As Telehouse celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, we sat down with two of our longest-serving team members, Paul Gazzard and Yumiko Sakurai, to look back on their incredible journeys with the company. From the early days of fax machines to the cutting-edge technology and customer-centric approach that define us today, their stories offer a unique glimpse into the evolution of our industry.

What was Telehouse like when you joined 25 years ago?

Yumi: I joined Telehouse as sales support when we were based at our Metro site in central London near Broadgate Circle. I remember one person making a jacket potato for 45 minutes in the oven because we didn’t have a microwave! What a waste of energy; you wouldn’t see that now!

Paul: We had the top floor of the same building that housed our Metro data centre – it was much smaller than where we are now. We shared the space with legal, finance, and sales departments. You could actually smoke at your desk back in those days, which was really strange! The internet was only just getting off the ground. We used to fax everything, like orders and contracts, to customers to sign off and then fax back. I don’t think PDFs existed then!

What does your current role entail and how has it changed over the years?

Paul: I started as an account executive, then got promoted to account manager, and eventually became a service manager—similar to the Customer Success Manager role today, but with an element of sales mixed in. Then I led the Account Management team that included the sales support team, looking after our existing customer base. I was managing a team of five account managers and three sales support staff for our existing customers. Now, I am the Head of Major Accounts and look after some of our most long-standing and strategic clients within the networks and service provider sectors.

Yumi: When I first heard about Telehouse, I thought it was a call centre! I was mainly in sales support, assisting Japanese expats from HQ. Then I was promoted to account executive. Then I became an account manager and now a customer success manager, looking after our strategic key customers as a single point of contact between the customer and internal teams at Telehouse.

What is your favourite Telehouse memory?

Yumi: The Christmas parties used to be legendary when we stayed overnight at a hotel.

Paul: I agree with Yumi. Also, the opening events of each data centre have always been a highlight.

What is it about working at Telehouse that has kept you with us for over two decades?

Paul: Number one is the people. It almost becomes like a second family as we spend a great deal of our waking lives in each other’s company. Along with that, there have been people who have been here just as long as Yumi and I, if not longer, and we’ve pretty much grown up together over the last 25 years.

Yumi: I agree with Paul and time flies! We’ve been on a journey and seen how the internet has changed everyone’s lives. It’s great to be part of an industry that is constantly evolving and growing.

What do you think is the secret to Telehouse’s success?

Paul: The people! Our strong customer relationships are fundamental, and we wouldn’t have achieved our success without their trust and support.

Yumi: We opened our first data centre at the right time when the industry was just starting. We are the hub of the internet and one of the most connected data centre campuses in the world, thanks to our long-standing relationships with carriers, ASPs, and ISPs, including the London Internet Exchange.

What do you think the technology or data centre industry will look like in another 35 years’ time?

Paul: Things move so rapidly when you look at what’s happened in the past 35 years. AI will have taken over, robots will be prevalent, and the Internet of Things will be at a whole new level.

Yumi: I envision a future with advanced robots, enhanced security measures, and possibly the elimination of physical cabling. The industry will be even more sustainable with our carbon-neutral commitments by 2050.