What a difference a decade makes
Almost to the day 10 years ago, a fresh-faced Dominic Phillips (now Datum’s CEO) hosted the official opening of Datum’s flagship colocation facility in Farnborough (FRN1) on QinetiQ’s ultra-secure Cody Technology Park campus. The facility was officially opened by Steve Norris, Chairman of the Data Centre Alliance, and the grand opening was held in collaboration with the Data Centre Alliance’s annual members conference, with presentations from Steve Norris, QinetiQ, Keysource (the critical environment specialists who designed and built FRN1) and DCA Executive Director, Simon Campbell-Whyte.
At the point of its inception in 2012, and prior to the construction of FRN1, Datum consisted of Dominic Phillips (then Datum’s MD), one employee (Matt McCluney - who remains a core member of the Datum team to this day) and a portacabin on an empty plot on Cody Technology Park – and, importantly, a vision of becoming the most energy efficient and flexible colocation provider on the market. This vision was infectious and, having secured some trailblazing clients who bought off plan, FRN1 was constructed and officially opened in 2013 - more than 40,000 square feet of technical space (housing 1,000 racks with power options up to 30kw/rack and operational PUE of 1.25) and a separate 10,000 square foot energy centre to house backup power.
The 10 years since our official launch
In the intervening 10 years since the launch of FRN1, we have developed a strong and resilient team, expanded into the first floor of FRN1 (Halls 3 and 4), and have begun work on the construction of a new facility (FRN2) link detached to FRN1 and offering up to a further 1,200 footprints. But that’s not all…
We have attained consistently high net promoter scores over the years, achieved our first EBITDA profit (in 2019), thrived despite the Covid pandemic, been shortlisted for three Megabuyte awards (2019, 2022 and 2023 – the latter nomination resulted in a win) - as well as being shortlisted in the 2021 Thames Valley SME 100 Growth Awards. Not forgetting that we have witnessed one Datum marriage (data centres may not be renowned as hotbeds of romance, but we’ve bucked that trend).
These successes, and our burgeoning reputation in the colocation market, led to our acquisition by UBS Asset Management in 2021. UBS was attracted by our service-focused ethos and commitment to sustainable growth, and this acquisition has provided the impetus and financial backing for expansion and ambitious development.
And we’re not done yet…..
On the back of our acquisition through UBS Asset Management, we acquired Manchester-based Teledata in September 2022 and achieved a national presence with colocation data centre facilities in the South East and the North West - and a new data centre facility is in the pipeline at both locations (FRN2 in Farnborough and MCR2 in Manchester). So, 10 years on, and we are starting 2023 as the newly formed Datum Group, bringing on board our Manchester team, sharing skills and competencies, and moving into Datum’s second decade with confidence and ambitious plans for the future. Based on this seismic shift since 2013, who knows what we will have achieved by 2033….?