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Havenga: focusing on the Gulf

Havenga: focusing on the Gulf



‘Gulf will continue to be a focus for us’

As part of its MEA operations, Vertiv’s focus is to ensure that its technologies fulfil its local customer requirements to optimise their operations, says Pierre Havenga, MD of Vertiv, MEA, in an interview with Pummy Kaul

July 2017

Vertiv, the business formerly known as Emerson Network Power, officially relaunched itself under its new branding in the Middle East.

Vertiv is a global provider of mission-critical infrastructure technologies for vital applications in data centres, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments.

The company, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio (US), has more than 20,000 employees and 28 manufacturing and assembly facilities worldwide.

It will continue to build on the broad portfolio of product and service offerings for power, thermal and IT management capabilities it previously offered as Emerson Network Power, including its industry-leading flagship brands ASCO, Chloride, Liebert, NetSure and Trellis.

Backed by over 255 service centres worldwide, with over 3,000 service field engineers and more than 400 technical support/response people, Vertiv is able to support customers wherever they are across the globe.

The company is actively involved across the GCC in projects such as Expo 2020 and FIFA 2022 helping to ensure the technology in this region always works.

The GCC falls under its Europe Middle  East and Africa (EMEA) region operations, and this region has nine manufacturing and assembly locations, over 60 service centres, over 535 service field engineers, and four customer experience centres, one of which is in the UAE. Within the GCC, its largest markets are UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The company has also been involved with a project for the University of Dammam. As the University continues to grow and develop its academic capabilities, their data centre needed to be expanded accordingly. Along with supporting the increased use of data, the University’s key goal was to boost efficiency in IT operations and maintenance. To address these growing demands, the University of Dammam found Vertiv to be the ideal partner for their new, state-of-the-art data centre. This project received the Uptime Institute Tier III certification and the data centre is expected to have an availability of 99.982 per cent.

“The Gulf has always been a strong market and will continue to be a focus for Vertiv going forward; we plan to continue to work with both existing customers and new customers, while also growing the local network of technology distributors and resellers,” said Pierre Havenga, managing director of Vertiv in Middle East and Africa in an interview with Gulf Industry. Excerpts from the interview:

 

What prompted Emerson Network Power to rebrand itself to Vertiv?

Since Emerson Network Power’s conception, it has spent many years building its reputation as one of the most highly-respected, trusted and leading companies in the data centre and IT market worldwide.

In December 2016, Platinum Equity purchased Emerson Network Power in its entirety. We are no longer part of Emerson and therefore developed a new brand identity under the company name Vertiv.

Vertiv designs, builds and services mission critical technologies that enable vital applications for data centres, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments.

The sale to Platinum Equity was the culmination of a year-long effort to develop a company separate from Emerson that could maintain laser focus on critical infrastructure and move at the speed required to stay a step ahead of customers’ needs. Platinum Equity will support Vertiv’s growth and product innovation every step of the way, both organically and through prospective add-on acquisitions. This will be positive to our company, to our customers and to the fast-paced markets we serve.

 

What benefits do you think will the renaming of the company bring?

Vertiv is now a more agile and nimble company, and will be able to operate with greater freedom and speed to make business strategy and investment decisions. This enables Vertiv to move quickly like a start-up and provide further focus on the needs of our customers.

We also have a deep understanding of the market and of the growing infrastructure needs for modern data centres, communication networks and commercial and industrial facilities. Our long standing history with Emerson has given us deep experience and knowledge in the industry that enables Vertiv to offer the most advanced products and services to customers.

In summary, we have the zest of a new company but will build on a strong foundation of industry leading brands, proven solutions, a global footprint, financial stability, marquee customers and thousands of dedicated employees.

 

What solutions does Vertiv offer to industrial sector? Which sectors does it cater to and specialise in? What are the advantages of the solutions in terms of efficiency and cost savings?

We provide configured or custom-made Chloride Industrial power systems to meet any specific industrial need in various market segments. In the Middle East, a majority of the products are customised to comply with customer specific operating conditions from oil and gas, power generation and distribution, to manufacturing and light industries.

We are known in the market for our world-class efficiency products, and will continue to invest to further enhance and maintain our mission critical technologies.

 

Vertiv has had long ties with the Gulf. How successful has Vertiv been in the Gulf with regards to its offerings for these sectors?

Vertiv brings over 35 years of experience in the region, supplying products and solutions to all market segments including transportation, oil and gas, communication and financial sectors. For instance, many airports in the region are supplied with Vertiv products. Moreover, the largest (sq m) modular data centre in the Middle East and Africa region has also been deployed by Vertiv within the GCC. Vertiv has also supplied the region’s first and largest explosion proof UPS in industrial application. These are just a few examples of some of the sophisticated projects Vertiv has executed in this region.

