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Celebrating 22 Years

Celebrating 22 Years

Stream Data Centers is 22 this year, and a lot has changed since our founding in 1999. Here we take a look back at how we’ve evolved alongside our customers. And we share the most recent evolution of our vision and mission statements.

1999. For those of us of a certain age, it might not feel so long ago. But consider:

  • Google was just one year old
  • Mark Zuckerberg had just started high school
  • the Blackberry was the only “smart” phone on the market
  • encyclopedias were still a thing
  • Netflix movies came in the mail

Clearly, a lot has changed in the past 22 years. Much of that change has been driven by internet-based innovations. And underpinned by digital infrastructure.

It was also 1999 when Rob Kennedy and Paul Moser, then executives at Stream Realty Partners, founded Stream Data Centers to build upon the success they’d had identifying and purchasing second-generation data center assets. The dot-com bubble burst shortly thereafter, but the internet revolution was just beginning, and Stream Data Centers was well-positioned to support it.

Initially Stream focused on fully commissioned build-to-suit data centers because that was the model our customers – the world’s largest and most sophisticated enterprises – demanded. True to our roots as real estate professionals, we proactively invested in the markets we knew customers would need capacity in. Between 1999 and 2004 we built two data centers in Dallas and one in Austin. In the following two years, we built six more data centers, in Silicon Valley.

In the mid-2000s, as the internet revolution gained steam and customers wanted customizable capacity more quickly, we developed a powered shell solution. We offered that in Silicon Valley, Dallas, and San Antonio.

Then enterprises began to migrate out of their own data centers into colocation facilities. At the same time, technology companies’ capacity demand began to increase substantially and they, too, sought colocation partners that could deliver the capacity they needed, in the markets they needed it in, when they needed it. So we launched an adaptable turnkey offering and proactively built data centers in Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Chicago, and Phoenix.

Since the beginning, and still, most of our capacity has been sold or leased to Fortune 500 companies. Today, 90% of our capacity is leased to the Fortune 500. Two decades ago that meant the world’s largest banks and healthcare providers – and it still does. Today it also includes the world’s largest and most sophisticated technology companies.

Clearly, much has changed over the course of Stream’s lifetime, and we’re proud to have evolved with the market and with our customers. So we decided it was time to articulate the evolution with new vision and mission statements and newly articulated value propositions.

The more things change
As Stream has evolved over the last decades to continue meeting the needs of our evolving customers, some things haven’t changed. Like our commitment to being considerate and kind internally and with our customers. Rob and Paul are still at the helm and from the top down, we remain as committed to improving the data center experience through exceptional people and service as we did 22 years ago.

These immutable aspects of who we are, what we value, and how we operate, continue to be reflected in our new vision statement:

We believe that procuring, deploying, and operating data center capacity should be a great experience.

And our new mission statement:

We proactively invest in great people and great facilities in the right markets so you have capacity when and where you need it. From beginning to end, the experience is collaborative; we listen, not dictate, and with a broad spectrum of options, we’ll customize to what you need to succeed.

And our newly articulated value propositions:

Great experience: No bad surprises. The decision makers are at the table. We really listen to you (our customers) and act on what you tell us. We value our relationship with you above all, and that shows from the very beginning to the very end – from our discretion about your big name to how we communicate during a natural disaster to the fact that we don’t charge for cross-connects. We’ve never been sued, and we’ve never sued a customer or partner, either.

Great people: It’s the people that determine the experience, the quality of the design, and the reliability of the operations – and ours are the best. We’re real estate professionals and technical experts with two decades of experience delivering value for customers like you. And because we manage and operate our own data centers, you get the best of us from beginning to end.

Speed to market: We have actual capacity ready to deploy today in seven markets. (When we say we have four MWs in Phoenix, we have four MWs you can move into today.) We invest in your success through speculative development in markets where we see future demand.

End-to-end collaboration: We’ll customize (procedurally, operationally, structurally) to what you need. We’re smart and we build and operate great data centers. Our customers are smart, too. We know we’re a small fraction of your supply chain and we shouldn’t be a headache. So we dig in with you at the beginning to understand your real drivers and explore the best fit solution. We conform to you rather than you conforming to us.

Plus of course all the table stakes (operational expertise, financial stability, data center efficiency and reliability): These table stakes are driven by the operational expertise of our great people and our organizational and financial stability. Since 1999 we’ve built and operated 24 data centers for Fortune 500 enterprises and hyperscale cloud providers – we’re trusted by the largest companies in the world. The original founding partners are still at the helm, and involved with our customers daily. Our capital partners provide a unique combination of financial stability and decision making freedom.

As visionary as technology pioneers are, it’s hard to imagine anyone predicting the impact that internet-based innovations would have in our lives today. It’s hard to imagine anyone predicting, for example, that the world’s largest bookseller would be a website or that the future of the world’s largest bank would hinge on its mobile app.

Yet, as the evolution happens, those pioneers rely on adaptable, forward-thinking partners to evolve alongside them. We’re proud to have been and to continue to be one of those partners.