Schneider Electric has unveiled its Edge Software & Digital Services Program – a complete suite of benefits, support tools and certifications that enables IT solution providers to create a Managed Power Services practice.
Formulated in response to the significant growth in edge computing, this new program enables IT solution providers to establish recurring revenue streams by offering remote monitoring and management of the physical infrastructure across their customers’ networks, utilising Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT Software & Digital Services. This new Edge Software & Digital Services Program is part of the award-winning mySchneider IT Solutions Partner Program, formerly known as the APC Channel Partner Program.
Remote monitoring and management
According to Gartner, it is estimated that by 2025, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a traditional, centralised data centre or cloud. However, because the edge infrastructure is geographically distributed, often with no on-site IT, it invariably requires remote monitoring and management. This paves the way for major opportunities in selling Managed Power Services. Yet, today, just 27% of IT solution providers are offering Managed Power Services.
"The acceleration of edge computing presents an enormous opportunity for IT solution providers to increase their recurring revenue streams by selling Managed Power Services," says David Terry, VP IT channels, Schneider Electric Europe. "We have built a comprehensive program for partners that simplifies and speeds up the time required to set up their Managed Power Service practice. This will enable partners to address their customers’ needs, through effective monitoring and management of their customers’ edge sites, which is now considered a mission-critical priority."
Core components of the Edge Software & Digital Services Program include:
- Lifecycle rebates – an ongoing financial benefit for IT solution providers to reinvest in their business
- Step-by-step operational e-guide – ‘The Essential Guide to Growing Your Business with Managed Power Services’
- Certification paths – educational courses designed to increase technical and business acumen related to digital remote monitoring software and service options
- EcoStruxure IT Software and Digital Services – access to Schneider Electric’s flexible portfolio, offering advanced, 24/7 remote monitoring, and remote/on-site support
The business case for building a Managed Power Services Practice
The managed services market has expanded significantly over the past decade, and now represents almost $160 billion in IT revenues managed through IT solution providers. By establishing a Managed Power Services practice, IT solution providers can create new revenue streams by monitoring and managing customers’ physical infrastructure assets in their edge environment.
This includes the power, cooling, environmental, and physical security assets. In fact, the addition of Managed Power Services adds 1.5-times additional revenue over the lifecycle of the asset. Moreover, IT solution providers can help improve resiliency of these sites with proactive maintenance, and identify hardware refreshes, to help reduce their customers’ operational expenses.
To offset the start-up costs, the Edge Software & Digital Services Program includes a Customer Lifecycle Rebate. This initiative has been developed based on feedback from IT solution providers, and rewards mySchneider IT Partners for various actions across the lifecycle of the customer engagement, including attaching, monitoring, servicing and upgrading customer assets.
Resources to help IT Partners build their Managed Power Services
The Edge Software & Digital Services Program gives partners free access to resources including The Essential Guide to Growing your Business with Managed Power Services, a step-by-step guide that enables the smooth development of a managed services practice. The program also offers two new certification paths, tailored to partners’ specific focus, whether for reselling software and services or for full-service monitor and management. Both certifications are designed to elevate partners’ managed power services competencies, regardless of current business stage and capabilities.
Certified partners have access to an experienced, dedicated Partner Success Manager who will guide them through their development journey and accelerate time-to-revenue. All participants in the program have access to design tools, as well as to Schneider Electric’s Exchange Platform, which is an open business platform that connects industry experts and technology partners, to increase competitive positioning and business innovation.
EcoStruxure IT Software and Digital Services offers flexibility and scalability
EcoStruxure IT Software & Digital Services provides flexibility in managed services to enable IT solution providers to scale up their practice as required. Built with partners in mind, this flexible, customisable portfolio empowers IT solution providers to deliver advanced 24/7 remote monitoring, and remote/on-site support, with options for them to leverage their service investments or outsource to Schneider’s service experts. Schneider Electric’s digital services portfolio is enabled by its EcoStruxure IT Platform, which supports successful deployment, monitoring, and maintenance at the edge. mySchneider IT solution providers can select and layer software and digital services so that they can build a solution that best suits their business model and customers’ needs.
Rob McKernan, senior vice president, secure power Europe region, Schneider Electric, explains that in UK especially, Schneider Electric has seen a lot of activity around cloud and edge computing within the healthcare and biotech space, and he believes this will continue beyond the immediate needs around COVID-19. McKernan also sees substantial take-up within manufacturing and the warehousing distribution sectors. “These applications can be highly profit-generating, and if processes in these areas can be done better and faster through deploying IT that requires critical power and physical security, that's where we and our partners fit in.”
Within manufacturing, McKernan reflects that automotive is currently going through an IT strategy change. He also observes that transportation in terms of railways, Metros and so on are also going through some level digitalisation. Also, within logistics, Schneider Electric is witnessing changes taking place in automated/digitised warehousing in order to keep processes running more efficiently. As well as efficiency, security is also top of mind for many companies, says McKernan. “Real-time access to data is certainly driving many of the IT decisions,” he says. “Many of our Alliance Partners are securing a lot of their business because of this advantage for customers, and Schneider Electric can complete the picture in terms of the reliability and resiliency of these solutions. That’s very much what we’re known for, being able to provide solutions that offer reliable and predictable resiliency.”
McKernan says Schneider Electric has been very focused on the goal of greater sustainability, adding that IT and the need for a strategy for sustainable data centres – whether large cloud data centres or edge data centres – is now front and centre for everything the company does. “We’ve been doing this for a number of years, but I don’t think we’ve talked about this enough,” he remarks. “When you think about sustainability, I think there is the way we develop and manufacture and distribute products from origination to end of life of products. So, we’re doing a lot in that area.”
In Europe, McKernan is seeing the sustainability message within IT heavily driven at the cloud level, mainly because of the size and scale of the energy that is often used. “For edge data centres, sustainability is also in that conversation but it's more a case of how we size it, how we give customers the right efficiency and the right resiliency, and we’re working on those things as well as the lifecycle of the product. So, there’s a lot of opportunity here in Europe for us and our partners.”
Support in Europe
McKernan points out that the Edge Software & Digital Services Program introduction in Europe is only of few months behind the US. “We have learned a lot from the US rollout, so in Europe we have to provide the right level of information to our partners to help them get started,” he says. “We also need to stay with the early adopters in terms of the technical part of it; for example, ensuring we have the right technical APIs to tie into their managed service offering, and to be able to customise something if necessary.”
McKernan comments that Schneider Electric’s cloud business has grown well in Europe over the past few years. “We have seen customers in our key verticals transitioning their on-premises and edge-type applications very dramatically,” he says. “So, we've enjoyed a substantial increase in the overall pipeline of cloud and edge. Also, within manufacturing, digitalilsation is taking place at a rapid rate. There's now a lot more IT on the manufacturing floor and on the warehouse floor, and this is helping them to drive more efficient manufacturing and warehousing process.”