Shaw’s David Lod: Bid for HQ2 Helped Identify All Calgary Has to Offer
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, David Lod, Vice President and General Manager for Shaw Communications, to provide some insight onto the state of Calgary’s economy as well as what’s next for the city.
“Looking at the state of Calgary right now, regarding what’s valuable to our economy moving forward, and how do we attract new business, you really need the underpinning infrastructures here,” began Lod. “Of course you have data center capacity in great facilities. You have to have network and wireless connectivity, and it has to be very thorough and have those things.”
Lod then pointed to access to capital as well as a very stable power grid and a political landscape that’s incentivizing businesses to come to Calgary as big pluses for the city. “Looking at Calgary’s bid for Amazon HQ2, a lot of people might have said that we didn’t really have a chance, it might have been a waste of money,” he observed. “But I think that what that exercise really did was prove to Calgary all of the great things that we have – great people, great real estate, the underpinning technologies that are required to move forward.”
Lod says that, as autonomous cars come onto the scene, and as Calgary seeks to woo new technology companies, the data center space is only going to grow. “We don’t view Google and Amazon and Microsoft as, they’re going to empty out all of these colocation facilities. This is going to be a hybrid market,” he predicted. “The end-user of those might change at the end of the day, but we need that underpinning infrastructure to compete in the digital economy going forward.”
And as far as attracting U.S. business into Calgary, or even firms from abroad? “That’s been happening,” shared Lod. “And I don’t think that we’ve talked about it at a more open scale. More recently we brought 12 US companies who have elected to put colocation assets and Cloud assets in Calgary, vs putting them in the US, for a variety of reasons. So I think that we have all of the pins in place here to see great growth in the city. I think that we’re just only getting organized.”
However, if one major challenge exists, it’s getting Calgary on the map. “We do need to market ourselves,” he cautioned. “Things like the $100 Million Dollar fund, these are exciting things that we need to talk about. And you’re going to see expanded data center growth and network growth. Everyone is on an iPhone today and that’s only going to continue to drive those data center requirements.”
For more from this panel, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports:
- Canada Isn’t On the Market Yet Internationally….But It Should Be.
- Chad Arnold on Equinix’s Foray Into Canada: Growth Strategy Mirrors Public Clouds
- Nicholas Jeffery: All of the Pieces are in Place, But Canada Needs to Step Up to the Plate
- Calgary’s Last Six Months: Service Providers May Be Edging Out End-Users for Demand
- Is the “Trump Effect” Driving More Data Center Firms to Canada?