No Power? No Business Continuity!

Jason Koffler of MGE UPS Systems say no business continuity plan would be complete without contingency for ensuring the availability of emergency power for the protection of vital communications equipment, IT infrastructure and data.

“In today’s fast-paced, challenging business environment, the issue of power supplies is becoming an increasingly hot topic. It’s not just the risk of losing mains power supply that is the issue, but also being able to respond quickly to any sudden and unforeseen changes in power infrastructure within the restraints of existing budgets and physical space. Of course, in an ideal converged world, new and existing networks would be future-proofed against an increased demand for power, which may stem from a variety of causes including an increase in traffic, power over Ethernet or new and unfamiliar technologies.

With the convergence of voice and data, applications are only as good as the power supply that feeds them. Over 33% of all IT and communications equipment problems can typically be traced back to mains power. They range from every day occurrences of over voltage, lightning surges and mains loss.”

Advice for Resellers

Without power, an organisation cannot function. This should be a good enough argument for ensuring that power protection is at the heart of every business continuity plan! Developments in power protection technology have seen UPS solutions become more scalable and flexible, making it increasingly simple and straightforward for resellers to specify, quote and supply. The advent of ‘on-demand’ power solutions means that existing infrastructure can be added to, rather than changed completely.

So what does this mean, in the real world? It means that the average, small scale organisation now has the potential to respond to a power demand increase by simply adding two single phase UPS modules together. As load increases, a further 2kVA can be bolted on to the existing 2kVA UPS. A 5kVA solution could become a 20kVA in three year’s time, by the simple addition of three 5kVA power modules. This ‘on-demand’ capability provides a true win for the organisation and the reseller. The organisation can spread cost of ownership, and the reseller no longer has to wait four to seven years down the road for an application refresh to occur.

The ability to supply product as demand grows strengthens the reseller’s relationship with their client as they add value by taking on the role of business continuity adviser and specifier. This elevates them above the price-driven wranglings that ensue when prices are being quoted by three or four similar resellers.

How to position the Power Protection Solution

Is selling scalable business continuity power protection complex, with a long sale cycle? The answer is most definitely “no”!

In their new role as business continuity adviser, the reseller is advising on planning, future-proofing, implementing and growing power protection plans. As the relationship between customer and reseller grows, the sales cycle becomes shorter and simpler.

No longer selling on price, the reseller can now take the opportunity to “accessorise” the opportunity, with additional hardware and/or services. The additional hardware, for example, may take the form of extra runtime supplied or power distribution units that enable remote rebooting and monitoring of vital comms equipment. Mission critical applications can also be protected by remote monitoring applications, which alert the UPS provider, customer and perhaps even the proactive reseller in the event of a UPS status change. When linked to a maintenance contract, fault-finding procedures can be implemented even before the engineer has arrived on site. Services may take the form of installation, delivery and disposal of ‘dead’ UPS solutions which are beyond economical repair.

Business continuity from a power protection perspective is not voluntary and should not be left to the last item on the agenda or financed from the bin-ends of the budget. Power protection is a vital part of continuity and should be at the forefront of all resellers’ minds, not just because of the easy, double digit margin that it provides but also because it helps to ‘lock’ the customer into your business. After all, who knows your customer better? You or the competition?