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Sentrum Colo: Keeping Your Data Safe

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sentrum-logoCompany name: Sentrum Colo

Nature of business: Sentrum Colo is a colocation services provider, offering business continuity and disaster recovery solutions.

Locations: Their Head Office is located in central London, while the Sentrum Colo London datacentre is within 5 miles of the M25 and M4. Just 15 minutes from
Heathrow Airport and 20 minutes from Central London by train.

Markets: The company serves businesses that need highly secure and resilient infrastructure storage and backup capabilities across a wide range of markets,
including digital agencies, connectivity service providers, managed services providers and many other industries, including the financial sector.

Contact information:

Andrea Forder
Sales Operations Manager
+44 (0) 207 317 4555
[email protected]

Head Office
7th floor
55, Baker Street
London
W1U 8EW
United Kingdom

Optimum Data Centre
Springfield Industrial Estate
Beaconsfield Road
Hayes, Middlesex
UB4 0SL
United Kingdom

Key executives:

Stephen-ScottStephen Scott, Managing Director

Stephen Scott is the Managing Director for Sentrum Colo and Director for Bridgehouse Capital.

  • Stephen started out his career in the Royal Navy as an Air Engineering Officer before resigning his commission in 1990 and going on to accumulate
  • considerable experience in the global IT market. He had a pivotal role in the acquisition and restructuring of PSINet Europe where subsequently he acted as
  • MD. Following the sale of PSINet to Telstra, Stephen took on the role of CEO at IT hosting and outsourcing company, NaviSite Europe, where he managed its
  • integration with IT hosting firm ConXion. Stephen also participated in the acquisition and restructure of Global Marine Systems where he continues to serve
  • on the Board.

 

 


LawrenceLawrence Buxton, Operations Director

  • Lawrence has extensive knowledge of the colocation and managed services environment, having worked for NaviSite Europe as UK Regional Datacentre Manager
  • prior to joining Sentrum Colo in 2011.
  • Throughout his 12 years in the industry, Lawrence has been responsible for the management for four data centre construction projects, the coordination of OS
  • & Hardware for two large scale data centre moves and was also the Dell Hardware specialist for the UK and EMEA areas within NaviSite.
  • Lawrence has a BEng in Electronic Engineer and Computer Science from Aston University, a PRINCE2 practitioner qualification and is currently undergoing a
  • Chartered accreditation with the IET. Lawrence is also an IET Professional Member.

grahamGraham Monro, Sales Director

  • Graham has extensive experience working within the colocation and managed services environment, having worked for Colt Technology Services for eight years
  • supporting financial and media clients for managed services and hosting, throughout which he was responsible for a number of major wins, including the
  • migration of a media company into two Colt facilities with a TCV of £6.5m. Graham also worked for Sun Microsystems and IBM prior to joining Sentrum Colo.
  • Graham has considerable experience in both technical and commercial roles delivering mission critical solutions for customers.
  • Graham has an M.Sc. in Computer Sciences from University of East London and a Diploma in Management Studies from De Montfort Studies, Leister.

 

 

andreaAndrea Forder, Sales Operations Manager

  • As a sales operations manager at Sentrum Colo, Andrea is responsible for customer experience including supporting client implementations and operational
  • processes as well as the coordination of service delivery to drive customer retention. Andrea also manages all third party relations with partners
  • delivering customer support services to Sentrum Colo’s client base and managing the execution of their marketing and PR strategy.
  • Prior to joining Sentrum Colo, Andrea worked as a programme manager at Adstream and has more than 10 years experience in managed and online services working
  • for Navisite Europe and Star.
  • Andrea holds a BA hons for Spanish from Exeter University

 

Brief history of the company:

  • Sentrum Colo was formed in September 2011. It was incorporated specifically to take advantage of the growing demand in the colocation market. The investors and management team at Sentrum Colo have significant experience in the broader sector that surrounds data centre centric services, including colocation. The investor, Bridgehouse Capital Limited, has quite a track record in the space including previous controlling interests in several significant companies in the space including: Global Switch, PSINet Europe, Navisite Inc. and Sentrum.
  • Originally built to the highest specifications for a global bank, the data centre offers robust levels of security and resiliency and has had no down time during the last 10 years.

