APC by Schneider Electric is focusing on several channel initiatives in 2018 to drive partner profitability around the edge, managed services and system integration.
Jarrad Morelli, channel partner program strategy manager East for APC by Schneider Electric, told CRN USA: "We're constantly evolving our programs and offers to figure out how partners can add value in ways they may not have done before.
"You're seeing a lot of the partners becoming more and more specialised," Morelli said. They need to be able to add more value, whether its managed services, specific types of integrations, or whatever the customer needs."
Morelli spotlighted three main areas of channel investment for APC in 2018.
The edge and internet of things
The data centre powerhouse is investing heavily in partner enablement around the network edge and internet of things in 2018.
Morelli said a "big play" for APC is making sure partners can support IoT environments by driving better resiliency for on-site deployments.
"Partners are seeing the need for no latency – whether it's security regulations or other regulations of putting things back on-site. So we're making sure these IT deployments, where it may have been a server and a rack thrown in a closet somewhere in the back of a building, now have the resiliency and the redundancy to protect these millions and millions of dollars customers are investing in the internet of things," said Morelli.
"In retail for example, they're implementing tons of sensors and technology in their store, so a partner needs to make sure they have the physical infrastructure to support that network.
"A big play is making sure that our partners are able to support these IoT investments for the customers and make sure they're always connected, protecting their investments – that's what we’re calling the edge, our effort to drive that resiliency."
Quicker systems integration
Another large channel initiative this year will aim to ensure system integrators can deploy IT solutions as quickly and easily as possible by having everything pre-tested and configured.
"We're making sure that when our partners are deploying IT, they have the ability to do so quickly, but also easy. We're coming out with configurator tools that validate their solution, so when it does get deployed on-site, they're not testing everything to make sure it works [at a customer site]. They'll already know that everything works," said Morelli.
APC is also streamlining the setup of data centre solutions with the ability to now ship racks with shock packaging.
"So you can have a system integrator load everything up, use shock packaging and it's going to arrive on-site, validated, tested – so they just plug everything in and it powers up. As opposed to the past, we may have had four or five different pallets, 100 pieces of cardboard coming and they're building these things on-site," Morelli said.
"So system integration and being able to have those turnkey solutions is another important thing right now."
Tighter managed services synergy
Partners should also be excited about APC's effort to create tighter managed services synergies with its channel community, according to Morelli.
He said each partner offers its own unique type of managed services that APC will better tailor to.
"They're not just flipping hardware anymore. Everybody has a different type of managed service that they offer. So we’re looking deeper at how can we take something like physical infrastructure, which is sometimes thought about last, and make sure that it's something relevant to the partner's businesses," said Morelli.