Critical Facilities Solutions Ltd, a specialist, multiskilled Data Centre solutions and services provider.
Critical Facilities Solutions Ltd
Excellence in Data Centre Services Award
Entry Description
Critical Facilities Solutions Ltd (CFS), a specialist, multiskilled Data Centre solutions and services provider.

Founded in 2018, CFS is ISO9001 accredited for the delivery of solutions and services including Data Centre fit-out, raised access flooring, firestopping and ISO level technical cleaning. CFS expanded into Europe in 2021 with a wholly owned subsidiary set up in The Netherlands to facilitate our service delivery into the EU and we also have a sister company, trading under the same name, in the USA for 25 years.

CFS’s main objectives are to continue to be the market leader and subject matter experts in our fields of service and a trusted delivery partner for our customers either directly or through our established partnerships with the world’s leading Facilities Management Companies. CFS is equally comfortable delivering through our end customers preferred outsource partner or engaging directly as a preferred supplier.

CFS wishes to have a long-lasting direct impact on the market for both service providers and end customers. We believe education, standardisation and communication are key to achieving that goal and therefore we have dedicated an enormous amount of time and resources to industry bodies such as the Data Centre Alliance (DCA). Our operations director is the Chair of the Data Centre Anti-Contamination specialist interest group of the DCA, and he has spent countless hours rallying our industry competitors and customers together to contribute to a guide he has produced, and edited year on year, under the DCA banner, which is now freely available to all.

In addition, CFS and the DCA SIG worked together with one of the world’s leading insurance companies to create a bespoke insurance package that recognised and rewarded Data Centres that demonstrated best practice with a specific focus on contamination control in the white space. The SIG visited and assessed four data centres in the UK which varied in size, design, and location. In all cases the broker and underwriters provided cost savings varying from tens to hundreds of thousand pounds. In each case the savings were more than adequate to cover the costs of the audits, accreditations, and all other requirements to quality for the reduction in premiums.

The proposition had market-leading cleaning standards, provided by specialist companies, built into it. The insurance underwriting had been customised to take this into account, as one of the key differentiators, thus raising the profile and ultimately the importance of cleanliness in data centre environment.

In 2019, CFS and the SIG introduced a ‘risk register’ into the Anti-Contamination Guide. This new section of the report listed out in detail all the high-risk contamination elements that could impact operational activities within the data centre, and a weighted percentage score was introduced as a representation of what could happen if contamination is not managed correctly. The risk register is under constant review and updated yearly by the group.

What we do and how we do it.

CFS offer a host of niche solutions and services including:

• Fit-Out - We specify, supply, and install IT racks, hot & cold aisle containment, raceways, and security caging.
• Flooring - We specify, supply, install, modify, and replace raised access flooring.
• Firestopping – We specify, install, and certify passive fire stopping and service penetration seals.
• Cleaning - We technical / clinical clean mission critical environments across their full lifecycle from greenfield to full operational facility.
• Testing - We undertake Zinc Whiskers, air quality, noise, ATP and environmental.

CFS self-delivers all our solutions and services from our depots in Chesterfield, Luton and Witham via directly employed, multiskilled, security cleared technicians who have all undergone extensive task specific training and are qualified in their respective field/s. The delivery team is underpinned by a senior management team who each have over 25 years of Data Centre specific first-hand, and hands on, experience.

All our solutions are bespoke, and we take a consultative approach to backward engineering solutions as an ‘output’ specification with the aim being to give you what you need, not what we want to sell you. In a recent contract award, we re-specified the customer’s cleaning regime and approach and saved them approximately 50% on their annual operating expenditure while guaranteeing the same, if not better, quality and the required ISO levels of cleanliness as per OEM guidance.

Our service offering is further strengthened by our operational delivery, quality of workmanship, communication, stakeholder management and in-depth reporting and recommendations.

All our contracted customers also benefit from our complementary services including assessments and reporting on their flooring, firestopping, airflow or cleanliness when delivering one of our other services.

CFS delivers 240+ separate projects and cleans 700,000+ sqm of data centre space each year. Working with CFS you are guaranteed multi-skilled NVQ/Diploma certified, fulltime employed cleared staff from an international data centre/mission critical specialist with decades of first-hand experience.

The experience and depth of knowledge within our entire team converts to an unparalleled ‘customer first’ philosophy with a 98% satisfaction rate in 2020 and staggering 100% in 2021. Our current overall rating on Survey Monkey from business inception is 4.85 out of 5.

