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Executive Spotlight: Scott Shinberg, EVP for QTS Federal Systems Group

Executive Spotlight: Scott Shinberg, EVP for QTS Federal Systems Group - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Executive Spotlight: Scott Shinberg, EVP for QTS Federal Systems Group - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Scott Shinberg, QTS

Scott Shinberg is the executive vice president for the federal systems group at Quality Technology Services, where he leads the company’s government-facing sales team.

The 22-year technology industry veteran previously oversaw cybersecurity and intelligence projects at SAIC and General Dynamics, serving customers such as the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Air Force.

ExecutiveBiz recently caught up with the former Air Force officer and FBI special agent to discuss data center consolidation, preparing proposals and how he helps position QTS to meet government demand.

ExecutiveBiz: How does data consolidation change the way centers must be protected from outside threats? How is QTS building in protections for its custom products for federal agencies?

Scott Shinberg: QTS is adding security services to protect our data centers that contain both government IT assets and corporate systems and personnel that we use to manage, monitor and provide other cyber services to the government. We’ve had government customers in our Richmond Data Center for a little over a year and that facility provides some of the best data center security that you can find in the country. In the near future, we’ll provide 500 foot setback from the street to the nearest building. We’ll have armed guards on the perimeter, starting in April 2012.

We’ll also continue with the unarmed guard service that we currently have for the interior of the compound. We’ll provide a visitor screening facility with magnetometers and x-rays for scanning hand-carried materials and personnel for any threatening object that they may bring in. We have vehicle inspection stations in place now to look inside deliveries. Richmond will be our flagship facility for government business and a step up for most government customers from what they have now, either in their own facilities or those that they’re leasing from a commercial provider.

ExecutiveBiz: Does data center consolidation enable or make it more difficult to efficiently and quickly access information?

Shinberg: We find consolidation makes it significantly more efficient and allows for much faster access to government information. This is partly due to the fact that there are additional IT assets are on the same local area network. Therefore, you’ve got local speeds instead of having to go out across a more expensive telecom line.  We’re also finding that ecosystems of customers provide them the ability to connect to their peers and their own service providers faster.

On the government side, the transactions and interactions that agencies and contractors need for operation of government business can be done within the same room in some cases. If it’s in the same facility, you’re only talking about a simple and secure cross connect away instead of having to go out, find a telecommunications solution and have your data exposed outside the building. We“™re finding both efficiency and faster access to be benefits that our customers are realizing from this consolidation or collocation in these ecosystems.

ExecutiveBiz: How does QTS account for consolidation when preparing a data center proposal?

Shinberg: In some cases we’re able to bring potential customers together so that even before their proposal process, they know what benefits they’re going to get. We have to work with the customers because their own security, contractual requirements and nondisclosure agreements can’t always explicitly state everything in a proposal. But when folks agree to meet on the telephone or face-to-face, you have a lot of excellent exchanges and they know QTS was the one who facilitated that. When we’re in proposal mode, we can reference what we’re allowed to and explain the benefits, which they identified and enumerated during the sales cycle.

ExecutiveBiz: What efficiencies are agencies and contractors looking for from QTS?

Shinberg: The market is heading in favor of multi-tenant data centers. It“™s moving away from the in-house hosting model where agencies and contractors were closely tied to either the physical location of their workforce or the the close tying of their telecommunications line and their individual providers. It“™s moving toward the more efficient model where you’ve got a multi-tenant data center that provides carrier neutral access. QTS provides access to just about any telecom provider that our customers want. The largest data centers are multi-tenant data centers.

QTS has the second-largest multi-tenant center in the world in Atlanta at about 530,000 square feet of raised floor. The data center we have in Richmond will not be too far behind with 500,000 square feet of raised floor. We bring efficiencies and economies of scale to agencies that buy in bulk. They have many large requirements and they’re looking for not just cost discounts on the data centers themselves, but also other efficiencies that they can get from concentrating assets into fewer locations.

We“™re finding true demand for companies like QTS that have multiple data centers around the country. QTS has 12 centers between New York City and Miami, four in Kansas and then two in Silicon Valley. I think Silicon Valley and Richmond are going to be our primary areas of performance for government contracts.  We can provide almost 3,000 miles of geographic coverage but still get them online and closely tied in electronically. We’re looking at cloud deployment in our Silicon Valley data centers, and we’re looking at physical hosting of government IT assets in Richmond. We’re doing that now for the Defense Department and providing managed services out of our Suwanee, Ga. data center where our Operations Service Center is located.

ExecutiveBiz: How are you positioning QTS to fulfill the government’s demands?

Shinberg: I’ve been identifying which departments need to adapt or adjust the way that they’ve worked with commercial providers so that the method of delivering our services is not just compliant with government requirements but also attractive as a complete package to the government. That includes working with our purchasing department to increase the small business utilization that we purchase goods and services from and our human resources department.

Our legal department ensures our equal employment opportunity program is appropriate for what’s required, not just for a commercial company, but what is expected of government contractors. Our development team is in charge of upgrading and expanding our physical facilities. We“™ve gone through many of the assessments that lead to the DIACAP and FISMA certifications as part of the government“™s certification and accreditation program. Our product development team is looking at developing the next generation of our cloud product, called CoreFlex.

They are also developing the next generation of our managed services products and services that need to be done by people who have either clearances or positions of public trust. My role has been working with my peers across the company to ensure that their departments are appropriately prepared for executing the government contracts. It’s been a great process and our CEO Chad Williams is 100 percent behind this. He advocates for expending into the federal market and has supported my efforts as I help facilitate the necessary changes.

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Written by Ross Wilkers

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