CyrusOne-Trascent partnership pays huge IFM dividends
When a superstar NFL free agent hits the market, his agent finds the most compatible team and negotiates the best contract. Likewise, when a multi-billion-dollar data center company seeks the right integrated facilities management (IFM) firm, it taps a consulting firm to find that IFM expert and hammer out the best deal.
For CyrusOne, that “agent” is Trascent Management Consulting LLC, which recently helped it find and hire JLL as its IFM firm after a process that lasted more than a year. We hired the Somerville, New Jersey-based global consulting firm in August 2020 and began a deliberate engagement process to drill down deeply and figure out where we needed to go with an IFM contract. During the discovery process, Trascent interviewed a variety of CyrusOne stakeholders from all departments.
As that part of the engagement concluded, CyrusOne got a better idea of its needs, contract structure and IFM model. It all boiled down to seven key areas:
- Culture – build a collaborative culture; foster a partnership approach; find the right account team talent.
- Cost Certainty – annual cap on operation expense costs calibrated for scale and risk; defined budget process for projects and other extra works.
- Transparency – ongoing management of costs with variance and root-cause analysis; no undue administrative burden on CyrusOne’s retained team.
- Savings – upfront saving in line with market benchmarks; year-over-year cost improvements.
- Incentives – aligned incentives with IFM as good steward of CyrusOne money; no drop in performance; 100% critical system uptime.
- Flexibility – change control process to manage modifications; simple and transparent pricing mechanism to adjust cost and fees.
- Technology – industry standard financial reporting; allow for data-driven decisions.
These areas became our guiding principles that helped direct negotiations and contract structure. We ultimately settled on a model mutually beneficial to both parties in terms of performance and cost.
Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Success Andrea Munoz praised Trascent for its expertise.
“Their significant experience really helped facilitate a much smoother contract negotiation [with JLL],” Munoz said. “In terms of resources and industry specific expertise, Trascent was instrumental in supporting our team’s focus on outcomes that are critical to achieving operational excellence and providing our customers with best-in-class service.”
CyrusOne views JLL as a true teammate. Early on, Trascent created a full training regimen that brought together CyrusOne and JLL staff to train on the new IFM model. From day one, staffers from both organizations heard the same thing and understood the same views and perspectives regarding the contract and how to navigate it. Then, we tied it back to culture.
We wanted to build an inclusive culture with JLL – we wanted it to be the collaborative “us.” We want to be the best operational team in the IFM space within the data center industry. And to get there, we need to have genuine partnership with a teammate that truly understands our IFM niche.
During his career, CyrusOne Vice President of Procurement Andy Isaac learned quickly that companies tend not to have sourcing capability at the ready to buy infrequent items – such as IFM. And when they go to buy another similar item years down the road, what companies know about the supply market is outdated.
“So, it was kind of a no-brainer for us that we needed a third party to help us develop our strategy globally for IFM,” Isaac said. “Having worked with Trascent when I was with Merck, it was a known entity to me. They’re a great organization. They’re doing reps in the market, they’re market intelligence, they know how much a particular commodity should cost in this market, they know who’s paying this for that and they know what kind of cost models are being driven right now. It was invaluable having that current intelligence around the suppliers and the supply market. We couldn’t have done this without Trascent.”