Vertiv specialises in designing, building, and servicing essential technologies that enable its clientele to effectively manage and optimise their digital operations.
As a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, Vertiv provides a broad range of power, thermal, and IT and edge infrastructure, solutions and services within three areas, namely; Data centres, Communication networks, and Commercial and industrial.
Vertiv is a US $5.7-billion company, with 27 000 employees worldwide. The company has a global presence, with 24 manufacturing and assembly locations on six continents.
Vertiv moved to its new office and customer experience in Lagos (Nigeria) barely three months after the opening of the African head office in Jo’burg, a demonstration of the company’s efforts to player bigger in the market(s).
Karsten said, already, the company accounts for 220 service centres, more than 3 500 service field engineers, about 220 technical support/response resources, and 19 customer experience centres.
In how many African countries is Vertiv currently present?
Vertiv has offices in the following five countries: Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and South Africa.
In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, there are 10 manufacturing and assembly locations, more than 65 service centres, around 650 service field engineers, more than 100 technical support and response resources, and five customer experience centres.
How does Vertiv manage its presence in Africa according to regions? What are its main hubs within the continent?
Vertiv has divided the continent into five sub-regions and established offices in Lagos (Nigeria); Cairo (Egypt), Casablanca (Morocco), Nairobi (Kenya), and Johannesburg (South Africa).
In addition, we have representation (by partners) throughout the continent.
Why is Africa as a region important to Vertiv’s global business strategy, and what is the ‘Africa for Africa’ initiative that the company has put in place?
Karsten has this to say:
As organisations increasingly rely on digital infrastructure, Vertiv plays a vital role in ensuring the uninterrupted operation of critical systems and applications. Furthermore, as data centre growth around Africa continues to rise, this means that Africa plays a significant role in our global strategy.
If we briefly look at information around the rise of data centres within the African region, we find the following:
According to a 2022 study release by Xalam Analytics, a digital infrastructure investment consultancy, the African data centre market has been showing a remarkable growth surge and has become one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for commercial data centre deployments.
The study, The African Date Centre Gigawatt, shows that African data centre providers have spent a cumulative $2 billion (R35 billion) on building data centre facilities during the period 2017/2018 to 2022, bringing to market more than 200MW of fresh commercial IT load capacity – which, according to the report, was more than over the entire previous decade.
In its report, Xalam covered Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire.
Xalam says around 70 new facilities were built during a five-year period, with 2022 the biggest year of construction to date. It further notes that Africa’s commercial data centre hosting capacity has surged and is now doubling every three years.
And so, returning to the role that Vertiv has to play: the ‘Africa for Africa’ project focuses strongly on meeting our local clients’ needs. We are currently creating a new internal structure that focuses strongly on leveraging African skills and knowledge within our team, as well as setting up local manufacturing with expansion plans.
In addition, we are also establishing offices close to customers, that incorporate Customer Experience Centres and Showrooms, and growing our African network of authorised partners and service providers on both the sales and service sides. The initiative is aimed at addressing our African clients’ needs and we’re doing this by creating a new internal structure that focuses strongly on leveraging local skills and knowledge within our team.
As previously outlined, our teams of Vertiv experts are based in five main locations on the continent, namely Cairo (Egypt), Casablanca (Morocco), Lagos (Nigeria), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Nairobi (Kenya). Each office is equipped with the latest technology in our Customer Showrooms, which provide presales, sales and service authorisation courses.
I see exciting times ahead for Vertiv in Africa, as we now have more independence and focus within the company’s EMEA regional division. Overall, we have been gearing up for growth this past year, and will continue to do so moving forward.
How long has Vertiv been in Nigeria?
Vertiv began our business operations in Nigeria in 2002 and officially registered the entity in 2006.
What role does Nigeria play in Africa’s digital transformation journey?
Nigeria’s global strategic importance derives from its position as having Africa’s largest population and also its largest economy, as outlined by a 2023 report from the Oxford Business Group.
Nigeria is an important country, both politically and economically, in West Africa. As noted by National Geographic, it is richer than all other West African nations and holds considerable power. Nigeria’s most important export is oil, more than half of which is shipped to the United States.
As a business, Vertiv has placed serious focus on the African region, and Nigeria is a critical country for us, due to its strategic importance in the region. With around 70 percent of the Nigerian population under 30, this bodes well for the ongoing digitalisation of the country, as it is today’s youth in particular who are comfortable with the online world.
Which sectors are of importance to Vertiv locally?
Vertiv has a strong presence in the education, government, healthcare, manufacturing, railway, retail and telecommunications verticals.
Please tell me more about the new Customer Showroom?
The Lagos Customer Experience Centre provides customers with the opportunity to get up close and personal with Vertiv’s diverse range of critical infrastructure solutions for applications from the edge of the network to the cloud.
These include :
- Vertiv SmartCabinet – a pre-configured, self-contained solution that offers efficiency, economy, interoperability, and control; and
- Vertiv Liebert EXS UPS – optimised and integrated three-phase uninterruptible power supply (UPS) solution with high efficiency power protection.
In addition to the products physically available at the showroom, Vertiv offers the experience of its large-scale modular data centres, power and cooling solutions through virtual reality (VR) to African customers.
Using our VR offering, clients can embark on a unique virtual trip to experience Vertiv’s solutions capabilities, giving both novices and seasoned experts of Vertiv products a way to fully understand the entire layout of an edge solution.