Datacom brings its Auckland family together

Over the last 50 years of Datacom’s organic growth in New Zealand, the business’ physical footprint sprawled across the Auckland CBD.

As the technology market has changed, so have our customer demands. Datacom has increasingly offered comprehensive solutions for our customers, spread across multiple business units. As part of the move, we embraced the opportunity to do more than a simple ‘lift and shift’, and embrace the opportunity fully.

The move to the new Gaunt Street site, part of Auckland’s innovation precinct, Wynyard Quarter, brought 1,200 people from Datacom’s five Auckland offices together under a single roof. We wanted to produce a truly modern, collaborative workplace, focused around our people and their capacity to grow customer relationships.

It was about more than just operational efficiency, however. One of our core values is ‘prove the promise’, in other words, let our results and our work speak for themselves. This is extremely relevant to this build. The environment, whilst functional and flexible, allows our work and our commitment to our customers to shine.

Having the entire Datacom Auckland family together under a single roof has already proven to be a catalyst for new ways of working. It has created a place for ideas to be generated, collaboration to be fostered, and quality outcomes achieved.

It was also a story about Datacom’s uniquely New Zealand heritage and honouring New Zealand’s Maori culture and traditions. Datacom worked with key partners Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to open the building, and provide the blessing.

The building itself is nicknamed internally ‘Tahi’, doubly appropriate as this is not only the Maori word for the number ‘one’, but also means ‘together’ and ‘in unison’.

Meeting rooms are all named after constellations, planets and celestial features – with both Maori and English names used across the building.

The difference it has made to have the entire Datacom Auckland whanau (Maori for ‘extended family’) together is already being felt, but this is not just about Datacom’s story and journey.

This would not have been possible without the wonderful partnerships we entered into with Goodman, Fletchers, Gaze, Xigo, and RCP, as well as the various suppliers and subcontractors who worked hard to deliver this welcoming and creative environment.

Our customers will always remain our focus, and Wynyard Quarter allows us to be closer to several of our key ones, such as Fonterra, Air New Zealand and ASB. It also puts us close to key vendor partners Microsoft, HP and Dell/EMC.

The 17,000 square metre Datacom Building in Gaunt Street, owned by Goodman and built by Fletcher Construction, is designed to the latest earthquake standards (100 per cent New Building Standard), and was awarded a Five Green Star New Zealand design rating. This means it features the latest in sustainable architectural design for energy and water conservation. The new building caters for Datacom’s ongoing growth and has capacity to accommodate more than 1,500 people in a dynamic environment.

The new workspaces are open-plan with wireless capability throughout, allowing Datacom ‘rovers’ to move freely around the building to form collaborative work groups. There are 100 break out spaces for one-to-one discussions and informal meetings, 30 single person booths, state of the art training centres, and a number of special spaces which include a “sanctuary room” for quiet contemplation, a library, and a games room for our teams to unwind.

The first floor event space can be completely opened up to accommodate ‘town hall’-style meetings or to host events such as Datacomp. The new Tech Demo room also allows Datacom to share its industry leading work across augmented reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things with the wider community, and is also used for some of our key customer and partner presentations.

The new site is well positioned close to bus, train and ferry options, and we have various health and safety programmes to encourage our people to run, cycle and use our e-bikes to get around. We have worked proactively with partners such as Auckland Transport proactively to ensure the impact to Auckland’s traffic is minimised.

There is a serious commitment to encouraging alternative transport choices, with lock up areas for more than 120 bikes, a dedicated drying room, charging points for e-bikes and 18 showers. E-bikes have been purchased for the office, to allow our people to make quick trips and run errands, and to be taken home as a trial.

These initiatives were recognised when Datacom became the Supreme Winner of Auckland Transport’s TravelWise Choice Awards and a finalist in the “Bikes in Business” category of the national Bike to the Future Awards.

Datacom’s Auckland office is more than a building – it’s a bold new adventure. This is a story of unification. It is also a story about the journey that brought Datacom here, and we couldn’t have done it without our teams, partners and customers.

“Datacom has a longstanding pedigree of taking New Zealand’s ‘Number 8 Wire’ mentality to the world, and I am proud to welcome a true home-grown success story to our vibrant community.”

Patrick McVeigh, General Manager, Economic Growth, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)