Own, Control, Maintain: CEO Adam Wills Shares the Strategy Behind TurnKey’s Sustainable, Reliable, and User-Friendly Infrastructure Solutions

Turnkeys Strategic Infrastructure Approach Is To Own Control And Maintain

TL; DR: Founded in 1999 to provide simple, enterprise-grade infrastructure solutions suitable for a range of users, TurnKey Internet now serves more than 13,000 customers in 100 countries. The company, which owns a datacenter in New York’s Tech Valley, has repeatedly earned the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance — and it’s only the second facility in the state to do so. As TurnKey solidifies plans to open an additional datacenter, the company’s goal remains the same after nearly 10 years in business: to deliver easy-to-use infrastructure solutions backed by superior customer service.

Adam Wills has been in the tech industry since the mid-90s — back when a cacophony of dial-up sounds still greeted users each time they accessed the internet. Fresh out of college, he co-founded a successful ISP business in 1994 that brought a wave of internet access to Upstate New York before he sold it a few years later.

In 1999, when Adam founded his second endeavor, TurnKey Internet, he reflected on those early experiences. “What came back to me from the ’90s were all the problems we had dealing with outsourcing — we had to outsource T1 lines and dial-up lines in some states,” he said.

Adam knew he would take a different approach with TurnKey.

“From day one, we built the company around owning, controlling, and maintaining every piece of our infrastructure,” he said. “This helps us ensure quality and pricing to gain a competitive edge in the market.”

Banner with TurnKey logo

TurnKey’s on-premises infrastructure solutions allow for direct management of mission-critical assets.

Now, nearly a decade later, TurnKey has evolved into an infrastructure provider serving more than 13,000 customers in 100 countries worldwide. Today, the company keeps all resources in-house, from staff to infrastructure and everything in between. “We even have dark fiber that we control going to and from carrier hotels in the city,” Adam said.

TurnKey’s direct control over resources enables the company to provide simple, enterprise-level hosting solutions for clients. It’s also given the company freedom to implement green infrastructure solutions within its datacenter in Albany, New York — reducing both carbon emissions and costs. As TurnKey expands, the company’s goal remains the same as it was nearly a decade ago: to own, control, and maintain its own infrastructure to the benefit of customers.

IT on Demand: Enterprise-Grade Infrastructure Made Simple

TurnKey serves a broad spectrum of clients, including resellers, retailers, and enterprises. Its largest, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, houses all of its infrastructure in the company’s datacenter.

Approximately 60% of TurnKey’s customers are retailers, ranging from mom-and-pop shops to established businesses. “It’s pretty widespread,” Adam said. “There’s no one vertical that we go after — not just doctors’ offices, not just people creating a website for their home business.”

TurnKey is able to serve a diverse pool of clients through a laser-focused business plan. “We do one thing, and we do it well — we sell infrastructure to you, however you slice it,” Adam said. “There are other companies out there that will try to design your websites and fix your computers, your desktops; we don’t do any of that.”

Picture of a datacenter with TurnKey logo

TurnKey delivers custom, competitively priced infrastructure solutions to a diverse client base.

Instead, the company zeros in on its main strength: controlling, owning, and maintaining its infrastructure. The strategy enables TurnKey to offer customized solutions backed by fast, effective support.

“I’d like to tell you we always have 100% uptime, and it’s perfect,” Adam said. “It isn’t. So when something goes bump in the night, we control it. We fix it. We’re not waiting for service techs to drive in from 10 hours away.”

Adam told us the company also offers competitive pricing on customized solutions. “We have a fixed pricing system and we’re pretty adept at delivering and maintaining custom solutions.,” he said. “You’re not going to necessarily see that with places that have to rent or borrow someone else’s stuff. We control everything, so we can customize whatever’s needed.”

An ENERGY STAR® Certified Datacenter in New York’s Tech Valley

Another benefit of owning infrastructure is the ability to make improvements as desired, especially when it comes to energy efficiency. “If you resell through somebody else, you can’t go put solar panels on their building,” he said. “We can because we own the building.”

