Domicilium is sponsoring the award for Innovation and Independent Thinking at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.
The company is itself a standard-bearer for forward thinking and innovation in a fast-moving sector.
Over the last 12 months, Domicilium has invested £1.5 million in expanding its data centre in Castletown. In doing so, the company has stayed true to its vision of continuing to provide a hosting facility on the Isle of Man which can compete with the best in the world, as technical director, Phil Adcock explains: ‘When we started out building the data centre we could have got someone to do it for us, using the standard, cookie-cutter recipe that many other datacentres have used.
‘We didn’t do that, we actually went out and learned how to build data centres. We looked at the future, not at what people were doing now but what was going to be required five or 10 years in the future which is eons in IT terms.’
While, clearly, the provision of such a high quality facility on the island has been an important factor in encouraging companies to locate their business here, thus having a positive impact on local employment, the economy on the island has gained in other ways from Domicilium’s continuing investment.
With all its projects, the company has been determined to use local contractors to carry out the work wherever possible. And where the skills didn’t exist in the island, Domicilium invested in training, often getting big industry manufacturers to train local people, thus benefitting both the contracting companies and the local economy:
‘We brought a whole new set of skills to the island which were all about the future. One local contractor who works for us grew its workforce by over 30 people,’ reports Phil.
Managing director Andy Swearman agrees: ‘We have a policy of buying and recruiting on-island and we work harder than any other company to achieve that.’
Sustained investment has allowed the company to provide not only infrastructure that exceeds European data centre standards but also to be staffed by the most highly-skilled workforce. They train all their engineers from scratch, usually taking around five years. So successful have they been that engineers from Domicilium have been flown out to provide their expertise to support infrastructure in a number of jurisdictions around the world.
Walking into the new data centre extension you are immediately hit by the security systems which resemble something from a sci-fi film. Once you have been escorted through the tiered security the first impression is that you are standing in a cavernous well-lit space which is sterilely clean.
Phil explains ‘The design of this part of the facility stays true to the original criteria we established five years ago. We were pleasantly surprised that our original design concepts remain groundbreaking and very few alterations were required to retain our best of breed status’.
Domicilium is very conscious of its impact on the environment and does everything possible to mitigate it. Andy says: ‘From our perspective we are morally obliged to do everything we can to reduce our environmental footprint. We have fitted numerous heat exchangers within the building fabric allowing us to use the heat generated by computers within the building to warm the office. We have incorporated a range of expensive technologies into our industrial plant which minimises our electrical consumption. A pilot has just been completed to test LED lighting and the electricity savings will be so significant that we have committed to roll out this form of lighting in every part of the facility.’
‘When you are working in a building of this size, significant savings can be made by examining every aspect of your electricity consumption’.
It’s quite a sobering thought to look at these racks and realise that so many companies` critical day-to-day activities are being run by the servers inside them. As Phil remarks: ‘We are the custodians of their infrastructure. We deal with the upper quartile of the market, companies with high volume trading platforms carrying out lots and lots of transactions per second.’
In the most demanding of technical sectors – egaming – Domicilum scores highly: ‘We host more egaming companies than all the other data centres on the island put together,’ reports Phil.
This will be the fifth year that Domicilium has been a sponsor at the Awards for Excellence. Both Phil and Andy see the awards as an ideal opportunity to highlight so many good things about the Isle of Man. In previous years, they have also used the awards as an opportunity to entertain off-island clients and found them to be so impressed with the event that it has led to more business.
Andy says: ‘The great thing about the Awards for Excellence is that it focuses on the positives and we should take every opportunity to do more of this.’
Phil agrees: ‘We have real quality here and some world-beating businesses here and we do well to remember that and get our message out there.’
Entries for the Awards for Excellence close at the end of this week (Friday, October 4).
There are 16 award categories covering a wide range of commercial and community-based activities, for both organisations and individuals. Every year we also receive a wide range of entries, from the commercial, public and charitable sectors.
This year’s awards night takes place on Thursday, November 21. The event will be compered by Hugh Dennis, star of the hit TV comedy ‘Outnumbered’, and screened live online to a worldwide audience.
Entry forms are available to download at www.iomtoday.co.im/afe