As an Intern who recently joined the Edge team in the Schneider Electric Pacific Secure Power business, I wanted to dive deeper into understanding exactly how our partners configure bespoke Local Edge solutions for their customers. Being new to the industry and having limited technical knowledge, it was critical for me to quickly get up to speed on our diverse product and solution portfolio as well as understand how we deliver integrated and efficient Edge deployments for our partners.
What is the Local Edge Configurator (LEC) tool?
In order to explore the partner experience, I recently tested out APC’s Local Edge Configurator, a nifty web-based configurator tool by Schneider Electric that allows our channel partners to easily design and configure Edge solutions in an intuitive manner. IT Solution Providers who have enrolled in our APC Channel Partner Program (at the Select level or above) have access to the APC Design Portal, where they can access this innovative software that automates the design of complex Edge deployments.
How do you use the Local Edge Configurator (LEC)?
As a first-time user of the Local Edge Configurator, it was refreshing to be greeted by a user-friendly interface that uses simple drag-and-drop functionality that allows me to add APC equipment such as UPS systems, PDUs, cooling systems and security equipment into a virtual rack enclosure. The incorporation of basic filters in the search function meant that I could select the most optimal product to integrate within the solution. For partners who don’t already know product numbers by heart, you can filter products based on specific requirements – for example: width and depth for racks enclosures or power capacity for UPS systems.
It was also incredibly easy to locate third-party IT equipment such as servers and storage options based on U-Height and power draw requirements and integrate them into a solution design. By enabling me to visualise all the selected equipment within the final configuration, the Local Edge Configurator allowed me to double check that the solution generated from the products I had selected would fulfil customer’s physical and technical specifications.
As someone with relatively limited technical knowledge on solution requirements, the rules-based Notes and Warnings functionality was incredibly reassuring in verifying that the specific products I had chosen would be compatible and ensuring that I had considered any restrictions or errors in my proposed solution. After I had finalised my design, I realised that there were also Micro Data Centre reference designs accessible from the home page, which would be incredibly useful as a starting point to shape and determine your unique customer solutions. You’re also able to save your own reference designs to enable consistency and the ability to clone for future deployments.
Key benefits for partners
It’s obvious why the Local Edge Configurator drives efficiency for our partners – the clear time and cost savings means that partners can dedicate more of their time towards collaborating with their customers to fulfil their unique specifications within any deployment environment.
For example, the ability to save reference designs ensures future scalability to support rapid deployments for additional client sites. The ordering process also becomes so much simpler, with the option for all components to be pre-integrated and delivered in a shock-proof box directly to partners. The streamlined system also allows our partners to configure integrated solutions to leverage third-party IT architecture from our Alliance partners to enable more resilient and sustainable digital transformation at the Edge. Finally, the tool generates the potential to increase profitability for our partners through competitive discount programs as part of the Opportunity Registration Program.
Driving value for customers
The benefits of the Local Edge Configurator extend beyond partners and delivers additional value to end users too! The tool enables our partners to present solutions to their customers in an easy-to-understand manner through the visual layout and generated reports such as a Bill of Material to facilitate collaboration and visibility at every stage of an opportunity.
Test out this incredible Local Edge Configurator tool for yourself.
Join us as an APC Channel Partner to unlock access to a unique suite of tools, training and benefits to support your business growth.
About the author:
Matthew Fu is an Intern in the Edge team within the Secure Power Division of Schneider Electric. Matthew is currently studying his Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op) in Marketing and Finance at the University of New South Wales and has industry experience in marketing within the Pharmaceuticals, Information Technology and Consumer Goods industries in Australia. He is passionate about understanding the future of edge computing, digital transformation and consumer-centric innovation across diverse industries.