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Eaton Gives ‘Invaluable’ Power Software To Partners For Free

To help partners excel during the coronavirus pandemic, Eaton is giving out its Power Management Software for free along with a new 90-day, interest free financing option for partners.

Eaton is stepping up to the plate for channel partners by giving them its Power Management Software for free, which can be deployed, configured and utilized remotely, in a bold move to help customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Before March, Eaton and none of our competitors were able to install and configure this type of software remotely,” said Curtiz Gangi, vice president of sales for U.S. channels for Eaton’s data center segment in an interview with CRN. “Those features are now available in our software that partners can utilize to help their clients around installing the software remotely, configuring their devices so they have remote outlet control, and being able to reboot devices remotely in case there are lock-ups because you still want people to be productive during this [pandemic].”

The power management giant is providing its Power Management Software -- including both its Intelligent Power Manager (IPM) and Visual Power Manager Essential (VPME) – to partners for free through Nov. 1.

Rick Lowe, business development manager at En-Net Services, a Frederick, Md.-based Eaton partner focused on the public sector, said the coronavirus pandemic has caused a “seismic shift” in the way IT is being delivered, which has affected how backup power is distributed and managed.

[Related: Nutanix’s Dheeraj Pandey: ‘A Furlough Is Reversible, A Layoff Is Not’]

“In a remarkably short period of time, the IT landscape went from being a home game to an away game, and IT power was faced with unprecedented challenges,” said Lowe. “Eaton’s power management software is an invaluable tool for remote management of back-up power, which is often overlooked and undervalued.”

Lowe said the software gives IT personnel insight into how their back-up power is functioning, and in the event of a power event, it provides the tools to allow a managed and programmed shutdown o equipment based upon the critical status of the gear. “What sets Eaton apart is that it easily integrates with VMware dashboard, offers management down to individual plugs on specific ePDUs, and is easy scalability,” he said.

COVID-19 use cases for Eaton’s free IPM software are around business continuity with automatic remediation and remote monitoring of a customer’s power devices. The company’s VPME software provides remote monitoring of all brands rack mount power devices. The software offers remote control, firmware and configuration that enables Eaton devices to assist in management and power cycling of equipment without the need to physically travel to the site.

Shelley Deane, a technology consultant for JEM Tech Group, a Clinton Township, Mich.-based Eaton partner, said Eaton -- who made CRN’s 2020 Data Center 50 list – is giving her company a foot in the door to customers who currently do not have any type of data center infrastructure management solution.

“Customers benefit from the ability to be pro-active vs reactive when issues arise in mission critical areas,” Deane said. “With more of our customers working remotely, using both IPM and VPM is a great way to see what’s happening within their data centers and server rooms. Using both of these products in conjunction with intelligent in-rack PDU’s and environmental monitoring, means you have one pane of glass to access all your critical information.”

With many administrators having to now manage their networks remotely while at the same time facing uncertainly regarding budgets, Eaton’s power management software is a “critical tool” that partners can take to their customers during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Dan Dorgan, senior account executive at Communications Consulting Inc. (CCI), a Warrendale, Pa.-based Eaton partner.

Dorgan said CCI has been working with a large school district who recently implemented a new district-wide UPS Eaton solution amidst the pandemic.

“Eaton’s software provides them full insight and management of their power solutions while being constricted with the time they can be present in their data centers is a huge benefit,” said Dorgan. “Being able to obtain such a crucial tool for free at this time of great uncertainty is a tremendous plus.”

JEM Tech’s Deane said her company recently installed 190 Eaton UPS’s at two major campuses as well as 15 remote facilities for a large health care customer in need during the coronavirus pandemic. In conjunction with Eaton, JEM was able to provide complete environmental monitoring in their main data center while the VPM software allows for a single pane of glass for all devices.

“We configured VPM, helped them bring all UPS’s and temperature probes online and set-up thresholds for alarms. Our team also created a data center layout as well as rack configuration layout where each asset resides,” she said. “By using VPM, this health care facility is now able to track power usage at each location, track assets and their locations, rack analytics, and capacity planning for future equipment.”

In addition to providing its IPM and VPM software for free, Eaton is helping the channel improve cash flow by extending payment terms from 30 days to 90 days -- interest free -- through the company’s channel financing program.

The new financial offer is valid to partners through Dec. 31, 2020, and is available through distributors Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Synnex and ScanSource.

“We’ve already leveraged this program, and the obvious breathing room it provides a VAR faced with such uncertainty further strengthens our relationship,” said En-Net’s Lowe. “It isn’t that impactful that Eaton recognized the challenges partners were facing, it is impactful that they put in place a policy that directly addressed the potential problems the partners faced.”

Eaton’s Gangi said the new 90-day interest free financing for partners was created after hearing concerns from the channel that projects were being stalled due to customer cash flow uncertainties stemming from COVID-19.

“We wanted to get that log-jam out of the way and make the partners feel more conformable. So we pay the interest on that 90 days. We wanted to make sure the economics of our channels continued and we didn’t see projects stalled,” he said.

Gangi said the free software and new financing offers will help its thousands of channel partners during and post coronavirus pandemic.

“We really want to say, ‘Go use the software and financing. Then after this period is done, the software is live and collecting data. There’s a lot of information in there that can help customers make decision on if they have the correct power infrastructure for the long-term.’ So partners have capabilities around virtualization and the core data they can gather, then in the long term, they can talk to their clients about integrating the software as a subscription for them moving forward.”

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