Skybox Unboxed Featuring Robert Adkins
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2023
The basis for Skybox’s success lies in the hard work and achievement of our employees. We are highlighting each of our team members from various departments to share their impact on Skybox and what makes them the heartbeat of our organization.
“Robert brings significant expertise and enthusiasm into his role. Through his understanding of client needs and data center operations, Robert has made an impact by providing better solutions for our customers.” – Travis Young, CFO
How did you get into the datacenter industry?
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and have been based here my entire career. After high school, I earned an Associate of Applied Science degree and immediately began a three-year apprenticeship program for high rise building operation and maintenance. During this time, I studied and passed my Maintenance Electrician License as well. I worked at a grocery store throughout high school. Though stacking cans in aisle three was character building, I was excited for my next role at a bank’s high rise data center located in Downtown Houston. I spent the next 17 years working in various capacities for multiple real estate owners and operators including commercial and medical facilities. In 2008, an internet hosting company named The Planet approached me about an opportunity to manage operations for seven of their Texas data centers and I accepted. The Planet merged with SoftLayer in 2011 and my team gained global responsibility. In 2013 SoftLayer was acquired by IBM Cloud and my team was additionally tasked with site selection for a massive global expansion. During site selection efforts in the Dallas market, I was introduced to a sharp and enthusiastic new broker named Haynes Strader. Haynes and I worked together for many years on the IBM Cloud extensions and expansions in the Dallas market until he left to join the Skybox team. Years later, we ran into each other at a conference and the conversation quickly turned to an opportunity for us to work together again. I joined the Skybox family in March of 2022 and have never been happier with a career move.
What is one thing we don’t know about you?
I collect motorcycles. My current collection includes a 1989 Harley Electra Glide Sport, a 1998 Electra Glide Standard and a 2017 Road Glide Special. My wife Michelle has a 2017 CanAm Spyder F3 Limited. Since before we were married, we have enjoyed taking motorcycle road trips together. We find it is a great way to experience travel and meet people along the way. We have toured extensively in Texas, but have also toured Colorado, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
What makes working for Skybox different?
The team really cares and goes above and beyond to be helpful. This culture is displayed from the top and cascades throughout company.
What is your favorite project or lesson learned?
Skybox Austin is my current favorite project. It is the first groundbreaking that I attended with Skybox, so it holds a special place in my heart.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Collaborating with our customers to create solutions that align with their requirements and then successfully deploying those solutions to support the ongoing operations of a site.
What is your favorite way to spend time off?
Time with my family! My wife Michelle and I have been married for 30 years. We have two adult children that are currently attending Texas A&M University in College Station. Our daughter Charis is an English major and our son Corbin is an Engineering major. My family and I like traveling to see and experience all the world has to offer. We have enjoyed major tourist attractions like The Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge, The Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House, but more than anything we look forward to interacting with locals and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and looking for wildlife.
If you had to choose one “toxic trait” for yourself, what would it be?
I am a loud talker, especially when I get excited. Even as an adult I consistently hear comments like: “Use your inside voice”, “Everyone is looking at you”, “Can you close your door”, or “The whole restaurant doesn’t need to hear our conversation”. I have successfully passed this trait onto my son Corbin. It is very gratifying for me to use any of the above statements on him!