Hey there, today I have the pleasure of taking you on a journey into the world of IT asset disposition (ITAD). From data destruction to logistics and transportation, we’re going to dive deep and uncover the ins and outs of how this company keeps your end-of-life IT equipment safe and secure. In this interview, I speak with Ghaliet manager and head of the Technical Service Department of 7Digits.
Do you ever read those interviews in today’s newspapers or leading magazines, where they include a photo of the restaurant receipt as if we’re all dying to know what the interviewee ordered? Well, for those of you who are truly curious, I have the exclusive scoop on 7Digits’s menu. It’s all about the coffee! With freshly ground beans and creamy fresh milk, you’re in for a treat. And as for Ghaliet? He opted for the classic choice: a glass of H2O.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at 7Digits?
“I am Ghaliet and 39 years old. I have been working here for quite a long time, with an interval of a year, at another company. A total of 15 years! Actually, when Rob (founder of 7Digits B.V.) had just started, I already came to work here. Working at 7Digits has many advantages for me, such as flexible working hours and a good salary. I started here as a Technical Service (TD) employee and have been head of the TD department for about 2 years now. Everything that has to do with the TD is my responsibility.”
Can you give us an overview of 7Digits and the services you offer to businesses?
“Imagine all the outdated IT hardware or surplus, that remains and is no longer needed – some even still in their original packaging. At our company, we give them a new lease on life, a second chance. Our team performs a thorough evaluation of each device, determining its suitability for resale. If the device is beyond repair or fails to meet our strict quality standards, it is responsibly recycled through our partner scrap processors.
But that’s not all! We also offer data destruction, which usually happens in a software manner and is known as wiping. This way we can reuse the data carriers.”
Ghaliet further explains that the hardware can also be destroyed in other ways: “For hardware that can no longer be used, we offer shredding and degaussing services to ensure proper disposal.”
What about the logistics?
“As a logistics service provider, we also take care of collecting the surplus IT hardware from the customer, sometimes even with packing and collecting on-site at the customer. This has all been agreed with the customer in advance.”
How does 7Digits ensure the safe and secure disposal of end-of-life IT equipment? Walk us through the process.
“It may be necessary for me to visit the customer prior to the job being executed. This way I can ensure that I have enough people on hand and that our logistics are in order. I want to make sure in advance if there are any obstacles, such as if there is an elevator at the location, and then schedule a pick-up time that works best for the customer.
The customer has nothing to worry about. We have our own transport or a trusted carrier to handle large shipments that are too heavy or too much for us to handle alone. Our colleagues are all screened and have a clean record, so you can trust that your items are in good hands.
Once we arrive at our secure building, everything is unloaded and stored safely. If you have any sensitive data on the data carriers, don’t worry, I’ll make sure it’s locked away in our safe.”
As someone who is not an expert in ITAD, what advice would you have for me in understanding the importance of implementing an ITAD program?
“Maybe I’ll first explain what ITAD is. IT asset Disposition (ITAD) is a term I hear more and more. We didn’t use this term a few years ago, but what we mean by this is actually the proper disposal of IT hardware. An important part is reuse.
Consider whether your depreciated hardware can still be used by other people or even other companies. It is better for the environment and people who do not have much to spend or starting entrepreneurs and schools can make good use of it. Often the written-off hardware is also worth some money, especially when large numbers of hardware are involved in one batch.”
Can you share an interesting or unusual IT equipment that you’ve worked on?
“We sometimes receive hardware that is slightly newer than usual, which is fun research.”
What’s the funniest incident that happened in the department?
“It’s been 7 to 8 years since the great pallet debacle of 2015 (or was it 2016? Time flies). My colleague and me on the road in the trusty company bus, complete with a tailgate ready for action. Our mission: pick up a pallet from one of our regular customers. Usually, it’s a breeze. But this time, fate had other plans…
As we pulled up to the customer’s business premises, we lowered the tailgate to load the pallet, like we’ve done a million times before. Little did we know, this pallet was a monster – in no time the lifting point on which the tail lift was welded tore! Don’t worry, no one was hurt and we switched to plan B: we muscled that pallet into the bus, manual-style. Lucky for us, it was a beautiful sunny day, so it didn’t take too long.
Fast-forward to today, the company bus has been upgraded and the new version (and tailgate) can easily handle a large shredding machine and many kilos more!”
What’s the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on and had to think outside the box to solve a problem for a client?
“At our company, we recently completed a project in Amsterdam where we were tasked with wiping on-site servers for a customer. Our goal was to wipe the data carriers in the servers without having to take them off-site. So in this case, we need to figure out how to start or boot from the network. We were dealing with an exceptional situation here.
The setup consisted of 19 inch racks that housed the servers and data carriers. Our team was faced with the challenge of booting the servers off the network. So, we came up with a solution by building a wipe server. This server was then taken to the customer and we set up our own network there to delete all data.”
Ghaliet, who was responsible for the project, says, “We were able to overcome the technical challenges and successfully complete the job to the customer’s satisfaction. Our team is proud of the solution we came up with and the success of the project.”
Can you share a fun fact about the TD department or the company culture?
At our company, we have a family-like atmosphere. Sure, we have our differences, but at the end of the day, we are all on the same team and working towards a common goal.
As for me, I see myself staying with the company for the rest of my career. The atmosphere here is always, as we say in Dutch, ‘gezellig’ (yes, look it up!), and with the recent expansion of our company building, I’m excited to welcome even more colleagues to our technical team and logistics.
In conclusion, it was a pleasure to have Ghaliet share his experiences with us. His dedication to 7Digits and passion for delivering successful projects is truly inspiring.
Discover the exciting and dynamic world of ITAD with 7Digits. With a focus on secure processes. With special thanks to Ghaliet, Head of Technical Services, for the exclusive insight into the approach and services of 7Digits.
I hope this interview gave you an in-depth understanding of the importance of ITAD and the services available to businesses. With 7Digits, you can trust that your end-of-life IT equipment is in good hands.
Author: Mieke Woudenberg