Schneider Electric has extended relationships in its ecosystem and bolstered the support on offer to its channel to try to reach more of the opportunity that is emerging around the convergence between IT and OT (operational technology).
The vendor has co-developed with Aveva industrial edge reference designs, including solutions from Lenovo and Stratus, that should help the channel roll out IT/OT deployments more easily.
The firm has been banging the drum around the changes happening at the edge for a while, noting that customers were increasingly pushing more IT beyond their traditional perimeters. Research it commissioned from Canalys last year revealed that healthcare, manufacturing and education were the verticals leading the charge.
Schneider is aiming to bring its channel along for the ride and is highlighting the opportunities that edge computing in the industrial arena offers. It will provide education and encourage collaboration through the Schneider Electric Exchange.
“The smart factory is becoming smarter. Our expanded partnerships and new industrial edge programs empower systems integrators to leverage their domain expertise and become IT/OT convergence specialists and meet these needs for their customers,” said Philippe Rambach, senior vice-president of industrial automation at Schneider Electric.
“We know that smart manufacturing is driving an unprecedented wave of IT technologies into industrial spaces. As companies leverage AI [artificial intelligence], robotic processing automation, and more, they will require edge computing solutions to reduce latency and enable resiliency, while ensuring privacy and security, and addressing important data and bandwidth requirements,” he added.
The firm quoted channel player World Wide Technology, which has argued that being able to generate pre-configured technology platforms and devices before shipment increased deployment speed and could reduce field engineering costs by 25-40% and increase order processing speed by 20%.
The vendor is increasing the assistance it can provide partners to get them into a position to exploit the emerging opportunities. The firm is making a digital training series available around its solutions that target the edge computing environment.
The 14-session development program focuses on how to leverage the reference designs get resellers in a position to be able to deliver complete IT/OT convergence solutions for customers.
Schneider is also looking to use its Electric Exchange to help partners identify those that are edge-certified IT solution providers. The platform also features a tool that pairs Alliance System Integrators with Schneider Electric’s edge-certified IT channel partners.
The vendor has more than 400 IT solution providers globally that are already certified to build, deploy and service edge computing solutions.
Within the Exchange, the industrial edge community should help generate new business and give those looking for assistance the chance to reach out to other experts. It is designed to facilitate new business and address IT/OT projects.
“Schneider Electric’s extensive partner ecosystem is unparalleled in both IT and OT systems, making it an unrivalled advantage over the competition,” said Pankaj Sharma, executive vice-president of secure power at Schneider Electric. “When you combine the power of the partner ecosystem with our expertise at the edge and the breadth of our offer, it’s a winning trifecta for systems integrators and IT solution providers.”