The UPS space has made a huge leap in technology to innovate and create scalable, pay-as-you-grow solutions. This has become a huge enablement for the channel to participate in a healthy market. The UPS is no longer about power management but has evolved to include efficiencies of managing power in an Internet enablement IT environment. For the Middle East, power management has become an imperative.
Thierry Chamayou, channel director, Middle East and Africa at APC by Schneider Electric, says APC is committed to bringing new and innovative power protection solutions to its channel partners and their customers. Chamayou says the company has continued to invest in R&D every year and bringing superior products into the market.
He adds that in the Middle East region, APC launched the enhanced Channel Partner Programme a couple of years back and the programme is a huge success across the region. “Through the programme, we empower and enable our partners to equip themselves with the tools, resources and the support to maximise the opportunities in the power management space,” he says.
Chamayou adds that power shortage is a global phenomenon now and is not just confined to the Middle East region. He points out that with a 10% GDP growth per year and future investments, the Middle East is the region where channel partners will probably need APC solutions most to both take care of their clients OPEX and help them reduce their power consumption.
George Saliba, sales manager at regional distributor Medmark, says as a distributor representing the INFOSEC UPS brand in the Middle East, the company has seen tremendous growth of its offerings to the region’s channel. Saliba adds that the reasons for this growth have been the after sales support that INFOSEC through its distributors offers channel partners in the region. “This coupled with the warranty the company offers has made INFOSEC’s offering more appealing,” he says. “We provide two years warranty for UPS’s up to 20 KVA. Above 20 KVA, we give a one-year warranty.”
Saliba explains that under the warranty period, INFOSEC will either replace or repair (depending on the request) of the defective goods with no extra charges. “A one-year warranty can be added in specific situations,” he says. “Efficient after-sales service is available with a guarantee of two years for UPSes and a lifetime guarantee for surge protectors.”
Saliba says beyond the after sales support that INFOSEC provides to the channel, the vendor also offers Customer Engineer Training Programme for end-user customers to ensure that they get trained on its UPS offerings. “This helps in ensuring peace of mind at end-user level,” he notes.
Chamayou says that for APC going green has as much to do about producing less carbon footprint as producing energy savings for consumers by using more energy efficient solutions. “We recently launched initiatives that are set to change the way power management and cooling solutions are operated and managed in this part of the world,” he says. “These include data centre audit mechanism service which aims at enabling enterprises to measure and optimise the performance of their data centre facilities.”
Chamayou says the services team audits the data center and provides the customer with detailed proposals to improve energy efficiency. “The proposal recommends a range of solutions leading to a scale of gains from minimum to maximum, so the client can implement the changes that best fit their business needs and data centre environments,” he says. Chamayou adds that more data centre managers are starting to look at energy as a productive asset, and they need the tools to be able to help maximise the resources at hand as there are and will continue to be business and regulatory climates that demand increased efficiencies within the data centre.
He adds that APC’s new audit service brings significant ROI as customers optimise current infrastructure and plan for future growth or consolidation.
Chamayou says the insatiable appetite for computing power and disk space which is growing every year, coupled with the increasing requirements for extended periods of data availability, is a breeding ground for utilisation of data centres. He explains that while in the Gulf region the cost of energy has not been a major concern this is becoming more of a priority. “We have already seen clients of hosting providers, starting to demand visibility as to what their actual consumption is and starting to demand usage based payments,” he says. “This is something that is likely to be mirrored in captive data centres as organisations are demanding more visibility into their operational costs.” He adds that the high cost of power is driving the demand for greener data centres which can help minimise the energy consumption and reduce the operational costs.
Chamayou says APC’s channel partners are benefiting from the company’s green initiatives as green is the way to go in the future both for environmental reasons as well as reducing energy costs. However, he points out that the awareness towards green is slowly but surely building up among the end users as well as the channel in the Middle East. “Resellers tend to benefit when the buyer is looking for power protection solutions which will not increase his energy costs and provides less carbon footprint as well,” he notes.
Chamayou emphasises that resellers have become extremely selective on the brand they would like to take to the market. “It’s all about reliability and capability to deliver the job for the buck customers pay,” he says. “Our partners and customers are becoming more than ever ‘energy efficient centric’. It has nothing to do with the size of your investment but rather with what is right for your organisation to grow in a smooth, secure and sustainable way.”
He explains that it is vital for channel partners to be aware that end-user customers are now looking for the best option for their business that will provide them with the “peace of mind” of doing business: reliability, scalability, energy efficiency, local service and support, but also innovation, state of the art technology and yet affordability.
Looking to the future, there is no doubt that the UPS market is here to grow and along with the African market. is poised to grow at 11-12% based on independent studies. Green UPS will also tend to be on focus in the coming future.
A few years ago, the traditional larger data centre UPS and cooling solutions were mere pieces of hardware with no real value add bundled to them. With power management and cooling technologies in the spotlight at the moment, the UPS arena is receiving lots of attention. Experts share insight on how solution providers can capitalise on the opportunities in the UPS market.