Protecting and Updating Customer IT Environments with UPS Assessments

ups assessments important to business continuity

Wherever you run IT infrastructure, whether on-premise, in the cloud or at the edge, power backup is critical. While end customers generally don’t give it much thought, solution providers know how important it is to keep UPSs functioning properly.

This requires keeping the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) install base up to date. Typically, as many as 20% of UPSs in place have gotten past their service life. They should be replaced or retrofitted; otherwise, when an outage or power problem occurs, they might not provide the needed backup power.

UPS Assessment Opportunities

To ensure a healthy, reliable power backup environment, solution providers should offer UPS assessment services to customers. This is especially important with new customers, when you are still learning the environment and determining what needs to be upgraded.

There are three main types of UPS assessments you can perform:

UPS health assessment

This is similar to a checkup with a doctor. You look at factors such as UPS health and battery cycles, age and wear, as well as issues such as the temperature around the battery, to determine the expected end of life of a unit. Included in the process is a review of battery wear, and what may be causing degradation, which can lead to discovering other problems in a customer’s environment. A problem like this can have a number of causes – anything from a cleaning crew inadvertently pulling a plug or power spikes caused by construction outside the building. Once you identify these issues, you can inform the customer and recommend improvements.

Security assessment

In this type of assessment, you look at the potential exposure of the UPS to cyber threats. This includes reviewing network protocols, password practices and whether the firmware is kept updated or if the device is capable of accepting the latest firmware upgrade to stay in compliance. Many vulnerabilities are caused by failing to apply patches and updates, which opens the door to cyber attacks. Another common issue is the failure to replace factory-issued passwords or using passwords that are easy to guess. Having a good handle on security issues can prevent costly attacks.

Load assessment

This type of assessment provides plenty of insights by looking at the current load of each UPS unit, ongoing trends, and projections for what a load is likely to be in a month. Data collected from UPS units detects anomalies, such as spikes in voltage, which can then be reviewed to determine the cause and come up with a solution. This type of data is useful when the time comes to upgrade the environment so it can be sized properly.

How to Offer UPS Assessments

IT solution providers can perform UPS assessments remotely by leveraging Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxureTM IT remote monitoring and management platform. UPS data on various metrics is collected on a continuum, and available to providers whenever they need it. For instance, when reviewing battery wear, the system provides a UPS score that shows improvement and degradation trends. If the score is red, immediate action is necessary.

UPS assessments can be monetized as a managed services offering. Providers stand to benefit from delivering the service in multiple ways:

  • Gain visibility into customer environments so you can fine-tune alarm thresholds and collect insights to address potential downtime-causing issues
  • When signing new customers, perform discovery to identify UPS units in place and learn the customer’s environment
  • Minimize truck rolls by delivering additional remote management and protection services
  • Deliver standardized services based on best practices that save you and the customer money

Another significant benefit is that UPS assessments let you take steps toward predictive maintenance services, which saves you and the customer time and money by performing routine maintenance tasks as required as opposed to following a calendar-based schedule. If you are ready to shift from a reactive to a proactive approach in managing your customers’ IT environments, check out UPS assessments and managed power services by visiting the power management resource site.

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