- Drive to reduce energy costs in data centers. What effects do these efforts have on the demand for certain types and sizes of UPS units?
- Is “Green Energy” clean energy? Does the increased use of Solar and Wind Energy create anomalies in the power grid? IAC would think that historically power companies only had to worry about the variability of the demand and then adjust the supply. Now, the supply will have variations. Do any of these smaller dispersed “green” power sources create problems synching up and transferring power to the grid? Does this decrease power quality and, by extension increase the demand for power protection products?
- Wind and Solar power sources will not match power demand or provide smooth power levels even on a short term basis. How can you smooth them out and/or “save” this energy for later use when it is needed? These storage systems would seem to be medium to very large UPS type systems depending on the size/scale of the installation.
- Power grid infrastructure: How will “smart grids” impact the market? Has the economic slowdown caused power companies to defer maintenance? Are things getting better or worse? The user perception here may be more relevant than the reality.
- Global Warming: Whether or not Al Gore is right, there seems to be a lot of really severe weather going on. These events can have severe impacts to power grids. Again, user perception is a key element.
- Move to centralized computer networks in enterprise environments. This would seem to lessen the need for small UPS as no critical data will be held on local terminals. The release of Windows 7 and Office S/W is causing some companies to reflect on enterprise architecture.
- Recent changes in computer s/w and h/w: With spinning hard drives and older O/Ss, a sudden power down could have impacts beyond losing the material the user was working on. Sometimes you had to re-load everything. Will Windows 7, solid state hard drives, and on-line backup/drive mirror systems change the value proposition of having UPS?
As we strive to answer these questions and provide guidance to the market direction the IAC team will be making extensive surveys and interviews within the user, product/sales channels, and supplier communities. We look forward to working with you whatever your role may be in the power protection market. Please look back to this space for future developments and interesting findings.