Everyone is in a state of shock over the financial crisis. A lot of people haven't been as active in business communications as they generally are - no responses to phone calls, emails, etc. When we meet face to face we don't really talk about the economy tanking, we just commence with the topic at hand. But I think that at the office in front of their desks, my colleagues must be trying to figure out how to change personal as well as professional plans, minimize budgets, revise advertising strategies, etc.
I am thinking particularly about a meeting with several co-location property managers and they were so bullish about data center occupancy rates - that was in early September 2008. I imagine they are rapidly revising their projections down to reflect the sudden reticence to build-out and expand. If I were a vendor, I would refocus my messaging on the cost savings in energy efficiency - most have always had that as part of their message but it has regained prominence again. Sadly, the green (meaning sustainable carbon emissions) message is on the back burner, I fear, until we regain our senses and put the holistic perspective together on how to grow our businesses sensibly.
Here is a link to a recent interview with me by Carl Weinshenk of IT Business Edge: I think I sound a little exhausted with the economic tsunami as well! I garden when people get crazy- so I have a GREEN DAY often!
But there are always opportunities, even in a down market. If you manage data centers internationally and have some branding budget you can spend, contact me. I have an incredible opportunity to build out your brand with an innovative project I am working on.
Meanwhile, I attended another informative Critical Facilities Roundtable meeting, courtesy of Bruce Myatt and his pals, last Friday in San Jose, CA. It was a thoughtful presentation about a retrofit of an existing office building with more data center facilities at Adobe Systems. There were a lot of challenges including floor heights, weight in the freight elevators, beam supports, etc. (I have written about Adobe before, very early in this blog...They stand out in my mind as a company that truly executes well on their sustainability strategy - it is not just talk among their senior management, but complete followthrough.)
I overheard a colleague say, "No wonder Adobe planned every detail down to the last dot. They are a software company - and software companies know they have to follow a Product Requirements document. For them to agree on an Owner's Projct Requirements document that started as a one page brief and ended up as a contract document would be second nature for them." He is right. Adobe's corporate culture is to document their processes so the reason they were able to manage construction without disturbing commercial work going on all around them, is because they had a script to be followed. The point was that other companies don't necessarily demand the tight coupling that Adobe's or another software company has with timed releases of their software. Someone on the panel said, "There are tools to manage a budget. There are tools to manage a schedule. This is a tool for managing quality." speaking about the Owners Project Requirements document. "It was the willingness to explore options and a willingness to be accountable" that made the project a sucess. Read ASHRAE's Guideline 02005 to learn more abou the OPR.
By the way, that generous coffee stall gentleman who loaned me an umbrella in Seattle? He is at 613 9th Avenue and his name is Kosta. Please buy your lattes from him. Have a green day!