Schneider Electric’s 4.0 tech for sustainable development

08:30 | 24/06/2019
As Schneider Electric continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary in Vietnam, the French corporation repeated its commitment to Vietnam’s sustainable future, driven by Industry 4.0 technologies. Morgan Duarte, new director of Schneider Electric IT Vietnam and vice president of Schneider Electric Vietnam, shared his thoughts with VIR’s Nam Phuong.
schneider electrics 40 tech for sustainable development
Morgan Duarte, new director of Schneider Electric IT Vietnam and vice president of Schneider Electric Vietnam

How will you tap into your professional experience to carry out your new role as Schneider Electric Vietnam’s new vice president and director of the IT Department (SEIT)? What is your vision?

I am very grateful to take on these new roles in which I am now responsible for three markets: Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar. I have had experience working at Schneider Electric for 10 years across many markets, including France, Taiwan, and Thailand. My mixed experience covers both the IT side and the electrical side, which helps me gain an integrated approach to the data centre market.

I always look to explore new technology and innovation. I also had two startup businesses before joining Schneider Electric, and I myself am a modest writer on system administration. I hope to leverage my diverse IT and electrical experience in bringing Schneider Electric Vietnam forward. Specifically, in this new role, I set the goal maintaining a close network of leading system integration experts, partners, and contractors to provide integrated solutions and technologies for market segments, such as cloud/telco, banking, manufacturing, and other industries.

My objective is to work in accordance of APC by Schneider Electric values and invest in people, products, and solutions to support the development of digital transformation, helping companies in Vietnam reach untapped markets or satisfy their needs of digital transformation.

As part of SE, I’ll also apply the company’s heritage of corporation in digital transformation in energy management and automation to SEIT, especially our key product EcoStruxure and the EcoStruxure IT ExpertTM, which is a very helpful tool for IT managers. We want to focus on segments that are booming in Vietnam such as cloud, finance and manufacturing, along with penetrating potential markets such as healthcare, commercial buildings, and education.

What is your view of the energy market in Vietnam? What challenges can you see?

Vietnam is definitely a hot market, not just for data centres but in general, thanks to its strong economic growth, dynamic population, government initiatives, and foreign investment. Vietnam specifically develops its economy in the context of Industry 4.0, which means the demand for energy will significantly increase.

From my observation, companies in Vietnam are growing very fast and each firm has a different need for energy and data centre usage. We have a significant challenge here – electricity supply cannot keep up with roaring demand. Although the amount of electricity generated is higher than last year (more than 10.7 per cent), the demand for this energy is also always at the peak.

As coal thermal projects continue to experience difficulties, Vietnam is betting on renewable energy sources such as solar or wind electricity. However, these are the very first steps and need much more effort from both local authorities and investors. All of these issues may lead to higher price for users and then increase the operation cost of businesses.

As a result, there will be higher demand for efficient energy management too, not only for big corporations but also small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs). This is a common problem for developing countries around the world.

Can you forecast the growth of the Vietnamese data centre segment? How does data centre help IT professionals in the market?

In 2007, the world saw an explosion in cloud business, which is now entering Vietnam in full force. The main needs of those cloud operators are usually reliability and efficiency. Another new trend is quite a challenge for IT professionals in Vietnam. Nowadays, companies have multiple sites with multiple IT infrastructures onsite, and unlike large data centres, those IT infrastructures can be left unmanaged until an issue happens.

With the digitisation of the economy, this part of the IT infrastructure is booming since a lot of equipment is now installed at the edge of the application for better customer experience. It usually requires connecting all that equipment to a management system, which can give them insight on how to improve their infrastructure while providing them with key information such as if someone is on site to provide support, and all the monitoring information.

Data centre management is undeniably critical to the operation of Vietnam-based companies, both manufacturing and commercial ones. It requires safety, availability, reliability, continuity, stability, and connectivity at all times.

Energy management, as a result, is one of the businesses’ biggest competitive advantages nowadays. Companies also realise that they can save lots of money with better energy management, reduce CO2 emissions, and develop their sustainability footprint. All of these goals are very important to companies in Vietnam nowadays.

Last but not least, how can SEIT Vietnam respond to these developments? What products and offers do you have for the market?

Schneider Electric, and SEIT Vietnam, will accompany the many trends and the growth in the Vietnamese energy market. As the leading company in digital transformation in energy management and automation, we’re happy to provide products and solutions for Vietnam’s booming data centres.

We have provided many customers with our products and solutions, both companies who have their own data centre and third parties who lease data centres for companies. One of the outstanding companies in data centres for rent is DTS. We provided the company with InfraStruxure and Rack, which solve some common problems of data centres such as sudden rises of power capacity. Moreover, our system helps reduce CO2 emissions to the environment, save electricity and consumption costs, aiming at green and sustainable development for customers in Vietnam.

Recently, we have developed a tool for IT managers called EcoStruxure IT ExpertTM – an open monitoring solution enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI). This tool is based on cloud data that allows companies to monitor their systems and also benchmark and analyse their efficiency. We’ve actually used AI on more than 450 million assets of ours, which can predict a failure before it happens. We believe that a full package solution of SEIT Vietnam can improve the reliability, availability, and efficiency of a data centre.

This year, we also have Innovation Day, where we’ll introduce some of our latest products, and explain in closer details about how we can help businesses improve their environmental footprint, make use of Industry 4.0, and manage their energy usage effectively.

To sum up, I’m very happy that Schneider Electric is celebrating its first 25 years in Vietnam this year. We’re committed to Vietnam’s sustainability efforts for the next 25 years and many more.

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