Schneider Electric partners with Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions to provide charging for fleet customers
Sales of electric plug in vehicles has been steadily on the rise for the past 12 months (in 2014 the UK market saw a growth of over 200% in terms of vehicle sales and 2015 is on track to exceed this figure), and with combustion vehicles being very inefficient in comparison, the need for more electric vehicles and charging solutions is great.
Schneider Electric has just signed a five year deal to provide charging services and products to Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions and its customers. This means we are likely to see more electric and hybrid vehicles becoming available to business fleets, thus cutting costs and improving the carbon footprint of those companies.
Despite the government’s best efforts to encourage more electric vehicles onto the road with grants, congestion charge exemption and zero road tax, not to mention running costs as low as 2p per mile, it’s been the practicality of charging that has held both businesses and consumers back.
This new partnership will combat these impracticalities by setting a standard in charging services, full management of the customer process from end-to-end, residential charge point installation, and workplace charging solutions at factories, depots and offices.
David Greaves, business development director at Schneider Electric said: “We believe that working together in partnership with Hitachi Capital, will help promote a higher standard of experience for the customer. The benefits are enormous and range from access to easy, safe and high performance charging to helping make Britain a cleaner, greener place. At Schneider Electric we are committed to reducing carbon and creating a sustainable and ethical business. This has resulted in us achieving a top 10 position of the most sustainable corporations in the world and we are delighted to bring this to the partnership."
Tim Bowden, Head of Operations at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions added: “At Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, we pride ourselves in providing a quality, partnered, efficient process and service for our customers. We were looking to work with an organisation that shared our passion for providing high-quality service. Schneider Electric share the same ethics as Hitachi Capital and was a natural choice. Hitachi Capital’s appetite for new technology keeps us and our customers at the forefront of innovation and this partnership will further enhance our technological skills.”
For further information please visit www.schneider-electric.com/uk.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”