Data Centre Facilities Vendor of the Year
What are your company's key distinguishing features and/or USP?
CBRE Data Center Solutions (DCS) delivers total life-cycle facility, maintenance, technology and real estate services for data center owners and occupiers, including enterprise, hyperscale, and colocation clients. Our team of over 2,000 dedicated data center technicians manage 75+ million square feet of raised floor space across 800+ sites in over 45 countries. We support 40% of the Fortune 100’s data centers and manage some of the most business-critical data centers for 5 of the 6 largest technology companies globally.
DCS enables exceptional outcomes for our clients through a relentless focus on reliability, efficiency, quality and innovation across all facets of service delivery. By way of demonstrating our innovative services and industry-leading practices, in 2020 we:
• Launched DCS Shield. This proprietary Risk & Reliability Program is aimed to have the highest impact on reducing risk and unplanned outages in a data center through a suite of unique processes, technology, assessments, and training.
It’s a proven game-changer, creating a robust, shared risk awareness culture at all levels of the organisation.
The results speak for themselves: 99.99968% Uptime achieved from over 4 million hours of data center operation in 2019, resulting in just 12.5 hours of downtime, and less than 15 minutes being due to human error. Only 16% of the unplanned downtime was related to human error versus an industry average of 70%.
• Launched Converged Data Center Operations
In 2019 CBRE expanded its Data Centre Solutions (DCS) offering to include an additional range of technology services.
CBRE now has the capability to manage and maintain both data center technology physical infrastructure—hardware and software (e.g., servers, storage, racks)—and data center facilities (e.g., UPS and HVAC).
In addition, the Converged Data Centre model encompasses services across the full real estate and IT lifecycle, including those in the Advisory and Project Management disciplines, such as: consulting, capital financing, site selection, development and project management, technology workload migration, and disposition of facilities. The integrated offering of technology and facilities management as well as advisory services is called the “Converged Data Centre” model.
CBRE’s clients, particularly those with responsibility for real estate, finance and information functions, will realise significant benefits from the Converged Data Centre approach. These include: reduced costs, improved operational efficiency, visibility of end-to-end operations and associated costs, better informed organisational and investment decision-making, and the ability to move assets off the balance sheet to more closely resemble a cloud financial model.
The technology scope of services within CBRE’s DCS group spans vendor-agnostic strategic consulting, such as cloud migration strategy and planning, data center planning and fit out, technical implementation and support (Smart Hands / Remote Hands), hardware maintenance, data destruction and asset recycling.
Analytics, predictive maintenance, fault avoidance and speed to resolution—for both infrastructure equipment (e.g., UPS systems) and IT equipment (e.g., services)—will be provided through DCS’s new analytics group, CBRE | Romonet.
Fortune 500 U.S. Retail Bank
Migration, Trusted Advisor & Transactions Global Colo Company
Fit Out, IT Design & Installation Global Technology Company
Smart Hands & Hardware Maintenance
•Negotiated and secured 300 kw of co-location space under market pricing
•Migrated 3,000 virtual and physical servers supporting 1,000 applications
•35% savings in OPEX and CAPEX and reduced timeline by 8 months
•Over 126,000 connections, 950 km of cable and 200 cabinets
•12 week delivery
•Delivered design, IT procurement, installation, and testing
•60% savings in vendor maintenance YoY
•80% of all maintenance is self-performed via Converged Ops model
•100% uptime delivered
• Partnered with IBM to offer Smart Maintenance Services. In 2020 CBRE launched a partnership with long term client IBM to provide technology support services for CBRE's clients at select data center facilities it manages.
The new CBRE offering called Smart Maintenance leverages IBM's AI, augmented reality technologies and deep analytics to provide vendor-agnostic, predictive and reactive hardware maintenance for CBRE's data center clients' technology assets.
As part of the agreement, IBM works with CBRE technicians as an on-site extension of IBM's Remote Technical Support. CBRE technicians can now diagnose and maintain IT hardware from a wide range of manufacturers, leveraging IBM's augmented reality and Watson enabled AI technologies while being supported by IBM's global platform, which includes 57 call centers worldwide, tens of thousands IT support specialists and 585 parts centers carrying 1.3 million parts. Now, when a service call is placed, IBM AI technology will ask a series of questions to identify the problem and help find the quickest solution. If physical repair is required, CBRE site technicians can perform this repair under guidance from IBM's central pool of expertise. Additionally, IBM analytics can provide lifecycle review for data center equipment and provide a predictive maintenance service plan.
In today's hybrid, multi-cloud environments, many enterprises rely on a heterogeneous mixture of manufacturers and third-party vendors to provide maintenance and support for their IT systems. The solution is designed to reduce complexity and create a path to implement and maintain the next generation of hybrid workloads which can help reduce costs for CBRE's clients, which include leading corporations across sectors including financial services, technology, media, healthcare, energy and utilities, life sciences, retail and real estate investment trusts.
"This opportunity was made possible by the history of success between CBRE and IBM," said Jim Harding, President of Data Center Solutions for CBRE. "We've been exploring areas that make sense for innovative collaboration, and we're very pleased to be backed by IBM Services and its leadership in AI and multi-vendor technology support."
Additionally, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud adoption and software has become an essential business service for many organizations and has highlighted the complexities of managing cost and usage. It has also created the need for IT decision makers to look for ways to help reduce the costs and complexity associated with maintaining equipment from a variety of technology vendors.
"We're pleased to provide multi-vendor services for CBRE with IBM's diverse set of technology capabilities, software knowledge and predictive operational management," said Mike Perera, General Manager, Technology Support Services, IBM. "IBM Services is committed to innovations in analytics, AI, AR and other technologies to enable organizations to manage the toughest of circumstances, minimize outages and secure their data."
