CAPRE Announces New Director of Production and Research for International Data Center Series
NEW YORK, NY — CAPRE is pleased to announce the addition of Rima Raouda to its expanding staff of event professionals. In her new role, Rima will be overseeing research and production for CAPRE’s International Data Center Series. Rima joins CAPRE with over seven years of event management experience. Her diverse range of interests had lead her to roles with the United Nations, the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and most recently, MaRS Discovery District, a technology innovation hub. She has a passion for all things tech and making work meaningful. With an undergraduate degree from University of Toronto and a masters from New York University, she has built experience across both Canadian and U.S. geographies. To welcome Raouda to the CAPRE community, we asked her some questions about her latest observations on the data center arena, and explored why international developments & expansion is keeping the data center industry on their toes.
CAPRE: Welcome to CAPRE, Rima. Please tell our readers a bit about your duties.
Raouda: I’ll be leading the International Data Center Series, taking over from CAPRE Founder, Brian Klebash. I’ll be responsible for all things related to the data center track, from researching content to producing the events throughout various regions. A big part of my role will be to build the ecosystem, and I’m particularly focused on diversifying the people within the field and getting more women involved. Would love to get in touch with anyone with similar interests, or those who just want to talk tech and data centers. Please do reach out!
CAPRE: Where were you working before? How has your career prepared you for this opportunity?
Raouda: Prior to starting this new role I was working at MaRS, one of the world’s largest tech innovations hubs, located in Toronto, Canada. Specifically, I was part of the Financial Technology team, supporting over 300 Fintech startups. I helped build the ecosystem and connections between various Financial Institutions, VCs and startups throughout Canada and beyond. Being at the forefront of tech innovation, I was able to see how technology is changing the way we live and the true value it brings.
Being exposed to such incredible tech innovations throughout the past year and with MaRS being one of the locations with a 5G testbed for startups, my interest in all things data really grew. I’m looking forward to applying my learnings and diving deeper in the data center, hyperscale and cloud infrastructure field.
CAPRE: Why are you excited to be heading up a data center series right now?
Raouda: It’s an exciting time to be a part of the data center industry, where cloud providers are determining their infrastructure expansion plans globally, determining if outsourcing capacity to colocation providers or insourcing infrastructure development. Data and where it resides is at the forefront of everything a technology, telecom, or even a general enterprise can do, so making strategic decisions on how to manage these processes have become strategic objectives, an upgrade compared to the back office perception they use to reside in.
I am also fascinated by how many different components go into data management and infrastructure; there are implications to the Utilities, Technology, Construction, and Industrial sectors, making the development of data centers mission critical (pun intended) for numerous industry constituents.
CAPRE: What do you think is the most exciting aspect of the data center arena?
Raouda: The most exciting aspect are the global expansions, because the dynamics change dramatically. For instance, building a hyperscale data center in North America is much different than building a hyperscale site in Europe. Additionally, as the data center sector becomes larger, it is having stock market implications and is being noticed by numerous investor types, naturally raising the level of interest across investment community. The most exciting developments will revolve around new financing sources in new countries with new types of customers, these variations will shed light on some the complexities we never really thought about before.
CAPRE: What is the biggest challenge facing data center industry leaders?
Raouda: There are multiple challenges here that I believe will be in center focus, from the compliance of data sovereignty to managing a pipeline of power for new developments. As data center operators expand internationally, the variables are changing and this in my view is a challenging factor in the industry that keeps leaders very attentive to new international developments, similarly to Brexit or even the China political landscape.
CAPRE: What is the most opportunistic data center market out there?
Raouda: From where we stand today, Europe is at the forefront, given the level of interest cloud companies have expressed in growing there. I would look at areas like Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris as the most opportunistic data center markets, since they are going to be growing the most and growing with the largest spenders; the clouds themselves.
CAPRE: Thanks for your input, Rima. We’re looking forward to growing the International Data Center Series with you!