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Venkatraman Swaminathan, Vice President—IT Division, Schneider Electric

Image: Schneider Electric

Smart Manufacturing “Energy efficiency is the key to overcome challenges of energy demands”

Mar 23, 2018

…Venkatraman Swaminathan, Vice President—IT Division, Schneider Electric, in this interview with Suchi Adhikari, discusses the growing energy demands and the sustainable solutions in place to meet these demands. Excerpts…

Can you brief us on why data centres and networks are a high potential market for Schneider Electric in India?

Increasing reliance on data by organisations, emphasis on optimisation of business processes and the ‘Digital India’ initiative by the Government of India are some of the key reasons that are pushing the demand for data centres and networks in India. Added to that is the rise in digitisation with technology advancements such as IoT and simultaneous data generation due to smartphones,
social networking platforms, e-commerce platforms and government projects.

As per recent studies, India’s colocation and hosting market is expected to generate almost $2 billion in annual revenue by 2019, up from just $1.3 billion in 2016 with most of the growth focused on the metropolitan centres of Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Bengaluru. The report estimates a strong growth for the Indian public cloud market, which is expected to increase by a quarter every year through to 2021, reaching $1.02 billion in annual revenue. This is where Schneider Electric has a key role to play and can help in sustaining growth of data centres through its critical power solutions. By implementing integrated energy management solutions, one can potentially save up to 30% of the power requirement of data centres.

How is your company playing an important role in supporting the Indian IT industry?

Schneider Electric considers India as a market having immense strategic importance. The Indian IT sector is undergoing a transformation and Schneider Electric is uniquely positioned in the data centre and IT infrastructure market to leverage this transformation through its innovative products and best-in-class services and solutions.

We are committed to create a new world of energy in India and will continue to make investments in technologies which are safer, more efficient and sustainable. We believe that energy efficiency is the key to overcome the challenges of growing energy demands, rising energy costs and climate change.

Schneider Electric’s IT division offers span across different technologies, environments and segments, both in the IT application area and industrial application areas. These environments span from home and business networks, server room/IT room, edge computing, data centres, industries with critical process automation application areas, for example, healthcare, semiconductor, oil and gas, food and beverages, smart buildings and smart cities too.

With a global emphasis on energy savings, what steps in energy management is your company taking in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the Indian IT industry with reference to data centres?

Today, most of the things in every segment of human activity are controlled by data centres. However, the fact that data centres are energy guzzlers often goes unnoticed. Data centres consume 3% of the global electricity supply and account for 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions. By bringing together energy, automation and software, our IoT-ready EcoStruxure™ architecture delivers on the promise of sustainable development through connected products, edge control and apps, analytics & services. We have a unique set of energy efficiency technologies, strategically positioned on the demand side of the energy landscape. From connected products to digital services, the EcoStruxure architecture improves energy and operational efficiency globally.

Going forward, what would be your future plans and strategies for the Indian market?

The next wave of data centre improvement will be driven by the need for connectivity and using technology to enable our customers to effectively manage inherently complex environments. At Schneider Electric, we are moving beyond just providing the software tools and architectures, but are embarking on what we believe is a new integrated system between IT and OT. This will include the underlying digitised services to simplify the ecosystem and ensure the industry is being responsible with its use of energy.

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