Certifications/licences:

  • List-X security status
  • Tier III design and operation criteria deployed at the site
  • ISO9001

Products/services offered:

Colocation: For businesses that require the flexibility to change – for growth or shrinkage, Sentrum Colo can offer flexible terms and contiguous space for expansion. Its standard rack specification delivers improved cooling and cable management. Power options range from 2kW to 20kW per rack and power usage can be included in the cost of the rental or charged on a per kW basis.

For customers with high density needs the team will work closely with customers to plan and deliver racks that benefit from UPS backed fan tiles and cold aisle containment – ensuring maximum efficiency.

For larger estates, dedicated cage options provide additional security without expensive property build out costs. Secured to both raised flooring and ceiling slabs, each cage is benefits from multiple security features ensuring the ultimate in structural integrity.

Connectivity: Sentrum Colo delivers completely diverse premium burstable bandwidth of up to 1 Gbps on demand (with 10Gbps options also available). As a carrier neutral site, it can provide connectivity via an extensive list of carriers. On site carriers include BT, Colt, Level 3, Virgin Media, Vtesse, Fibreway and Fibrenet with access via our backhaul to a multitude of carriers through Telehouse North and Equinix.

Delivered using physically diverse telco links, high availability routers and distribution switches Sentrum Colo provides maximum redundancy and failover capability, underwritten by a 99.999% uptime SLA. With both bandwidth and link state monitoring it has the capability to flag and react to issues before they
become a problem.

Data Recovery & Backup: Through its partnership with leading specialist Backup Technology Sentrum Colo is able to provide online backup services, allowing customers to counter the time, cost and process burden commonly associated with traditional backup solutions.
Providing customers with segregated network and private WAN access, ensuring the highest standards of confidentiality and security.

Major projects:

Track Eleven Selects Sentrum Colo to House its Mission Critical Telecommunication IT Infrastructure: Colocation facilities enable Track Eleven to grow its customer base and put in place a disaster recovery contingency.

Virtual1 responds to demand for Business Continuity solutions with launch of new Datacentre facilities with Sentrum Colo.: Virtual1 has responded to the increasing demand for Business Continuity solutions by announcing the launch of new datacentre facilities in Outer London, through a new partnership with datacentre experts, Sentrum Colo.

Next Connex lights fibre into Sentrum Colo: Sentrum Colo is now fully lit with Next Connex fibre, enhancing available network connectivity; incorporating the Data Centre into a wider estate of sites inter-linked with Next Connex’s Layer 1 network infrastructure.

Sentrum Colo and LDeX Partner to Provide Data Centre Redundancy: Sentrum Colo, one of the UK’s leading colo specialists, has partnered with LDeX to provide a dual-site, turn-key solution for mission critical servers. This new partnership will enable customers of Sentrum Colo and LDeX to easily achieve data redundancy along with scalability and high availability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business

How to use data to protect and power your business

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How to use data to protect and power your business 1

By Dave Parker, Group Head of Data Governance, Arrow Global

Employees need to access data to do their jobs. But as data governance professionals, it’s our job to protect it. Therefore, we must perform a fine balancing act to weigh robust data protection against the productivity of workers who need the data to maintain business-as-usual working processes.

Data grows exponentially, and most organisations will admit that they simply don’t know what data they have, where it is, and the controls that exist around it. This creates 2 challenges:

  1. Burgeoning amounts of unstructured data makes the business increasingly vulnerable from external attackers or internal data breaches.
  2. Because data is the key to understanding a customer’s wants and needs, if the business can’t identify its data and unlock its value, it’s at a competitive disadvantage.

As a European investor and alternative asset manager, here at Arrow Global we take care of £50bn of assets and own a data estate exceeding 160TB. How we manage our data is key to our success. We understand the difficulties involved in opening up environments to allow people to work productively, while at the same time locking them down to protect our organisation.

