Mixsonian Larry LarryLarry

Working at Carpathia
The QTS Buyout

It seems all good things come to an end and thus it was so with Carpathia.  For some time we had been told buy the CEO that his intention was to build and then sell the company and thus it came to pass.  They had found another hosting company, QTS, that had many large datacenters and did bulk hosting of computers for companies but had little to no hosting and host management services which is what Carpathia specialized in.  It seemed like a good fit, QTS upper management came to Carpathia several times over a month or so and told us how wonderful QTS was and how we would be one happy family.  As the details of the merger were worked out, the good and bad news came out.  

I had been though several company mergers before, CCI bought by ICL, a year later everyone at CCI got laid off, CBIS bought by Dyncorp, Bell Atlantic bought by NYNEX, I got laid off. So new not all mergers worked out for everyone so we learned at Carpathia, some groups, mine being one would move to the new company while others did not, customer support, HR, accounting, etc.   The atmosphere at work was dismal, groups and friends would be lost, new management, new goals, new tools, yes there would be changes, but should be expected.  

The deal was signed and Carpathia became QTS North with the original QTS South being in Atlanta. In the first week of the deal closing, QTS had everyone at Carpathia board buses and drove us down to one of their datacenters in Richmond for the day.  We got a tour of the facility and then the QTS CEO and other top management spoke.  When we broke for lunch I was surprised when the CEO said the prayer before we ate. I suspected this was a cultural difference between QTS and Carpathia.  It turned out to bigger than I expected, QTS had a strict no alcohol consumption policy, well that was very different than the Carpathia policy, the Friday afternoon happy hours ended.  

My group of implementation managers survived the merger, evening adding a couple of persons but it was always a battle, QTS North, my group, and QTS South, the original QTS implementation team.  We were to cross train, each doing the others job but that didn’t go well.  Carpathia had specialized in building and support custom implementations, often very technical solutions, one of the reasons QTS bought Carpathia.  QTS implementations on the other hand were mainly only space and power which were just the first two of many steps of a Carpathia implementation.   

Then there were the management issues, the two implementation groups were under two different VPs, each vying for control.  All seem civil on the surface, but an undercurrent of struggle and discontent could be felt.  Of course, each team, North and South used different tools and each thought theirs was the best, which it was in the sense that the teams handled different types of projects.  In the end a common set of tools were agreed upon, a combination from each team with some new ones thrown in.  It took a year but, in the end, it seem to be going pretty well although there was grumbling from the South.  

I continued to do my job, becoming the senior implementation manager in the group, getting more and larger projects and working on the tool merger team and gaining recognition.  In the fall of 2017, I got nominated and selected to join the elite QTS Eagle Club which was awarded to outstanding employees each year cumulating in a four-day retreat in Canada.  

In early 2018 QTS dropped the bombshell, they realized that Carpathia wasn’t such a good fit afterall, yes we had a different line of business that QTS, but QTS said that is what they wanted until the found out that the types of customers and projects Carpathia did took considerable more time and effort without big returns.   With this realization, QTS decided to sell off most of what was left of Carpathia along with its line of business.  

Well what a surprise that was, here the company had been telling us how important we were and how everything was going so well then turn and tell us we are not wanted.  The company told us how important their employees are, having pep rallies and the like then sacrificing us like a corporate pawn in some corporate chess game.  

On the plus side they gave everyone plenty of notice, six months or more, to find new jobs either elsewhere, with the buying company or elsewhere within QTS (few people took the latter).   QTS gave persons with needed skills an option of staying on until the end of August, and if doing so would receive additional bonus at that time.  Upon introducing the buying company, staff from the new company came in and interviewed everyone they were interested in, I being one.  

In the end it worked out superbly for me.  I had intended to retire at the end of the year so here I was offered employment though the end of August, and a bonus equal to my pay for the rest of the year so basically I could retire on September 1st and get paid for the remainder of the year.  To top it off, I had planned to move to Florida later in the year and they let me do so in June and work from home in Florida until the end of August.

Larry 1/22/2020

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