2012 Channel Champions: Data Center & Power Management

APC by Schneider Electric, for the second year in a row--though not by as high a score as last year--bested its competitors for the title of Channel Champion in the Data Center and Power Management category in 2012 by solidly winning in the overall subcategories of technical satisfaction, support satisfaction and financial factors ratings, scoring particularly high with a 101.0 in product quality and reliability.

In fact, APC very nearly got a clean sweep of the individual criterion for those three ratings, losing only in terms of evaluation and demo equipment policies in the support satisfaction rating subcategory to Emerson Network Power.

The big win for APC stems from its focus on the channel, said Marc Sherman, APC's vice president of marketing and sales enablement.

"The channel is not a part-time commitment for APC," Sherman said. "It's how we approach this business. We have teams who look at where we rank lower on the survey to ensure the health and satisfaction of our partners, because that's the foundation of the health of our company."

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For instance, Sherman said, the loss in the evaluation and demo equipment policies criterion is seen at APC as an area where improvement is needed. "We see it as a positive that partners enjoy demoing our products to customers, and that face to face is the way to show the products," he said. "So we see this as a great problem to have."

Pete McGurran, president of Imprint Data Center Solutions, a Maplewood, Minn.-based provider of power and cooling technologies to data center and networking professionals, said he is not surprised to see APC as a Channel Champion.

APC has a modular power management system that is very user-friendly and grows as needed, and provides great support to both its customers and partners, McGurran said. "And it has great opportunity registration support," he said. "When we register an opportunity, we can start to invest in engineering solutions without worrying about our margins."