I do enjoy putting unexpected phrases to bed in the same sentence – phrases such as “dry wit and humour” alongside “communications, IT and data storage expert” for example. Timico’s Head of Product Development Andrew Massing gives me a perfect excuse.
Andrew was a key speaker when sponsors Timico invited Newark Business Club for a breakfast meeting (appreciated the fruit, guys!) at their fabulous £5m data centre on Jessop Close.
He started us off with some horror slides – genuine photos of servers skulking amongst heaps of electronic spaghetti, or gaffer-taped into wall sockets, or cooled by five domestic fans.
The contrast with Timico’s pristine, temperature-controlled data “pods” could not be more pronounced. And along with his own data stream punctuated by witty one-liners, Andrew delivered an admirably concise account of why businesses might be better off keeping server capacity in a data centre rather than in an overcrowded back room.
It’s data Cap’n, but not as we know it
Timico’s Small Business Director Sandra Hine introduced proceedings with aplomb and was rightly proud of the gleaming new building which we later toured – my group hosted by Head of Network Operations Simon Davies.
Racks of cooled servers in their white, air-conditioned pods plus state-of-the-art fire prevention and suppression methods were impressive enough, but the Network Operations Centre was something else.
Beyond a glass wall we saw Timico’s engineers at work – don’t think men in overalls with oily rags, think smart men and women at desks with twin monitors, and a far wall covered in a giant multi-screen displaying the status of the centre’s connectivity to other hubs nationwide and monitoring streaming capacity, which has proved its capabilities over recent weeks due to huge demand created by the Olympics.
Someone murmured on entering “Come in Houston Control.” It really was like something out of Star Trek. And I don’t mean that any of the crew had pointed ears.
Big data, small business
Rob Wilmot of bcsAgency spoke with authority about ‘Big Data’ and the “hyper-connected” future of communications technology while Paul McIntyre of Search High cogently explained why social media was so important for small businesses.
Advertising used to be about shouting a message but now you can get your message across by listening, sharing, helping, and being the person people think of when they need whatever service you may offer.
Take the pledge
Nicola McCoy-Brown, Broadband Plan Project Manager for Nottinghamshire County Council asked if we were frustrated by slow broadband speeds (“If you’re frustrated, I’m your man!” pipes up Keith Girling). She and Cllr. Keith both urged us to sign the pledge – not to give up the demon drink but to pledge support for the NCC campaign to speed up broadband speeds across the county. They need 3000 more pledges by October to help persuade big telecoms companies to prioritise improvements here.
As one of the guilty ones raising a hand to admit they hadn’t signed yet, it’s my next job after writing this. You can do it now by visiting http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband and clicking on the ‘Join our Campaign’ link.
• Next month we’re back at Newark Showground – 7am on September 14. See you there.