When an organisation decides to migrate an on-premises location to a data center, there are many factors that influence the decision. Stricter guidelines concerning data management and data security require high-quality data storage. Black Tiger Belgium, a software company specialising in the exploitation of personal data and GDPR, faced this challenge. The recent acquisition of Bisnode Belgium is a clear step towards their goal of becoming a European and even global leader in the ethical management of personal data. Their data center could not be left behind.
Christophe De Brabanter was responsible for the entire process: “The current on-premises data center we had was about 20 years old. During that time, a lot has changed in terms of customer expectations, technological developments as well as environmental regulations. We had been asked by senior management to look for a new business location, where the focus would be on the office section. When an on-premises data center also has to migrate, the search becomes a lot more complex. We then started to see if we could separate the office area and the data center.”
A sustainable solution
A few key conditions had been drawn up for the new data center. “As we are a very intensive data company, we were looking for a particular set-up with separate client rooms and housing of the servers. We are constantly being audited, so we wanted to make sure there were no problems with that," says Christophe.
Security and certification of the data center were also important aspects for Black Tiger Belgium. As Christophe De Brabanter explains: “We wanted to at least attain the level we had in the on-premises situation. And that bar was already pretty high, so we certainly did not intend to compromise in that regard. LCL was the right choice because they offer certification as standard for all their data centers. Among other things, LCL's data centers are Tier III classified, which represents the highest level of business continuity that a data center in Belgium can offer.”
With a view to the future, it was also important for Black Tiger Belgium that the new data center met its climate targets. LCL is a member of the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact (CNDCP), which is aimed at making data centers in the European Union completely climate-neutral by 2030. This means: energy efficiency, green energy, water conservation and recycling of heat. “The environmental aspect that LCL was able to provide proved to be an important point for us. All in all, it was clear to me early on that LCL is unique within the Belgian market," says Christophe.
From on-premises to off-site location
When it became apparent that LCL could meet many of their requirements, the process of using an external data center was initiated. “For the first time, the data center would no longer be on-premises, so that was a big change for the organisation. We were then invited to the LCL Brussels-North (Diegem) site, where it was explained in detail how this works in practice, e.g. in terms of fire protection, parameter security and camera surveillance. And in addition to just demonstrating those aspects, there was also in-depth discussion about the procedures that are used."
"Location was also an important aspect for us. It's very important for a company like Black Tiger Belgium that we are 24/7 available. You try to reduce the various risks that can cause downtime as much as possible. Electricity is an important part of this. The Diegem site is located on the border of two electricity grids, two electricity distribution points, namely the grid at Zaventem airport and the Diegem grid. The bottom line is that everything at LCL is provided at least in a dual mode redundancy setup".
A prosperous future
De Brabanter looks back on the positive collaboration. "We were able to achieve each of our objectives. We wanted certification on a par with the old data center, and that's now in place. We also have the desired stability in terms of infrastructure. The period of going live up to now has actually been flawless.”
“Communication happens in a very proactive way. Deadlines are respected. At no point can it be said that there are things happening that I don't know about. And that provides a lot of peace of mind."
De Brabanter also sees a successful partnership with LCL in the future. "We want to grow, just as every company does. As far as contingency solutions are concerned, i.e. not putting everything in one data center but at various locations, LCL is the right partner. And, where the connectivity portfolio is concerned, also the connections between the data centers: I have full confidence that we have the right partner in LCL.”
Who is Black Tiger Belgium?
Black Tiger Belgium is a household name in Belgium when it comes to the processing, management and use of personal data. As Bisnode Belgium/ WDM Belgium/Wegener DM/Sopres, the company has a solid reputation on the Belgian and even international market.
Black Tiger Belgium – part of the Black Tiger Group (FR), a software company specialising in the exploitation of personal data and GDPR – is working towards becoming the specialist in ethical data through its Black Tiger Platform, a unique 'data quality native' and 'gdpr native', 'no code' data management platform.
Built on values of ethics, transparency and innovation, they help companies achieve their objectives by using their customers' personal data in a fully compliant way. Data technology, data science and services are key to this.
Find out more at www.blacktigerbelgium.tech