Tigard company offers data security and storage services

by: COURTESY OF DATASAFE - DataSafe President and CEO Rob Barnett (left), at the company's Tigard facility with Sales Director Jim Mountain. Tigard is losing one of its fastest growing businesses to Wilsonville.

DataSafe, a data and documents security and storage company based in Tigard, announced last week it will be moving to a 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Wilsonville in September.

Named to this year’s list of the top 100 fastest-growing Oregon companies by the Portland Journal of Business, the company begins the process of moving its operations to Wilsonville in the next few weeks, said DataSafe President and CEO Rob Barnett.

“We looked at several cities, and I think just from a logistical standpoint, for what our company does, Wilsonville is probably the best,” Barnett said. “We looked at other cities, and in reality, Wilsonville stood out. It’s the proximity to I-5, we have current customers in Wilsonville, the stars kind of aligned for us to find the Wilsonville building that meets our requirements.”

The new warehouse provides the company with the space needed to continue recent growth that has reached 60 percent in the past two years, Barnett said. Eventually, he added, the company probably will move all its operations to Wilsonville. But for now, a facility housing data and materials storage vaults will remain in Tigard. The company also stores a small fleet of service vehicles in Tigard, and that, too, will not change.

“We’ve been really growing pretty quickly and all the pains that are usually associated with that,” he said. “Ultimately, I think we’ll move all of our operations to Wilsonville. We just have to take baby steps along the way.”

DataSafe’s vaults are constructed to meet both government and industry standards by using a reinforced concrete infrastructure that provides up to seven hours of fire and heat resistance. A dry fire suppression system provides added protection for storage vaults that also have constant clean ventilation along with temperature and humidity control. That’s on top of internal and external security video surveillance and dual-level security verification for access control.

City plays little role

While the city of Wilsonville is making a renewed effort to recruit new businesses and retain those already based in the city, it played little role in drawing DataSafe to town.

Instead, like many firms before it, the company cites the proximity to Interstate 5, along with a streamlined application process that Barnett said was “a lot more painless than the stories” they heard about Wilsonville during the course of the site search.

“Wilsonville has made things fairly simple,” he said.

The city’s new economic development director, Kristin Retherford, admitted she hasn’t heard a lot about DataSafe. But, she added, the company’s move does demonstrate just how Wilsonville is able to recruit business on its own merits.

“That’s happened an awful lot,” Retherford said. “We have a lot of business that will look at the community even before they approach us.”

DataSafe has a nearly 30-year history in the Portland area, having been founded in 1984 in Portland by Jerry Barnett. In 2014, the company expects to celebrate its 30th anniversary of offering document and data security and storage, a field that has increasingly migrated online over the years but still requires a great deal of handling paper and other physical materials.

The elder Barnett recognized early on the need for a premier secure media storage facility to serve Portland-area businesses. In the 1980s, no such facility existed in the Pacific Northwest.

Starting that business at the cusp of the digital technology revolution that began in the 1980s has allowed DataSafe to grow along with the technology it protects. The Tigard facility has been upgraded over the years to serve more clients and address emerging net-based data storage and security needs.

DataSafe may be a local company with a current roster of about 10 full-time employees, but it competes with national data security and storage companies such as Iron Mountain and Carbonite, which offers online data backup.

As part of the company’s move, Barnett said, it intends to offer a discount on storage and security services for Wilsonville businesses, likely next year as part of a 30th anniversary celebration.

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