Apr 14, 2021

Gratte Brothers: Mechanical & Electrical precision

Ark Data Centres
Gratte Brothers
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Gratte Brothers: Mechanical & Electrical precision
Enabling modular and sustainable data centre solutions with resilient engineering...

Gratte Brothers is a third-generation family business, established in 1946 that has been offering M&E solutions for over 35 years; its first data centre project dates back to 1995. During the last six years, the company has consistently delivered 30 megawatts of IT power to the mission critical construction market every year.

Resilient

“We offer specialist knowledge when it comes to resilient engineering services” assures Gratte’s Engineering Director, Remi Suzan. “We've worked with DC supply chains for decades, and have good relationships with our manufacturers and specialist subcontractors. Our contract engineers, site managers, and in-house commissioning teams don't just understand how they work, but ‘why’ they need to work that way, and they bring that deep knowledge to every project.”

Modular

Modular

Gratte Brothers has worked with Ark for over a decade; an integral part of its partner ecosystem developing modular DC solutions with low energy consumption at their core. “ Together with  Ark’s other partner contractors, we worked on developing a modular energy centre that could be associated with the prefabricated data centres that could then be deployed either as a single unit or as multiple units, depending on what Ark needed at the time,” confirms Suzan. “The energy centres containing the UPSs and LV panels were all provided with a cooling system designed on external fresh air. It was calculated that for 98% of the year it could operate without mechanical cooling which was only required in exceptional circumstances at high-peak summer periods.”

Sustainable

“Ark are way ahead of the game when it comes to sustainability,” reckons Suzan. “Their approach is more than just a green message on their website; they really mean it.” Looking to the future, Gratte is exploring the potential for gas turbine generators and hydrogen power systems (HPS) and is fully behind the increased industry focus on supporting net zero strategies. “Back in the 90s, the idea of a green data centre was almost laughable. They were built purely with speed to market in mind and about as green as a bucket of napalm. Now that we can use adiabatic fresh air cooling systems for IT equipment with heat recovery in all of our air solutions allied with the use of photovoltaic panels and LED lighting, energy efficiency has greatly improved.”

Testimonial

“Gratte Brothers, along with JCA, are our preferred mechanical and electrical engineering partners helping us develop improved energy centre solutions. We were also keen to modularise this process so our partners came up with a unique solution which not only utilises the data centre cooling to cool the energy centre, but also allows Ark to build the energy centre off site - improving health and safety while reducing material waste and cost. Though competitors in the market, Gratte Brothers and JCA are both family-run businesses that integrate well with Ark. They’re really adaptable and always looking to innovate. When we need to ensure speed to market, and in times of crisis like we’ve experienced during the pandemic, we rely on these partnerships to deliver safely to our customers.”

Andy Garvin, Director of Design, Construction & Operations, Ark Data Centres.

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May 11, 2021

5 Minutes With PwC's Amanda Line on Digital Leadership

DigitalLeadrship
Technology
Strategy
Georgia Wilson
4 min
PwC | Digital Leadership | Strategy | Technology
Amanda Line, PwC Partner and PwC’s Academy Leader on what it means to be a digital leader...

1. Define digital leadership, and what it means to be a digital leader?

Leadership has always required a specialised set of skills, such as curiosity, empathy, and decisive action. In today’s world, there is an urgent need for a new type of leader – one who has a digital mindset and has the skills to drive transformation. With the ever-expanding spectrum of new technologies, we need a new wave of digital leaders who not only understand the application of intelligent technologies in the workplace, but also know how to enable and empower their teams - and that comes from frequent upskilling. Digital leaders are represented across numerous sectors and industries, with a common goal to drive a culture of innovation and transformation. 

2. What do you believe are the essential traits of a digital leader?

Knowledge of digital and data literacy is a given essential to have a strong command of the future economy. In my opinion, what’s even more important are human-centric skills. It is the soft skills such as communication, resilience, emotional intelligence, and entrepreneurial thinking that are pivotal in this new-age digital world. 

Despite the demand for future skillsets, we’re currently facing the biggest skills shortage of our lifetime. PwC’s Middle East CEO survey highlighted that 80% of CEOs believe that a shortage of skills in the workforce is one of the key threats to their organisation’s growth prospects. 

Part of our drive at PwC’s Academy Middle East in leading the upskilling revolution in the region is to facilitate lasting change. We deliver innovative and practical training, that includes both digital and soft skills components, for individuals and organisations across industries to create a truly future-ready workforce in the Middle East.

3. How have these traits changed since the outbreak of COVID-19, or have they remained the same but their significance has grown?

Prior to the pandemic, the World Economic Forum set an ambitious target to upskill one billion people by 2030. This was initiated to tackle the 75 million jobs expected to be displaced by automation and AI by 2022. Since Covid-19, the window of opportunity to reskill has become shorter in the newly constrained labour market.[1] 

The way we live, work and learn has changed drastically, placing digital technologies at the forefront. The pace of change has accelerated the need for upskilling and reskilling. In many organisations and economies, this crisis has highlighted the discrepancy between the skills people have and those needed for jobs in the digital world. 

4. What was the role of a digital leader when the initial outbreak happened?

The need for digital leadership was brought to the forefront by the pandemic. With the huge transition to work from home (WFH), strong leadership has helped guide and steady employees, and ensure continued productivity. Leaders who understand the application of technologies in the workplace have been able to create new drivers for success, including streamlining operational systems, mindful connection of their employees and improved agility in the workplace. 

5. How has that role evolved and what are the next steps for digital leaders going forward in 2021 and beyond?

Eighty-four percent of employers are set to rapidly digitalise working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work—with the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely.[2] This is a very significant change towards a digital future. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and having digital skills is no longer a ‘good to have’, it is critical to business success. Leaders and employees alike must adapt to a cycle of constant learning and upskilling to remain competitive.

6. How do these roles mentioned compare to pre-COVID?

Digital leaders were in demand before the pandemic, but now there is an additional urgency for a pipeline of talent with the skills to implement new technologies in the workplace. In order to create sustainable success, digital technologies must be adopted as a core business strategy – and upskilling is key. In 2020, PwC’s Academy introduced a number of qualifications in the region to support training for the digital economy, including the region’s first qualification for AI, the Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner (CAIP). 

7. Whilst the initial strategy for digital leaders was to survive the outbreak, what is the strategy for digital leaders as they look to thrive going forward?

We will see more sophisticated technologies being integrated into the workplace, driven by digital leaders. To support these transformations, we will need to close the existing skills gap, and ensure that younger generations are prepared for the future workplace. 

Young professionals will need huge investment in education and skills development. This requires a collaborative effort from governments, private organisations and education providers. In the Middle East for example, PwC’s Academy is working with the regional governments to upskill the national talent for future leadership roles. We also work with the private and public sector for upskilling solutions in finance, tax, HR, marketing, leadership and management, graduate development, digital transformation to name a few. It is this multi 

faceted approach to upskilling that will help our region to thrive. 

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