SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Art Yonemoto
Art Yonemoto is President of Yonemoto & Associates. He has been conducting Telecom (Landline and Wireless) audits for 21 years...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Art Yonemoto | July 05, 2018 |

 
   

Handicapping the Race for Amazon's HQ2

Handicapping the Race for Amazon's HQ2 One person's educated guess as to which location will get the coveted award

One person's educated guess as to which location will get the coveted award

portableWhether or not you're interested in Amazon Connect for your contact center or Amazon Chime for your business communications, you've probably been following Amazon on its journey to find the best place to locate its second headquarters. It has pared the list down to 20 finalists, including a couple in the New York area and three around Washington, D.C.

Here's my educated guess as to which location among the 20 on Amazon's "short list," shown in the Amazon HQ2 map below, will win the coveted award.

To start, here are the four types of locations I'd eliminate first:

1. Locations with limited access to international business flights (Austin, Columbus, Denver, Indianapolis, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh). This also serves as a proxy for relatively smaller metropolitan areas, with populations of around 3 million or lower. While the cost of living is better in a smaller area, the pool of high-tech workers is more limited than in larger metro areas (with the exception of Austin and Raleigh, which are tech hubs). In addition, smaller locations tend to offer fewer cultural activities and amenities. And while being a large fish in a small pond is nice, attracting and retaining talent may be more difficult in smaller locations than in larger ones.

2. Cities that aren't far enough east -- meaning, Los Angeles. Amazon already has a West Coast orientation, and 18 of the 20 finalists are in the Eastern or Midwestern regions. This is telling of Amazon's desire to look beyond the western half of the country. Otherwise, the San Francisco Bay area; San Diego; and Portland, Ore.; would likely have made the initial cut.

3. Cities that have publicly announced they won't provide financial incentives. This includes Toronto, which in many respects would be an ideal place for a second headquarters. While the cost of living there is high, Toronto would provide a good cultural fit and a more international perspective for Amazon -- familiar but different, forcing the company out of its U.S.-centric comfort zone. And after conquering e-tail in the U.S., Toronto would give Amazon a step up to conquering the world.

The following nine locations have publicized their financial incentives, as reported by Business Insider. They are:

  • Raleigh – More than $50 million
  • Denver -- $100 million or more
  • Los Angeles -- $300 million to $1 billion
  • Atlanta -- $1 billion
  • Chicago -- $1.7 billion or more
  • Philadelphia -- $2 billion to $3 billion
  • Columbus -- Close to $2.3 billion
  • Newark -- $7 billion
  • Montgomery County, Md. -- $8.5 billion

4. Cities/areas that aren't willing to provide at least $5 billion in incentives; money talks, and Amazon has a history of extracting financial incentives from government entities. According to Good Jobs First, a non-profit tracking state tax breaks, since 2005 Amazon has received $1.4 billion from nearly 100 communities. It would be hard to imagine that Amazon will forego billions of dollars of incentives when selecting the location for its second headquarters.

This leaves two locations: Newark, in the New York area; and Montgomery County, in the D.C. area.

And the winner will be, in my estimate, Montgomery County. While Newark offers strong positives, including an international airport that's also a United Airlines hub, access to New York City, and a large talent pool, it still has to overcome its less than stellar reputation. In the New York area, Amazon would be a big fish in a huge pond. And there is tremendous competition for top talent, especially given that New York is a financial, entertainment, fashion, and cultural hub. Working for Amazon in Newark just doesn't carry much cachet.

Montgomery County wins on both the tangible (financial incentives) and the intangibles. As discussed in The Wall Street Journal, some of the intangibles include:

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns a $23 million home in Washington D.C. (11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, three kitchens, two elevators)
  • Bezos own the local newspaper, The Washington Post
  • Amazon employs more than 100 lobbyists to influence U.S. government decisions
  • Federal Amazon Cloud business has grown from $300 million in 2015 to a projected $4.6 billion for 2019
  • Amazon offers a government-only online portal for the military to acquire $53 billion in commercial goods
  • Amazon is a politically savvy organization; while other high-tech companies lean "blue," Amazon tries to be apolitical. In 2017, its political action committee gave $600,000 -- half to Democrats, half to Republicans

In locating HQ2 in Montgomery County, Amazon would add hundreds of thousands of "mini lobbyists" in the D.C. area -- counting the 50,000 new Amazon employees, their spouses, parents, children, friends, neighbors, fellow church members, and so on. The local population will have a strong, vested interest to see Amazon do well, and it'd only help in influencing government decision makers. And, once Amazon achieves its takeover of the federal government, USA will now stand for the "United States of Amazon."

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.





COMMENTS




September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.