When it comes to analytics, I believe that Arrow is highly proficient because we employ a talented team of data scientists. But even for us, the sheer volume of raw and processed data, that resides in both our structured systems and unstructured data repositories, has the potential to put our business at risk.

We know there’s always more that can be done to strengthen our security posture and ensure regulatory and contractual compliance, while at the same time using our data to drive the business forward.

Data protection isn’t just about compliance

For many organisations, data protection has centred on demonstrating compliance with the GDPR. At Arrow, our efforts have gone one step further to include our contractual exposure.

Being a more mature data organisation, we had previously tried to develop an application in-house to manage our data estate. However, with 160TB across the company in production data alone, we simply couldn’t achieve the scale we needed to handle the sheer volume of data. Of course, the volume is just the start – once you know what data you have, you then need to be able to categorise the data and put it into a structure, so the business can analyse it for a specific use case.

We knew we needed to go to market to find an industrial-strength data discovery product to replace our in-house application. By aligning our choice of product to our overall IT and change strategy, meant that ultimately, we ended up with a far better outcome than we’d anticipated.

Position data as both a risk and an asset

Data touches every part of an organisation, so when it came to building a business case for buying-in a data discovery software platform, we approached it in a way that would speak to different people at the same time. We did this by posing the question:

“What do we want to do with data in a way that is GDPR-compliant, contractually-compliant and enables us to better service our clients?”

These are the black and white tests of data governance – to recognise the importance of securing and protecting data. They’re applied in a way that enables us to commoditise data and use it to drive the business forward, by forcing us to consider how we would use the data – for example, creating value-based pricing for our clients.

In aligning the business case to initiatives that were already priorities within the boardroom, we knew that we’d gain the attention of the senior leadership team and it would be easier to get the buy-in and budget we needed. And in the end, everyone wins – we get what we need to protect the data, and the business gets to distil the data’s value to better meet our customers’ expectations.

Dave Parker

Dave Parker

Get visibility of data at scale

For us, things got really exciting once we were able to see all of our data at scale. We chose Exonar because it allowed us to discover our data in ways that other products couldn’t. And the interface between the user and Exonar meant that everyone – both technical and non-technical users – could understand the technology and the findings it revealed.

When we saw exactly what data was in the estate, where it was and who had access to it, data security became much easier and the risk of data being compromised was dramatically reduced. We can see exactly where the vulnerabilities are and restructure how our data is stored to strengthen security. Then over time, we can use search, workflow and analysis to optimise the infrastructure and continually identify new areas to improve.

Commercialise the data

From a wider-business perspective, once people can see the data, they can start asking “What if…” to query it and distil its value. But it’s more than just the data itself. It’s not uncommon for data relating to the same thing to exist in unconnected systems across the business. For example, customer interactions and incidents or events.

Exonar is capable of joining the dots in disparate data sets. By stitching these data sets together, we can get a better overall view of our customers and use the outcomes to think of new, different or better ways of serving them through enhancing or adapting our offerings.

Why other financial services businesses should also take a smarter approach to data

  1. By changing the way you approach data, you can use it to protect and power your business and the people you serve.
  2. By positioning data as both a risk and an asset, you elevate its position to give it priority in the boardroom. Ultimately, it’s data that helps the business make informed strategic decisions about how to strengthen its competitive advantage.
  3. By gaining visibility of data at scale, you can see exactly what data you have and where it is. This gives the business confidence about the actions needed to ensure it is secured in both a regulatory and contractually compliant way, and that people are doing the right thing with data at all times.
  4. And joining different data sets provides you with a single view of ‘X’ within your data, no matter where it is. Helping to support your wider-business strategy and priorities, it gives you the information you need to secure a business advantage and generate value.
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Business

How business leaders can find the right balance between human and bot when investing in AI

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How business leaders can find the right balance between human and bot when investing in AI 2

By Andrew White is the ANZ Country Manager of business transformation solutions provider, Signavio

The digital world moves quickly. From keeping up with consumer behaviour patterns, to regulation and compliance, the most successful organisations are always on the cutting-edge of technological developments.

