As a supportive measure, global leader in critical power and cooling services, APC by Schneider Electric is providing its resellers with advice on how not to miss sales opportunities.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) upgrading
Enterprises that use convergent networks or virtual servers or have revamped their equipment do not necessarily think to increase UPS power and autonomy. "Using yesterday’s UPS to protect today’s networks – or underestimating the electrical protection required – is a surefire way to run into safety and availability problems," explains Olivier Delepine, sales and operations services manager for Africa at APC by Schneider Electric.
"Offer customers greater peace of mind with an extended one to three year warranty covering all their UPS units, or at least keep their UPS up to scratch with replacement, 100 percent compatible, authentic APC battery cartridges," he adds.
Upgrading UPS systems therefore means more profits for resellers and provides customers with better protection while fostering a faultless "trusted advisor" relationship.
Warranty renewal/ extension
Extending the lifespan of a customer's current UPS system is another way to generate earnings from APC products. By renewing a warranty that covers all customer equipment (UPS unit, batteries and parts), resellers provide their customers with greater peace of mind.
"A one- or three-year warranty extends the cost effectiveness of their UPS system and guarantees rapid repair or replacement in the event of a breakdown," he adds.
"APC's warranty covers the free, next-day delivery of parts or a replacement UPS unit. The reseller is thus promised rapid intervention at customer premises and the
possibility to highlight service value."
One- and three-year warranty extensions are provided in the form of a CD. A one year warranty extension generally increases order value by 10% to 12%, which is why it should be offered with every sale.
A warranty extension period means more contact with customers and therefore more opportunities to strengthen the reseller's role as a trusted advisor. The warranty extension deadline is again an opportunity to offer the customer a renewal or other additional products and services.
For customers who purchased their UPS system more than two years ago, battery aging offers a fresh opportunity to make a sale. Delepine maintains that many customers think they are protected simply because their UPS system has never failed them.
"They may not be aware that their battery is exhausted. Checking battery condition is the first step toward an upgrade for even if the UPS unit is only a few years old and is performing well. Once the battery is discharged a service interruption is always possible. It is therefore crucial to ward against this by purchasing APC replacement
batteries which come with a one-year warranty."
In addition, APC recycles old batteries in an ecological manner and to such an extent that virtually all the lead is reused.
UPS management and control
The UPS's environment can be monitored through management boards connecting it to the network. Resellers can also offer their customers the APC full administration system that manages the protection of power supplies to servers and other equipment.
APC’s PowerChute Business Edition software provides a centralised, single-console view of UPS condition such as data on battery life and charge consumed.
Should the power fail and the batteries become exhausted, the software will cleanly shut down strategic applications and the operating system. The SNMP agent allows the UPS to be managed remotely via a network supervision console.
Resellers can offer customers looking to use the network a Web/SNMP network management board which connects the UPS system to the network and provides it with its own IP address. This board can forward alarms as soon as an event occurs and, if the battery is depleted, will cleanly shut down servers or allow remote rebooting.
Two other boards are available to integrate the environment management function (temperature and humidity control) and a modem function.
Sell an overall solution
“When a customer wants to buy components, APC recommends that you identify the need as well as all of the related problems that initially prompted the approach so that the customer can be offered an overall solution.
"If the customer wants a UPS, the reseller must assure him that he is making the right choice and that he is acquiring the best possible technology. The reseller may for instance ask if some of the customer's applications require redundancy, or if it would not be wise to add an APC rack that is 100 percent compatible with all servers available on the market, and offer to fit this with remotely administered plug panels, air-conditioning and so on. In short, the reseller must assess the customer's case in detail," Delepine concludes.