Thought Leadership and Insight from Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson

For this edition of CLOUDS AHEAD Datacloud spoke to Rob Johnson, CEO at Vertiv

Datacloud: What do you see as the future drivers for the industry?

There will continue to be disruption and innovation from the core to the edge. The edge – in all its forms – is obviously attracting a lot of attention right now. However, there’s still somewhat of a knowledge gap around edge. There’s a lot of hype out there, and much of it is flat-out wrong. At Vertiv, we’re focused on the reality of the opportunity for our customers. We don’t have all the answers – no one does. But we’re working hard to close the knowledge gap. For example, we published a report, as part of an ongoing internal research project, which outlines four key edge archetypes: data intensive, human-latency sensitive, M2M latency sensitive and life critical. The primary goal of our analysis is to help customers and partners better understand what the edge really means for them. Investing our time and resources and analysing edge use cases in this detail also shows Vertiv’s commitment to this space. Our research continues and we expect to publish more findings soon.

Datacloud: What regions within Europe do you see as primed for IT asset expansion?

Vertiv may be headquartered in the U.S., but we have a very strong presence, and heritage, in Europe with offices and manufacturing across the continent. Being on the ground in Europe in that way, and constantly in touch with customers and partners, gives us a lot of insight into growth in the region. For example, we recently had a very successful Innovation Summit event in Zagreb, Croatia. We had hundreds of attendees from across central and southern Europe including Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, and Poland. We see a lot of potential in that region right now as demand for new localized edge capacity emerges outside of the Tier 1 data center markets. Ireland is also obviously one of the hottest data center markets right now with hyperscalers and large colos adding a lot of capacity.

Datacloud: What is one of your goals for the next year and how do you expect to achieve it?

A key goal for the next year is to continue to grow and develop Vertiv as a standalone company. We want to continue to capitalise on our heritage but also demonstrate our agility and ability to embrace disruption like a start-up. We stand out from the competition because of that combination. Being a standalone company enables us to consolidate our position in existing core areas and grow into new adjacent markets. The acquisitions we’ve already made – of Geist and Energy Labs – also demonstrate our focus on expanding our product and services portfolio. We want to ensure that we can provide the breadth of solutions that customers with international reach increasingly require.

Datacloud: How can our sector help to improve society?

As our recent edge archetype research confirmed, digital transformation has the potential to dramatically improve society, from healthcare provision to transportation. However, that digital expansion also needs to be done in an efficient way. As a company focused on where the “rubber of digital tech meets the road of physical infrastructure,” we understand the importance of efficiency and sustainability. While new digital technologies come with an energy cost, they can also enable new efficiencies. For example, we recently introduced new initiatives such as “Energy-Savings-as-a-Service” that harness the data from IoT devices and other connected technologies. That information gives customers better insight into energy consumption and where real efficiencies can be made, which can benefit the customer and wider society.

Vertiv representatives will be at Datacloud Europe 2018 in Monaco June 12-14. Meet them there.