When working with our customers on different projects, it’s easy to forget about the installation of their single phase UPSs. In most sites, they are scattered all over the place. They may be in closets, scattered throughout racks in the data center, under desks, and tucked into various corners. Of all of the IT equipment your customers have, the single phase UPS is the most likely to be treated with a “set it and forget it” mentality – until there is an outage.
As your customer’s trusted advisor, there are three ways that you can help support their fleet of single phase UPSs. This will not only add value to the customer and strengthen your partnership; it creates opportunity for additional sales.
#1 Educate your Customer and Encourage Factory Service Plans
In their white paper, Single Phase UPS Management, Maintenance, and Lifecycle, Schneider Electric reviews the basics for Single Phase UPS maintenance. As partners, we are already familiar with these – replace the batteries every 3-5 years, make sure the UPS is installed in a proper environment with the correct temperature and humidity, and replace the UPS as soon as it starts to show signs of reaching the end of its useful life.
Being in the business, these may be things that we think about every day. But our customers don’t. Take the time to educate your customers on the proper maintenance of their UPS and encourage them to establish a schedule of battery replacements and preventive maintenance. When they purchase a UPS, sell them an extended warranty. For UPSs over 5000VA, sell them a Single Phase Advantage Plan so they have access to factory parts and support.
#2 Audit their Fleet of Single Phase UPSs
Consider going through your customer’s site and auditing each Single Phase UPS. Create a spreadsheet tracking the various assets. Be sure to take note of the model and serial number. From the serial number, you can determine the age of the unit (the first two numerals indicate year of manufacture). Ask your customer when the last battery replacement occurred. Take the temperature of the room and observe the airflow. Improper ventilation and high temperatures will age the batteries and fans prematurely.
Once you determine the units in need of battery replacement and the units that have reached or are approaching the end of their useful life, help your customer determine what they need to purchase with the APC UPS Battery & Upgrade Selector. And don’t forget to take advantage of the Trade-UPS program for additional discounts and incentives. Discuss whether it’s practical for them to maintain some spare batteries. They will need the capability to store the batteries in a room with an ambient temperature of 77 degrees or less. They will need to be charged every six months and should be used within 18 months. If this isn’t practical for your customer, consider maintaining a spare parts and battery inventory for them.
#3 Establish Management Processes
Now that you have this nice spreadsheet with all of the information about your customer’s single phase UPSs, its time to formalize the management of their fleet of UPSs. Each UPS should have a network management card installed and those in remote areas of the site should include environmental monitoring. Be sure they are using PowerChute to remotely manage their UPS. If they have 25 of more single phase UPSs throughout their site, discuss the benefits of StruxureWare to centrally manage their entire power and cooling infrastructure.
Another option they may want to consider is the Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP). With CPP, your customer can replace old Smart-UPS with new refurbished models complete with a 2-year warranty. Ask your ISSR for details and pricing.
While the equipment purchase of a single phase UPS is not a significant sale on its own, your customers that have installations of multiple single phase UPSs need support and the more you can help them manage and maintain their single phase UPSs, the stronger your partnership with them becomes. Be proactive and keep track of their equipment as it ages. Remind them when battery replacements are due and when extended warranty periods are about to expire. Once the UPS is approaching the end of its useful life, start talking about replacement. It’s a great time to discuss their overall requirements and identify any changes that may be needed. And not just in response to the age of the UPS, but also any changes in your customer’s IT environment such as high-density to support virtualization.
The replacement UPSs, batteries and service plan renewals represent more than just incremental revenue for you, it demonstrates customer service and offers an opportunity to have a conversation with your customer about any current or future power and cooling needs – and we all know those conversations can lead to the big projects.