Nowadays, organizations across all industries are increasingly embracing digital transformation to ensure business continuity and thrive amid the ‘never normal.’ In the Philippines alone, experts believe that these transformations can unlock PhP5 trillion worth of economic value by 2030, says a recent AlphaBeta and Google report.
Consequently, enterprise spending on data centers continues to grow. These facilities are at the heart of a modern enterprise, providing storage, computing, and networking resources to support various applications that drive the business.
Emerging trends show that data center investments in the Philippines will rise to USD535 million by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.40 percent from 2021 to 2026. The Philippines is also second overall among Southeast Asian (SEA) countries in terms of development, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with several organizations planning to put up their data center sites in the country starting this year.
With the increasing number of organizations putting up their data centers in the country, Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, says it is integral to ensure that they partner with the right service provider for their facilities to avoid downtime.
A recent survey conducted by Uptime Institute revealed that IT downtimes have become more expensive despite being less pervasive than in previous years. These incidents caused 60 percent of respondents to lose more than USD100,000 to downtime.
“If you happen to experience unplanned downtimes in your data center, then you know how important it is to service and maintain your critical digital infrastructure properly. These facilities include crucial parts, such as precision cooling systems and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) units that work together to ensure business continuity. Since downtime can cost thousands every single minute, investing in professional data service providers is integral,” said Jason Lim, country manager of Vertiv Philippines.
‘More than just the costs’
Lim noted that when it comes to choosing a service provider for data centers, decision makers’ initial consideration is how much it will cost. However, while pricing is important, other factors are to weigh when deciding whom to trust while maintaining the critical facility. Some of these things to consider are as follows, as listed by Vertiv:
Quick to respond. Since downtimes can be costly, every single minute counts. So, it is vital to choose a provider who can respond quickly in case of an emergency. It also pays if the provider is in reasonable proximity to your facility and has guaranteed response 24/7 time within the area. Lastly, checking into priority scheduling policies to get a sense of how emergencies will be handled when you need a skilled set of hands on the scene fast is also important.
Availability of essential parts. Having the right parts make a difference in the way equipment function. These parts must be immediately available, especially in emergencies where time is crucial. So, it pays to look for a provider that maintains a large inventory of parts, factoring in the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), which must be as low as possible to ensure that the facility can get back up as soon as possible. Depending on the age of the IT infrastructure equipment, it also pays to check the availability of obsolete and/or OEM-discontinued parts.
Availability of firmware updates. Firmware updates should be performed during preventive maintenance visits to ensure the equipment is always up-to-date and properly maintained. While some third parties may offer their own firmware, the only way to optimize equipment performance is with proprietary upgrades from the OEM. These updates are also important, especially for newer, digitally designed, and controlled systems.
Training Protocols. Finding out whether there is a training or continuing education requirement for service technicians is essential to eliminate possible service-related human error. It also pays to ask and see a copy of current training credentials and certifications and check if the provider is specifically trained to service the brand of your equipment.
Safety Policy and Record. Aside from equipment-specific training, service providers must also have safety training to work around electric equipment. Check if the provider has a formal safety program in place. Find out if it conducts training and certification programs, has a good safety track record, and has earned a safety award or two from a reputable industry organization to know if it can be trusted to work around sensitive and critical equipment.
Helping Equip Service Providers
Given the crucial nature of digital infrastructure and its role in keeping businesses operational, efficient, and profitable, the choice of a service provider is not to be taken lightly.
For its part, Vertiv aims to ensure that it ticks all these factors for its customers. It brings together cutting-edge solutions and service offerings, helping ensure continuous uptime of critical operations so businesses can perform at their peak and maximize their resources.
Whether in a data center, communications facility, government agency, or industrial plant, the company collaborates with its customers to ensure uninterrupted operations, optimal performance, and scalability of data centers, communication networks, and other critical IT facilities.