Media Check-In: The Quick and Dirty on SDxCentral

By Jay Andersen


Last month Blanc & Otus hosted SDxCentral founder and all-around good guy Roy Chua as one of our regular lunchtime meet-and-greets with media and analysts. Roy walked us through how he and his partner Matthew Palmer re-launched SDxCentral in 2015, outlined their overall strategy and differentiators and disclosed what kind of stories the SDxCentral team wants to tell.

Background: SDNCentral, SDxCentral’s precursor, was one of the first news sites dedicated to the notion of software-defined networking (SDN), and received a decent amount of traffic in its early days. However, traffic really took off when VMware acquired Nicira for $1.2 billion in 2012 and everyone was looking for a credible new source dedicated to the topic. The site itself evolved into SDxCentral as abstraction of the hardware layers seemed to impact every layer of the stack. Roy outlined their mission as, “helping to educate infrastructure technology influencers and buyers with trustworthy news, research, resources and insight,” as well as, “helping technology marketers impact business results.”

Working with SDxCentral: Roy spoke highly of Editor-in-Chief Sue Marek – “She runs a tight ship.” SDxCentral has had some recent departures but Roy and Matthew were quick to rebuild the staff, which now includes Jessica Lyons Hardcastle from Silicon Valley Business Journal and Dan Meyer from RCR News. Roy advised PR pros to use for pitches.

Themes: Roy noted that their coverage is as the site’s name suggests: software-centric, but it typically stops at the application layer. And unless there is a big, software-defined element, they really are not interested in hardware or devices. Roy said, “We tend not to cover small changes and focus on how the software-defined element comes into play and what it enables.” Coverage is roughly split evenly between cloud, mobile, and enterprise. Recent coverage has focused specifically on NFV, containers, IoT, SD-WAN and open source technologies. Roy mentioned that he uses analytics to see upticks in reader interest and assigns stories that correlate with those results.

Readership: Roy talked about how SDxCentral has consistently attracted an equal balance of readers that fit into three buckets; service providers (33%), enterprise IT (33%) and others, including public sector, vendors and analysts (33%). The site has 150k monthly unique visitors and 500k monthly page views. The site has seen no slow down in readership, which Roy believes is a nice confluence of timing and quality writing from the editorial team.

Portfolio: SDxCentral has developed several offerings to its readers and sponsors, including editorial reporting, primary research, and events. SDxCentral is obviously a great resource for all of the daily goings-on in the world of software-defined technologies.  Roy has built a team of researchers to produce market landscape reports that regularly receive between 2,000-6,000 downloads.  These reports are great for lead-gen, and vendors that meet the research criteria are missing out if they don’t participate. And finally, SDxCentral has a great community of end-users and vendors that participate in online events and discussions.

It was a real pleasure to host Roy and learn more about SDxCentral. We have enjoyed a good relationship over the years, and look forward to its continuation!