Schneider Electric’s APC Brings Energy Assessment To Channel Partners8:04 PM EST Wed. Sep. 05, 2012
Energy management technology developer Schneider Electric has introduced a new channel program aimed at helping solution providers do energy assessments for customers.
Schneider Electric, whose businesses include power management device maker APC, introduced the energy assessment capability to its channel program in response to a growing demand from data center customers for more efficient use of power, said Gordon Lord, director of IT distribution and channel marketing for the West Kingston, R.I.-based company.
"The demands of energy for data centers are increasing while the supply is decreasing," Lord said. "Just look at what virtualization is doing. It is becoming efficient to virtualize storage and servers. But at the same time, it is leading to an increase in density. We need to look at ways to address these hotspots."
Under the program, APC by Schneider Electric engineers visit potential data customers on behalf of the solution provider to do energy audits of current data center operations as well as assessments on how they might be impacted by moving part of their operations to a public or private cloud, Lord said.
The cost of a basic assessment is minimal, and solution providers can use market development funds to pay for it, he said. However, the rewards for the partner can be big. "When we do assessments, partners say they are getting a 10-times to 12-times pull-through on APC products and services," he said.
After the assessment, the customer gets a report detailing energy use from the service entrance through all the different areas of the data center, Lord said. "They'll see how efficient -- or how inefficient -- they are," he said. "And they'll get vendor-neutral recommendations, including where to control airflow or use blanking panels."
The assessment includes a module called IT Optimize, which looks across a data center's server networks to report on utilization relative to efficiency, Lord said. "It looks for zombie servers, or servers which are not really running applications," he said. "It can help manage the entire network from an energy standpoint."
NEXT: Helping Partners Provide A New Service
The new program will allow Tubbesing Solutions to offer energy assessments for the first time, said Aaron Casey, vice president of sales for the Dallas-based provider of mission-critical power and cooling equipment.
"The new program allows our organization to expand and help our customers with more of their issues and problems," Casey said. "In the past, a customer might say, 'I have a problem with power,' and we could respond, 'We can talk about a UPS or other solution." Now if the customer says he has a problem, we can talk about a holistic solution. We can help customers with the entire lifecycle of their data center."
Customers are demanding solutions, not products, Casey said.
"We used to be able to sell another product, and that would be fine," he said. "Even now, that's OK for some customers. But, customers are increasingly looking at the entire solution, and looking at how to save on their energy bills."
The fact that APC by Schneider Electric is providing the engineers to do the heavy lifting related to energy assessment is important for smaller solution providers, Casey said.
"We set up the scope of the work, bring Schneider in, and then they apply their experience," he said. "We're a 14-man company. Could we bring in a couple engineers to do this full time? Yeah. But if they don't have an assessment to do, their time becomes very expensive."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 5, 2012