expansion globally, but do so without losing our focus on the customer,” said Newton.