5 Things You Need To Know About APC's New Managed Services Program

The Services Solution

APC's new managed services program is a comprehensive offering aimed at redefining the power management company's traditional transactional partner program.

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 like ConnectWise, N-able by Solarwinds, 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.

It also includes a managed services certification, market development funds and an 8 percent discount for bundling APC Smart-UPS, network card and one- or three- year extended warranty.

Here are five things you need to know about APC's new managed services program.

1. Driving Power Management Recurring Revenue

The new managed services program is targeted squarely at helping strategic service providers tap into a power management services market that is five times greater than the stand-alone UPS hardware market, said Rob McKernan, senior vice president of the $2 billion global IT channels for APC by Schneider Electric, who has been driving channel partnerships for the organization for nearly 20 years.

"If a partner is living off hardware and it is part of their everyday business, we have multiplied their business by five times [with this new program]," McKernan told CRN. "That is managing the UPS, the life-cycle management with extended warranties, battery opportunities, upgrade opportunities. We know a lot of times that network closets are sitting there not being watched and suddenly you realize the UPS is not working in there -- the battery is out. There are quick wins here. We think it is five times and even more with life-cycle management."

2. Managed Services Provider Platform Integration

APC has taken what it calls a ’holistic approach’ with integration into key managed service provider platforms including ConnectWise, N-able, Kaseya, AVG and TigerPaw. The APC road map includes further integration including CA-Tech (Nimsoft), Labtech and others.

One of the keys to the program is making sure that strategic service providers can integrate the offering seamlessly into their managed services practices.

APC has revamped every aspect of its program to fuel the managed services offensive including pre-sales support, MSP technical support including an MSP Support hotline, a certification, new incentives, financing options – all being overseen by a new global director of managed services, Jason Covitz.

3. New Managed Services Incentives

APC is kicking off the new program with an 8 percent discount for bundling APC Smart-UPS, network card and one- or three-year extended warranty.

The program also includes recurring revenue services bonus points for managing Smart-UPS devices -- no small matter given the 3 million installed base of Smart-UPS devices ready to be managed.

Under an iRewards bonus points program, partners receive 2,500 points for net new devices managed and 500 points for existing devices.

APC is also extending terms through distributors to 60 days, up from 30 days, to help strategic service providers increase cash flow. APC has no minimums or deal registration associated with the managed services program.

4. An Ambitious Strategic Services Road Map

The APC managed services program is the "first step" in an ambitious managed services product and services road map, said Covitz. "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."

What's more, McKernan has signaled the company's intent to expand the services program with new Internet of Things functionality in the future. IoT is a really a "big opportunity" for partners, said McKernan.

"Those devices are hanging off a network and the minute it hangs off a network, that is when a partner can really help with the manageability, the availability and the reliability," he told CRN.

5. The Start Of A New Era For APC

The formal launch of the program marks the start of a new era for APC, which has been laying the groundwork for the strategic service provider offensive for the past two years.

The managed services program effort was kicked into high gear in January 2015 with the appointment of McKernan to his new post.

The new position gave McKernan, who oversees a $2 billion business with more than 100,000 partners, the responsibility to drive product development for the global channels business, leading to the APC Smart-UPS integration with managed services platforms.

"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," said McKernan. "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."