Client Story: Datacom
Data Centres Director, Datacom
Datacom is one of Australasia’s largest homegrown tech companies, bringing together technology and expertise to deliver sustainable solutions for some of New Zealand and Australia’s most successful businesses and public sector organisations. Datacom’s specialist teams work across cybersecurity, cloud, digital platforms, and applications and operate mission-critical infrastructure including best-in-class data centre facilities.
Datacom has been providing bespoke and flexible data centre services to customers for the last 30 years, earning a reputation as a reliable data centre partner that delivers secure and flexible data centre solutions.
In New Zealand, Datacom’s four data centres — Orbit, Kapua, Abel, and Gloucester — are designed, built, owned, and operated by Datacom. These facilities are powered by Mercury and have achieved independent Toitū carbon reduction certification, which recognizes the use of 100% renewable energy sources.
Datacom has over 6,650 employees based across 26 different regional sites. Its ability to provide local support and expertise and work closely with its customers is what sets it apart from other companies.
The Challenge / Opportunity
One of the central challenges for data centres is that they are “always on” – customers rely on this critical infrastructure; service demands can come in at any time and from anywhere. Datacom provides full-service data centre solutions, from receipt of deliveries on behalf of customers to recycling the packaging, installing racks and IT equipment in racks, changing media, and a raft of other services.
“In a business environment that demands high performance every hour of the day, and every day of the week, you must have processes in place that allow you to regularly review your operations, and that provide useful feedback for your team about what is being done well and what could be done better.”
Datacom focuses on maintaining the high standards that underpin its 24/7 operational model and ensuring its customers understand the ongoing commitment to excellence that drives the team. To help achieve this, Datacom decided to work with Uptime to benchmark itself against others in the industry, support its commitment to continuous improvement, and gain trusted third-party verification for its data centres.
“Design and build certifications are largely ‘point in time’ assessments, whereas we wanted a certification that demonstrated to customers how well we run our data centres, day after day, year after year. The M&O Stamp of Approval demonstrates the level of quality that we provide and helps prove that we are different from the competition.”
Datacom values the M&O Stamp of Approval as an objective evaluation of its data centre capability and proof that its data centres are run to an extremely high standard.
As part of Datacom’s continuous improvement program, the team proactively reviews its processes and procedures. They take the lessons learned through BAU activities and projects and introduce operational improvements accordingly. Datacom uses the outcomes and recommendations provided by the M&O Stamp of Approval evaluation process as an ongoing quality assurance check. This helps to guide any improvements needed to ensure that its data centres continue to deliver best-in-class operational excellence for its customers.
Continuous improvement and the pursuit of opportunities to review and enhance processes have always been integral to Datacom’s data centre operations. However, the M&O Stamp of Approval has played a significant role in further ingraining this approach within the team.
Given the 24/7 nature of data centres, Datacom recognizes the critical importance of prioritizing staff well-being and taking preventative measures to avoid fatigue. According to Uptime Intelligence’s “outage analysis,” 40% of organizations have experienced a significant outage caused by human error within the past three years. In fact, poorly defined or executed operational practices are many times more likely to impact a data centre’s performance than any other cause.
“One of the key challenges over the last few years for data centre operators is attracting and retaining staff. As our industry grows, the challenge is not just finding the right people but making sure we have the right business set up to support our team’s ambitions and their desire to progress. By reviewing and understanding the Uptime’s M&O Stamp of Approval ‘Staffing and Organization Assessment Category,’ we set about delivering a new structure that focussed on staff development and staff welfare. By focusing on staff welfare, career pathways, and robust training, we have in many areas entirely removed the requirement for staff to cover overtime, leading to less hours spent at work thereby reducing staff fatigue. The clear career pathways, supported by robust training, including online courses, and hands-on practical experience has seen a large number of our team upskill quickly and move into more senior roles. The processes and evaluations that underpin the M&O Stamp of the Approval have supported our focus and improvements in this area.”
As Datacom looks to the future, continuous improvement will remain a central focus, along with exceeding customer expectations and enhancing the sustainability of all its data centres.
Datacom Tier Certifications by Facility
Abel Smith Data Centre
Wellington, New Zealand
Gloucester Data Centre
Christchurch, New Zealand
Kapua Data Centre – Hamilton, New Zealand
Orbit Data Centre – Auckland, New Zealand