In the lead up to CapRE’s 2019 Data Center Forecast East on January 31st, our very own Mike Phillips had a chat with CapRE Media’s Josh Anderson focused on how BTECH is looking to contribute to the conversation around how the data center market will grow and evolve in 2019 and beyond.
You can read the entire Q&A with Mike here, but we’ve pulled out some highlights below:
Josh: Thanks for chatting with us today, Mike. What’s the latest with BTECH?
Mike: We’ve been busy, and in the lead up to 2019, we’ve been focused on ways to better enable our customers, especially as their needs in the data center evolve - we’ve developed tools that we’ve rolled out to some of our larger customers, tool that help them better manage multiple hardware devices behind one firewall. We also have developed several applications that help manage a battery asset through its entire life cycle. This allows our customers to optimize their overall investment in batteries. We’re also excited about something we call Reserve Power Management or RPM – The idea behind RPM is - how can we package all that we can do to help customers manage and monitor their battery systems and use it to create one comprehensive solution that can stay with a system from cradle to grave.
Battery monitoring is more than just collecting data. It’s creating an action plan around what to do with the data that results from the monitoring. That’s everything from making sure the battery system is reliable and safe, but also leveraging that data as a financial tool to identify where you’re going to need to replace batteries and how to forecast budget for future battery needs.
Josh: What industry trends are you seeing and how are those trends impacting BTECH’s strategy?
Mike: There’s been a lot of consolidation over the last five to seven years, many of the small to midsize enterprise accounts have now moved their operations to a wholesale colocation or other type of larger commercial data center supplier. That has changed the nature of it. If you don’t make a concerted effort to supply product and services to the big wholesale operators, then you’re going to struggle to be relevant.
Josh: So what should attendees at CapRE’s 2019 Data Center Forecast East know about BTECH?
Phillips: BTECH’s product is the benchmark for the industry. BTECH is one of the few independent full-service suppliers in the market. Most of our competitors are hardware purveyors. For instance, we offer remote monitoring to the customer, which means that we’ll collect the data, analyze it and make it actionable for them. Very few of our competitors have that kind of capability. None of them have the battery asset management and forecasting tools that BTECH has – most of our competitors produce an alarm that tells you that you have a problem. There’s no real focus on creating something comprehensive that can really deliver value in terms of efficiently managing the entire battery asset.
We’re definitely excited about the upcoming show in Dulles, and we’re looking forward to touching base with some of our customers and partners… a CapRE event is the perfect opportunity to meet with folks outside of the day-to-day facility responsibilities. The CapRE events allow BTECH to engage the industry in what’s new and novel. And since edge computing and edge data centers have come up a lot, I’m excited to hear more about how that data center product is going to evolve.
CapRE: And what’s 2019 looking like for BTECH?
Phillips: It’s looking good, in fact in the new year, BTECH will supply over one thousand systems to one particular customer… that is significant, and it is indicative of how, not just this customer, but how many companies are seeing tremendous value in solutions that help them eliminate risk and mitigate any perception of degraded customer service. In basic terms, we’ll be collecting over 480,000 data points on a daily basis. And that’s just one customer – we do that for many customers. BTECH collects, manages, and reports on a lot of data!
And the challenge with collecting a lot of data in the data center, whether you’re talking about storage, servers, power, UPS, whatever, is: What do you do with it? So, what’s different is that we collect data around how the battery is performing, based on maintenance intervals and our own monitoring and measuring. Then we bring our algorithms to bear on top of that data to actually make it useful….actionable. The information or the intelligence that the user is seeing is about what’s going on with my batteries? how long are they going to last? and what should I do next? That kind of data is actually helpful. One of the things that sets BTECH apart is that we’re not a set limit product, We’re a rate of change product. Our goal is to tell a customer that they’re going to have an issue before they have it – before they ever cross that critical threshold.