Courtesy Susan Merhege

NOVA Corp. Building Huge Data Center in Albuquerque

Lynn Armitage

With the ceremonial snip of scissors on June 3, NOVA Corp. will officially bring to life the first phase (6,000 square feet) of the Innava Data Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after more than six years of planning and development of the entire 130,000-square-foot facility by the IT data solutions provider.   

Currently, NOVA is largely focused on providing IT services for the U.S. Department of Defense -- in 17 states, and overseas in Bahrain and the Philippines. But the new data center (to be built in phases over five-years) will be “vendor-neutral,” servicing both government and commercial clients, including large and small businesses from a variety of industries, such as insurance and healthcare.   

“The Data Center will help NOVA create new lines of business,” said John Snider, NOVA’s president and CEO. “It will be a state-of-the-art… facility focused on companies that need their data secured in a high-quality location. What we are doing is selling ping, power and pipe,” which Snider said means providing electrical, fiber connection and networking capabilities.    

NOVA Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Diné Development Corporation, a holding company established by the Navajo Nation Tribal Council in 2004. According to Oscencio Tom, NOVA’s marketing director, the company is proud to continue the tradition started by the legendary Navajo code talkers. “Today, NOVA carries that legacy in protecting information on behalf of numerous organizations,” Oscencio said in a video on the company website. “Certainly code talkers set the bar very high for information encryption, and we continue to do that.”   

In 2014, NOVA was named American Indian Business of the Year by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). The judging panel was impressed by NOVA’s efforts in giving back to the Navajo Nation through endowments, scholarships and internships. Snider estimates that NOVA has donated at least $2 million in the last five years to the Navajo Nation.

In this same spirit of philanthropy, the data center will also include a training facility that will provide continuing education to NOVA employees, and help Navajo youth develop marketable IT skills. “These young Navajo guys and girls can get trained right here at our data center and then later work for us or get jobs in the commercial sector,” Snider said. “It’s a great way for us to give back to the tribe and develop talent internally.”

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Construction on the next 10,000 square feet of the data center is expected to begin in about six to nine months, and should take about six months to complete.

Lynn Armitage is a contributing business writer and an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.

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