If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a 3D model must be worth at least three times that, right? And what if you can play with the model, turning it this way and that, zooming in on different components, tearing away walls and doors to peer inside – how much is it worth?
Take a minute to check out the model we built for our NetShelter SX and Rack PDUs. Move your mouse around to rotate the entire cabinet, zoom in on any area you want, click on the little orange tabs to get more information about various components. Or click on the “Explore Product Animations” link at the top left to walk through some of the pre-programmed animations that show product highlights.
It doesn’t take long to get the sense that this is a powerful tool, especially for something as large as an IT rack. It’s expensive to get such products in front of customers; they either have to come to you or you have to ship it to a trade show.
Kaon presents another alternative and the beauty is it can be used anywhere. We’ve used it in our St. Louis Technology Center and at trade shows, where it’s been quite effective. In fact, that’s how Schneider Electric got started with Kaon. We had some of our prefabricated data center containers modeled in the tool and visitors to the booth could walk up to a kiosk and thoroughly explore them. It’s pretty much impossible to bring an ISO container to a trade show, but the Kaon tool made it possible to give visitors a real sense for what they’re all about.
The tool is also accessible from any web browser, which means partners can walk through it with customers during a sales presentation. Say a customer has a particular piece of IT equipment with a plug on the left side and wants to see how it will fit in a rack. Using the Kaon tool, you can “remove” doors and panels to get a view that will show exactly how the equipment will fit. There’s also a measurement tool incorporated, so customers can get the exact dimensions of a rack.
You can include a link to the tool in your marketing emails, and recipients will be free to share it with others. You can even embed the code for the tool on your own web site, using whatever images you like – no need for expensive product videos. Partners could build a dedicated landing page to APC by Schneider Electric rack systems, using Kaon to showcase the products like never before. And, of course, you can also link to the tool from any blog posts, just like this.
So far we’ve got full-blown models for the NetShelter SX and our rack PDUs. We’ve also got one for our NetShelter CX but used a video that we already had on hand, which is not quite as powerful. But we’ll be building more over time.
Lots of other IT vendors have likewise signed on with Kaon and built models showcasing their own products. (Click here to see the list – just select “Information Technology” from the Industries menu.) As they model their own products, over time we expect it’ll be possible to populate our rack models with models of IT equipment from these other vendors, so customers could “build” a rack with the actual gear they’ll be using.
We’ll be working on that but any partner that wants can also license the Kaon software and do that kind of modeling on their own; it may well be worth your while.
Various other groups within Schneider Electric are also using the tool to model their products, ranging from UPSs and circuit breakers to close-coupled air conditioners and prefabricated facility modules. We expect the tool will be a big help in demonstrating the value of our products to customers. I encourage you to explore it for yourself and think about how you can get the most out of it.