“We have had the good fortune to work with ‘Critical Facilities Solutions’ for many years and in many forms, we have been the direct customer Vodafone and the service provider with CBRE to Vodafone. We have been so impressed by the approach of this company that when we had the requirement to offer service to a customer of our own, we didn’t hesitate. CFS always go the extra mile, they always give that little bit more. To be truthful we are not the greatest customer, we ask for the earth, expect a stretch at half the price and then take six months to iron out the finances, but when we get there CFS are always waiting and still smiling (even though I am sure they want to strangle us). Their expertise in their field is unrivalled and importantly they know how to evidence their knowledge, we can always put our customer or auditor at ease with the exceptional level of documentation they provide. From a 8m2 shipping area to tier 3 controlled 1000 cabinet DC room they have the resource and tools for the job and we never worry about the outcome, the back office team are a dream with nothing being too much of a request even when that’s a reschedule for the third time. We look forward to a continued relationship going forward with top drawer team.” Martyn Thompson, Kyndryl-Vodafone Account Lead, CBRE

“Building a data centre has its own obvious challenges but handing it over to the end customer in a clinically clean state requires a specialist with all the necessary experience and ability. We don’t do means to an end; instead, we believe in the open communication and collaboration that underpins strong relationships and creates enriching customer journeys. We partner with Critical Facilities Solutions on new build projects for their consistent high quality and the overall service they provide. Their proposals are thorough, their weekly reporting is invaluable, and their communication and stakeholder management is second to none. I would highly recommend them for the Excellence in Data Centre Services Award.” Paul Pompili, Divisional Director, Engineering Services, ISG Ltd

“We recently transitioned from a competitor to CFS and cannot give them enough praise. What Mike and the team have setup is nothing short of brilliant, costs are reasonable, and the quality of service is second to none. This goes for the on-site operatives – who are thorough, professional, and diligent to the account managers and back-office functions. I honestly could not recommend anyone better to deal with, booking and organisation is a breeze, and the work is always completed to the highest standard.” Martin Patrick, Head of Colo, Six Degrees Group

“Willis Tower Watson have been using CFS for a few years now, and I have consistently been impressed with the quality of their work, from survey right through the proposal process to implementation. They have managed complicated processes, such as the floor void redundant cable clearance incorporating steel girder removal, efficiently and regularly exceeded their remit and expectations. The proposal in particular was presented in such a way that all bases were covered, and I was able to get approval with a minimum of fuss.” Neil Walston, EMEA Data Centre Manager, Atos

“As a projects and maintenance business Sudlows need reliable and flexible service deliver partners that understand the environment and time sensitive nature and deliver requirements on mission critical projects. We have used CFS on over 100 projects now ranging from firestopping to specialist technical cleaning to RIT testing all over the UK and abroad. We have established a framework agreement with them and are always impressed at the speed and accuracy of their responses. Their proposals are detailed, and they survey FOC when required to ensure they fully understand the requirements. It’s my job to ensure we get value for money for us and our customers without wavering on service and quality. CFS are a great value-added service provider for Sudlows, and we wish them all the best with their entry for the Excellence in Data Centre Services Award” Andy Smith, Procurement Manager, INS Sudlows

“We have a long-standing service with Critical Facilities Solutions who carry out the Technical cleaning on my customers Data Centres. Their performance is always according to specifications, from the booking in stage to the maintenance stage their work is professional and on time. Their health and safety is in line with CBRE’s requirements for this account and they always provide the specific documentation in advance for each maintenance or reactive works they perform. Their after-service reports are well formatted and informative, they give a step-by-step breakdown of the service and test results. They share innovations freely and these are well received. Gary and Mike are always available to answer my queries or jump on ad hoc calls if needed. They have worked together with myself and my team on my account to deliver the best service to my customer.” Katherine Killerby-Schoeman, Contract Manager, CBRE

“The IT services provided within Solihull MBC need to be cost effective and have as little downtime as possible to enable the effective delivery of council services to all the residents within the borough. The service provided by the technicians from Critical Facilities Solutions proves they are extremely competent and effective, and I would have no hesitation in recommending their services.” Tony Daly (CDCTP, CDCMP, CDCEP) Data Centre Manager, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

“Navarre London have been using Critical Facilities Solutions for a number of years and have always found them to be competitively priced and experienced as a multi-skilled service provider. In our small works business, we have the need for multiple services on projects and CFS tick a lot of those boxes making procurement and sub-contractor management less onerous. We’ve used them for several projects and a few worth mentioning are the HVAC upgrade project for Cisco where they completed all the firestopping and raised access flooring modifications, post upgrade firestopping works at the Royal Mail Worldwide Distribution Centre and numerous projects at 20 Churchill Place. CFS installers and technicians are courteous, well presented, knowledgeable and extremely hard working. The process from quote to sign off is seamless from this well-versed critical environment service provider. I highly recommended CFS.” Richard O'Shea, Head of Department, Navarre Group
Supporting Documents