As 2020 comes to its close, hopefully without a final surprise, we have spent a lot of time reflecting upon what this year gave us. While there are very few of us who won’t gladly show 2020 the door, we have compiled a list of milestones we are celebrating here at LightEdge as we ramp up for 2021.
This year, though much of it was spent apart, meant working together in new and exciting ways to support our clients’ traditional business objectives with the added pressures COVID-19 brought. With all of these milestones, we embraced teamwork from a distance and kept innovating in our space. One thing is for sure – we realized the power of we.
So, without further ado, take a look at some of LightEdge’s biggest moments of 2020.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, employees who were able to make the switch, transitioned to working from home full-time. For those essential team members who were not able to do so, like many of our data center employees, LightEdge prepared them with renewed health and safety protocols to keep them safe, keep our facilities sanitized, and keep our customers operating as normal. While nothing about this situation was ideal, our team members stepped up to the plate and we were able to keep serving our customers without missing a beat during a year like no other.
Since the beginning of the year, we have added 49 new team members. What’s more impressive is that 39 of them began their journeys with us while the pandemic was in full swing. The LightEdge HR Team worked tirelessly to provide virtual growth and learning opportunities for new staff members and found creative ways for them to meet their colleagues throughout the onboarding process. We think that they aced the pivot to a digital hiring and training process.
Our Austin, Texas office got a much-needed makeover. After we acquired our Austin office in 2018, we have loved having a home base there for our growing team of experts. And now, after the construction crews have packed away their ladders, hammers and saws, our colleagues down South have a workspace that better suits their needs. We’re looking forward to seeing our Austin team fill the space when we can safely do so!
LightEdge expanded its compliance portfolio in big ways in 2020. Our team members diligently checked off audit requirements year-round to add even more certifications around our facilities and services. Ultimately, we renewed all existing compliance certifications including ISO 20000 and 27001, SOC 1, 2 & 3, PCI and HIPAA, and added the following to our arsenal:
We take pride in being able to offer the highest standard of security and compliance to our customers and look forward to continuing to raise the bar for them in 2021.
In the Spring and Summer of 2020, we expanded our SubTropolis data center in Kansas City. This project grew our data center to a whopping 45,000 square feet from its previous 27,000 square feet. The additions boast 18,000 square feet of white floor space with redundant power and cooling to support all tenants. This facility also provides workplace recovery desks for clients to reserve in the event of a disaster. We have no plans to slow our growth in SubTropolis this coming year, so stayed tuned!
This data center is unique from any of our other facilities due to the fact that it is housed in a naturally aspirated limestone mine, deep underground. It is completely protected from the wrath of Mother Nature and is often lauded as one of the most secure data centers in the world. You can check out the video Off the Cuf made when they visited if you want to see our security in action. Fun fact: this is also the location of the Hollywood Film Vault, where all the originals of your favorite films are preserved!
Our growth through innovation continued with upgraded backbone network architecture that allowed us to better integrate inter-market data centers and ACI network switching architecture with our data centers. We also leveled up our DDoS solution by partnering with Corero to give our customers the best protection possible.
Our virtual private cloud customers also got an upgrade when we introduced the possibility to migrate to VCloud Director. Even our customers with dense workloads in the public cloud have decided they align well with VMware’s roadmap, and LightEdge has helped them get there. We’re excited to help other customers make the migration in 2021!
This year, we looked for new ways to embrace teamwork with other organizations, including IBM. This Fall, our Power Cloud became an IBM Validated Solution. The Validated Solution mark is a Business Partner mark from IBM that helps companies identify technology solutions that have gone through a rigorous validation process to ensure that they meet IBM’s integration and compatibility standards. Once a company becomes a Validated Solution, they are listed in the IBM Global Solutions Directory, deeming it “Ready for IBM Cloud.” Our new mark means LightEdge Power Cloud stands among an elite set of validated cloud providers worldwide.
At LightEdge, we believe in giving back to the community simply because it’s the right thing to do. When it became clear that the pandemic would be raging on for a while and many people throughout our communities may go hungry, LightEdge organized its employees and donated over 31,000 meals for local food pantries in each of our markets, including Thelma’s Kitchen in Kansas City, the Food Bank of Iowa in Des Moines, the Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh, and the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin. As we continue to walk through uncertain times, we encourage you, if you are able, to consider getting involved too.
Throughout LightEdge’s history, we have always been on the lookout for new ways to connect with and provide value to our customers. This year, we launched our new Proteus Engage platform to provide an easy, accessible way for customers to access resources and connect with their customer care teams. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for us with Proteus and are having fun coming up with creative ways to leverage it to provide timely updates, educational resources, or just a much-needed laugh.
We also launched a new customer support portal. Some of the key updates to our new portal include more intuitive dashboards, dynamic bandwidth usage graphs, mobile-friendly viewing for access on the go, and seamless ticket and contact management.
Our continued commitment to customer support has paid off, with a customer satisfaction rating of 94%, placing us well above the industry standard of excellence. We’re thrilled our customers feel they are in good hands and, as we continue to look toward the next few socially distanced months, we grow even more thankful for our investments that have allowed us to continue to connect with our customers in meaningful ways.
We were nominated
The 2020 Prometheus Awards hosted the by Technology Association of Iowa were very special for LightEdge again this year coming off of Jim Masterson’s CEO of the Year Award in 2019. The most prestigious recognition for Iowa’s technology industry, The Prometheus Awards acknowledge individuals and companies that are positively impacting Iowa’s over $10 billion technology industry. We were named a finalist for the 2020 IT Service Provider Technology Company of the Year. And our Director of Marketing, Jessica Greiner, was a finalist for Emerging Technology Leader of the Year. We’re proud of these achievements, made possible by our team members’ commitment to growing through innovation each and every day.
We are ready for 2021
2021 will be another milestone year for LightEdge as we prepare to celebrate 25 years in business. LightEdge offers a full stack of best-in-class IT services to provide flexibility, security, and control for any stage of a customer’s technology roadmap. Our solutions include premier colocation across seven purpose-built data centers, industry-leading private Infrastructure as a Service and cloud platforms, and the top global security and compliance measures.
With all its challenges, 2020 has been one of our best years yet. We’ve been able to empower new clients, renewed complex certifications, and had the opportunity to connect—even if it looked a little different this year—with our customers and with one another over phone, video or even a socially distant wave from across the nearly-empty office. Throughout the challenges and celebrations of this crazy year, we are more thankful for our incredible team—and our valued customers every single day.
We cannot wait to see what 2021 has in store for us and our customers, no matter what comes our way. To learn more about what LightEdge does, or to get a tour of one of our world-class data centers, set up a time to chat with us. Our compliance, cloud, and colocation experts are always available and ready to take your call. We are looking forward to moving into 2021 together with you.