You’re a field engineer in desperate need of a patch cable. The last place you’d go is probably the first place the engineers of M1 would go. The company’s vending machine.
M1 is NEXTDC's flagship Australian data center facility located less than two miles from Melbourne's central business district. The Melbourne facility is the largest independent colocation data center in the city, with six data halls measuring 10,760 square ft. each and features a 400kW rooftop photovoltaic solar array —the largest privately funded installation in Australia, making it the first data center in Asia Pacific to use solar power as a supplementary energy source.
M1 is carrier neutral, and offers a range of co-location options from custom racking, to quarter-rack, all fully serviced in state-of-the-art, secure facilities around Australia. As part of the services they supply, they introduced a vending machine in the engineer’s and technician’s rec room for ad hoc networking gear.
Up until recently, the vending machines were sparsely populated with a mishmash of supplies. Matthew Grosvenor, Marketing Coordinator for Black Box Australia, and Norbert Benko, Sales Manager for Black Box Australia, recognized this as an opportunity to populate the machines with a full line of products. After many months of negotiations, Norbert signed a contract for exclusive supply.
At that time, Matthew met with Andreas, M1’s facility Manager. “We identified some key ways to improve the vending machines. This was with consistent packaging, clear labeling and a considered planogram,” Matthew said. Stock is switched and changed based on demand. “The benefit for NEXTDC is that they now have a full range of high quality, reliable products available for their customers and a flexible partner who is happy to change and adapt stock to suit their needs.”
Key products include GigaTrue3 and fiber lockable cables and even a 5-Port USB-Powered Switch, which required some custom packaging to allow it to be dispensed without damage. The NEXTDC vending machines have proven to be an added convenience for field engineers caught in a pinch. The first vending machine populated was in M1’s Melbourne facility, with Sydney and Brisbane to follow.