How Managed Service Providers Gain an Edge on IT Availability Issues: Minimal Smart-UPS Service Investment

edge computing applications meeting

As we look around every day, we see more and more examples of technology being integral to our lives, brought into our everyday experiences and interactions. It’s a phenomenon that presents a significant opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) because it means your customers need to invest in edge computing and Smart-UPSTM solutions – and will likely need help.

Consider the simple act of ordering a coffee and a muffin or donut. Once upon a time, that meant physically going into the coffee shop and giving your order to the attendant (or barista, as the case may be). Today, you can use an app on your phone to place the order – and the expectation is that it’ll be ready and waiting when you get to the shop. Ensuring the order is ready requires the store to have some kind of compute technology in-house to accept the order, the very definition of edge computing. Behind the scenes, the store is constantly capturing data on all orders and matching it to inventory so it’s clear when it’s time to re-stock and even anticipate future customer orders. On a regional level, analyzing all the data makes it possible to keep track of differences between stores or regions, enabling each store to personalize offerings.

Education is another example. For years schools of all stripes have been bringing technology into the classroom. Many now have 1:1 programs where students all have some type of computing device and use it routinely throughout the day to access online resources. Standardized tests are likewise increasingly online, and now, with many students at home, schools are having to deal with remote teaching models. Of course, the pandemic has expedited this shift to digital learning overnight.

Beyond education and retail, edge computing applications can be found in a variety of other segments. Yet no matter to what industry your customer’s initiatives are geared, most of it requires edge computing resources and network connectivity – and if they’re not available, it’s a problem.

Edge Computing Drives Need for IT Help

In nearly all aspects of life, technology is changing customer experiences and expectations. This puts pressure on companies to keep up with competitors in the technology race or even to re-invent themselves.

Most can’t do it on their own, so they turn to MSP or IT solution providers for help. IT functions that are core to their business will likely continue to be handled internally, but they increasingly will look to outsource non-core functions. These functions are still important to the business but don’t typically drive direct value or revenue.

For example, power protection isn’t typically a core competency for the vast majority of companies, yet it’s crucial to ensuring edge computing environments can function even through power anomalies or failures. These sites need adequate availability of power to keep business up and running. That makes power protection a great candidate for outsourcing and, thus, a great opportunity for IT solution providers.

Introducing a Power Management Opportunity with Dispatch Services 

For IT solution providers who want to pursue this opportunity, they need an approach to proactively offer managed power services without incurring a lot of additional expense and resources. For example, one option on the market now that meets that need is EcoStruxure ITTM Expert enabled with Dispatch Services.

EcoStruxure IT  is a next-generation platform that enables IT solution providers to assess the health of devices at customer sites, including uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and power distribution units (PDUs), through its software, EcoStruxure IT Expert. Whenever a problem arises, EcoStruxure IT Expert arms solution providers with actionable intelligence to try and troubleshoot the problem remotely and help their customers understand and remedy the problem.

Not all problems can be remedied remotely, of course; sometimes a technician is needed for advanced remote troubleshooting or required on site for repairs. That’s where Dispatch Services comes in.

Dispatch Services is tiered to set up MSPs for success. IT solution providers are certified to provide basic remote support for common problems at customer sites. For any problem IT solution providers can’t resolve on their own using IT Expert, the service enables them to hand it off to a support team in one of the Schneider Electric Connected Service Hubs. They will conduct advanced troubleshooting and, if they can’t fix the problem over the phone, will dispatch a technician to go onsite equipped with parts. And therein lies the power of the program for solution providers: they don’t have to invest in additional field service personnel to do the work because Schneider Electric will do it on their behalf.

Benefits for IT Solution Providers 

Solution providers can grow their recurring revenue and still own the relationship with the customer, by offering a new service without having to invest in additional headcount, vehicles or other expenses. Additionally, service providers can potentially extend their reach to new geographic areas because Dispatch Services will be available in North America in January and parts of Europe by mid-2021 and, eventually, most areas worldwide.

Learn more about expanding your service offerings to include managed power at distributed IT sites and how you can grow revenue with a variety of solution options from Schneider Electric. Not yet a partner? Register for our partner program today and start growing your business.

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