Sam joined Datum in October 2022 as Client Services Manager. She was responsible for client satisfaction and ongoing client support including creating and delivering service reviews, effective communication of any maintenance or client notifications, and delivery on ongoing client satisfaction. Then, at the beginning of this month, Sam was promoted to Client Engagement Manager. This role entails providing sales and account support to our Manchester client base including following up on sales enquiries, onboarding new clients, contract management, renewals and monthly reporting.
We caught up with Sam to find out about her new role, and her experience of Datum since joining us in 2022.
Why did you choose Datum?
In all honesty, the deciding factor that made me chose Datum was the people I met during the interview process. Coming from an entirely different industry, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to step into the world of IT, especially as I knew nothing about data centres at the time. But I spoke with Melissa Hagan during my initial telephone interview, and she was extremely personable and friendly. I later met other members of the team during the next stage of interviews and everyone I met made me feel comfortable – nobody gave the impression that they were being anything but honest about what it would be like at Datum.
Now I’m a fully fledged member of Datum, I can honestly say that this is the most flexible, supportive, encouraging and rewarding environment I have worked in.
Why did you decide to go for the role of Client Engagement Manager?
One of the (many) attractive things about Datum was that it was made clear to me during the interview process that the company would support my self-development, so I wanted to capitalise on this. I liked the idea of the client engagement role as it allowed me to continue in a client-facing function whilst offering an opportunity to learn new skills and get to know a different area of the business.
In a sector that isn’t renowned for being client-focused, this role gives me the chance to make a real difference and continue to set Datum apart from its competitors.
What are you hoping to bring to the role?
One of the real differences about Datum is that we are client-centric, which is far from standard in the world of data centres. I’m hoping to bring that focus with me to our Manchester client base and show that we actively work together with our clients to come to develop solutions that work for everyone. I come from a customer care background so I’m hoping I can approach interactions with our clients from a slightly different perspective to help them achieve their goals and support their continued growth.
What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you at Datum?
I’m not sure there is a ‘normal’ day as every day is different. The one thing I can depend on is receiving a large volume of emails! The majority of my time is currently spent working alongside our operations team to ensure that we are communicating with our clients in a timely manner about delivering new orders, service reviews, planned maintenance, client queries and requests, etc.
Which element of your role do you enjoy most?
I think my favourite part of the role is onboarding new clients. This can sometimes be a really challenging part of the role as every client has different requirements; some may have tight deadlines, some may have unusual requests, whilst others may be new to colocation so may need a little extra support. My role is like managing a project start to finish; ensuring everyone across each department is collaborating effectively towards the end goal, and problem-solving should there be any glitches. This is usually a good opportunity to build a relationship with our clients (and first impressions count), so being organised is a must!
What’s it like being part of a growing company like Datum?
As I joined Datum in October 2022, the acquisition had already been announced, so I don’t have the ‘before’ to compare the ‘now’ to. What I have experienced during this time, however, is a real sense of not wanting to make changes for change’s sake, a desire to make people feel valued and to share best practices to improve the company as a whole (not just enforcing the ‘Datum way’ onto the Manchester team).
The process has been very collaborative so far and I’m sure it will continue to be as I spend more time with the Manchester team and our systems integration progresses.
What’s been your ‘highlight’ so far since being at Datum, and why?
I’d say that there have been two stand-out highlights so far…
Our first whole-team event (Manchester and Farnborough); a strategy day in Warwick followed by team-building cocktail making and dinner. This was our first real chance to get to know everyone in the Manchester team and, whilst it could have felt awkward, everyone really put the effort in and used it as an opportunity to talk to someone they wouldn’t normally have much interaction with. The senior management team really encourage us to be sociable so having the time and space to get to know each other really does help to strengthen working relationships.
The second highlight was our charity walk along the Jurassic Coast. I’ve experienced charity initiatives in previous jobs that felt more like a PR stunt for social media. But Datum actively encourages us to take part in some form of fundraising for the company’s chosen charity (or one chosen by us) and actively supports us whilst we do it. There has a been a real sense of camaraderie in our support of the Samaritans this year; in addition to our Jurassic Coast walk we are taking part in the ‘Samarathon’ (walking or jogging 26.2 miles during July) and most of the team are getting involved. My mum and sister are both volunteers for the Samaritans so I’m really pleased it’s a charity we are supporting - we are already planning our next big charity challenge for 2024.
Sam Spencer is part of our growing client service team and will be supporting clients at our Manchester facility. Meanwhile, we are currently recruiting for a client service manager at our Farnborough facility (Sam will hand over the reins once this person is in position). Melissa Hagan is Client Engagement Director for the entire Datum Group (currently comprising facilities in Farnborough and Manchester) and oversees our client engagement activities across the group.
To find out more about the colocation services we provide from our sites in the South East and the North West, get in touch and, ideally, book a tour of our facilities.