Team Companies

Vice President Data Center Facilities, Cedar Falls, IA

TEAM Companies is a combination of two affiliate companies, TEAM Properties and TEAM Technologies, which encompass a Plan, Design, Build, Operate business plan for premier data centers. TEAM provides ISO-9000 certified data center management, committed to compliance requirements such as SAS-70, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and GLBA. TEAM’s also offers complete, turn-key installation for big server, storage, cabling or network equipment upgrades.

Situation – TEAM is well on its way to accomplishing its 5 – 5 – 50 – 50 plan = 5 data centers in 5 years with 50 employees and $50 million revenue. With its 24k sq. ft. facility in Cedar Falls, IA, a 55k sq. ft. facility in Madison, WI, a new facility under construction in Des Moines, IA and 2 more in design, TEAM has created a business model that is slowly gaining the attention of the major DC REIT’s.

Dynamics – TEAM recently hired its COO, Phil LaForge, a former operations and sales executive for CDW / Berbee in Madison, WI. With approval of a growth plan and budget, TEAM was looking for a recruiting partner to align with their growth plans. Phil introduced CFS Partners and we started a search for the VP Data Center Facilities charged with raising the operational performance, reliability, and uptime standards that allows TEAM to scale and grow. The challenge is that TEAM’s business plan is to focus on secondary geographic markets where few data centers exist. As a result, supply of qualified data center talent is scarce and very few candidates in traditional markets have even heard of TEAM. We needed to know the company and the ‘story’ in order to compel candidates to listen, and then consider relocation.

Approach – Even with the extensive research conducted for the CoreSite and Latisys searches, we needed to look deeper into secondary markets across the Midwest in order to identify midmarket professionals who would embrace the opportunity to join a well-capitalized DC REIT with a tremendous story to tell. We networked the opportunity with our ‘ecosystem’ of DC Facility Managers hoping to find someone with smaller market roots looking to return to a greater ‘quality of life’ without sacrificing professional growth opportunities. We took the same gap analysis approach to more extensively research data center locations and professionals in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, and Texas.

Outcome – This search is still in process theoretically, with an offer currently extended and verbally accepted. The rapid and extensive research effort and success of the execution on the search earned CFS Partners a visit to Cedar Falls to meet the executive management team to discuss exclusive partnership to supporting their growth plans. We have since begun searches for a Mechanical Engineer and an Electrical Engineer and are putting together a strategy to staff
their new data center facility in Des Moines, IA, scheduled to open in September, 2009.

Phil LaForge, VP & COO