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Digital transformation driving surge of interest in power protection

The sales pitch for uninterruptible power supplies has changed a lot thanks to digital transformation

The impact of the move by customers that digital transform their businesses is one that has spread out across the industry and there has hardly been a corner untouched by the trend and those dealing with power protection are enjoying a surge in demand.

With the importance of data and resilience now understood by most customers the need for power protection is rising. Couple that with moves by vendors to provide products that meet the needs of the latest customers needs around cloud and mobility and the propostion becomes more compelling.

Rob McKernan, SVP IT Europe region and global channel at Schneider Electric, said that there had been a big change in attitudes in the last few months.

"There are a lot of market trends that are going in our direction that can benefit us and our partners. We see things like IoT and edge computing and these are trends that we must have a strong proactive channel attacking," he said.

"We talk to partners and users all the time and we are seeing in our funnel of activity everything here in Europe has been picking up for the last six months," he added.

As well as making sure it can meet the market needs and arm channel partners with the right support those operating at the front line are enjoying the iniative coming from the users.

"We have spent a lot of time on products and we have spent a lot of time getting certifications and making sure our products are compatible with other vendors [recent announcements have included Cisco and Nutanix] and the other thing we are doing is ramping up our channel coverage and really making sure that we are being there for our partners," added McKernan.

The experience McKernan has seen globally has also been something that the UK channel management team have charted.

Andy Connor, UK channel director for APC at Schneider Electric, said that the time frame of rising demand had been the same.

"We have definetly seen in the last six to seven months we have seen a change in our channel partners and what they are being asked for from their customers and what we have to do with them to meet the customer needs," He said.

He added that it was talking to a lot of integrators that were looking for the right solution that could be easily inserted into a solution. It had also stepped up the skills training it could offer partners.

"Our partners are having to evolve and change the way they do business and it is up to us to help them and educate them and give them the products to take to market," he said.

The vendor is also making sure its products can fit into the managed services model and its distribution partner Exertis has been trying to make sure it can deliver the support around the technology.

Becky Slade, power and cooling business manager at Exertis, said it could deliver a white label service, a 24 hour NOC that would give resellers the chance to extend their offerings to customers.

"It is about allowing and helping APC deliver the speed of deployment that customers are looking for these days," she said.

"Hardware is becoming more commoditised but what is forgotten some of the time is the power support," she added.

When it comes to users the customers are often leading the conversation around power protection and knocking on reseller doors looking for help.

Trevor Greenaway, Europe managing director at Denali, said that users were very aware of the need to make sure that their data services were going to be resilient.

"The whole data explosion is driving our business," he added "Top of mind for us is speed and reliability. We are told by our top global suppliers they want to use [power protection]."

"The big global customers are very aware," he added "What we need is reliability and speed to market."

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