Is Calgary Part of the Future of 5G?
by Josh Anderson
CALGARY, ALBERTA – CapRE’s 2018 Calgary and Alberta Data Center Summit featured a full-day of first-rate market analysis and perspective. The opening panel of the day, Greater Calgary Center Market 360: What Firms are Actively Developing, Investing and What are the Unique Regional Advantages from Site Selection, Connectivity and Cost of Power Perspectives? was moderated by Conan Lee, Managing Director at JLL, who looked one of his panelists, Erwin Kantwerg, Vice President for ENMAX, to provide some insight onto the state of Calgary’s economy as well as what’s next for the city.
“When I was with ENMAX running this company called Envision — that was roughly six years ago, let’s say, when we left. At that time ENMAX had a data center and was using all of the traditional software that corporations use, and it was very expensive,” recalled Kantwerg. “Since that time, when I get back, ENMAX now doesn’t have that data enter anymore.”
According to Kantwerg, ENMAX now uses colocation facilities. “We use the Microsoft Cloud. I have a workday app on my phone, and I just did a quick little approval here while some folks were talking,” he revealed. “So I approve head count and all kinds of different processes in the hiring of a few folks. And all of that is on Workday I think that some of our data centers are in Dublin, Ireland as well.”
“It’s interesting to see that traditionally, and I don’t mean this in a negative way, but utilities have been the last to adopt new technologies and what not,” he contrasted. “We’re better off building our own, and that kind of stuff. And in fact, again, even companies like ENMAX absolutely are very conscious about the costs that they have and they want to get those costs down.”
As for the future, Kantwerg stressed that when it comes to moving to the Cloud, the opportunities for data centers are only going to get bigger and better. “And it’s a great opportunity for us in Calgary,” he remarked. “One other point I’d like to make is that I myself am getting quite involved with some of the carriers and I believe that the city of Calgary can help these carriers deploy the Future of 5G.”
Kantwerg stressed that this relationship is absolutely critical if Calgary wants to attract high-tech companies. “We need to have fiber. And we need to have 5,” he advised. “I think the cities that pick up on this are going to be leaders and I’m sure that here in Calgary, we’re going to be on it.”
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