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Exclusive: Eaton Provides Software Certification, Training To Help Partners Offer 'Power As A Service'

The new program, for Eaton's Intelligent Power Manager, or IPM, software aims at helping solution providers turn a one-time UPS or other data center power device sale into recurring revenue.

Data center power management vendor Eaton has quietly rolled out a certification and channel program for its Intelligent Power Manager software that it said will provide data center solution providers with tools to better offer "power as a service."

The new IPM certification program, which has already been used by more than 250 unique partner organizations, offers online certification tracks and roadshows to help develop partners' power management software capabilities, said Graciano Beyhaut, senior marketing operations manager for the Cleveland-based company.

"We want to be accretive to channel programs that partners already participate in, like those from such companies as EMC and NetApp," Beyhaut told CRN. "We want to show them how they can integrate power as a service into their business."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Eaton VP Tardy On Driving A Power Management Software Renaissance And The Hyper-Converged Opportunity]

The IPM certification program includes 12 modules, including modules for sales, technical and end-user training, Beyhaut said.

"The focus of the tracks is to get partners comfortable integrating IPM with capabilities they already have, like VMware vRealize cloud management, disaster recovery or business continuity," he said. "The biggest driver is assuring customers their business continuity programs will work."

One primary goal of Eaton's IPM training and certification is to teach solution providers how to provide data center power as a service, Beyhaut said.

"This includes positioning software, warranties and services such as installation ahead of the data center's infrastructure life cycle," he said. "This includes looking at software upgrades, and at analytics based on battery life. It's not about selling hardware. It's about helping partners get aggressive on positioning new technologies as we introduce new features every year."

Beyhaut said to consider a typical three-rack environment with a single UPS. Even as the rack environment gets more density, a customer might still purchase a single 6-KVA UPS in a one-time transaction, he said.

"With IPM as a service, partners still sell the hardware," he said. "But they will also sell the license and the features. A partner could sell load shedding, which turns off non-mission-critical loads to give more critical loads longer battery life in case of a power failure, to provide up to 250 percent additional battery life."

As partners gain experience in the IPM software, they can start expanding their services to such areas as analytics, Beyhaut said. "Look at disaster recovery," he said. "If the data center power goes down, the software can trigger Microsoft or VMware to send workloads to another host not on backup power."


Eaton's IPM is available in three versions, Beyhaut said.

The basic edition works with up to 10 licensed power nodes, such as power distribution units, and is available free of charge. The silver edition works across up to 100 licensed power nodes, and lists for $5,000. The gold edition, which lists for $10,000, works with more than 100 licensed power nodes, including third-party devices, and provides features such as load shedding and power capping.

Eaton's software and managed service offerings can help partners grow their recurring revenue, said Kevin Goodman, managing director and partner at BlueBridge Networks, a Cleveland-based solution provider that provides services from its own data center and builds data centers for customers.

Goodman, responding to CRN via email, wrote that data downtime is costly in so many ways to businesses, and that in a Web-centric and data-centric world, high availability and reliability are more important than ever.

"The Eaton team ... provided us with another way of looking at Eaton as a value added recurring revenue opportunity, and moreover, as a power expert, they have standing in this arena. [They provide] the ability to utilize software to make power more efficient. The management tools afford a seamless integration with other management systems," he wrote.

In addition to the IPM software's providing the means for recurring revenue, it also helps grow a solution provider's standing as a trusted adviser, Goodman wrote. The software can help reduce downtime incidents, shift resources and limit the length of an event to reduce downtime costs while defending a company's brand, he wrote.

"In today's digital age the ability to predict problems before they occur [is] so important. Power is king as it drives all of the technology tools that run business today. Power management tools not only allow for high availability reliability and uptime, they [provide] the channel a new and trusted partner revenue stream to monitor data and power," he wrote.

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