Rapid expansion at the edge is creating the need for remote management at unstaffed edge sites. The opportunity is ideal for managed service providers (MSP) or IT solution providers with experience in remote services, but also delivers the new business potential for solution providers exploring the possibility of offering managed service offerings.
Managed services typically focus on networks, security, and data but cover only part of the hardware that supports a reliable and resilient remote site. The uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and other related infrastructure tend to be unmanaged even though they play a key role in mission-critical sites. As more edge computing sites go online to support mission-critical business functions, they require the same availability and resiliency as large data centers.
This opens a significant opportunity for solution providers in the form of Managed Power Services. What exactly is this?
Edge power consumption and designing for sustainability at the start
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“Managed Power Services consist of two primary functions: the remote monitoring and management of UPS and physical infrastructure and the use of data collection and analytics to improve the reliability and cost-effectiveness of those assets,” said Tony Kang, business vice president, Secure Power at Schneider Electric Philippines.
As such, Managed Power Services provide MSPs and IT solution providers with an attractive opportunity to round out their remote service offerings and extend them to the edge computing market, which IDC estimates are growing at 12.5% annually.
For companies and their partner solution providers, staying on a growth path requires continuous investment in new technology and service opportunities. Edge computing delivers a robust opportunity for IT solution providers with projected spending to reach $250.6 billion by 2024. IT professionals are looking for help with the monitoring and management of these sites and with only 27% of MSPs offering managed power services today, now is the time for solution providers to expand their portfolio.
“Experienced MSPs know that adding a new services practice requires thoughtful planning, execution, and reliable vendor partnerships. Between implementing platforms and tools, training staff, and identifying clients for the services, building a new practice takes as many as 3,500 non-revenue-generating staff hours. Schneider Electric has developed a program to help MSPs reduce their time-to-market and ensure MSPs have the resources they need to build and launch their managed power services practice,” Kang said.
Managed Power Services represent a new opportunity for MSPs to address asset management of UPS and physical infrastructure. For example, monitoring alarms and resolving potential faults increases reliability across the asset’s life cycle. Schneider Electric’s partners can use environmental and device data to optimize the environment and its cost structure. By implementing Managed Power Services into their portfolio, MSPs help their clients increase resiliency and optimize operational expenses at these critical edge computing sites.
“Clients are looking for assistance as they try to keep pace with the new deployments and management needs of their distributed IT infrastructure. They often don’t want to allocate their own resources to manage power particularly for remote IT sites and are looking to their IT solution providers to provide this service for them. A client wanting to reassign IT staff to more strategic tasks, or a company in IT expansion mode to accommodate digital transformation, may want to consider remote management for single-phase UPS, racks, and cooling equipment,” Kang said.
“Power management is a tremendous value-add because it supports the ultimate goal of all managed services, which maximizing uptime,” he added. “It is particularly important in a distributed IT environment with multiple edge computing sites, which typically don’t have onsite IT staff. From the client’s perspective, solution providers like Schneider Electric are adding protection by ensuring power backup systems do not fail when needed.”
Partnering with the right vendor can also help boost success with new market opportunities. MSPs should look for vendors who offer flexible solutions including service and software solutions to tailor offerings to the MSP’s business model; education and support to minimize non-revenue generating time and business development tools to design their practice in alignment with their objectives and growth priorities. Working with a reliable partner like Schneider Electric, which has the requisite expertise, partner support and incentives can help reduce their risk and required investment to build a practice that generates a predictable revenue stream well into the future.