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Schneider Electric Launches 'Invaluable' SaaS Platform To Boost Channel Sales

'For us as a partner, it is an invaluable tool because now we get to see everything. We're using it as a differentiator,' says Andrew Isch of Vision Data Center, a Schneider Electric partner.

Schneider Electric is giving channel partners a shot in the arm in capturing new recurring revenues by launching its first-ever, cloud-based data center infrastructure management platform specifically designed for solution providers.

Schneider's new EcoStruxure IT for Partners is a cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution infused with predictive analytics, remote monitoring and lifecycle management capabilities to give partners visibility into customer's physical infrastructure to improve performance and efficiently, as well as reduce cost.

"For us as a partner, it's an invaluable tool because now we get to see everything. We're using it as a differentiator," said Andrew Isch, account executive for Vision Data Center, a Towson, Penn.-based Schneider Electric partner, who has been piloting the platform. "The feedback from customers is tremendous – easy to set up and get going. The data is very valuable to get back and allows our customers to get more information on what's going on in their physical infrastructure."

[Related: 5 Things Partners Need To Know About Schneider Electric's New SaaS Platform]

Isch said EcoStruxure IT for Partners enables his company to quickly give customers feedback from data collected and assessments on various physical assets such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), cooling units, intelligent power distribution units (PDUs), physical security and emergency management, to name a few.

Larry Hann, director of Digital Services Programs, IT Channel at APC by Schneider Electric, told CRN that the solution not only helps partners manage and monitor data centers, but also in distributed environments.

"If you think about how customers manage their environments outside the data center, it's not very organized. Customers with distributed environments, like K-12 school districts or banks with branch offices, the visibility for IT staff is very limited," said Hann, in an interview with CRN. "This cloud-based offer is driven by a gateway which is a big data collector that sets up a virtual machine on the customer environment. It will collect all the information on all the assets in the customer environments and bring it back into this central location."

The first application available on the platform is Schneider's EcoStruxure IT Expert, which enables partners to deliver a remote monitoring service with real-time data and proactive recommendations. Leveraging big data and intelligent benchmarking, the application provides a fast and easy way for partners to deliver services and support as customers grow more dependent on their critical infrastructure.

"We help them understand what state that device is in, then through our data lake in the cloud, we provide them with some actionable intelligence as far as how the device compares to other devices and also give them some guidance on what the next steps might be," said Hann.

A key to EcoStruxure IT for Partners success is its design for vendor-neutral and multi-tenancy, enabling partners to grow services, according to Isch.

"This new [solution] sees everything. It takes that politics out of it. It doesn't matter if you’re an APC shop or a Vertiv shop – as long as it's talking to the network, we can go see it now," said Isch. "Schneider sees that they stand to gain more through their inner channel by removing the proprietary aspect of the toolset and go agnostic. It's a big benefit."

Schneider Electric's family of EcoStruxure products includes hardware and software solutions for the cloud, edge, Internet of Things, data center, analytics and security. The IoT-enabled EcoStruxure solutions have been deployed in more than 480,000 sites globally, with support from 20,000 system integrators and developers connecting over 1.6 million assets.

Hann said the new edition to EcoStruxure provides partners with a complete, turnkey lifecycle management solution for physical assets. "Using the software opens the door for partners to sell additional services and even additional hardware back to their customers," he said.

Schneider is offering partners access to a dedicated Partner Success Management team that provides onboarding and effectiveness expertise on the new solution.

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