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Xogenous targets small, mid-sized clients for the cloud

John Seelmeyer

The word “cloud” appears nowhere on xogenous.net, the Web site of a Carson City company whose growth these days is fueled largely by companies that are moving their computing to the place-that-dares-not-speak-its-name.

The reason to avoid the word? No sense scaring potential clients who already are nervous enough about moving their computing off-site, says Ron Husey, the founder of Xogenous Ltd.

The company’s four-person sales staff has been so successful in calming the fears of executives of small- and mid-sized businesses in northern Nevada that Xogenous today employs a staff of 17 engineers to oversee its data center in Carson City, and it’s looking for more.

Husey casts a wide net for talent to staff the data center, recruiting in Sacramento and the Bay Area to find the skills that he struggles to hire in northern Nevada.

Engineering talent, he says, has driven the growth of Xogenous since it was launched two years ago.

“If you have good people, you can find something for them to do,” he says.

Husey previously spent more than 20 years building Sierra Management Corp., a company that specializes in the development of in-house information technology facilities.

But he sees the writing on the wall. Some pundits predict that as much as 80 percent of server-based computing will reside in the cloud by 2020.

“We are simply trying to get ahead of the curve.” Husey says.

The company’s 4,000-square-foot facility is located in a nondescript office building along Fairview Drive in southern Carson City.

Inside, security is tight. Sensors warn of dangers ranging from rising humidity to human tampering. Fiber and copper lines keep the center connected to the Internet, and generators back up the center’s big demand for power.

Bill Rutherford, who heads the sales effort for Xogenous, says the company’s best markets are mid-sized companies those with 20 to 500 computer users.

That’s a different market entirely from high-profile data centers moving to the region.

Apple, for instance, will serve only its own customers with a data center it plans east of Sparks. NJVC Inc., which is opening a data center in South Meadows this month, has built its business on defense and government accounts.

By comparison, Xogenous is smaller and entirely focused on local markets.

The company has carved a niche for itself among the manufacturing companies in Carson City, but its market extends across a wide swath of businesses, Rutherford says.

Xogenous has kept a fairly low profile since its launch it needed to ensure that it could deliver on the promise of its data center but it’s now stepping up its marketing and scheduling appearances at local trade shows, he says.

Customers typically begin looking at a cloud-computing solution when they want to use an expensive new software application.

At that point, Rutherford says, the potential cost benefits that accompany a move to the cloud help get Xogenous in the door.

“It’s utility computing,” he says. “You pay for what you use.”

The company also sells outsourced management of information technology systems “managed services” is the shorthand and those clients also are among those moving to the cloud, Rutherford says.

Once companies grow comfortable with outsourced and off-site management of their IT systems, it’s a short step to moving from an in-house server to the use of a data center, he says.

Husey says, too, the strategy of Xogenous relies on retaining the personal touch of managed services with the efficiencies of off-site operations.