With this service, CBRE's clients may be able to reduce maintenance and support spending. IBM's advanced IT support management technologies can infuse automation into the support process, including predictive maintenance, cognitive capabilities, proactive monitoring, and asset and life-cycle management. Prior to this, without the advantage of Smart Maintenance's analytics and predictive maintenance driving reduced downtime, CBRE's data center clients would have used Original Equipment Manufacturers and other third-party vendors to help manage their equipment.
In addition, CBRE's clients may benefit from reduced time spent on hardware support tasks. IBM's proprietary asset management and support portal, which provides a real-time view of assets and support actions, will automate CBRE's IT support processes, helping employees to further improve their productivity.
Furthermore, by consolidating IT support with CBRE, clients can minimize management overhead by no longer maintaining multiple support relationships, allowing them to shift their focus to more value-add tasks.
What tangible impact has your company had on the market and your customers?
The biggest impact CBRE has made in the market and for our customers is our proprietary processes and procedures for managing risk and reliability – namely DCS Shield.
The data center industry is constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to have streamlined processes in place to enable seamless decision making, mitigate risk and provide a solid foundation for progress. CBRE’s proprietary Risk & Reliability Program is aimed to have the highest impact on reducing risk and unplanned outages in a data center through a suite of unique processes, technology, assessments, and training. We refer to our suite of risk mitigation tools collectively as DCS Shield™. It is a proven game-changer, creating a robust, shared risk awareness culture at all levels of the organization.
In summary, key elements of our program include:
DCS Select: Our recruiting assessment tool that determines if candidates have the right behaviors and aptitudes to be successful in a data center environment. DCS Select is focused on technical, non-managerial staff and provides a report on strengths and weaknesses against seven key behaviors and two key aptitudes. It’s just one key feature of our Risk & Reliability Program, aimed at having the highest impact on reducing risk and unplanned outages in a data center.
Key benefits of DCS Select include:
• Higher levels of job satisfaction
• Better performance
• Increased cost savings
CNet CCAM® Assessment: Assesses a technician’s knowledge of data center operations and builds a training plan for any gaps.
CNet CDCTP®: A training certification for highly competent technicians who demonstrate unrivalled technical knowledge and skills.
Human Factors Training: Research demonstrates that no matter how resilient the Engineering Infrastructure appears, nearly 80% of preventable failures relate to human error or process failure. CBRE has invested a significant amount of time and resources to combat human factor related errors by engaging renowned psychologist Dr. Tim Marsh PhD, MSc, CFIOSH, CPsychol, SFIIRSM MD to develop the CBRE Data center Solutions Human Factors Training program. Dr. Tim Marsh is considered a world authority about behavioural safety, safety leadership, and organizational culture.
The resulting program covers wellbeing and other factors which can affect a technician’s ability to perform well and how to act in stressful situations. The is achieved through classroom training, facilitation, group discussions and practical exercises, and aims to increase safety, quality, and efficiency in critical maintenance operations by reducing human error and its impact on maintenance activities.
Critical Environment Risk Management (CERM™): CERM is CBRE’s proprietary data center risk management program aimed at diminishing human factor related risk. CERM™ offers a standardized suite of tools, procedures and technology applications based on steps identified as having the highest impact on reducing risk and increasing uptime. It features a series of 70 standardized operational processes and procedures for Critical Environments, including M&E, IT and Energy services.
Derived from our experience as the world’s leading provider of integrated data center operations and the best practices from nuclear, petrochemical and aviation maintenance, our tried and tested philosophy is based on the foundation of having the right culture and behaviours and our consistent approach to people, processes and technology.
We partner with each of our clients to individually craft the CERM™ program to align their business strategy, compliance requirements and risk needs. A first of its kind in the industry, CERM™ covers the three main areas of data center operations: IT, Critical Environment (CE) and Energy Services.
CERM™ Quantum: The technology interface and technical application that supports the CERM™ program. Quantum tracks facility and asset information, CERM™ compliance, risk modules, and team training.
Quantum is a Critical Risk Management reporting platform that has been developed to allow total visibility for our staff and our customers, on the management and operations of the critical IT and M&E systems supporting their business operations. This system has been developed by CBRE and is utilized for supporting mission critical facilities.
What levels of customer service differentiate you from your competitors.
DCS ensures client satisfaction through a number of vehicles, including:
• Annual Client Satisfaction Survey: This survey is conducted by a neutral third party consultant, Kingsley Associates. They evaluate satisfaction levels, areas for development, and the outcomes specified in our service contract.
The satisfaction scores for these surveys are below:
• A highlight of these results include: 69% of respondent’s EB4 are in the promoter category
• Quarterly Business Review Meetings: We meet with clients on a regular basis to review, validate, and improve performance.
Moreover, we believe the most powerful measurement of customer satisfaction is demonstrated by our tenured relationships and expansion of services. We are increasingly entrusted with growing responsibility and we deliver time and time again.
Our business has grown from $162M in 2016 to $907M in 2020, and we have maintained a 98% renewal rate while managing this rapid growth.
What are the major differentiators between your company and your primary competitors?
The main differentiator CBRE Data Centre Solutions has over the competition is that we are the only full-service global data real estate provider, offering consulting, advisory and transaction, project management, and integrated data centre operations services across the full life cycle of a data centre. We maintain mission critical and technical infrastructure facilities that are essential for business continuity for data centre owners, operators, and investors. As a single source solution, the CBRE DCS team can provide clients with the flexibility and bandwidth to focus on the strategic direction of your business.