14th December 2020

2020. A run-down of an extraordinary year at Datum

2020 has been a memorable year for many reasons (not all of them good) and much has happened at Datum since the start of the new decade. At the beginning of the year, we were still oblivious to the disruption that coronavirus would cause and the announcement of a national lockdown in March meant that we, like most other businesses, had to adapt rapidly to an entirely new way of working. 

We are fortunate that the datacentre sector is part of the UK’s core data infrastructure so is classed as a key sector. This means that our activities must continue, come what may, due to the critical nature of the services we provide for our clients. Because of this, business continuity is firmly embedded in the fabric of our business operations and our thorough contingency planning served us well even though we could never have imagined the exact nature of the issues we would be facing. We are pleased, however, that we managed to navigate the situation well operationally and support our clients as before with a minimum of disruption.

In what has been an unusually uncertain year, we have been determined to continue business as usual operations to ensure certainty for our clients. Our site has been fully open and operational throughout the whole year to ensure that our clients can come to our facility whenever they need to. In a role like mine, I often say that no news is good news. However, our Covid response was frequently mentioned in glowing terms in our client survey in July. It has been a positive experience working together and great to see that the team’s very hard work has been of great help to our clients - Melissa Munday, Client Service Manager.

Happy clients, happy Datum

Client service is our main driver so the pandemic gave us an opportunity to prove what we could do. As well as supporting our clients and their business-critical IT as before, we had to navigate the new working arrangements internally. This meant ensuring that our datacentre was manned effectively despite social distancing and a reduction in on-site staff. We offered free remote hands services for clients who were unable to come to our facility in person and payment plans and holidays for those who required commercial assistance. It is very encouraging that this year’s annual client survey results - an average overall rating of 4.91 (out of a maximum of five) and an increase in our Net Promoter Score from 91 to 93 - show that our clients are very happy with the service they have received.

This year has been a tough year for many. Achieving a Net Promoter score of 93 and getting positive feedback from clients endorses Datum’s service-enhanced approach. During the pandemic we continued to operate seamlessly and offered clients free remote hands alongside commercial support to help them weather the storm. Datum are pleased to be supporting our clients and look forward to a much brighter year for everyone in 2021 - Will Sargent, Account Director

National lockdown? The perfect time for a major construction project …

Against the backdrop of the pandemic and a national lockdown, our Farnborough site was a hive of activity. We saw less of our clients and partners due to coronavirus, but our facility was buzzing with construction teams and heavy equipment as we embarked on the scheduled build-out of the first floor of our existing facility providing an additional 500 racks with an average power density of 3.5KW and the capability for significantly higher densities. 

It has been a very strange year, but far from a quiet one. Lockdown just happened to come at the start of the build-out of the first floor of our datacentre, which felt strange – the rest of the country seemed quieter just as Datum became noisier than ever! It was exciting to see the project through from the very start through to the installation of transformers, generators and chillers to the completion of the cabling and installation of the first-floor space. It feels good to be ending the year on such a positive note and we’re looking forward to welcoming new clients in 2021 - Ian Mace, Datacentre Manager.

Not forgetting our green credentials

The creation of additional capacity on the first floor also reminded us that datacentres are high consumers of energy so we need to do what we can to reduce our environmental impact, especially as we grow. Our energy efficient adiabatic cooling already maximises energy efficiency and reduces our carbon footprint but when it came to renewing our energy contract we determined to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible. Our new two-year renewable power contract includes full carbon offsetting using forestry products from the Southern Cardamom REDD+ project, which prevents more than 3,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and protects over 400,000 hectares of tropical rainforest in South-West Cambodia:

The demand for third party datacentre services is predicted to increase as the world adapts to the impacts of Covid and the change in working practices. This demand will see power consumption shift from in-house business to established datacentre operators. Such a move will see efficiency improvements in itself but this is also an opportunity for operators to grasp the nettle and focus on reducing their environmental impact - Matt McCluney, Account Director.

And now on to 2021…

So, despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us, we have weathered the year well and are feeling very positive about the year to come. This is crucial because it means that our clients, who have entrusted us with their business-critical IT, can be confident that we will continue meeting their needs (and exceeding them, where we possibly can). 

If 2020 has shown one thing, it is that the Datum community has been able to adapt to these unprecedented times. With flexibility and not a little patience, we have been able to get through and actually come out stronger. We have seen business growth, which is evidence that many of our clients have also had a positive year despite everything. However, we are acutely aware that not all companies have fared as well, so have been delighted to offer support where we can. Here’s to the light at the end of the tunnel - Dominic Phillips, CEO.

We are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021, a year that we hope will be less challenging for all. We would like to thank all our clients, partners and colleagues for their patience and collaboration this year – our close partnerships have made it possible to continue to function as well as we have. 

Our facility will continue to operate as usual over Christmas and we hope to see more clients in person again next year. If you aren’t currently using our colocation services and you are reviewing your IT infrastructure in light of the events of 2020, why not get in touch and we will schedule an appointment for you to view our facility

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