 

How have Vertiv’s inputs raised efficiency, reduced operational costs and effected environmental benefits at those plants?

In the field of AC Power, our standard grade Liebert UPS systems deliver unsurpassed performance to data centres all over the world. With unit capacities ranging from less than 1 kW to more than 1 MW, we offer a complete range of efficient, reliable UPS systems that can be configured to meet the specific needs of our customers’ critical applications.

We also provide configured or custom-made Chloride Industrial power systems to meet any specific industrial need. Moreover, the NetSure DC power management platform can reduce costs and simplify power architecture while providing maximum availability.

Our systems are flexible as our customers’ changing needs, and offer the highest level of power availability, while facilitating reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), minimum energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

In the thermal management field, Vertiv’s solutions offer the world’s most reliable, sustainable and cost effective management of heat for your critical spaces. Using high-performance thermal management systems, our customers are able to improve the protection of data centres and critical IT spaces, while reducing operating costs and enhancing their revenue potential.

Within the Unified Infrastructure & Integrated Solutions space, we combine our complete power, thermal and IT management offerings with our extensive IT expertise to deliver comprehensive infrastructure solutions. These offerings, ranging from single racks to entire structures, are pre-configured and fabricated at a Vertiv facility, then delivered to customers either in a plug-and-play format or in a modular format that can be deployed by the customer over time.

We design, build and continually develop new technologies that are redefining our space. With solutions that are intelligent, self-optimising and rapidly deployable, our customers can continually meet their IT challenges and demands.

 

What is Vertiv’s business focus for the year 2017 and what are the plans to add new products/solutions?

We are continuously investing in research and development (R&D) and innovating technologies across our offerings. For example, we are investing on our thermal management portfolio so as to achieve even higher energy efficiencies than today. This will be possible through a more pervasive use of advanced software and controls, which allow to monitor and optimise the entire system by providing cooling only where and when it is needed. In this light we have recently launched the new ICOM control platform which is implemented in all our thermal management units, and we will continue to further build on its algorithms so that it can become an even more sensible “brain” driving increased efficiencies.

With regards to our AC and DC power offerings, we are investing in optimising all our systems for use with lithium-ion batteries as these bring an entire series of advantages: higher density, lower footprint, longer life expectancy and wider temperature ranges which can be crucial in hotter climates. Moreover, new advanced controls, converters and diagnostic systems will help us reach higher efficiencies and power densities, along with increased levels of protection and availability of critical loads.

We are also investing in broadening our micro-edge offering, integrating and orchestrating our UPS, thermal management, power distribution, monitoring and infrastructure management systems in cohesive plug and play solutions for a broad range of applications.

As part of our MEA operations, our focus is to ensure that Vertiv technologies fulfill our local customer requirements to optimise their operations with the highest levels of availability and reliability in all market segments. At the same time, we are looking at reinforcing our partnerships and growing the local network of technology distributors and resellers.

 

What plans does the company have to boost its business in the region?

We have identified a number of data centre trends both globally and for the region which will continue to shape our strategies moving forward, as we work towards supporting our customers in protecting their critical technologies:

Data Centre Infrastructure management (DCIM) proves its value: DCIM is continuing to expand its value, both in the issues it can address and its ability to manage the increasingly complex data centre ecosystem. Forward-thinking operators are using DCIM to address data centre challenges, such as regulatory compliance, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), and managing hybrid environments. Finally, colocation providers are finding DCIM a valuable tool in analysing their costs by customer and in providing their customers with remote visibility into their assets.

DCIM has emerged as the precursor to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the data centre, delivering the visibility, increased coordination across systems and support for automation that are at the core of the IIoT value proposition. Data Centre Design and deployment are becoming more integrated: Technology integration has been increasing in the data centre space for the last several years as operators seek modular, integrated solutions that can be deployed quickly, scaled easily and operated efficiently. Now, this same philosophy is being applied to data centre development. Speed-to-market is one of the key drivers of the companies developing the bulk of data centre capacity today, and they›ve found the traditional silos between the engineering and construction phases cumbersome and unproductive. As a result, they are embracing a turnkey approach to data centre design and deployment that leverages integrated, modular designs, off-site construction and disciplined project management. Vendors that bring together infrastructure expertise, design and engineering capabilities and sophisticated project management to deliver a turnkey capability can build better data centres faster.




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