With the movement to the cloud going full throttle, customers naturally have lots of questions about which resources make sense to move the cloud, and when. To inform that decision, they need to know what the effect on their remaining infrastructure will be.
In addition, customers still have questions related to their on-premises infrastructure and software. What’s still supported and what’s close to end-of-life? We saw customers face the end of life challenge recently with Windows XP, while end of General Support for vSphere 5.1 came in August 2016 and VSphere 5.5 will see the same fate in August 2018.
APC by Schneider Electric is putting its partners in position to help customers deal with these events and more with the launch of EcoStruxure™ IT. EcoStruxure IT is a cloud-based architecture that provides actionable intelligence about their customers, allowing partners to assess, monitor, manage, model and plan their customers’ IT facilities.
Here’s how it works:
Customers download a simple software gateway and within minutes it self-discovers all devices on the network. It then feeds data from those devices to the cloud platform maintained by APC by Schneider Electric. It’s that easy!
Where things get interesting is data from all customers is fed into a data lake, where it’s combined with information from various other customers. This information is not just about data center infrastructure as Schneider Electric has access to all sorts of data on building infrastructure including energy use, cooling efficiency, and more. By applying artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, informed conclusions can be drawn about the expected performance of various components based on the experiences of other customers included in the data lake.
What’s more, partners receive detailed information about their customer environments, enabling them to provide actionable intelligence to their customers. This allows partners to help customers understand the best way to lay out their data centers, and the most cost-effective way to plan for growth. Examples include the cost benefits of moving a given application to the cloud, including what it means for the infrastructure that’s left behind in the data center, taking into account all the power and cooling implications. In some cases, partners may determine it’s more cost-effective for some applications to remain on-premises – and be able to give the reasoning of exactly why.
Similarly, EcoStruxture IT can help customers identify systems that will soon be out of support and what the ramifications are. For example, some servers running vSphere 5.5 may not be able to run vSphere 6.5. Partners will be able to explain to customers exactly how many servers need to be upgraded, work with them on budgeting, and help right-size the environment, right down to the best racks, PDUs and the like.
In short, EcoStruxure IT allows partners to have more meaningful conversations with their customers. At the same time, the software delivers more pull-through revenue, giving partners the inside track to order any required equipment and software the analysis identifies. Given how quickly EcoStruxure IT can deliver meaningful results, partners will also experience much shorter sales cycles.
EcoStruxure IT is a SaaS model with three purchase options: monthly or annual pricing as well as a one-time assessment. The assessment is a two-week engagement during which EcoStruxture IT gathers data on the customer environment and uses it to provide a report with recommended changes or upgrades. It’s great for giving customers a taste of the offering, or for partners that only want to use it as a way to sell hardware and software. Alternatively, the monthly and annual packages give partners a recurring revenue stream and a consistent look into customer environments, so they can continually offer advice and guidance.
Components for data gathering, analysis and optimization, plus a partner portal, are available now, while additional modules for monitoring and analytics will be released in 2018. By the end of the year, everything customers can currently do with a StruxureWare appliance on-premises will be available from EcoStruxure IT in the cloud.
To learn more about EcoStruxure IT and what it can do for customers – and your business – visit our solutions page.