Week of August 21, 2000
  Snapshot from the Field

Outsourced Infrastructure Integration:
Equity Office Properties' Deal Will
Offer Tenants 'Complete IT Solutions'

Among today's hot trends in the real estate industry, these two arguably have the highest profiles:

  • The scurry to come up with the right combination of bricks and clicks.
  • The continuing drumbeat to integrate corporate infrastructure.
Now comes a deal that spans both those trends:

Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP at www.equityoffice.com) - the largest U.S. office property owner -- has entered into a pact with information technology service provider CenterBeam (www.centerbeam.com) to provide tenants in EOP workspace a package of services that are designed to satisfy their IP needs.

The agreement between EOP and Santa Clara, Calif.-based CenterBeam will offer EOP tenants the option of what officials call "a complete IT solution": new Dell Computer PCs, laptops and servers; Hewlett-Packard printers; Microsoft Windows 2000; and Lucent Technologies' wireless networking. Tenants can pick the entire IT package for a fixed monthly fee of about US$200 per workstation, EOP officials say. The cost for that package includes installation, "remote management," support and upgrades, they add.

Says Michael Sheinkop, Chicago-based EOP senior vice president of real estate services and head of the Equity Office Access business unit, "This is about people, process and productivity. We're creating a technology platform, business service platform and a personal service platform."

Package Offers Ups Core-Competency
Focus, Cuts IT Outlays, Official Asserts

According to Ron Hoge, CenterBeam president and CEO, the combination of workspace and outsourced IT will increase EOP tenants' focus on core competencies while reducing IT outlays.

"CenterBeam is enabling Equity Office customers to immediately outfit their offices with a technology infrastructure that seamlessly accommodates any level of growth," says Hoge.

"In today's fast-paced marketplace, companies must focus on their core businesses -- they often can't afford to invest too much intellectual capital on the management of their technology," Hoge continues. "By using the reliability and strength of the CenterBeam service, customers can now concentrate on their businesses and e-commerce strategies, while we focus on the delivery and maintenance of their technology infrastructure."

SMEs Make Up the Majority
Of Tenants in EOP's Huge Portfolio

The deal designating CenterBeam "a preferred IT infrastructure provider" has considerable reach. Equity Office Properties Trust owns and manages 97 million sq. ft. (8.73 million sq. m.) of office space in 25 U.S. states.

"The majority of the 7,500 companies we serve are small to mid-sized businesses," says Sheinkop.

That profile fits well with CenterBeam, an operation focused on simplifying IT for SMEs.

"Upside" magazine (www.upside.com) named 1999-founded CenterBeam as one of its "Hot 100 Private Companies."

"Small to mid-sized customers in particular benefit from the business tools and services our vendors offer because they help level the playing field in today's competitive marketplace," Sheinkop added.

Owners Seek New Amenities,
New Revenue Streams

The CenterBeam-EOP agreement also reflects trends other than bricks-and-clicks and infrastructure integration.

Chief among those trends: the rush among office space owners to provide the IT infrastructure that's both an employee amenity and a new revenue stream.

EOP has been one of the more proactive players in that domain. It has already wired more than 40 million sq. ft. (3.6 million sq. m.) of office space for high-speed Internet access. By the end of the year 2000, 95 percent of EOP's portfolio will offer customers the option of at least one advanced telecom provider, according to EOP officials.

In addition to CenterBeam, EOP has entered into agreements that include Allied Riser Communications and Broadband Office, both high-speed Internet access providers, and Captivate Network, Inc., a company that provides visual screen displays and Internet media programming in elevator cabs. In addition, other offerings for tenants through the Equity Office Access business unit include instant office suites, business motivational speakers and training tools, company officials say.

California, Connecticut and Texas
Will See Early Rollout of Service

Equity Office Access, which provides access to business products and services, and amenities, will also offer the new CenterBeam service to EOP tenants. Initial marketing efforts will begin in California, Connecticut and Texas, company officials say. Further promotion efforts are expected to begin in additional markets in the third and fourth quarters of 2000, they add.

"With our national infrastructure and streamlined delivery methods, we look to companies like CenterBeam to provide best-in-class services to our customers. With this strong platform, companies have the opportunity to roll out their products and services nationally," says Sheinkop.



©2000 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.