Who’s On Tap
Interview with Joe Ryan, President & CEO, Ryan Real Estate and Technologies Advisors, Inc.
What was most exciting about 2015?

2015 was a year of change and discovery as Ryan Real Estate and Technologies Advisors, Inc. began our involvement and immersion in network connectivity, smart buildings and the use of dark fiber networks for our clients. Today, the development of new buildings and tenants’ thirst for increased technology capabilities have advanced dramatically. As a result, developers and building owners are being pressed by tenants to become more technologically savvy, and discovering how these changes in tenant requirements have enhanced their buildings with new ways to communicate, store information and provide additional services.

2015 was a renaissance of sorts as new construction development hit an all-time high in major cities across the country. Developers and building owners began to recognize the importance and benefits of bringing new technology into their buildings, not only to support tenant demands, but also to stay competitive and increase building efficiency and operations. To position their buildings at the forefront of the highly competitive tenant markets, developers and building owners are creating “smart buildings” featuring new services and amenities via the use of both public and private clouds. This is quickly becoming the new industry standard. By deploying these cutting-edge, sophisticated technologies, new facilities are positioned for greater success in coming years.

What’s new and exciting on the horizon for 2016?

2016 will prove to be the year of mobile connectivity – the ability to be connected anywhere and everywhere. This year, I fully expect the industry to be dedicated to powering and amplifying mobility through enhanced dark fiber networks, innovative mobile technology and so much more.

Mobility is the fourth utility. Did you find it difficult to satisfy the wireless demands of your tenants?

Staying ahead of client demands can be difficult at times. For example, for years, many of our clients in high-rise buildings experienced poor connectivity on their mobile devices. To address this issue for one of our clients, LeFrak, we are now beginning the development of a campus-wide Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and Wi-Fi system across their Newport campus in Jersey City, New Jersey.

These systems are being installed directly into building infrastructure to enhance mobile connectivity within the buildings and Wi-Fi connectivity at the street level, providing an unmatched level of services and connectivity to both their tenants and the public. Network mobility is certainly the fourth utility, and we are creating new ways to grow that sector every day.

As we begin to deploy these mobile network systems, the road is being paved for many other technological advancements in the very near future. I believe the ways in which we provide network connectivity and deliver content will continue to evolve dramatically over the next few years, as available content continues to grow and new forms of data storage emerge.

What’s the latest chatter in the industry?

From a construction and development standpoint, it’s all about strategically designing buildings to maximize efficiency, and enhance tenant services and the cloud. Increasing building efficiency drives lower operating costs and new system improvements help developers deliver better services and products, enhancing the customer experience. The cloud is gaining in popularity and becoming the latest innovation in virtualizing data storage through the use of both public and private cloud environments.

In your opinion, who is an important player in the space?

Companies like ZenFi are on the cutting edge of the trend toward enhanced mobility. Years ago, I recall discussing the creation of a dark fiber network throughout New York and New Jersey with other industry professionals. This new network would connect carrier hotels throughout the metro area, enhancing connectivity. At the time, many didn’t grasp the extent of the benefits this could offer consumers. Now, the “big 5” New York carrier hotels, including 111 8th Avenue, 32 Avenue of the Americas, 60 Hudson Street, 325 Hudson Street and 375 Pearl Street, are all interconnected, allowing virtually any carrier to provide network connectivity via a cross-connect. Soon, that connectivity will extend to connect the major carrier hotels and colocation centers in Northern New Jersey, including LeFrak’s 111 Town Square Place. This will continue to change the entire landscape of business and network solutions as it demystifies the interconnectivity and drives the industry toward a future of enhanced connectivity and mobility.

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