However, when it comes to investing in artificial intelligence (AI), a hard and fast strategy does not guarantee a top spot amongst the league of tech greats. Instead, it pays to take a considered approach to balancing reliance on automated processes with a human touch. Why? Because creative and strategic thinkers are the true propellers of innovation; automation is simply the enabler.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) developed the ‘Routine Task Intensity’ (RTI) index as a measure of which processes are likely to benefit most from automation. According to this metric, jobs requiring analytical, strategic, communicational and technical skills score low on the RTI index, while simple, repetitive tasks scored highly.

The lesson for business leaders here is simple; your digital investments are just as important as your stake in talent. When deciding which processes to automate, start simple, and remember to value the skills and potential of your people.

Keep customer-centricity at your core

Customer-centricity means that every business decision, dollar spent and new hire is centred on one question: how does this benefit my customer? Investments in AI are no different. To be truly successful, they must have a customer-focused outcome.

Where companies get this wrong is by implementing cost-saving measures or ‘copy and paste’ software that fails to improve the customer experience – often having the adverse effect.

Take the virtual chat-bot, for example; if implemented poorly, it can send your customers into a frustrating and seemingly infinite cycle of dead-ends. The modern consumer is far too digitally savvy for this shortcut, and will quickly move onto the next merchant offering a more seamless customer service experience.

To guarantee your investments are delighting rather than infuriating your customers, it helps to take an outside-in perspective of your business processes, aided by Customer Journey Mapping (CJM).

Before you commit to digital investments, CJM can trace and map each customer touchpoint, signalling pain points or conversion rates throughout their journey. These data-driven insights lead you to the areas that would benefit the most from automation, instead of implementing a broad band-aid solution.

Avoid the ‘set and forget’ method 

When investing in enterprise-wide AI, the ‘set and forget’ method rarely works. Real transformation requires an ongoing dedication to refining and improving AI-driven processes, as well as adapting them to the evolving needs of your customers. This is the best way to achieve customer loyalty, by proving that your organisation listens to, and understands its users.

A human perspective is invaluable here, paired with process mining – a method that thrives on finding process inefficiencies – to create a consistent feedback loop of improvement.

During periods of uncertainty, customer loyalty is everything, so aim to protect it at all costs.

The power of your people

The rise of automation can be linked to the corporate world’s obsession with speed and efficiency. However, the psychology behind this goes deeper than being the biggest and fastest producer; it’s also about reallocating resources into attracting and retaining the brilliant minds that drive companies into the future.

When communicating digital change, it’s critical to highlight the valuable impact AI has on augmenting jobs; removing the burden of mundane, repetitive tasks and allowing for more strategic skill-sets to shine through. For lower-skilled workers, invest in upskilling or re-education where possible.

Successfully rolling-out digital transformation plans means that every employee across all tiers of your company understands the value of AI. The starting point here is education to achieve buy-in. Change communications must be accessible, constructive and value-focused, supported by key culture influencers who champion automation within teams.

Enterprise-wide buy-in is an important element of refining and improving digital processes, as cross-functional collaboration can offer valuable insights into common pain points or inefficiencies ripe for automation. Supported by process mining, collaboration provides a holistic view of how each investment will impact other processes. There is no point investing in automation that streamlines one process and makes another more people-centric, so be sure to take a balanced approach to your investments.

Remember, AI is not about creating an army of robot workers; it’s about increasing efficiency and productivity so that an organisation, and its people, can work smarter.

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Are you a fighter or a freezer? The 4 “F’s” of Surviving Danger

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Are you a fighter or a freezer? The 4 “F’s” of Surviving Danger 3

By Dr.Roger Firestien, Author of Create In a Flash.

The fight, flight, freeze survival response – or FFF for short – is designed to mobilize our brain and body to fight an enemy, run from a tidal wave or freeze to hide from a predator.

