By Louis McGarry, Sales and Marketing Director, Centiel UK  

How do you make the right choice when selecting a UPS?  It’s a question that can only be answered with more questions!  You will need to become an investigator, uncovering the truth through research into manufacturers, products and the people who deliver and maintain those products to succeed.

Knowledge is king.  Therefore, as a buyer, the more information you can obtain, the better position you are in to make an informed decision for your organisation.  Question if you should be working directly with a manufacturer, a reseller or an approved partner?

As a manufacturer, Centiel works with clients to provide detailed information to help them with decision making.  Our brand is all about Swiss quality, we invest heavily in research and development (R&D) to deliver the highest calibre UPS systems.  All of our products are independently verified to meet the latest IEC international standards, and we can provide proof of the availability and efficiency of our true modular UPS CumulusPower and standalone UPS PremiumTower.

Manufacturing lead times can vary whether that’s the production of new systems or for spare parts.  It’s important to understand where your products are coming from and how readily available they are. Ask if they are stocked in or outside of the UK?

It is also important to make sure that you have the full support of the manufacturer throughout the life cycle of any product that you purchase. Manufacturers are obliged to support systems for a minimum of ten years after the last product has rolled off the production line.  Asking the right questions means no nasty surprises later on!

The performance specification of the UPS system itself should form the basis of your questions too.  Efficiency is used in the marketing of UPS systems throughout the industry.  It is common to see systems advertised to have ‘high levels of efficiency’.  However, is this only in certain circumstances or at a particular load profile?  This information should be displayed clearly in the technical specifications provided by the manufacturer and can easily be compared to other products on the market.

When it comes to comparing competitive offers, always check the differences within the specifications.  If one solution appears to be far more cost-effective than another there is probably a good reason:  for example, have they provided the same level of availability?

For example: Centiel’s CumulusPower is the latest in true modular UPS technology and has been designed with distributed decision-making control logic. This also means that no single module takes control of the decisions for the whole system. Instead, a distributed decision-making consensus takes place eliminating the logic’s single point of failure.  As a result, CumulusPower offers 99.9999999% (nine, nines) availability, reducing downtime to only 3.5 milliseconds per year and we can prove it!

Buying a UPS is more than simply selecting a product from a reputable manufacturer.  It’s about working with a brand that will support you for the duration of the product’s life from installation to lifecycle replacement.  Who are the people behind the implementation of the solution? They are key to the success of the installation.   Do they have the right experience?  Are they simply interesting in just selling a product or are they a committed team that will solve your challenges and deliver a futureproofed solution?

At Centiel we always ‘do the right thing’ for our clients to ensure they have the absolute best solution to suit their needs.  Our policy is to only recommend and provide the products, components and services that our clients need, preferring to nurture long term relationships as trusted advisors.  This ethos runs throughout our whole business from R&D, sales to operations to our engineers and as a result, we are trusted to deliver optimal UPS systems to clients globally.

Before any installation is complete, you also need to question who will provide ongoing support for the UPS?  Preventative maintenance carried out by qualified and experienced engineers is essential.  They will understand the technology and have the right firmware updates.  Using anyone else will compromise the system and invalidate warranties.

All the information is available.  The truth is out there!

Inviting manufacturers to share knowledge, technical information, resources, ideas and come up with workable options will contribute to the success of the installation.  At Centiel, we provide world-class UPS systems supported by our professional, knowledgeable people.  Our experienced, trusted team is always available to discuss and help evaluate the best approach, so organisations can understand and compare systems using validated data for informed decision making.  Hunting down the truth is the best way to protect the critical power to your organisation for the long term.

Originally featured in ECN Magazine October 2022.

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