I'll start by stating that this has been a very diverse year in terms of sales, we appear to have broken new ground in various ways and our income streams have essentially quadrupled and financially this year has been marginally better than last year, and we have a number of projects already booked for 2019 but these are essentially restricted to Q1 and we (and it seems the Government and 100% of UK inhabitants) have no real clue as to what will happen after the 29th March 2019 (Brexit Day).
At the time of writing this article, Parliament is in recess for Christmas, and no real progress has been made at all, the EU Withdrawal Agreement that T May has come back with, has no prospect of making it through the house, so all the talk is "my deal, no deal or no brexit" we'd prefer "no brexit" but there are some who wish to jump out of the UK aeroplane without a parachute, thank you but we'd rather not.
I'm not going to gaze into my crystal ball at this time, except to say that 2019 is going to be a VERY interesting year.
So, January 2018 saw us preparing for our final EURECA project sessions, attending kickstart.eu and presenting at the BroadGroup DataCloud event on the topic of energy aand energy efficiency, as you'd expect the EUCOC featured heavily as did some of the UK energy legislation, standards and thoughts for the future. We were quite busy at this time preparing some BRIGHTTALK seminars to support our final EURECA sessions. We also had a conversation with some chaps at Building Research Establishment (BRE) but more on that later.
February saw the final EURECA session and it was a bumper event, we had a day at the UEL for around 75 delegates, and then attended the Data Centre Summit where we had a number of presentations scheduled, finally rounded off with a series of webinars and an event at the Houses of Parliament. We also manged to fit in a number of client meetings, the first to discuss the use of our services for a large global data centre supply chain supplier, the second to discuss a project in North Africa, the third to review some EUCOC updates for a large global telco/colo provider. We also found the time to visit the HoP for a policy connect launch meeting for sustainable ICT inlcuding data centres for which we and EURECA had provided some content.
March was an intersting month, we met up with our good friends at Ekkosense to discuss items of mutual interest (air flow in data centres mainly), we attended the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell show at the NEC, mainly to ascertain whether the technology could be used for data centre (yes, they can but it requires a major rethink and redesign of the data centre!) The month was rounded off by our annual visit to Data Centre World, my thoughts on this are that I remember it being very very cold! We also went to Amsterdam for an ICTFootprint event were we spoke on the topic of Green IT and also Sustainable Data Centres, we also undertook a datacentre audit for a midlands university
April was a fairly quiet month due to Easter but we did have some EUCOC work and some work via our Dutch partners Green IT Amsterdam.
Early May, was the Data Centres North event, and we managed to fit 2 trips into the Netherlands (the 3rd and 4th this year"), the first, to provide some basic data centre foundation training to another Dutch partner Asperitas, and the second to meet up with a Green IT Amsterdam client to develop their Green Data Centre Campus Sustainability Framework, we also attended the Data Centre Solutions Awards and a couple of webinars on the emerging Data Centre EMAS criteria where we provided some content and discussion.
We love June, it might be because we get to go to Monaco for the DataCloud Europe event, as usual we were invited as the guest of the EU-JRC and partly funded by our friends at the DCA. We love it because the weather improves and it tends to get hot, this year was no exception it got really hot and for a long time. We also presented to a selected audience for ABB on the topic of "The EUCOC and other animals (I may have been watching too much "The Durells" in the previous couple of weeks whilst building the presentation), we also attended the BICSI and MIXingIT event as well as England first WC game (thank you Keysource!)
In July, we made our way to Manchester for the Data Centre Transformation conference (and another England WC game), attended the datacentre.me networking event and the launch of Interxion's London 3 facility at the London Assembly/Mayors Office, that was a very good night, the view is magnificent, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and all the city laid out in front of you, the weather was so good that you could see for miles!. The next week saw me in Brussels to visit a new client to prepare 3 EUCOC applications, Later that week it was also a family event, a christening that co-incided with the school holidays so we went up to Manchester, stayed the night, and met up with 2 clients the following day. We also managed a trip to Cambridge to visit another potential partner/client and the girls enjoyed the city (again it was very hot!)
August is always very quiet, but not this year! We had a meeting with a Landlord for a very interesting data centre site very close to us, in fact it is the closest and I've been dying to get in there and mooch around, it appeared that my wish was about to come true! We also visited a client in London at their Class 2 facility (sadly no business from them!) We rounded the month off by providing some training to BRE personnel (the result of that phone call in January and a meeting with them at DCW in March (thats how long our sales cycle can be!)) that itself was topped off by a visit to a Data Centre (We went to Interxion's London site). I've always felt that data centre training is too one sided but thats not a topic for discussion now, but rest assured that plans are afoot!
