How the channel can capitalise on the rise of edge computing

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How the channel can capitalise on the rise of edge computing

Edge computing and sustainability requirements are reshaping business’s IT environments – and businesses need the IT channel to help.

Demand for edge solutions is coming from everywhere from retail organisations to mining, transport services and logistics companies, Schneider Electric explained via its Innovation Day 2021 earlier this year.

"We're seeing a rise in the big pillars as a result of the edge phenomenon – IT edge as a by-product of cloud computing, telco edge as a by-product of 5G roll-out, and industrial edge as a by-product of automation and machine learning," says Joe Craparotta, VP Secure Power, Schneider Electric.

And use of edge computing is predicted to grow. “By 2025 it’s estimated that we’ll see an 800 per cent increase in applications at the edge,” Dell Enterprise SVP & MD Mark Fioretto told the Schneider Electric event. “And similarly in the amount of data generated. In fact around 50 per cent of data generated by 2025 will be at the edge.”

“What we are seeing now is that with the increase in the amount of data and applications at the edge, companies are wanting to harness that value out of the data that is being generated,” Fioretto explained.

“So putting computational power at the edge continues to see an increase and will continue to do so because companies will want to return value back to their customers, by being able to capture, analyse, and make value decisions around that.”

This is creating opportunities for IT partners to not only provide edge hardware, but also service and maintenance contracts – from remote monitoring and management to training and education and on-going services and support.

Opportunities are also emerging for partners to help companies operate more sustainably by providing edge computing products and services that reduce their energy footprint and improve efficiency.

"The channel has the opportunity to link conversations organisations have with customers about technology and sustainability. Those discussions about sustainability are about to happen with more prevalence on the back of COP26 and Australia making stronger commitments to net zero," explains Craparotta.

Seizing the opportunity

To capitalise on the edge opportunity, partners need specialist solutions, ranging from apps and analytics services through to power, cooling and modular data centres. For example, mining companies might require edge hardware to process data from machinery sensors, and they may require on site micro data centres to receive the processed data.                   

Partners wanting to help clients operate more sustainably need to address their power usage, CO2 footprint and use of renewable energy.

To understand the opportunity, they only need to look at Schneider Electric’s focus on sustainability and the APC Green Premium products and solutions it uses – which helped it rank first in the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index of “most sustainable corporations in the world” for 2021.

Schneider Electric has developed its mySchneider IT Solutions Partner Programme to assist partners in providing edge computing and sustainable products and services. It includes programs to improve profitability, providing discounts on edge products and solutions, marketing enablement support to expand presence and generate demand, and sales support including certification and training.

Schneider Electric also has a new Australian Edge Software & Digital Services Programme, which enables partners to provide services under a Managed Power Services practice model. The program includes training and certification for Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform, which spans everything from applications and analytics to edge control and connected products with an IoT-enabled, plug-and-play architecture. The company’s edge computing solutions page lays out the EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre and other edge offerings.

For Craparotta, this underpins the company's relationship with the channel. "We have a continued investment in education and training for our channel partners both current and new," he explains. "Equipping them with the tools, the information and the resources that they need to solve the problems of their end-user customers in the areas of digital and energy."

For more information about the mySchneider IT Solutions Partner Programme, click here.

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