Knight Point helps with data-center consolidationApril 29, 2011 6:00 AM
by Joan Tupponce
Photo by Mark Rhodes
Knight Point Systems found its niche in providing data center-centric IT services that help corporations and federal government agencies consolidate their data centers for maximum efficiency and optimal use.
“More than 60 percent of our work is data center optimization,” says Doug Duenkel, the Reston-based company’s chief operating officer.
Under the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, federal agencies are required to consolidate data centers in an effort to reduce expenses. That mandate has been a driver in Knight Point’s growth, because 90 percent of its business is government based — the remaining 10 percent is corporate.
From 2006 to 2009, the company grew 1,177.3 percent. “The government initiative played a role in that growth,” Duenkel says.
The company ranked No. 266 on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing businesses in 2010. This year it was named one of the Top 50 private businesses in Virginia by DiversityBusiness.com.
A service-disabled, veteran-owned business, Knight Point was founded in 2005 by Bob Eisiminger, Keith McMeans, Justin Kuzemka, Dan Duenkel and Doug Duenkel. Eisiminger is CEO. Since its inception, Knight Point has added services such as program management and cyber security to meet the growing needs of government agencies.
The company also developed its proprietary Hercules Asset Management and Optimization tool to help agencies and corporations better manage data center consolidations. Hercules has become a standard in BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) relocation and the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative throughout the federal government.
Using Hercules, Knight Point can pinpoint the precise number of assets (computers and computer equipment) owned by a company or federal agency. “We figure out what they have, what they can optimize and what they can get rid of,” Duenkel says. “Consolidation saves companies money.”
Duenkel finds that many companies aren’t aware of their data center inventory. That was the case in a recent federal agency data center consolidation. “They thought they had 400 assets, but they actually had 1,400,” he says. “That is not abnormal, even with commercial customers. They have the same issues.”
Government agencies and companies normally see a return on investment within a year of consolidation. One of Knight Point’s commercial customers saved more than $3 million in the first 18 months. “That [represented] network, power and manpower savings,” Duenkel says.
Currently, the company is working on a large data center consolidation effort for the Department of Homeland Security. “We have added 30 contractors for that project,” Duenkel says.
Knight Point has almost 100 employees at the corporate headquarters in Reston and in offices in Chicago; Philadelphia; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Stennis, Miss.; and Ogden, Utah. In 2010, the company was recognized as the Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Division Subcontractor of the Year. In 2011, it won the Nunn-Perry Award, as an outstanding protégé small business under the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program in partnership with CSC.
The company helps its employees build their careers. “Our employees meet with management to look at their career path so they know what classes and certifications they need to move up in the organization,” Duenkel says, noting that Knight Point provides a variety of training programs.
The company’s investment in its employees has paid off in low turnover rates. “We have about 7½ percent turnover, which is good in our field where averages are 15 percent,” Duenkel says. “Our people feel like they are part of a family, and that is a big deal to us.”
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