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A small gesture for one, a great opportunity for the other

Aid & Trade

Datasur, a company from Paramaribo, runs the only two commercial data centres in Suriname. With around a hundred customers and a growing market for their services, they want to professionalise further. Patrick Eshuys, Senior Director Operations at Equinix, took on the role of a PUM expert for one week to assist Datasur. Equinix operates over two hundred datacentres worldwide.

A data centre is a facility where customers can store their IT equipment (for example data or servers). Patrick Eshuys: "The data centre industry to me is a nice combination of (IT) technology and rapid market developments. No day is the same and the developments and possibilities seem unlimited. To contribute something to society within this sector, by transferring knowledge to companies that want to take the next step, is wonderful."

On arrival in Paramaribo, Patrick met his sparring partner for this mission, PUM expert Hanneke Klaver. Together they tackled the data centre’s questions. It soon became apparent that the company’s equipment and servers were well in order and that they were using up-to-date techniques. Customer satisfaction was also high. What Datasur needed help with was dealing with processes. Patrick: "The company does have knowledge of the various relevant processes such as Service Management and Capacity Management, but lacks experience. Hanneke has a great deal of knowledge about these processes, and I am very familiar with translating process into practice. We complemented each other very well. We also gave training on the procedures and systems that need further developing and devoted a lot of attention to certification, dealing with incidents and the business model of Datasur."

'Contributing to society through knowledge transfer, is wonderful'

Trust

The two experts elaborated and documented various processes during their mission and, together with Datasur, improved several reports. For the first time, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were defined. Hanneke and Patrick highlighted the importance of having good customer service and a trustworthy reputation. Although customer satisfaction at Datasur is large, reliability remains one of the most important pillars for the data centre. This is the case for every data centre, after all, the customer outsources essential and confidential information.

'The Datasur employees were extremely proud of their work'

Patrick: "The Datasur employees were extremely proud of their work. That was very nice to see. They occasionally asked me questions about things I had not thought about for years, which was great. Visitors to the data centre must carry their access card in a visible way, but why again is this the case? And why is it not allowed to take photos? It refreshed the way I look at the industry."

PUM Business Circle

Equinix supports PUM as a participant of PUM Business Circle. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important pillar for the company. Being a market leader, they want to set an example by sharing their knowledge. The deployment of an employee as a PUM expert is an ideal concept; the collaboration between someone coming directly from the work field and a senior expert gives an optimal effect. Patrick: "We are open to taking on a new mission in the future. Depending on the request for help and the type of company that makes the application, we will select our most suitable employee. We dispose of all the disciplines within the data centre industry, so possibilities are plenty."

The link with Equinix also offers further perspective for Datasur. The presentation Patrick gave after returning home about his visit to Datasur was received with great enthusiasm by the Equinix staff. What followed were ideas for more support. Datasur director Robert Hahn recently visited the company in the Netherlands. The next plan is for a Datasur employee to intern at Equinix; for one a small gesture, for the other a great opportunity.

Patrick Eshuys is Senior Director Operations at Equinix. His expertise lies in (IT) technology, business administration and organisational development. The mission at Datasur was his first mission within the collaboration between Equinix and PUM.
Robert Hahn, director of Datasur: "Because of continuous changes in the digital working environment, it is very important to stay focused. We learned a lot from being in contact and working with Hanneke Klaver and Patrick Eshuys. The knowledge they shared contributes to the development of our corporate processes and procedures, as well as to our working methods and techniques. Thanks to the recommendations made by the PUM experts, we are working towards being a Trusted IT partner for companies."
PUM Business Circle is aimed at medium-sized and large Dutch companies that have operations or aspirations abroad and that are prepared to address a number of international social issues with a sense of entrepreneurship. In other words, entrepreneurs who are willing to assist fellow business people, with a view to achieving further growth themselves. Or businesses that are keen to invest in responsible supply chains, which apply safe and clean working conditions and pay honest wages. And for companies which focus explicitly on both employee involvement and the international development of personal talent.

Text: Sietske Dijkstra