Q&A with Data Center POST’s Contributing Editor, Kathy Xu

Brandon Smith, human-I-T, Account ExecutiveData Center POST recently spoke with Brandon Smith, Account Executive at human-I-T, a collective group turning e-waste into opportunities; fixing technology and distributing it to those in need. human-I-T is a socially responsible company leading the charge to close the digital divide and helping others harness the power of information. Mr. Smith shared human-I-T’s goals for this week’s Data Center World, what drives its success and upcoming developments, such as a new program that fosters collaboration between the public and private sector to ensure that technology donations benefit individuals and organizations in need.

Data Center POST, Kathy Xu (DCP-KX) Question: Tell our readers about your company. What do you do and what problems are you attempting to solve?

human-I-T – Brandon Smith (human-I-T-BS) Answer: human-I-T offers a complete solution that replaces your need to work with an ITAD/e-waste service provider. We pick up all your unwanted IT assets nationwide, provide data sanitization, and refurbish your items to benefit a charitable cause, at no cost to you.

Our primary goal is to offer data centers and their clients the exceptional service they’re accustomed to, while enabling them to help others in need at the same time. Currently, 25 million Americans do not have home access to the internet. Every donation is a step in the right direction as we look to bridge the “Digital Divide” and empower those less fortunate with repurposed technology. Our recent impact programs include collaborations with the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and with the City of Los Angeles.

DCP-KX Q:  What do you attribute your company’s success to?

human-I-T-BS A: Our team and business model are the reasons for our success.

We ensure that every human-I-T team member (interns and volunteers included) share the belief that our mission to help others comes first and foremost. Our efforts mean nothing if we are not able provide to our recipients.

human-I-T is unique because we have brought innovation to an archaic electronics recycling industry. By flipping the old model of “recycling first” upside-down, human-I-T focuses on reusing your old technology and only recycles as a last resort.

DCP-KX Q: How do you see the data center industry evolving? What do you think is the greatest challenge in the data center industry?

human-I-T-BS A: The data center industry is moving away from a colocation focus and evolving into more data storage and compute facilities for public and private cloud options. With this centralization, we are witnessing a surplus of unwanted and obsolete technology that is no longer needed by the principal business entity.

In my opinion, the greatest challenge in the data center industry is the ability to cost-effectively keep up with the infrastructure demands of cloud innovations. Customers expect these cloud solution providers to offer full systems management solutions and with absolutely zero downtime.

DCP-KX Q: What new developments are on the horizon for your company?

human-I-T-BS A: human-I-T is developing new programs that foster collaboration between the public and private sector alike (i.e. data centers and cities/counties) to ensure that technology donations benefit individuals and organizations in need. With these relationships, we aim to bridge the gap between the problem of surplus equipment and the need for the same equipment in our local communities.

We are proud to be growing our book of business to include clients such as CoreSite, One Wilshire, Alchemy, and USC. Already in 2017 these forward-thinking companies have collectively resulted in the donation of hundreds of computers to low-income families, veterans, people with disabilities, and qualified nonprofits here in the greater LA area and beyond.

DCP-KX Q:  What would you like to accomplish at Data Center World?

human-I-T-BS A: In our opinion, every company needing IT asset disposal and data sanitization is unnecessarily paying for the unfortunate destruction and recycling of their goods, eliminating the opportunity for their unwanted items to help people in need. By working with human-I-T, potential partners can use our cost-free service to help create social and economic prosperity in their communities. Our mission could not be achieved without the help and support of our donors and we thank those past, present, and future for their support.  

DCP-KX: Thank you for your time and best of luck at Data Center World.

Readers, if you are interested in learning more about human-I-T, please visit https://human-i-t.org.