Former Storage Tek Campus Almost Sold

storagetekie.jpgSun Microsystems Inc. is close to selling it’s 400+ acre campus in Louisville according to Louisville City Manager Malcolm Fleming. He reportedly said that the city has seen an email Sun sent to employees confirming a pending sale.

The site of the former Storage Technology Corporation, which originally launched operations in 1969, was acquired by Sun when it bought Storage Tech in 2005. Since then approximately 700 employees shifted to it’s Broomfield campus at Interlocken. Sun originally purchased Storage Tek for $4.1 Billion in 2005.

While the local real estate market in Superior and Louisville saw a small boost in buyer demands when Sun Microsystems first came to the Interlocken area several years ago, it has since released about 800 people into the market to find new jobs over the last two years.

Here’s a brief history of Storage Tek as found at Wikipedia:

StorageTek was founded by four former IBM engineers: Jesse Awieda, Juan Rodriguez, Thomas Kavanagh, Zoltan Herger and has become a major force in data storage management. Storage Technology Corporation, which officially became known as StorageTek in 1983, originally challenged IBM’s dominance in tape storage, expanded to compete in the printer business for more than a dozen years, introduced the automated tape library in 1987, and most recently has defined information lifecycle management as the framework for cost-effective and efficient storage early in the 21st century.

StorageTek entered global markets as early as 1971, by signing an agreement with Promodata of France, and by opening an office in Hamburg, Germany, in 1972. StorageTek entered the Japanese market in the early 1970s, and, within ten years of the company’s creation, had expanded to Australia and other international markets. By the late 1970s, StorageTek had developed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and reseller partnerships to further its reach.

Plagued by a series of missteps that drained the company’s cash, including a failed attempt to develop an IBM compatible mainframe, and an optical disk product line, the company filed for Chapter 11 in 1984. New management was inserted under the direction of Ryal Poppa, a visionary yet dogmatic leader who steered the company out of disaster and led one of the most notable turnarounds in the history of the computer industry. Poppa chose to invest in a seemingly risky automated tape library system that ‘picked’ tapes with a robot arm and stored them in a silo-like contraption. The gamble paid off and StorageTek emerged as the dominant player in what became a lucrative market with little competition.

In 1990, StorageTek introduced a corporate-wide quality initiative called Excellence Through Quality, which was based on Xerox’s Leadership Through Quality. The corporation focused on process improvement, which helped improve customer satisfaction, efficiency, and the life-cycle costs to the customer. In the mid-90s, ISO9001 certification was achieved, as well as initiatives on the 4C’s and then the Core Values, which focused on improving the business culture, cooperation, and collaboration.

When Pat Martin took over as CEO, he had a customer-focused and process-focused workforce that just needed the discipline to manage the bottom line. Under Pat’s leadership, years of continuous profitable quarters returned to StorageTek.

The creativity and innovation of StorageTek’s engineers have been the source of more than 600 U.S. and 135 patents in other countries. StorageTek has acquired a number of companies along the way, including Documation (1980), Aspen Peripherals Corporation (1989), Network Systems (1995), and Storability (2005). These and other activities allowed StorageTek to expand operations in Ponce, Puerto Rico and Toulouse, France.

StorageTek’s customer focus also resulted in various forms of recognition. In 2005, StorageTek’s Mid-Range Disk (the D-Series and FlexLine product line) ranked #1 in all categories, and provided the best quarter yet for its disk business. This recognition was due in part to StorageTek’s highly-trained and dedicated field force, a legacy of Howard Derby.

On June 2, 2005, Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced it would purchase Storage Technology Corporation (“StorageTek”) for US$4.1 billion in cash, or $37.00 per share. On August 31, 2005, the acquisition was completed.
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Comments

One Response to “Former Storage Tek Campus Almost Sold”

  1. Corey Roeberry on October 5th, 2007 2:21 pm

    StorageTek has had an interesting journey in the Boulder Valley area.

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