And that’s just what the company did. The facility is now powered exclusively by its rooftop solar panels and New York’s Niagara Falls hydroelectric system to provide a 100% renewable energy footprint.

TurnKey also employs Vertiv’s cold containment pods in each section of the datacenter for precision spot cooling. Each pod contains independent cooling units that monitor and adjust performance in real time to ensure optimal operating temperatures and maximum energy efficiency.

Green Business Bureau, ENERGY STAR, and Green America logos

TurnKey customers have the peace of mind that comes with leveraging a sustainable infrastructure resource.

Adam said TurnKey has been on the cutting edge of green datacenter solutions for quite some time. TurnKey even served as a beta site for Emerson Network Power (now rebranded as Vertiv), when the company first launched the cold containment pods. “We were the first one in the northeastern US, and we continue to be one of their top partners,” he said.

The company’s location in chilly New York also presents an advantage. Weather permitting, the company will draw cold air into containment pods and precision cooling systems to maintain an appropriate climate within the datacenter.

These accomplishments, among other sustainable best practices, have earned TurnKey the EPA’s 2018 ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance in its flagship datacenter. TurnKey is the second ENERGY STAR Certified Data Center in the state of New York and the 39th in the US. The company is also a member of the Green Business Bureau and Green America.

According to Adam, the company’s sustainability efforts also affect the bottom line. “The other side to going ‘green’ is the dollar,” he said. “We are able to invest upfront on long-term savings.”

The “Wow” Factor: Going Above and Beyond for Customers

TurnKey customers can expect 24/7 support from a local team of web experts who deliver public cloud, private cloud, dedicated servers, backups, disaster recovery services, online storage, web hosting, managed hosting, and enterprise colocation.

“We have an entire department that does nothing but follow up with customers after they’ve had an issue, triple check that customers are happy, and see if there are any other resources they need,” Adam said. “We are constantly listening to the customer trying to get it done on the first try.”

If there’s ever something that slips through the cracks, the TurnKey team is there the next day asking the customer, “Is there anything more you need?”

“You’d be surprised how many people get frustrated with technology and just give up,” Adam said. “If you check in with them two days later, they’ll sometimes say, ‘Wait a minute. Actually, there was one little piece we didn’t quite figure out, would you mind helping us?’” he said.

Banner reading "Focus on your Business, Not your Infrastructure"

The company’s knowledgeable staff proactively monitors the network to guarantee high performance and reliability.

The process often results in happy clients and positive reviews, which Adam told us typically average 4.5 out of 5 stars across thousands of social media and feedback sites.

“We consistently listen and try our best to get problems solved perfectly on the first try,” Adam said. “And if we don’t, we’re there. We’re always following up with them until we get it right.”

TurnKey’s expert staff also serves clients proactively by monitoring the network at all times to maintain the highest enterprise-level performance possible. “Our customer service is fantastic,” Adam said. “When you pair that with our reliability, that’s what delivers those positive reviews you see online.”

An Expanding Portfolio of Reliable Services for Online Businesses

Listening to customers is also key to the company’s internal development process. In the last 12 months, TurnKey has noticed a growing number of inquiries for graphical processor units in the datacenter space — mainly coming from customers working with cryptocurrency.

“We have seen real changes in the power distribution levels needed to keep up with blockchain and AI,” Adam said. “Again, because we own our infrastructure, we can adjust it as needed on the fly — and that’s what’s helped us stay ahead as customers’ expectations evolve. We’re able to adapt to it very quickly.”

TurnKey plans to spread its wings over a larger share of the market with the upcoming purchase of a new datacenter in Albany. The company is currently in negotiations but expects to be up and running by 2019 at the earliest.

“This next facility will be between 75,000 and 100,000 square feet, which is a big jump up for us and will allow us to continue what we’re doing today,” Adam said. “It’s all thanks to our customers, who continue to put their trust and faith in us,” he said.

When it comes to the new facility, one thing’s for sure: TurnKey will own, control, and maintain it to better serve customers.

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