FFF is how humans react when they encounter a dangerous situation. It is a primal response that happens instinctively even before we are able to think about the situation we are confronting.

The FFF alarm causes our brain to focus on negative memories, probably to scan them to avoid repeating dangerous situations and negative outcomes.  We get tunnel vision as our pupils dilate to increase our focus and long-range vision, but as a result we lose our peripheral vision.   

Humans use the FFF response and so do organizations.

When organizations encounter dangerous situations, like, say, trying to survive a global pandemic, they can respond by either fighting the situation, fleeing from the situation, or freezing and waiting for the situation to pass.

I would like to propose a fourth strategy for organizations to deal with a danger like the pandemic. It is the fourth “F.”  The farm response. More on that later.

What kind of organization is yours?

The fighter organizations were the ones that fought the idea of a global pandemic or pushed back against the research that reported how serious the virus was.  Think of the meat processing plants that didn’t provide proper protective gear or the religious organizations that refused to take a break from large services.

The results were catastrophic for the organizations and deadly to the employees and worshippers.

It is pretty easy to identify the fleeing organizations.  You don’t see them anymore.  Unfortunately, this is the organization that just doesn’t have the resources or the energy to fight.  You will recognize them by the “For Rent” signs in the windows of the buildings they used to occupy.

The organizations that freeze  are a little more difficult to identify.  They are still around but are frozen by fear. They are the organizations that, although they are in a position to move forward, are too frightened to take a risk or even look at the periphery of their business. Their tunnel vision blinds them to opportunity.  The freezers hide and wait for the danger to pass.  They are the ones who miss out on possibilities.

For example, if you are in the business of supplying concessions to sporting events, airports and national parks, your business is in deep trouble now. So, what are some ways to keep people buying food and drinks with so many venues closed?

Dr.Roger Firestien

Dr.Roger Firestien

Many national parks are now open and visitors need to eat.  How can you sell food while supporting social distancing? Answer: Sell picnic meals to your patrons.  And, sell a blanket that commemorates the park that diners can spread out and have lunch while social distancing with their families. Then, they’ll keep the blanket that reminds them of their visit to the park.

Sound like a good idea? It sure does. You can keep your park concession business, allow people to social distance and add to your product line with that commemorative blanket. Did the company implement the idea? Unfortunately, they did not. They froze and missed the opportunity.

However, businesses are finding ways to optimize their organization and capture opportunities. They are the farmers. The farmer organizations study the situation, just like farmers study the weather and the land. They look at the resources available to them and get to work.

Farmer organizations pivot and get creative.

Distillers, who before the pandemic, were making vodka, whiskey, gin and other spirits quickly changed their operation from distilling booze to distilling sanitizer.

Telemedicine, which had limited acceptance before the pandemic, almost immediately became the accepted way to deliver care.  Now, the doctor comes to you.

Fitness trainers are conducting their sessions via Zoom or in person outside on sidewalks in front of their gyms so they can social distance.

My favorite ranch, SK Herefords, sells their beef at local farmer’s markets in the Western New York area. This spring when the large packing houses shut down and grocery stores were limiting the amount of beef customers were able to buy, my farmer friends were there at the markets with locally produced farm-raised beef.  Sales soared and demand skyrocketed.

Why? The farmers were ready.  They used their resources and were not afraid to optimize them in a rapidly changing and volatile environment. Farmers live with constantly changing weather conditions and market prices and are accustomed to rapid change.

To operate with constant change, all of us, like farmers, need to be constantly creative.  Phil Keppler, my philosopher farmer friend from SK Herefords says, “Creativity helps you to not look at things as a problem. It’s trying to find the solution – and that’s the exciting thing about it. Things aren’t problems anymore. It’s just difficult situations and you’re trying to find a solution to that situation.”

A good mindset for what our world is experiencing now… it’s a difficult situation and we are creating solutions daily.

Fight, flight, freeze or farm. What kind of organization is yours? And, what can you learn from “the farmers?”

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