Six years ago, Linesight chose the Netherlands as a hub for the expansion of its Data Centre focus. Paul Butler, one of the company’s Directors explains, “After delivering multiple Data Centre projects for US multinationals in Ireland, we looked to the Netherlands, as Amsterdam is such a hub of activity in the sector.”
A global construction consultancy firm with over 40 years’ experience and 17 offices around the world, Linesight supports Tier One clients in a range of sectors, including Data Centres, Commercial, Life Sciences, Transportation and Infrastructure, Healthcare and Retail. To date, Linesight has worked on 158 data centre facilities, delivering over 2300MW of critical power and 20 million sq.ft. of white space.
Over the past six years, Linesight has grown its dedicated team in the Netherlands from four to 30 people, 95% of whom are based there full-time, and integrated into the local community and tax system. Butler describes the importance of the move, “To deliver Data Centre projects in Europe, it is vital to have a presence on the ground, whether that is a subsidiary company, an office or a dedicated team based in the market.”
The People Advantage
Linesight’s proven track record for quality and timely delivery of projects helped them to quickly build the business in the Netherlands. The firm adopts a partnership approach with clients that is built on clarity and consistency. Excellence in service and personnel have proven to be a key differentiator.
“For our first clients developing projects in the Dutch market, we were preferred bidders and travelled with them as part of their team, offering the same service as we had in the Irish market,” Butler explains. “We were also highly competitive at winning projects that involved bidding with companies with in-house auditing functions.”
Some of the company’s multinational clients requested that specific members of the Linesight team work on projects in the Netherlands. Butler comments, “Our people are key. Senior Project Managers oversee projects from beginning to end. Directors oversee projects on a 24/7 basis. Relationships built over time are very important.”
What High-Tech Construction partners need in Europe
While building their presence in the Dutch market, Linesight invested time in ensuring it had the right contractors and partners to deliver projects to the required standard, and established local regulatory expertise in relation to construction, planning codes and timeframes.
Butler advises, “It is essential to gain a good understanding of local regulations and codes of practice for the industry. That is best achieved by becoming part of the local environment with your on-the-ground presence. Within the Netherlands, for example, construction regulations vary by region. There is a lot of heavy industry activity near the German border, which contrasts with the Amsterdam area.”
Over the last six years, Linesight has grown its network across the Netherlands, “We stretched our web of contractors beyond the Amsterdam area. We have highly trusted partners in the Netherlands that we know will deliver for us.”
The company has replicated the approach across the world, working on 47 data centre projects in the US, 24 in the Middle East, 43 in the UK and Ireland, 18 across Europe, and many more across Australia, Southeast Asia and South Africa.
The whole Data Centre Construction package
Linesight works with 9 out of 10 of the largest data center owner occupiers, colocation and cloud providers in the world, with clients in recent years including Global Switch, Digital Realty and RagingWire.
Butler describes the advantage that has helped them to achieve that position, “What differentiates us, in addition to our people, is the fact that we are an ‘all-in’ company and can provide Cost Management, Project Management, and Risk and Schedule Assessment. This is vital for a lot of big multinationals,” explains Butler.
“Many of our team members have backgrounds in civil, electrical or mechanical engineering. Our service is not just about number crunching – our team understands design. They can go through drawings with clients in great detail and are fluent in engineering language.”
Partnering in Construction across Europe
As projects in the Netherlands neared completion, Linesight extended its network to continue working with clients in additional locations. Gaining a foothold in the Netherlands helped the company to expand in Germany, Belgium and the Nordics, with the Dutch Data Centre business acting as a hub for growing additional sectors and European markets.
Butler explains the benefits for clients, “Clients prefer the consistent, clean approach of dealing with one partner across markets, rather than spending time educating new local providers about what they need and how they work. The flexibility of our people and operation has been key to our success.”
Butler advises that flexibility is essential to partnering with multinational companies in particular, “You have to adapt to the client’s needs in each local market. That means being willing to travel and being available at whatever time the client needs to deal with you. Our senior people travel regularly to meet clients in European markets.”