One company is betting big on the power of the Texas economy.
StratITsphere, a technology services company based in the Houston area, invested $15 million to renovate a warehouse in Katy into a new company headquarters and state-of-the-art data center. And that's just the first phase of the project the company unveiled today.
"Texas, especially in the Houston area, has a robust economy and a great environment for business," said Stephen Webster, president and CEO of StratITsphere. "This is the right time and the right place to invest in the future."
The company will move from its offices in Humble to the 94,000-square-foot facility at 1510 Primewest Parkway in January. StratITsphere plans to invest additional millions to build out the facility over the next five years.
The first phase of development will create 10 jobs in 2011 with an annual payroll of $1 million, Webster said. The employee base will grow to 35 during the next five years.
The building represents the highest quality of data center that can be built. A data center provides a secure off-site location for companies to store their most important computer equipment and data, Webster said.
The site offers 24-hour manned security and advanced physical safeguards like video surveillance equipment and biometric locks to keep equipment and data secure, he said. In the event of an emergency, the site has generators, showers, kitchens and other amenities that allow it to operate independently from the outside world for up to six days. It also has multiple internet connections to guarantee clients can access their systems and data and keep their businesses open.
"If you have to evacuate for a hurricane and your systems are in our facility, you can run your business by pulling into a Starbucks and opening up your laptop," Webster explained. Clients also can set up shop or camp out in data center if their respective offices are unusable.
Most companies can't afford or justify the expense to build and maintain such facilities on their own, so there is great demand to rent space from firms like StratITsphere, Webster said. Nationally, demand for such services is outpacing available supply by a 3-1 ratio.
Along with the data center, StratITsphere offers IT infrastructure and security consulting to Fortune 500 companies, including many energy companies based in Houston.
"Most companies don't get the full benefit from the millions of dollars they spend on computers and technology because they don't know exactly what they should buy, or they don't know how to use all the capabilities they've purchased," Webster said. "We help them on both counts, and help them secure their systems so a low-level employee can't post company secrets on WikiLeaks."
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