In September I was back in Amsterdam for a brief visit to attend the launch of the Catalyst project with our partner Green IT Amsterdam, this project is seeking to promote the reuse of data centre waste heat for other purposes, such as district heat systems and the like, its going to be a very interesting project and we are assisting them. We then flew to Helsinki for a CEEDA assessment, this assessment was a "Design Operate CEEDA" and we were reviewing the operational elements, I can state that this was an exceptional facility and well worth its Gold accreditation.
We also found the time to attend the DCA golf day where once again we managed to just miss the "worst golfer" prize.
Later, in the month we visited Leeds with a client and their client and then attended the DCA Annual Members meeting coupled with a couple of steering group meetings namely the "energy efficiency" and new "liquid alliance"
We always tend to schedule the EUCOC Annual Best Practices meeting around this time of year, and this year it was scheduled for early October, this was follwed by a visit to London for IP expo and then a trip to Bristol to meet up with the Council to discuss their "Energy Leap" project. We also visited the data centre closest to me to conduct the audit on behalf of the landlord, my dream had come true! Its always good to visit data centres and check out the technology and management systems in use, but this was a joy to behold, the site was built when I was 11 years old, (I'm 54 now, but feel 24!) and I have to say that for its age, it was in exceptional condition, true it did look a bit tired but hey, this girl had been working her socks off 24/7/365 for over 40 years, hopefully she'll get a make over soon (watch this space!)
November is conference season, but we managed to fit in a CEEDA assessment and an EUCOC preparation meeting with a new client as well as attend a few non standard (i.e. non data centre events) as well, the month started with the DCD Converged event at London's Old Billingsgate, and then I attended the Low Carbon Britain event. We then met up with a client with regard to assisting them with their proposed ISO50001 certification (we got the job, and are currently preparing draft documents for them to review and amend to suit their needs, later we'll check the policies, processes and procedures and review the evidence prior to the certification process, which we'll attend.
Later that week I travelled to Lincoln to visit an old client who has finally managed to get a site and is starting to build a very interesting data centre, more on that project next year!
The week after I made my way over to Dublin for Data Centres Ireland and then London for a CBRE briefing on Standards (a subject I know a little about!). We spent the rest of the month preparing and writing our report on the data centre audit we'd completed for our client in Warwick. We also managed to get tickets for the Networking Event of the Year, which is the DataCentre.ME Christmas Party, held on the Tattershall Castle, a boat moored between the House of Parliament and Hungerford Bridge, with excellent views of the London Eye and of course the River.
December is nearly always quite quiet, but not this year, we were invited to the Man Utd v Arsenal match at Old Trafford at the Captains Table, this is corporate hospitality at its finest, 3 course meal, drinks, programme, gift and a very good evenings entertainment (not on the football side of things unfortunately, although it was a 2-2 draw, the game wasn't that great!) followed by a quick trip to London to attend the DCD Awards. I love going to the DCD Awards, and this year was excellent, the EURECA project WON! the Initative of the Year award, so many thanks to the entire EURECA team for winning this very prestigious award, which has made and will continue to make data centres in the EU energy efficient and sustainable.
The next week I met with a potential new partner who is interested in heat recovery and reuse in the DC sector, this was followed by a small networking event run by the excellent Caroline Hitchens and her DataCentre.Me team. The day after I attended the BSI TCT7/3 standards committee meeting which of course develops the EN50600 series of data centre design, build and operate standards.
We had an update meeting with our ISO50001 client and then a couple of meetings in London to sort out some new work (potentially) for next year.
As I stated earlier, next year is going to be very interesting indeed and as we have no idea as how its all going to pan out, we're going to keep our powder dry for the time being.
But, that said, we will continue to offer the following services:
EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres Review and Preparation
CEEDA assessements (with our DCD partners)
ISO Management Systems for ISO9001/14001/22301/27001 and 50001
Data Centre Audits (with our M&E partners)
Data Centre Training (on site, and tailored to your requirements)
Data Centre Support Services - Compliance
Special Services, if you have a problem that needs solving, let us know, through our wide network of consultants, supply chains and operators we've probably come across the problem before and therefore may be able to help
Finally, we'd like to wish all our customers, suppliers and industry collegues the very best wishes for 2019
The next blog post will be the 4th in our series "Air v Liquid" and this article will be on the cost side of things scheduled to be published early in the new year.
As always, until next time.
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