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Innovative products and professional services give Schneider Electric and end users the edge

Amid rising energy costs, businesses worldwide are placing a greater emphasis on their energy efficiency and sustainable development strategies to ensure their profitability and, frankly, their existence in the future economy. 

Yet for the majority of these organisations, energy efficiency is neither their core business nor do they have the capacity to establish a dedicated division internally, which leads business managers to seek the expertise of external energy management advisors that have both the services and solutions to assist them in moulding themselves into viable companies that are advantageously geared for tomorrow’s opportunities.

Recognising this need for a specialist partner, Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy managements, has developed its professional services based on using technology to improve end users’ efficiencies and communications, while making current and new markets accessible to them in faster, more competitive ways.

“We have robust professional services available at Schneider Electric and these include IT consulting and integration services, energy management services and sustainability services,” explains Shaun Wilson, director of Professional Services at Schneider Electric South Africa.

Within its IT consulting and integration services offering, Schneider Electric covers the full IT life cycle using recognised frameworks for best practices and security processes to help its clients compete in an ever-changing world market.

“What this means is that we empower smart businesses with leading technology through consulting, integration and IT outsourcing. From planning and implementation to harnessing next-generation efficiencies - like cloud computing and virtualisation - our comprehensive portfolio of services and solutions covers the full IT lifecycle,” says Wilson.

“Our portfolio includes services and solutions for data centres, IT infrastructures management, IT security, software development and innovation, applications management and enterprise and business services,” he explains.

In addition to IT support across a wide range of business segments, Schneider Electric also develops solutions for specific fields such as healthcare, cloud and mobility innovation to help optimise business operations, offering global capabilities to support the energy management and sustainability programmes of companies in order to ensure that they achieve maximum return on their energy investments.

“Off-the-shelf solutions can’t match the comprehensive, personalised approach taken by our energy and sustainability consultants. Our decades of experience conducting energy analysis, completing planning studies and developing detailed action plans for all types of facilities around the world will help you identify, plan and sustain optimal energy savings for your business.

“Schneider Electric believes effective energy management begins and ends with strategy. That’s why our energy management life cycle addresses questions at five key stages,” says Wilson.

The most fundamental of these stages is “what is my strategy?” as having the right energy strategy is critical to a business’ success.  In is well known that today’s organisations are faced with unpredictable energy costs, stressed electrical grids, environmental concerns, legal mandates and, in certain cases, aging facilities. “Schneider Electric can assist a business to stay on top of everything it needs to know to optimise its energy strategy, through strategic energy planning and roadmaps, sustainability roadmaps, market research and analysis, and rebates and incentives,” he explains.

This initial stage is followed by “how do I buy?” – with focus placed on procurement and risk management, and then “how do I control?” – something that, according to Wilson, becomes straightforward with Schneider Electric’s metering design and commissioning as well as its StruxureWare software.

The fourth stage is phrased by Schneider Electric as “how do I optimise?”, which the company’s energy experts solve through energy projects, audits and workshops, certification assessments and renewable energy solutions to ensure that clients do more with their energy budget.

Being able to report progress is a key to the success of an energy and sustainability programme and strategy, and so the last stage “how am I performing?” becomes clear through an environmental footprint reporting, where Schneider Electric uses the right tools and support to measure a business’ current environmental footprint. That is, from establishing its baseline to tracking relevant data to managing performance.

“Our systems help internal and external stakeholders understand the factors that help a company achieve its energy and sustainability goals. Schneider Electric can thus assist in translating data into relevant performance metrics,” adds Wilson.

Schneider Electric’s sustainability services provide a complete suite of sustainability consulting to its clients, so as to lead them to true sustainable solutions through strategy, technology and project implementation.

“Sustainability pressures abound in today’s environment for businesses, cities, governments and global communities. Organisations proactively tackling these pressures need a customised sustainability strategy that addresses these ever-changing dynamics.

“Schneider Electric has a proven record of leading companies to thriving sustainability programmes across economic, environmental and social dimensions. Our approach helps clients accelerate their business performance,” says Wilson.

It is this combination of knowledge and technology with the professional services division of Schneider Electric that gives client the edge they need to effectively compete in an ever-challenging world market. According to Schneider Electric, it also “prompts 90 percent of our clients to renew”.

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