Lots of Aging UPSs Present Plenty of Partner Possibilities

When the installed base of any IT product tops 20 million, that spells opportunity. And that’s exactly what APC by Schneider Electric partners have when it comes to uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units.

More than 20 million APC single-phase UPSs are installed worldwide. We estimate some 800,000 of them are approaching the end of their battery life. For partners, that represents a prime opportunity to strike up a conversation with customers that can lead to not only more UPS sales, but maintenance contracts and perhaps lots more.

The discussion can focus around at least three topics, beginning with the benefits of managing UPSs. The APC by Schneider Electric Smart-UPS line of UPSs have a comprehensive alphanumeric LCD display which provides real-time status updates and alerts when battery life is getting low. The devices have a smart slot where customers can install the APC Network Management Card (NMC), which enables secure monitoring and control of the UPS via web browser or any management system that supports SNMP, the most common network management protocol. Customers can remotely manage the devices from a central location – or have a partner do it for them. Customers will then be alerted to issues such as low battery life and will gain greater control over energy use and environmental conditions, with the ability to reboot hung devices and schedule the shut down of connected devices or entire UPSs during an extended outage or non-business hours.

Partners can also strike up a discussion about the UPS lifecycle, which typically revolves around battery life. Just like the battery in your car, a UPS battery doesn’t last forever; we recommend they be replaced every 3 to 4 years, depending on various conditions. One of those is temperature – if it’s too hot or cold, the battery will drain faster

All APC by Schneider Electric UPSs have a low-battery warning indicator light, but often the systems are stashed behind a desk, in a rack or in a server room where the blinking light just blends in with so many others. If the UPS isn’t managed, the customer may never know the battery is on its last legs until it’s too late. Partners can help do the work to find out which systems are at or near end of life.

Another talking point partners can raise gets to changes in the customer environment in the years since the UPSs were installed. Perhaps the IT load has increased, meaning the company will get shorter run time off the UPS in the event of an outage. If so, a discussion about larger or additional UPS units is in order. Or maybe the load has become more critical. For example, as customers take advantage of cloud-based applications and resources, the network equipment that provides a connection to the cloud becomes far more critical. Is that equipment properly protected?

With some 800,000 UPSs approaching end of battery life, the time is ripe for partners to get in touch with customers and start to have these conversations. They may well lead to larger conversations around additional data center infrastructure requirements, which I know our partners will be glad to fulfill.

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