The CMS software and solutions firm STRATACACHE is continuing its summertime buying binge, announcing today that it has bought an old EDS building in Dayton, OH to use as its primary datacenter and network operations hub.
The building has 113,000 square feet space, with raised floors, multiple back-up generators and enough space to host a 550-seat support desk. The site, formerly an EDS datacenter operating multiple GM plants across the region, also has redundant, dual-grid power feeds, environmental hardening and uninterruptible power systems that would, in theory, allow the site to keep running for weeks without commercial power.
“In an industry where many of our competitors are virtual without offices, production or logistics capabilities using third-party offshore support teams and driving services from a public cloud platform, STRATACACHE is taking the opposite approach and investing in world class infrastructure to serve our customers better,” says CEO Chris Riegel.
“We continue to aggressively invest in the business to further our service offerings to STRATACACHE and Scala customers,” he says,“who are relying on us to deliver mission critical applications and services for their businesses. This enhanced capability allows us to meet the global customer demand for Tier 1 digital signage services head on, and further demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver the best in class capabilities to our customers and partners worldwide.”
Riegel says the new facility will house STRATACACHE’s primary worldwide support and network operations center for the flagship STRATACACHE, as well as for Scala products. Based on business expected from a reinvigorated Scala, and the growing outdoor digital menuboard business picked up in the Vertigo acquisition this summer, Riegel expects the operations center will grow rapidly and eventually add another 200 jobs.
The news comes on the heels of a furious few weeks of announcements from the company this summer, the biggest being the purchase of majority ownership of Scala. Just last week, Riegel announced he’d bought a massive distribution center in Dayton.
STRATACACHE has six datacenters right now – two in the U.S., one in Canada (in a shared facility), shared facilities in Europe and Japan, and one in India. Right now, the support desk has 130 bodies, and Riegel expects to have another 30 by year’s end, again mainly owing to Scala and the menu-board business.
Getting a used, enterprise-focused data center probably makes a bunch of sense for the company, as STRATACACHE already controls pretty much all aspects of the initial software buy and then the recurring services – save manufacturing displays and media players (though Riegel more than dabbles there – he has a specialty display company).
Like the other buildings, he would have got something akin to fire sale pricing and the friendly tax arrangements that come with the prospects of job creation in the US rustbelt. There are probably not a lot of companies looking for that sort of infrastructure in Dayton, where STRATACACHE is based.
Riegel’s assertion about many of his competitors is accurate. Very few companies have their own datacenters, operating instead out of co-located/shared facilities, or just using cloud/infrastructure-on-demand services like Amazon Web Services or Rackspace.
I know STRATACACHE has in-house creative talent, but I’d say about the only things Riegel doesn’t have in his group is a distinct creative shop. And analytics.
Riegel says he’s not planning to buy or build a big deployment and break/fix team. He has 20 people in an installations group and 40 field service reps he picked up by buying PRN. Big projects will still get third-partied.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.