Director Data Center Operations, Chicago, IL
Latisys was founded in June, 2007 by three highly experienced industry executives in conjunction with
Great Hill Partners and Catalyst Investors. Latisys’ strategy is aimed at operation of state-of-the-art data
centers across Tier I and Tier II markets in the U.S. to meet the increasing demand for managed hosting,
managed services, co-location space and disaster recovery services required by small and medium size
business customers or divisions of large enterprises. An integral part of Latisys’ services portfolio is the
technical ability to deliver managed security services, managed storage services, managed load balancing
and remote hands services in conjunction with co-location service The company also offers highly
scalable, full turnkey, managed hosting solutions in blade center equipped facilities.
Situation – Great Hill Partners and Catalyst Investors funded Managed Data Holdings to roll up
three Tier III data centers as a basis for future acquisition and Greenfield development. Their
facilities in Denver (formerly Data393), Chicago (formerly Stargate) and Irvine, CA (formerly
InteleNet) all represented increasing and changing IT infrastructure challenges. Latisys was
looking for this candidate to offer promotion and relocation potential to take over the VP Data
Center Operations role, overseeing their 3 current and future facilities.
Dynamics – The General Manager for Latisys’ Chicago Facility and the COO, located in N VA,
put out an RFP to 12 firms and selected 2 finalists. CFS demonstrated it’s competitive advantage
of attention and depth in the Data Center niche by completing contract signing and presenting
qualified candidates before the competing firm responded to the request for contract.
Unfortunately, one of the firms not selected in the RFP process went ahead and began
representing the opportunity in the Chicago marketplace, creating significant candidate
confusion, making Latisys appear disorganized, and fundamentally making the situation difficult
for everyone involved. The requirements for the position itself were fairly straightforward given
it was a single facility management opportunity.
Approach – Following the CoreSite search, we conducted ‘gap analysis’ of the greater Chicago
market to ensure we included single data center properties and organizations that did not qualify
under the national search parameters. Also due to the recency of the CoreSite search and
network, we were able to deploy an email to over 100 prospects resulting in 10 semi-qualified
candidates in under 2 days which allowed early calibration, resulting in focused crosshairs on our
desired profile. 3 candidates from this initial efforts remained and 4 additional from the gap
analysis were identified. Latisys phone screened the candidates and we scheduled site visits
within one week for the 3 chosen candidates, at which time they met with the GM and the COO
who flew in for the meetings.
Outcome – As a result of a strong candidate base and network, and a participative and available
client, we provided a qualified long list of candidates in record time (under 5 days) and had the
candidate start in less than 4 weeks from contract signing. The candidate worked for a national
DC REIT firm and brings tremendous operational standards and performance experience from a
larger infrastructure perspective. He was looking for a more exciting growth culture where he
could make a greater day to day impact with each decision he made.
Reference: John McCreary – GM Chicago