Commercial and industrial assets such as ships, airports, manufacturing plants, oil rigs, or hospitals involve highly specialized systems that need power protection and cooling to keep these mission-critical applications secure and productive. The right services expertise is key to ensure long-term effectiveness of these Critical Power and Cooling systems.
To achieve Secure Power for mission critical environments that will last and perform over time, it’s important for both operators of the assets as well as the services providers to take a lifecycle approach. Under a life-cycle approach, you don’t just design, sell, and install the solution, but also assist the operator with training, preventive maintenance, and energy management over the solution’s life span.
One of the most important phases of the lifecycle is the commissioning or “handover” phase from solution provider to the operator of the asset. This phase should be a thorough process that goes beyond testing and commissioning to truly helping the operator optimize the Secure Power components from the very start and make sure that end-users are fully trained on the equipment.
The training element is very important in mission critical, non-IT environments, because the operations people who run assets like medical equipment might be experts with the equipment under their domain, but compared with data center staff, might not be as familiar with power protection solutions such as uninterruptable power supply (UPS) solutions.
Of course, the handover process must entail testing and commissioning of each piece of Secure Power equipment that gets installed. What’s more, because environments like a medical center or an airport often have mission-critical assets spread across multiple buildings, it’s important to know the precise location of each component of the Secure Power solution. Conversely, the critical systems and protective gear might be located within a tight space, like within a ship or in a hospital operating room, which also raises the importance of a precise mapping and genealogy on what has been installed.
The beauty of a good, thorough handover phase is that it sets the stage for smooth, efficient operations. For example, proper training helps to set the stage for preventive maintenance because the end-user/operators know how to spot potential problems before a failure occurs, or call in expert help when certain conditions occur.
The right services expertise for Secure Power applications needs to be both broad and deep. It is broad in the sense that there needs to be technical knowledge of many types of systems and subsystems found in buildings or industrial facilities. There is the need to know about electrical systems and power management, building systems, industrial process automation and machine management systems, access control systems, as well as, of course, knowledge of power and cooling equipment such as UPS.
The right services for Secure Power also need to be deep. There are two aspects to this. One is proper training and certification on the power protection and cooling equipment itself, as well as access to the latest parts and firmware updates. While certified engineers can provide this level of expertise, it’s crucial that the services partner is well trained and has access to the original equipment manufacturer spare parts, as well as the latest software updates.
The other aspect of “deep” services is industry expertise. This boils down to having the right people with experience in establishing Secure Power solutions in various vertical markets, such as field services engineers who’ve been on multiple projects for ships, at airports, or at hospitals. So not only do Secure Power services people need to be technically qualified, it’s important that they know the industry.
In summary, while a lifecycle approach is needed for Secure Power solutions in non-IT settings, what makes the approach excel or fail comes down to the details—details like good end user training and thorough handover processes; establishment of preventive maintenance practices; the technical and industry expertise of the services provider; and also access to genuine parts and software updates. Put all these details together, and you have a lifecycle approach that brings results.