Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

September 12, 2018 | Tom Ballard

Frank Hutchison provides update on SH Data Technologies progress

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

“Our plan is to have the building finished in November, commissioned in December, and begin offering services in January,” Frank Hutchison told us recently about the new Tier III data center that SH Data Technologies is building on the edge of Downtown Knoxville.

The region’s first center of its type was announced in early January (see this article), and we posted a more in-depth interview with Hutchison in April. Since then, a considerable amount has been accomplished at the site of the former Fort Hill Building just east of the Old City.

“The fourth floor is about finished,” Hutchison said with leasing set to begin. “The other floors are gutted and ready . . . they’re a greenfield.” That allows prospective tenants to configure space to fit their individual needs.

The facility, officially known as the Fort Data Center, is the vision of Butch Smith, Founder of Smith & Hammaker, who saw a need for the services, an opportunity to reuse the building that at one time housed offices of several Knox County, and an economic development play for the community.

“No one else in Tennessee is doing high-density at the Tier III level,” Hutchison said when we first chatted with him. “You have to go to Atlanta or Chicago to get something similar.”

Since the interview earlier this year, SH Data Technologies has added a suite of security services to its mix, bringing Kyle Bubp on board as Vice President for Information Security. We spotlighted the Ohio native in this recent article shortly after he and a partner sold Savage Security, a company they founded.

“We knew we needed to add a security arm,” Hutchison explained to us. “With Kyle we’ve been able to combine his security platform with our compliance services. Now, not only can we tell you what the problem is, but we can remediate it.”

Among other specific services, the addition of Bubp allows SH Data Technologies to offer comprehensive security officer services. One might think of it as a virtual Chief Security Officer.

While it awaits completion of the renovations and commissioning of the data center, SH Data Technologies is actively marketing services.

“We’re providing security as well as cloud services today,” Hutchison says. “When the data center comes online, we’ll add more services.”

The Fort Data Center was always planned as a multi-phase buildout with precast buildings being added to the site as demand grew.

Hutchison is now the firm’s Chief Technology Officer, giving-up the day-to-day role as President. It’s a great fit for his expertise.

“I’m focused on getting the data center technology where it needs to be,” he explains, adding that he is also overseeing the indirect sales channel and all carrier relationships. “We’re getting there.”