A successful thirty-year track record providing critical data centres services to customers has given the Datacom team a good understanding of what it takes to operate best-in-class facilities. A big part of the answer? A commitment to continuous improvement and a willingness to look at what is working well and what could be done better. 

Datacom offers secure, flexible data centre solutions and colocation services across New Zealand and Australia, to local and international customers.  

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 recognises the use of 100% renewable energy sources. 

Data centre illustration in blue
Datacom has four data centres across New Zealand, which are powered by 100% renewable energy sources through Mercury and have achieved independent Toitū carbon reduction certification.

In Australia, Datacom delivers services from the world-class AirTrunk SYD1 and AirTrunk MEL1 hyper-scale facilities. 

The challenge with data centres is the “always on” nature of operations, with customers reliant on data centres to provide critical infrastructure around the clock.  

Datacom is focused on maintaining the high standards that underpin its 24/7 model and applying those standards across every part of their data centre operations – from receipt of deliveries on behalf of customers to recycling the packaging, from installing racks and IT equipment in racks to changing media, and a raft of other services. 

To ensure the team is maintaining high standards, Datacom decided to commit to regular, independent assessments of its operations and is now working with Uptime to benchmark itself against others in the industry.  

“We see our data centre solutions as the heartbeat of our customers’ businesses, underpinning all their operations, that is what drives us to be the best data centre partner we can be,” says Tom Jacob, Director - Data Centres, Datacom. 

“To live up to that commitment we are focused on continuous improvement which led us to work with Uptime. The M&O Stamp of Approval is tangible evidence of Datacom’s ongoing commitment to delivering secure, reliable, and flexible data centre solutions that our customers can rely on.” 

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. 

“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's Associate Director Data Centres, Andrew Green, says another critical focus for the team in their continuous improvement journey is around embedding sustainable practices into everything the team is doing.

"One of the main ways we do this is by powering all of our New Zealand data centres using 100% renewable energy but our overall sustainability journey comes down to a lot of smaller changes in the way that we work, from reducing energy use by cooling our facilities with outdoor air to initiating the deployment of solar on our rooftops, replacing our batteries with new lithium technology, and right down to switching out all of our light bulbs. Our data centre team is always looking for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of our work."

Portrait of Tom Jacob smiling with office out of focus in the background
Director of Data Centres Tom Jacob says the M&O Stamp of Approval demonstrates the level of quality Datacom provides and differentiates the business from its competition.

The reviews are also helping shape an even stronger approach to staff development and wellbeing.  

Given the 24/7 nature of data centres, Datacom has always recognised the critical importance of prioritising staff well-being and taking preventative measures to avoid fatigue.  

According to Uptime Intelligence’s “outage analysis,” 40% of organisations 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 Organisation Assessment Category,’ we set about delivering a new structure that focussed on staff development and staff wellbeing.”  

“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 have 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.” 

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