Unlike all of the hum-drum technologies that have surfaced throughout recent years, power protection arguably remains the most basic and necessary of them all. Whether it’s for the consumer or business, reliable power protection solutions ensure so much more than simply staying out of the dark for a number of industries, including healthcare and education. For a business, losing control of mission critical equipment can be unbearably painful (need we rattle off the statistics of Hurricane Sandy again?), however contrary to popular belief, this can happen due to an array of threatening sources.
I was able to speak with industry expert Bill Allen, marketing director at Minuteman UPS/Para Systems (News - Alert), who shed some insight on key drivers of 2012, the largest trends to look out for in 2013 and what the company has up its sleeves as we count down to the New Year.
Across the board, 2012 can be easily summed up in one word: mobility. The power protection space is no exception, where Allen listed “device manageability” as a fairly hot topic seen in the space this year, which gives users the ability to manage devices on their network when it comes to power via their mobile devices and other hand-held gadgets.
Something else which is being heavily seen is the emergence of remote power managers (RPMs), which have been highly favored this year for their unmatched cost efficiency and time saving capabilities. “As we all know, electronic devices do lock up periodically, and having the ability to reboot them from a PC, cell phone or tablet is a huge convenience for IT, telephone or security managers,” Allen tells me. Needless to say, the convenience of rebooting a device remotely boasts unparalleled benefits. This year, Minuteman revealed its all new Minuteman RPM Series 8 & 16-Port Remote Power Manager, which can control up to 16 devices from anywhere in the world.
Detailing some of the biggest trends impacting the market segment this year, Allen noted the amount of backup time for mission critical equipment.
“For several years, we have seen an increasing trend for businesses to increase the amount of backup time they have on mission critical equipment,” he says. “No longer is it acceptable for businesses to have minimal power backup - they are seeking hours of backup time - not minutes - on critical equipment. Since the cost of extended runtime UPSs able to support additional battery packs has come down, we expect this trend to continue.”
It also seems reasonable to agree that based on years past as well as this year’s monstrous mix of Mother Nature’s wrathful storms, businesses will be upping the ante as they move forward – and so does Allen. “I think the importance of power backup and disaster prevention will continue to be a hot topic given the perils businesses suffered because of hurricane Sandy and the earthquake on the east coast. If businesses did not think disaster planning and power backup were important prior to this year, they certainly know now that it's vitally important to be prepared. Lots of vulnerable businesses learned an expensive lesson if they were not fully prepared to withstand a power outage or disaster,” he says.
In fact, Allen recently visited a business that experienced a horrible outage on the last day of their fiscal year, leaving them without power for over six hours. In classic movie fashion, just when they thought things couldn’t get worse a rainstorm hit when their generator failed only an hour into the outage. What may be worst of all in this nightmarish scenario is that it wasn’t caused by a natural disaster but rather a truck that had run off of the road and taken out a power transformer close to the building.
“Power failures can be caused by some strange things beyond what Mother Nature can dish out,” Allen reiterates.
So what’s it going to take for the market to further grow as we kiss 2012 goodbye? In a nutshell, planning and preparedness.
“The key thing is awareness that there are solutions that can provide longer battery backup times. Business executives plus IT, telephone and security managers certainly should investigate solutions that will keep their business fully operational through even the toughest of circumstances,” Allen advises. “They should also re-visit their contingency planning and disaster recovery plans. Businesses areincreasingly understanding the importance of power backup, and I think a lot more executives are now aware of the pitfalls poor planning can bring.”
Minuteman is looking at an especially promising New Year, where the company will toast to fresh announcements, reveals and news. Allen was able to hint at some exciting new UPS products in 2013, in addition to some products that will help facilitate better visibility of power conditions across a company’s entire enterprise as well as allow more flexibility in managing and maintaining vital equipment.
“That's about all I can reveal at this time,” Allen says, “but we expect Minuteman will have another excellent year in 2013.”
To learn more about Minuteman UPS/Para Systems’ offerings, visit www.minutemanups.com.
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