“We didn’t create that option for coronavirus,” Gangi notes. “It was part of the roadmap of the software tools, but having that ability and that flexibility also is a positive for the partner because they don’t have to be on prem.”
To keep cost from being a barrier to adopting the new system, Eaton has suspended subscription charges for it, and its Intelligent Power Manager solution as well, through November.
“We felt that was a way for partners to incorporate the management and control and monitoring tools that we have for the key power infrastructure at their end customers and utilize that to make sure that they can maintain that critical infrastructure,” Gangi explains.
With distancing restrictions beginning to ease across the country, Eaton is now thinking ahead to a fresh set of challenges, beginning with how to resume providing onsite support without exposing field technicians to health risks.
“As we move into June and move past the 4th of July, I see my workforce needing to be in front of their end customers with the partners, and we’ve got to find a way to do that safely,” Gangi says. “We’re working on that now.”
Eaton’s also working to get its training and certification program back in gear, so more partners have the skills to assist customers on their own. “We want to be able to get back in front of the right sales engineers and our partners, virtually of course, and help them build the competency so that they don’t necessarily need us to do all the heavy lifting,” Gangi says.
There will be more to come for Eaton’s partner program after that, he adds, but not for another 12 to 18 months.
“We want to wait for any changes to get feedback from our partner council to see if there’s things that we can do to help, but I think we’re going to let the dust settle before we do any of that,” Gangi says. “The biggest piece for us is to get back on that train of making sure we’re educating and certifying the right partners.”