What a year!
As we close the door on 2020, CEO Wiljar Nesse takes a retrospective look back at this extraordinary year.
The global pandemic, lockdowns and disruption have made 2020 very challenging. Thankfully, due in no small part to the diligence, responsibility and community mind-set of our team, DigiPlex has survived almost unscathed by COVID-19. But we know this is not true for so many others in our communities and networks around the world and our thoughts are with all of those who have suffered this year.
Against this backdrop, the achievements we’ve made this year are even more remarkable. It has been a year of dislocation, but also of finding new ways to thrive and succeed. I’d like to thank each and every one of the DigiPlex family for their commitment and dedication this year. I also want to recap the significant wins you’ve delivered this year.
First of all – growth. We’ve grown in all measures this year. Not only have we employed 25 new starters (including one new CEO!) and are now almost 100 strong as a business. To attract, recruit and on-board this many additional employees, whilst most are working remotely, is a significant success. While many businesses have been cutting or furloughing, DigiPlex has been fortunate to be able to hire.
We have, of course, also opened two new data centers this year. We could not do this with the fanfare that we would have liked, but to meet already stringent and tight construction, fit-out and test deadlines in spite of the additional difficulties created by the pandemic, is a credit to our planning and management teams, as well as all of our partners. Opening two new data centers in a year is a feat in itself, considering the pandemic, it is extraordinary.
We’ve done all of this whilst reinforcing our financial strength and stability. This year we have issued a new senior bond raising NOK 655 million to fund further expansion. We also secured an extra NOK 180 through a tap issue to support our upcoming Fetsund 3 data center, due for completion early next year. These bonds were oversubscribed indicating huge market confidence in DigiPlex and our model for creating sustainable data center solutions as the infrastructure of the digital economy. Again, to go to the markets and raise significant capital sums at a time when others are pulling in their ambition and retreating, is a significant statement of intent for our brand and company.
Our leadership extends beyond finances and capacity. We are firmly established as a thought-leader and pioneer in sustainable data centers. This year we published our 3rd Sustainability Report. In 2014 we were preobably the first data center company to create a sustainability report, and now we continue to create best practice with the level of detail and the scope of our reporting and commitments. Not only does the report provide detail on CO2 emissions, but also looks at water usage, waste-recycling, contribution to local communities and diversity policies. We’ve also aligned ours targets to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will track progress towards seven of them in subsequent reports.
We’ve also continued to find data and opinions that underline the importance of sustainability in the digital economy. The third Nordic Data Trends report outlines slower progress than we’d like in moving from inefficient on-premise data centers to modern, clean and sustainable facilities, but also shows the increasing understanding of sustainability issues at CEO, IT and management levels.
Our leadership is getting noticed. 2020 saw DigiPlex win a record-breaking 17 awards, recognising the enormous impact of our ‘Sustainability at the Core’ campaign, and illustrating that impartial, expert judging panels around the world are wowed by what we’re doing. Customers and staff have also given us high marks. I’m very proud to lead a business that has been awarded Great Place to Work status for three consecutive years. Our most recent customer survey, using the internationally recognised ‘Net Promoter Score’ method, saw us 83 points higher than the Nordic data center benchmark with an NPS of plus 48. There is still work to do, and we want to see that figure rise higher, but it is clear that we are out-performing the market in customer satisfaction. We were also recognised this year as ‘Market Leader’ in the first independent analysis of the next generation data center solutions undertaken by ISG.
So, in the midst of all the chaos, uncertainty and hardship this year has delivered I am immensely proud of my fellow employees. When I joined DigiPlex, I was told that it was like a big family. To see the way everyone has cooperated, supported and gone the extra mile, not only for customers, but for each other, has only confirmed that this is true. You have worked together to make sure that what has been an awful year in many ways has, nevertheless, been a triumph for DigiPlex.
Thank you all, a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy start to 2021.