It’s no secret that the ability to adapt and evolve is key to success for the IT Channel. For example, IT solution providers were quick to jump on the sales opportunity presented by Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) as the market for workgroup servers grew. Likewise, the sales opportunity grew even more when APC by Schneider Electric introduced data center physical infrastructure and management solutions, adding equipment racks, etc., to the increasing number of IT devices going into IT and server rooms.
As channel and IT solution providers continue their evolution and look for new ways to increase the value they bring to end users, a big part of our role at APC is to deliver innovation and provide support to enable them as they take solutions to market.
IT Solution Provider Growth Opportunities
While for many IT solution providers, IT and network devices have provided the fastest track to revenue, the sales opportunity that physical infrastructure such as power, cooling and equipment provides has been a much-valued source of add-on revenue. So much so, that some have made it the heart of their business and transitioned to deliver data center design and build services.
In keeping with this thought, I recently took a road trip to meet with several of our Partners around the United States. I think it’s important to have face-to-face time in this way as it means we get valuable feedback about our products, solutions and programs from people who make a living supplying these to end customers. The timing of the trip was important since much of the IT equipment traditionally supplied via the channel has become commoditized, making it harder to make money and maintain a business.
So, I had an agenda for this series of meetings – I wanted to gauge receptiveness to the newest phase of our business: our transition to As-A-Service offerings. In particular, I wanted to discuss how the introduction of EcoStruxure ITTM, our Data Center Management as a Service (DMaaS) offer for managing data center and edge computing environments, could be of benefit to our Partners.
Cloud-based DCIM Opportunity
This Cloud-based DCIM offer could be a game changer for IT solution providers. You always hope that your customers will share your enthusiasm, and I’m happy to report they really get it! Maybe it would be too much to say they can easily see a path to becoming a Managed Service Provider (MSP) – although that may come in due course – it was easy for them to see the additional benefits of providing value-added services.
In fact, the data that flows as a result of installing DMaaS can form the basis of a wide range of service propositions from power monitoring and smart alarms, to actionable intelligence, benchmarking and predictive analytics. Any of these can not only improve the management and reliability of data centers and edge environments, but also save customer costs and reduce the risks associated with business dependency on IT.
The feedback I received from my meetings was very positive – I think that our Partners enjoyed this collaborative process as an interactive and productive way to stimulate new ideas and business development. This is something we want to make part of our everyday support and service to IT solution providers, by introducing Customer Success Managers (CSMs) in the very near future.
While looking to the future, there is an ever increasing need to provide solutions that create Certainty in a Connected World for end customers. As we introduced our partners to our next generation solutions, they appreciated the fact that we came to discuss this next evolution with them, one even commenting that they already have a customer they could pitch this to tomorrow. To that end, we’re working with them to organize an educational event for end users.
Explore the DMaaS Opportunity
If you’d like more information about DMaaS and how it could benefit both you and your customer, please visit our DMaaS resource site where you can access more information including case studies and blogs. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, as I’m eager to keep these conversations going.