Digitalisation World: Exclusive Q&A With Leo Craig

Riello UPS General Manager Leo Craig chats to Digitalisation World editor Phil Alsop about battery storage, Brexit, breaking world records, and more.

In a far-ranging interview for February’s edition of the leading online magazine for the data centre sector, Leo outlines both Riello UPS’s plans for 2019 and makes some predictions for the wider industry.

The discussion opens with updates some of our latest news. Firstly, it focuses on our extended five year warranty on all UPS up to and including 3 kVA. The topic then turns to product innovation, with the 400 kVA NextEnergy (NXE) and Sentinel Rack (SER) put under the spotlight.

Leo explains some of the reasons for Riello UPS’s continued success, both here in the UK and the wider group. Keeping the customer’s interests first is key. That means offering the right product at the right price. But it also means exceptional aftercare too. Leo points to the new warranty, industry-leading maintenance contracts, and our Certified Engineers Programme as shining examples of this attitude.

What Will 2019 Bring For The Data Centre Sector?

Subsequent questions focus on wider industry trends. Will 2019 be the year when edge computing takes centre stage? Leo explains how our increasingly connected device-driven world depends on real-time low latency processing. Hyperscale data centres and the cloud simply cannot offer this. Edge is the only viable alternative, which is likely to lead to the growth of modular or containerised data centres.

Another hot topic covered is the way data centres are powered. The UK’s energy mix is changing. Renewables is picking up a lot of slack, contributing a third of the country’s electricity. But this makes balancing and frequency stabilisation difficult.

Leo explains one solution to this problem is decentralised smart grids utilising battery storage. This also offers data centres a chance to rethink the role of their UPS. Rather than a reactive, often underutilised asset, energy storage can turn a UPS into a ‘virtual power plant’ feeding electricity back into the grid.

As well as being good for wider society, there are financial incentives available that make smart grid-ready UPS a possible money-spinner.

Brexit, Beagles, And Breaking World Records

The discussion also touched on the subject that’s dividing the nation – Brexit. In Leo’s opinion, there’s been too much ‘FUD’ (fear, uncertainty and doubt) injected into the debate. That’s not to say Riello UPS hasn’t put contingency plans in place. Stockholding has doubled from four weeks to eight in case of any disruption come the end of March.

Ending on a high note, Leo reveals he’s recently played a small part in setting a new world record. He and Riello UPS’s own ‘power puppy’ Ziggy the beagle broke the landmark for the largest ever single breed dog walk. Last April’s Beaglelandia event also raised a fantastic £10,000 for animal welfare charities too.

Click here to read the comprehensive Q&A in the February edition of Digitalisation World magazine