Schneider Electric has introduced a new partner program designed to help channel pros create and expand managed power practices.
The Edge Software & Digital Services Program, which is part of the larger mySchneider IT Solutions Partner Program, arms members to augment one-time sales of power infrastructure with ongoing service and support revenue, according to Gail Frederickson, Schneider Electric’s director of channel marketing and strategic execution.
“As our partners go on this journey [and] they evolve out of hardware buy/resale and into the managed service area, we need to be right there with them providing a program that aligns with that,” she says.
Membership in the new program is open to VARs getting started in managed services as well as experienced MSPs looking to expand their roster of managed offerings. “It’s really meant for any type of partner to be able to get in and understand how they can leverage this to make their business more profitable,” Frederickson says.
Partners who earn the entry-level Software & Digital Services for Edge Computing certification, which teaches them how to spec and sell power services, can join the new program at the Select tier. Those who go on to earn the more rigorous Managed Services & Software for Edge Computing certification, which provides instruction on remotely administering power solutions and running a managed power business, rise to the Premier level.
Select partners are eligible to participate in the opportunity registration program Schneider introduced last summer. Premier partners also receive a partner success manager and “lifecycle rebates” that begin paying off when they first sell a solution and continue through key milestones to renewal.
“That way they have a constant flow of rebate,” Frederickson observes.
Premier partners also get temporary assistance from an “MSP architect” tasked with helping them build and execute a customized blueprint for getting their managed power practice up and running.
“You’re going to have someone working with you hand in hand to get you off the ground until you’re self-sufficient,” Frederickson says.
The new partner program seeks to help channel pros adopt and sell Schneider Electric’s Edge Software & Digital Services suite, a collection of monitoring, management, and repair offerings for power gear that partners can deliver themselves or outsource to Schneider. The portfolio is vendor agnostic, and can be used to support products from any power infrastructure manufacturer.
A significant opportunity in traditional settings like network closets and data centers, Schneider says, managed power has become an even bigger potential source of income for channel pros since the rise of edge computing. According to Gartner, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a data center or cloud by 2024. IDC, meanwhile, expects global spending on edge computing to grow at a 12.5% CAGR through 2024 to $250.6 billion.
Schneider estimates the managed power services market to be worth some $160 billion a year already. Citing data from SolarWinds MSP, however, the company says that just 27% of IT providers have a managed power practice at present.
“It’s definitely an emerging market,” Frederickson says. Channel pros ignoring it are missing out on a significant stream of incremental revenue, she continues. Schneider Electric survey data, in fact, shows that power equipment resellers who provide managed power services as well collect 1.5 times the original value of a deal over the hardware’s lifetime.
Delivering managed power support also gives partners another way to stay in touch with clients and provide continuous value to them, Frederickson says. “They’re really looking to create that long lasting relationship with their customers, and this practice will allow them to do that around their power infrastructure.”
Launching a managed power practice is a lengthy and expensive process for most channel pros, however, especially those with no or limited experience in managed services. “They need help offsetting those costs,” Frederickson observes.
They also need guidance on a range of sales and technical matters, she continues. “This requires some expertise. It requires some know-how. And so we’re prepared to offer them the tools [and] the resources that they need in order to set this up.”
Schneider Electric competitor Eaton sees promise in managed power as well. The company has been encouraging its partners to offer managed support with help from products like its Visual Power Manager and Intelligent Power Manager applications, as well as offerings like its PredictPulse remote monitoring service. Last October, Eaton also introduced a new analytics platform designed to glean operational insights from power products, including systems from companies other than Eaton, and then feed them to a variety of potentially subscription-based solutions.