Thank you to Matt Peterson, writer for vertatique.com, for including a quote from Darren Bonawitz, principal of 1102 GRAND, Kansas City’s data center, in recent article: Green ICT and Earth Day.
Kansas City (MO, USA) carrier hotel 1102 GRAND announced that it had “recently implemented Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCP&L’s) Custom Rebate Retrofit Program and projects a Wattage reduction of 53 percent just in time for Earth Day 2011.” 1102 Grand principal Darren Bonawitz emailed these lessons learned. “In our experience, it is always easier to cost justify implementing large scale infrastructure replacements with more eco-friendly options when expanding or replacing equipment at the end of its life cycle. Those projects do not happen every month or year even. In between, commercial companies can take advantage of programs to complete smaller projects that still provide incremental energy savings. A series of smaller projects are often easier to implement and the sum of their energy reduction can be just as significant as a single large scale retrofit.”
Posted By: Darren Bonawitz, principal of 1102 GRAND
In the telecom sector, specifically the wireless industry, AT&T’s plan to buy wireless provider T-Mobile for a reported $39 billion is the biggest piece of news in awhile. While I do not normally comment on deals and transactions, this one has particular interest to me with Sprint being headquartered in Overland Park. For several years, I along with many others, were waiting on an announcement from Sprint and T-Mobile regarding a merger.
The industry has been full of rumors regarding the joining of the third and fourth largest wireless providers to form a unified wireless company that could potentially compete more effectively with the first and second largest wireless providers, Verizon Wireless and AT&T. So the AT&T / T-Mobile announcement came as a surprise to me. Before I go any further, it is important to note that this is just an announcement about a potential transaction, and there are still considerable regulatory hurdles to cross. That process is not quick or guaranteed and could take a year or more to run its course.
As one of the major employers in the Kansas City metropolitan area, news regarding Sprint is of particular interest even when they are not directly involved. It is no secret that Sprint has really struggled over the past several years with customer churn, financial losses, and poor marks for customer service based on third party surveys. With that said, over the past twelve months or so, it appears Sprint has made major strides to improve across various areas to curb the customer churn and improve customer service ratings. This surprise announcement could not have resonated well within the Sprint campus leaving people scratching their heads and wondering what this means for consumers, the industry as a whole, their employer and employees.
They are not alone as people close to the industry are wondering and speculating as well. While Sprint, in my opinion, is certainly not in any eminent danger, they are definitely not in an enviable position either. I will be very curious to see if customer churn starts to increase again. That would definitely not be a good sign and could escalate a potential next move for them before market cap erodes.
First, I expect a revamped marketing campaign and focus on continued improvement with regard to existing customer relations. Once existing customers are addressed, then they can dig in for the fight to attract new customers. I have witnessed multiple large scale fiber network integrations and they are always a tedious process with potential pitfalls. Who knows? Maybe Sprint can successfully position themselves as the friendly “little guy” alternative to the “big boys.” People like choices and America likes the underdog and come back stories. I’ll also be curious to see if they start going after small acquisitions of their own targeting someone like U.S. Cellular or pre-paid providers as some speculate.
While a lot of peoples’ immediate response was that the AT&T/T-Mobile announcement set up a potential Verizon Wireless / Sprint deal, I’m not so sure. Keep in mind that it is more than just dollars and customers that makes a deal a good fit. These are businesses built on extremely expensive network platforms that have to interconnect and interoperate. In fact, that is likely a potential reason the Sprint / T-Mobile deal did not get done. With that in mind, I could just as easily see, what I would call a non-traditional buyer without a legacy wireless network, enter the picture. This will be an interesting story for people in the industry as well as the Kansas City area to watch as it unfolds.
Like many people, I have been following the aftermath of the massive earthquake to hit Japan. Specifically, I have been reading articles from various sources regarding data centers and telecommunications. This article, from Data Center Knowledge, is one that raised an interesting point that I thought I would share.
Many enterprise data centers still do not have generators and many that do unfortunately do not service them properly including keeping fuel topped off. Others do a good job in these areas, but are still at risk unknowingly because of the potential refueling issues due to significant demand following major catastrophes or lack of an existing fuel contract altogether.
It does not take a 9.0 earthquake to cause issues such as this either. A few years ago, there was a significant thunderstorm that went through the Kansas City area, and one of the diesel fuel suppliers took a hit from lightning and had a large tank catch on fire. This single lightning bolt caused major issues for all customers relying on that wholesaler across the metro since they could not supply any additional fuel. So gas stations around the metro were out of diesel fuel for multiple days, and that would have been a very bad time for needing fuel if companies or data centers were only serviced by that wholesaler.
Fortunately, 1102 GRAND has fuel contracts in place with multiple providers who are serviced by multiple diesel wholesalers from diverse areas.