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Conferences and expos are always a good place to explore new product and solutions offerings – DatacenterDynamics Converged 2012 in London was no exception. Schneider Electric used this important gathering to give an advanced demonstration of the features incorporated into a new DCIM software package aimed at co-location service providers.
This new version of StruxureWare Data Center Operation for Co-location goes well beyond the specifics of ensuring an efficient colocation data center and adds a new layer of insights which will help in the relationship between the company supplying services and customer on the receiving end. I spoke with Soeren Brogaard Jensen, VP Solutions Software at Schneider Electric about this new addition, and particularly about the differences which will be incorporated.
Soeren told me that for all types of companies which Schneider Electric classify as “data center as a business” (i.e., those involved in wholesale, retail and managed services and cloud providers) the requirement from data center software goes beyond the core operations of a facility. “We’ve been working closely with about a dozen global co-los, as well as smaller local service providers, to really try and fully understand their problems and issues in order to help them to provide a more efficient service to their customers.”
“What we found is that most co-los have inefficiencies in the way they externalise the data on which they make very critical business decisions,” Soeren continued. The upfront informational requirements in the sales cycle, from an understanding of criticality or availability levels, to the cost structure and cage utilization, can be very complicated especially when considering multiple data center sites or geographic locations.
An easy way to get started with data center software was required: “We started by adding functionality to help the co-los to digitize the CAD drawings of their data centers, as well as the underlying data foundation, so that it can be quickly turned into something which can be used to make decisions,” said Jensen. “With this information we can start to query and model data so that they can provide useful insights to their customers about the services they are buying.”
In doing this, Schneider Electric has created a faster and more reliable way for the end customer to understand what’s behind the services which they are buying. So the data center software fulfills a wider role than managing capacities for an efficient facility, it provides understanding about what’s available to sell: “An extra 5% utilization in a data center goes straight to the bottom line,” said Jensen.
Extending the services is a key theme of the new software package from Schneider Electric so that the customer receives a more insightful view of what they’re buying and the co-lo can visualize the services in a much more effective way than ever before. StruxureWare Data Center Operation for Co-location is available now and interested companies should contact Schneider Electric.
“Competition is increasing,” Soeren said, “and most co-los have told me that they want to differentiate themselves with services they provide, the visualization of those services and the ease of doing business with them. We can help them with all of that, so they can turn these things to strategic advantage.” StruxureWare Data Center Operation for Co-location is available from January 2013.