Panduit: Building a bridge between IT and Facility

“We have to handle energy very differently,” says Andy Vanbrabant, Director Data Center & Connectivity Solutions at Simac ICT Belgium. “Panduit’s network infrastructure solutions contribute to this.”

Panduit is a family-owned company that was founded in 1955 and today has revenues of more than one billion dollars. About 29 years ago, the company started making products for data networks. “You can find our solutions in the three best data centers in the world, in data hubs such as Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt. All major multi-tenant vendor independent data center providers are our customers. Like 90% of Fortune 500 companies,” Rob Sanders describes the scope of Panduit. Sanders is senior business manager Benelux and DACH at Panduit.

He says the long-term strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Cisco, Rockwell Automation and others are the company’s key strengths; they ensure that Panduit can provide tailored solutions and appropriate solutions for any application. Not only in data centers, but also for warehouses, factories and smart buildings, to highlight a few sectors.

“For over 20 years, our R&D team has partnered with Cisco to deliver end-to-end solutions. Our collaboration delivers breakthrough innovations that improve performance and future-proof data networks. Today, we collaborate on tomorrow’s solutions that shape the standards , that is being ratified worldwide,” Sanders said.

Rockwell Automation reports on the strategic partnership: “Together we are working on integrated solutions that help reduce risk, improve reliability and successfully deploy Ethernet/IP solutions and architectures through optimized physical network infrastructure solutions and services.”

A simple but striking example of Panduit’s ‘uniqueness’: cable clamps. Their clamps ensure that power cables are kept under control in the event of a short circuit, minimizing malfunctions and damage to personnel and property. Cable and connector housings are important. Temperatures can rise when (data) currents pass through cables; air currents have an effect on power consumption. “We ensure that energy consumption is optimal and that the installations are safe.”

Conversation partners
“We’re bringing OT and IT together,” Sanders says. Something that certainly plays a role in smart buildings, but in fact in any building. The facility managers are, among other things, responsible for lighting, heating/cooling, access control, communication networks. It is OT (Operational Technology). But more and more often there is also an IT element; For example, cameras are IP-based, which also applies to Voice-over-IP. Cameras and telephones used to be on coaxial or product-specific copper cables; now on data cable. Access control now also has an IT element. Even washing machines have internet access via Wi-Fi. It’s also notable how much cable you need to run a wireless network.
Several departments in an organization are therefore responsible for good, safe and structured cabling. Who does Sanders sit around the table with to give substance to the design plans? “With the people from facility management, with the CIO and the CFO. That is, initially, while the decision is normally made by the IT manager, supported by the CFO.”
Because much is involved in designing and organizing a secure and energy-efficient cable infrastructure, system integrators are important discussion partners for organizations, according to Sanders. Simac ICT Belgium – with a turnover of 55 million euros – is one such system integrator that Panduit has dealt with for years.

Conversation partners
“We’re bringing OT and IT together,” Sanders says. Something that certainly plays a role in smart buildings, but in fact in any building. The facility managers are, among other things, responsible for lighting, heating/cooling, access control, communication networks. It is OT (Operational Technology). But more and more often there is also an IT element; For example, cameras are IP-based, which also applies to Voice-over-IP. Cameras and telephones used to be on coaxial or product-specific copper cables; now on data cable. Access control now also has an IT element. Even washing machines have internet access via Wi-Fi. It’s also notable how much cable you need to run a wireless network.
Several departments in an organization are therefore responsible for good, safe and structured cabling. Who does Sanders sit around the table with to give substance to the design plans? “With the people from facility management, with the CIO and the CFO. That is, initially, while the decision is normally made by the IT manager, supported by the CFO.”
Because much is involved in designing and organizing a secure and energy-efficient cable infrastructure, system integrators are important discussion partners for organizations, according to Sanders. Simac ICT Belgium – with a turnover of 55 million euros – is one such system integrator that Panduit has dealt with for years.

At the beginning
As projects become more and more complex, customers are increasingly asking to think with them from the start. “In addition to network equipment and servers, they must free up budgets for sound and reliable structured cabling. It is important that the customer has the full picture in view and knows what infrastructure is required for this.”
The next step is to create the design. “Flexibility is an important starting point. We design for their maximum needs, but install only what they need today. After all, technology is constantly changing, and so are the customer’s wishes and demands. You have to design in such a way that adjustments are possible in the short term without having to go too far.”

Author: Teus Molenaar

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