Bob Brown, TelaData's CEO offered that the theme of "convergence" applied to 3 areas:
- Technology Convergence as it applies to voice, video & data all converging to a IP-based standards, and what the implications are on data center build-out, power, cabling, etc.
- Organization Convergence - the need/requirement that IT and Facilities cooperate and drive new efficiencies; without this cooperation, breakthrough efficiencies and cost reductions just aren't possible
- Automation convergence, e.g. building/facilities automation standards (like BACnet) interoperating with IT automation (power control, distribution)
- Google made it clear that all employees are encouraged to look at Total Cost of Ownership for every project they pursue; they encourage tradeoffs from everyone, esp. between Facilities, operations and IT. It's a numbers game, which benefits the company overall.
- Cisco operates huge data centers as well - they're also numerically driven, and seem focussed on deriving metrics and standards around energy use - before they implement new programs/policies
- Sun also drove home the need for IT & Facilities to interact (Dean brought his Facilities counterpart along) and really emphasized that one of the massive benefits of efficient IT is to "give back" real estate to the company. Real estate is the 2nd largest cost to a company (next to payroll) and this has made a huge impact on Sun's margin and bottom line.
What was clear from conversations with folks who attended was that there still a rift between facilities managers and IT. For there to be any meaningful progress in data center efficiency, there had to be shared corporate and economic goals for both. And this had to start at the CFO level (for example).