Inside Schneider Electric's Technology Centre: Where datacentre innovation happens

If there's one company that's really passionate about datacentres and their role in modern business success, it's Schneider Electric.

I was kindly invited to go visit the firm's Technology Centre in Fallon, Missouri in mid February to take a look at the innovations the company is working on and speak to their executives about where the industry and related technologies are headed.

I learned a great deal during my few days spent with the Schneider peeps. They were all able to get me quickly bought into the innovative things they're doing without any hard sell, which was a refreshing experience indeed. Seriously, I'm these guys and gals live and breathe datacentre innovation. And it was incredibly infectious.

All of time spent at the tech tour of the centre was interesting and engaging, but Schneider saved perhaps one of its best-kept secrets until the very end. John Gray, power systems manager at Schneider Electric, really brought the technology centre's myriad apparatus to life. I've truly never seen someone talk batteries (Lithium Ion, in this instance) with the same levels of enthusiasm as I would talk about my next holiday, or more likely what my next meal is going to be.

Gray's enthusiasm and his ability to engage with his audience (in this scenario, assembled members of the UK journalist community, but very often channel partners or datacentre managers) was a wonder to behold and really got me thinking about just how much we underplay the role of the datacentre in modern business success.

Yes, the word datacentre is not a sexy term. But when you look beyond the name and start to consider the innovation therein and the opportunities that exist for companies to reduce their costs, increase their efficiencies, better serve their customers and, ultimately, add to the bottom line as a result, you then start to see the real picture. I'm definitely a convert.

Click through the gallery at the top of this article for pictures from my tour around the centre that further show just why we should never underestimate the power and impact of the humble datacentre and related technologies...

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.