HP Expands Into Construction Management

HP Critical Facilities Services, the data center design arm of the giant IT company, is expanding into the construction management business and now can manage a data center project from end-to-end.

HP Critical Facilities Services, the data center design arm of the giant IT company, is expanding into the construction management business and now can manage a data center project from end-to-end, the company said today.  The Critical Facilities Services (CFS) unit, formed with the 2007 acquisition of data center design firm EYP Mission Critical Facilities, has been developing its new offering on projects in India and China prior to today's rollout in the United States.

HP says the new Critical Facilities Implementation service (CFI) can reduce the time and cost of a data center project and provide clients with a single integrator to manage the process from start to finish.

"In the past the client would have CFS do engineering and then hire a construction manager," said Rick Einhorn, worldwide director, Critical Facilities Services for HP. "That 'design-bid-build' model won't go away. Many customers will continue to use this approach. In this new model, HP becomes the single point of oversight."

Einhorn emphasized that HP is not seeking to put data center construction firms out of business. "We're still going to work with all those guys," he said. "They are a key part of that model. We're not going to actually do the construction ourselves. Our goal is not to be in the construction business, but to make the entire process easier and simpler for clients.  The more streamlined the process can be, the better. We believe that having a single point integrator is an advantage for customers."

"Constructing a data center is an enormous undertaking for any business, and taking an integrated approach with a single vendor will help maximize cost and efficiency, while reducing headaches," said Dave Cappuccio, research vice president, Gartner. "As customers’ data center computing requirements add complexity to the design-build process, comprehensive solutions that provide clients with an end-to-end experience will allow them to realize their plans within the required timeframe and constraints."

Opportunity in Emerging Markets

David Dnistran, worldwide director, HP Critical Facilities Services, said the largest opportunity for HP construction management services may be in emerging markets.

"In developing markets, there aren't enough contractors that are available to do this specialized work," said Dnistran. "We started our designs in China three years ago, we found many local construction firms didn't understand what we were doing. We feel this is a tremendous, strategic niche market where we can expand and grow."

He said HP is currently providing its CFI services for several large scale data centers in China and India. Those include  HNA Group, a large Chinese company encompassing air transportation, tourism services, logistics and financial services.

“As our business portfolio continues to expand, we needed to quickly create a new data center that complied with international standards,” said Li-Chao Tang, general manager, Information Technology Management, HNA Group. “HP provided us with end-to-end support for our new facility, providing first-class data center design and technology and allowing us to open as scheduled."

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