Company Profile: Eaton

Eaton acquires Powerware, a global leader in uninterrupted power systems.

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Company Profile: Eaton Karim Refas, head of channels for Middle East region, Eaton
By  David Ndichu Published  January 30, 2016

What is your company’s history-including Middle East History?

Initially founded in the United States in 1900 as a truck axel manufacturing business by inventor ViggoTorbensen and entrepreneur Joseph Eaton, Eaton has grown through acquisition and intelligent market decisions into the power management expert it stands as today. Currently, Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees worldwide and our 2014 sales totalled $22.6 billion.

Eaton has been operating in the Middle East for more than four decades, having contributed to the development of the region’s infrastructure with power management solutions that include growth through the acquisition of legacy brands Westinghouse, BILL, MEM, Cutler-Hammer, Powerware and Moeller.

What is your company’s core competence?

Eaton is a power management company, primarily functioning in the distribution of electrical and fluid power. We help customers manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power across a range of segments, including holistic solutions for the commercial construction industry.

Eaton supplies intelligent hardware (UPSs, PDUs, racks…) that could be seamlessly integrated, automated, and managed from any Platform, saving time and money, while ensuring the business continuity. Our strategic alliances include Cisco, EMC, Netapp to name a few.

Within the regional IT channel, Eaton works with partners across a variety of platforms, with a dedicated channel partner program. This is designed to ensure that we work closer with all our partners and ensure an environment of collaboration is emphasised. It is also an excellent opportunity for Eaton to reward and recognise the hard work of our partners and their on-going loyalty and commitment.

What are some of the trends impacting your sector?

Looking at the current market, everything is moving towards a software defined data centre. This means that the power supply should be intelligent and software friendly; the IT manager then gets visibility of the performance of the power backbone. Software integration should not be simply about creating a lot of data, but have the intelligence to manage its dependence on power, using the amount of power needed at any given time.

With regards to UPS systems, these are now able to support a virtualised environment, triggering the migration of machines in the event of power failure. We have a UPS that brings, together with the power infrastructure status, constantly available data directly through the virtualisation platform, meaning flexibility and integration for power infrastructure.

Energy efficiency has been an ongoing trend within the data centre market.  Auto adaptive architecture, where the UPS manages the capacity depending on the real time load demand, is key to this as it means power is not unnecessarily wasted. Even when operating in high efficiency modes, greater than 99 percent efficiency is delivered, without compromising reliability.

What is your presence in the Middle East?

Eaton employs more than 300 people in 15 offices across the region: with numerous manufacturing and sales offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Cairo, Dammam, Riyadh, Doha, Manama, Kuwait City, Amman, and Beirut.

Moving forward, Eaton has a number of plans for expansion and growth in the region with the aim of providing a greater local offering to our customers.

Describe some of your biggest successes in the region

Eaton has increased its footprint in the Middle East significantly over the past few years, firstly with the acquisition of Cooper Industries in 2012 and later with the opening of our new regional headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Dubai.

In addition, Eaton recently opened a new Component Assembly Centre (C.A.C) in Dubai. We are currently assembling Low & Medium Voltage Switchboards and Control Panels at this new Dubai Techno Park facility.

Eaton has a number of plans for expansion and growth. These aim to provide a greater local offering to our customers as well as further cement Eaton’s position as a leading player in the power management industry across the region.

What are your regional goals for the rest of the year and beyond?

Power in the IT segment is having a greater momentum, as all businesses are virtualizing their resources. This trend puts great pressure on legacy infrastructures unable to ensure the business continuity of these new platforms.

We see core sectors such as oil & gas, utilities, construction & infrastructure, and data centres as the main drivers for Eaton growth in the coming years. Our programs for 2016 will continue to support our partners around the main industry trends that impact the growth of their business in the market.

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