Feature

Emerson Network: Eyes on Solution Business

With the huge amount of disruption happening on the market place, the established players are also feeling heat and trying to change their business model to be relevant to the market place.

“If you are not going to adapt then you are made for something else”
Ankesh Kumar, Channel Products & Marketing-India, Emerson Network Power

On the background of Emerson Electric Co. being demerged making its Network Power unit, the least-profitable division (as quoted in various global reports) separate entity and explore options for other operations to help pump up earnings and a sagging stock price, there are rumours and apprehensions started flying, a nonchalant Ankesh Kumar, Channel Products & Marketing-India, Emerson Network Power deflects all the questions around the speculations and rumours but maintained that whatever is happening at corporate level is better for the better alignment for the changing business practices. And, there is no change in Emerson Network Power’s strategy for now.

[/quote] This is a blatant truth that we are going through uncertainty. Previously one knew his/her requirement from the technology perspective – be it server, storage, networking, power or cooling, etc. He knew the road map of the technologies implementation. But the way the technology is changing now and the business environment is changing now – a lot of startups are coming up and suddenly becoming large organizations and revving their infrastructure suddenly without any planning, is something very new to the industry. Therefore modularity and granularity is becoming the call of the day. The power availability and the cost and need of real estate enhancing the possibility of solutions’ availability in cloud is also posing a different set of challenges.

That is where the movement is happening and the partners do not know how to scale up and address the challenges as the customers do not know which technology is better. Having grown big, the customers need around compliance, security and availability is also growing.

Ankesh said, “If you are of 30-40 employee organization, you do not need availability model but once your organization grows you need to be looking at the availability model, which gives ROI.”

He maintained, “When we looked out our products portfolio, which are the physical infrastructure solutions can be combined as a rack and row and come with all equipment and management, we found that 70-72% of the hardware component which goes into the deploying such infrastructure is manufactured by us. So we decided that instead of going in bits and pieces, or breaking it product wise we should consolidate. So today even a customer needs a single rack of solution he does not need to bother about compliance, security and availability. It is door delivered ensuring the best of the form factor and best of the energy solutions. He does not need to bother about where he needs to do flooring or electrical wirings, etc. Everything is being taken care of. He can move the infrastructure from anywhere to anywhere. Today he may be having requirement of single rack with 3 kVA power but tomorrow as he grows to 6 kVA to 30-to 40 to 100 kVA needs. We can make that available to him without having to dismantle the existing infrastructure.”

Emerson is calling it as the Smart Solutions, which is nothing but integrated infrastructure and customer only needs to start putting server, storage and networking on top of it without needing a special room or specialised environment.

Ankesh adds, “Our solutions starts from the rack and goes upto the row and to the room. We also have solution which is based on containers. If you have the remote site and you need the data centre, we have the container full of solutions which are good enough to kick start your operation without much of worries.”

So when we call solution even for example the single rack comes with battery, monitoring devices, security, door alarm, fire alarm and active cooling, etc. and it starts from 1 kVA and goes upto 6 kVA. Then if the requirement grows further, then one can go for SmartRow, which goes from 10 kVA to 40 kVA. If the customer has the 80 kVA then he can go for two SmartRows. And then if the customer wants a pre-fabricated data centre, the company also can offer that. As per Ankesh, Emerson Network Power is working with a lot of telecom companies for container based data centres. The container comes pre-fabricated with the customer’ requirement and just goes to the site where customer needs it. Ankesh also maintains that Emerson has created a huge container based data centre for Facebook and also working with an Indian customer as well.

In accordance to the recent changes in the market place including internet boom and increased mobility, every services and every company irrespective of startups or large organizations trying to embrace internet and trying to create app based services. This has created a lot of pressure in terms of having a very robust infrastructure. People want to develop more and more data base solutions where everything is dependent on the backbone. One side people are talking about virtualization the other side people talking about putting everything on cloud. So also they are talking about to keep certain applications in-house and others in cloud and various other combinations.

Big data and IoT are happening very fast. The only problem what I see is the connectivity. So though we are talking about the connectivity is still the issue. Telecom companies are also improving their networks. However 4G has also been roll outs and Emerson is actively working with the telecom providers to roll out 4G solution.

Ankesh adds, “What we are hoping is the upgradation of the data centre because there are many data centres which are of very old (10-12 years). They updated their IT systems but the cooling systems are still not upgraded. Also the overall data centre infrastructure market is also booming. And companies are looking at creating modern data centres. It means they can access to real-time alert from the data centre to even rack-level and equipment-level alerts.”

Earlier the hardware piece in the Data centre is moving into software. Earlier all the components were working independently. Now since one component is affecting others. The customers want some sort of tools or controller which can offer them the single view of entire data centre.

With this backdrop, Ankesh maintains, “Recently the time and technology have become very disruptive. You do not know what is going to come. Earlier there used to be some kind of predictability. For example nobody in India imagined (2-3 years back) mobile apps can be of so famous and effective. You can do shopping through apps which is happening today and it is needing optimised data centre.”

Partners’ landscape

Today the partner ecosystem is also changing and they are more and more getting into services and solution selling. Reason being the online properties including Amazon, Flipkart and myriad of others are taking the price game to a different level and a partner cannot compete with them. So they want to increase their value by offering services and solutions, which enables them profitability and margin.
Ankesh adds, “As a vendor we cannot do the services and solutioning – we only do the training and enabling. Today for example, if we want to sell 3 KVA to 10 KVA there are ten competition in this space and our only focus will be on pricing. But if we integrate my rack, cooling and software the game changes. This is where the partners play a big role.”

Finally…

“So for the partners they should watch out for the current trends. We never thought of the public calling booths will disappear and today actually it is nowhere. If you are not going to adapt then you are made for something else – especially in the technology industry where things are changing very fast!” he concludes.

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