JCA: dynamic data centre engineering
JCA offers trusted world class engineering services to the data centre sector. Working across the design, construction, operation and maintenance of mission critical facilities for 17 years, JCA takes a holistic view with a pragmatic approach to the benefits and pitfalls of resilient engineering strategies.
“When working with clients like Ark, we appreciate what drives their business and understand their key business goals,” confirms JCA’s Managing Director Tom Absalom. “Engineering expertise we hold can be applied to support our partners’ business plans and market offering. In recent years, we've made great strides in terms of reduced CapEx and OpEx, albeit with increased availability and enhanced environmental credentials.”
Keeping pace with the evolutionary cycle of incremental gains, JCA ensures the products it develops and deploys are enhanced over those that have gone before. “That can only happen when you work with organisations with shared goals and strategies for the entire supply chain,” says Absalom. “We make sure everyone is aligned towards a single aim. During our time working with Ark we’ve progressed through some revolutionary concept designs which have trickled down into the world-class products you see them operating today.”
“Ark’s commitment to sustainability creates an aspiration for JCA to deliver,” maintains the company’s Chairman and Founder Ian Jackson. “It’s the perfect partnership for us to showcase our desire and commitment to invest in the lifecycle of a building asset through the implementation of new digital building technologies. Equally, we’re investigating and testing new disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence to improve waste management controls and also provide the strategic direction to leverage real-time information from other construction sites throughout the country.
“We’re fortunate to have customers that share our values and appreciate the advantage collaborative partnerships can bring on a long-term basis. At JCA continuous improvement is key as we strive to enhance our consistency and processes.”
Looking to the future
“We’ve been fortunate to navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic and remain able to focus on our core business objectives,” says Jackson. “Our objectives for 2021 and beyond are simple and smart. We’re well positioned to meet our goals. We’ll focus on four key areas: our people, our financial position, our customers, and our processes and controls. With over 80% of our targeted work budgeted and secured already for this year, we’re able to ensure the safety and prosperity of our staff while pushing ahead to deliver for our customers.”
“JCA, along with Gratte Brothers, are our preferred mechanical and electrical engineering partners helping us develop improved energy centre solutions. We were also keen to modularise this process so our partners came up with a unique solution which not only utilises the data center cooling to cool the energy center, but also allows Ark to build the energy center off site - improving health and safety while reducing material waste and cost. Though competitors in the market, JCA and Gratte Brothers are both owner-managed businesses that integrate well with Ark. They’re really adaptable and always looking to innovate. When we need to ensure speed to market, and in times of crisis like we’ve experienced during the pandemic, we rely on these partnerships to deliver safely to our customers.”
Andy Garvin, Director of Design, Construction & Operations, Ark Data Centres.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”