Partners: New APC Managed Services Program Is Set To Drive Recurring Revenue Sales Growth

A new managed services program from UPS and power management giant APC by Schneider Electric is poised to drive a recurring revenue sales renaissance for partners, according to APC strategic service providers.

The program, which officially launched May 10, includes a new managed service certification, market development funds and an 8 percent discount for bundling APC Smart-UPS, network card and one- or three- year extended warranty.

With the new program, APC has provided what it calls a "holistic approach" to managed services, integrating its Smart-UPS power management and monitoring into managed services platforms such as ConnectWise, N-Able, Kaseya and AVG. The managed services platforms provide partners with the ability to monitor an installed base of as many 3 million APC Smart-UPS devices.

"This is super-exciting for us," said Jim Sommer, business development manager for LANtek/All Lines Technology, a Cranberry Township, Pa., strategic service provider. "It could drive a substantial increase in our APC UPS sales and services. It opens up the possibility for us to do full-building utilization and management services with 24/7 monitoring that has the potential to save companies as much as 30 [percent] to 40 percent."

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LANtek/All Lines is already working with its parent company, Fire Fighter Sales & Service Co., to integrate the building power management services with fire prevention services. Monitoring batteries in UPS and fire alarm systems is a critical part of the services offering, said Sommer.

"This managed services offering has the potential to make a big difference to our company," Sommer said. "Schneider Electric and APC need to keep the momentum and focus on driving power management services for the channel. Just imagine the value we can provide for a customer with thousands of sites across the country -- knowing they no longer have to worry about downtime because of a battery failure causing a network outage. We can manage it all -- the routers, switches, the power -- and all the customer has to do is worry about their business."

[Related: APC SVP McKernan On New Managed Services Program, IoT And The Future Of Power Management]

Douglas Coco, who oversees the managed services offering for Synetra, a Southlake, Texas, strategic service provider, said he expects the APC offering to add several percentage points of growth to his company's managed services business, which is growing at a 30 percent annual clip.

"This is cool," he said. "APC Is helping me strengthen my business, which is huge. What I am really excited about is the stickiness factor that comes with these services and the ability to provide more value to our customers."

The new program opens up the door for strategic service providers like Synetra to manage the large installed base of APC Smart-UPS devices, said Coco. It also opens the door to the possibility that APC by Schneider Electric will bring more innovative services and products to market in the future, said Coco.

Atrion, one of the top strategic service providers in the country, is expanding its maxtime managed services offering to include power management as a result of the APC managed services launch, said Paul Cronin, senior vice president of the Warwick, R.I., company, which worked closely with APC on the formal program. He expects the new offering to drive UPS sales and services growth.

"We are seeing 30 percent growth in the managed services business, and the APC managed services will help there," he said.

Among the critical feedback provided by Atrion was that the APC program needed to be a holistic offering, integrated into existing managed services platforms and business offerings, said Cronin.

"This allows me to provide power management as part of a full services offering," said Cronin. "It allows us to talk about power as part of a utility computing model integrated with the rest of the services we offer. It is one discussion with the customer. It is not a separate sales cycle. We are incorporating it into our managed services business, creating more high-value touch with our clients and building a multiyear recurring revenue model that gives us an annuity stream."

The biggest breakthrough with the APC program is the peace of mind for customers that comes with proactive power management business insight, said Cronin. "Customers no longer have to worry about batteries coming to end of life that can result in a UPS failure in a network closet," he said. "With this program, APC is recognizing it is the manageability of power that is the critical differentiator, especially in IT environments that have gotten more complex. Anything we can do to be proactive is a plus for customers."

Rob McKernan, senior vice president of APC by Schneider Electri’s $2 billion global IT channels, who has been driving channel partnerships for the organization for nearly 20 years, called the managed services offering one of the biggest paradigm shifts he has ever seen in the business.

"I believe the next few years is going to be the best opportunity we have had with our partners going back to the WinTel server in the early years," he said. "This is a big shift for a couple of reasons: the manageability of it and the trends that are out there with edge, convergence and IoT. Customers need help from their partners on all these trends and the power-cooling infrastructure needs are front and center. That's why this is very, very exciting."

The APC program is the culmination of a two-year effort to deliver a new strategic service provider offensive with feedback from more than 1,000 partners, APC executives said.

Jason Covitz, global director of managed services for the IT business for APC, called the new program a "first step" in an ambitious managed services product and services road map.

"There are significant road map aspirations to further adapt our business to align with our partners' business models," he said. "There are more RMM [remote management and monitoring] integrations coming, and there is also equally important more product integrations into the RMM. We have a very wide berth of connected devices we are looking at. What we really want to do is allow partners to monetize all of it. We have a long road map for those integrations."

The new managed services offensive is a shift away from the transactional, high-minimum programs of the past, said Leslie Vitrano, director of channel marketing and communications for APC. "What is really exciting about our managed services effort is the redefining of what a program is," she said. "This is a comprehensive program with training, incentives, enablement and the RMM integration. We wanted to integrate easily into the platforms the MSPs are using."

JD Giles, senior director of channel field sales for APC, said the new program opens the door for APC to establish partnerships with strategic service providers driving cloud era solutions. "A big focus here is creating business relationships with partners we might not have spoken to before," he said.