Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vertiv President: Speeding decision making key for business in today’s EMEA

Giordano Albertazzi, Vertiv’s President EMEA, tells João Marques Lima about the contrasting opportunities across the region and the company’s evolution to serve a fast-changing market.

Long gone is the time when Europe would top the discussions over other markets such as the Middle East and Africa.

It is correct to say that the three are very different in nature but each have their unique characteristics that makes them a desirable space for business to companies such as mission critical equipment provider Vertiv.

Cloud infrastructure is being deployed at different speeds across EMEA, but recent developments, such as Microsoft’s announcement of two Azure data centres in South Africa, are changing some paradigms.

“We have opportunities across all the three regions,” said Albertazzi. “However, the sheer size is very different [in each market]. The size of the African markets compared to the size of the European markets is still much smaller.

“Europe comes from a very long history of infrastructure, so at the same time is more conservative. Whereas Africa leapfrogs a lot of technologies.”

In the cloud space, Albertazzi noted that he is seeing a bigger role of the incumbent telecoms in building the cloud in Africa and “to a good extent in the Middle East”.

He highlighted that the Western World, where many of the big cloud players are, very often do not have a telecom background.

“Being the telecom incumbent in the Middle East and in Africa certainly has an advantage for them in that respect, especially because a lot [of consumption is done through] mobile in those areas. They have privileged positions in that respect.”


Operating in the region

If telecoms and cloud players are finding their way in the region, for Vertiv, the market opportunity has never been bigger.

“The bulk of the growth as of now comes from colocation and the cloud space,” said Albertazzi.

“When we look at the market segments we cover, we talk about data centre and IT, communication networks and commercial and industrial.

“At this moment, the data centre and IT are the strongest. We also have a lot of focus on edge [computing] and IoT. We expect a lot of growth there.”

In order to obtain that growth, Albertazzi stressed that speed, both in delivering solutions but also adapting to market demands, has become a key factor when operating “in an extremely rapidly developing industry”.

“This is not just about the way we do business or the infrastructure. Speed is becoming incredibly important for our customers. It is really the deployment of speed.”

Across the whole region, Albertazzi pin points that decision making in the company has become faster than before.

“It is the type of culture we are fostering. A lot of the decision making is left locally, so we do not seek for big and long approval processes before making a decision.

“We are still very thorough in our decision making but we can be faster. This process has gone from months to days.”

As decision making processes are speed up, so is the investment to serve the region.

Albertazzi said: “We continue to invest in our micro data centre space. We are investing big time in our thermal technology, in the monitoring and controls, especially free cooling and evaporative technology.

“In the UPS space, we are focusing our attention to a lithium Ion battery applications.”


This article originally appeared in the Data Economy magazine. To read more on data centres, cloud and data, visit here