Deep Dive: Nico Ninov, Segment Manager, Data Center Server Room Solutions, ABB Smart Buildings 

Deep Dive: Nico Ninov, Segment Manager, Data Center Server Room Solutions, ABB Smart Buildings 

We ‘Deep Dive’ with Nico Ninov, Segment Manager, Data Center Server Room Solutions, ABB Smart Buildings, who tells us more about life inside and outside the office.  

Nico Ninov, Segment Manager, Data Center Server Room Solutions, ABB Smart Buildings

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry?  

In my 10 years in this industry, I would say integrating a configurator into the everyday work of our sales and for our clients like consultants is one of my most memorable achievements. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enabled us to detect and resolve customer concerns and create better data centre layouts daily. This innovation reflects the growing trend of using AI to optimise data centre operations, significantly impacting efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

What first made you think of a career in technology/data centres?  

Over the years, I personally shifted from a hands-on product management focus to now leading the marketing execution due to the rapid growth of the data centre segment globally. My interest in data centres stemmed from my fascination with their pivotal role in modern digital infrastructure, especially regarding the growing importance of cloud computing, Big Data and AI.  

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?  

While working with many colleagues worldwide in different cultures and languages, I try to design my training and coaching sessions so that everyone feels capable of taking matters into their own hands afterwards. This approach reflects the need to empower a diverse and globally distributed team to work effectively in a fast-paced and technologically demanding environment. 

What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space?  

AI, in combination with the need to realign the entire design of a data centre to meet the new requirements of AI-powered servers and their electrification. We are using AI in our solutions not only to optimise the layouts and operation of data centres but also to improve energy efficiency and reduce operational costs, which is becoming increasingly important in the industry. The segment growth and the increasing adoption of AI technology leads to higher power density demand on rack level. Therefore, we shifted our power distribution technology to meet the increased power density demand. 

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?  

I love swimming in the River Rhine in the summer and skiing in the wintertime with my family. Between seasons, I fly drones and also help other drone pilots learn to master their drones for fun and business. These activities not only provide me with a way to relax but also allow me to familiarise myself with the latest technology, indirectly benefiting my work. 

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?  

While the big data centre operators are making investments to build space-saving infrastructure for distributing energy to the servers, we are observing a trend, particularly among colocation providers, to use the ‘pay as you grow’ strategy to keep initial investments low and then deploy more devices when the end customers’ loads and server types are known. This approach allows providers to flexibly respond to the changing market and customer demands and minimise the risks of large initial investments. 

What are the region-specific challenges you encounter in your role?  

As a global company, challenges vary depending on the country or region. Recently, one of our biggest challenges has been bringing more technology and infrastructure to regions where there is a large need and demand, due to missing harmonised electrification standards globally and different voltage levels and grid structures. My recommendation would be for governments to work long-term on collaborating on common standards to enable some changes, leading to a more efficient and standardised introduction of technologies in all global markets. 

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the coming months?  

Over the past few years, my role has shifted from a hands-on product management approach to a more strategic and marketing-oriented role. I expect this focus on strategic and marketing-oriented duties to continue now that my colleagues have voted me to lead the marketing execution due to the segment’s rapid growth in various countries. There’s much to look forward to. The transformation and increasing growth in the data centre segment, especially with the increasing adoption of AI technology, leads to changes in our customer’s requirements. At ABB, we are happy to take and drive these changes together with our customers to further innovate and deliver best data centre solutions. 

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