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Power to the reseller

01 Jun 11

Just as a certain fast food chain is known for its ‘would you like fries with that’ mantra, so resellers should be considering a ‘would you like a UPS with that computer/server’ offer.

At least, that’s the message from Michael Mallia, Asia Pacific product line manager for Eaton’s Distributed Power Quality Solutions division. He says margins for uninterruptable power supplies, at an average of 15% to 20%, are double that of most other IT equipment, but resellers often forget to ask whether clients need the power protection. Mallia notes that IMS is predicting double digit growth for the industry for the next few years, driven by the cloud and increasing numbers of data centres as well as the increasing size of data centres, combined with companies coming out of the global financial crisis upgrading their servers.

The company, which admits it hasn’t been that great at marketing itself in the past – "We’re an engineering company, rather than a marketing company,” Mallia says – is ramping up its offerings for the New Zealand channel, with an aggressive schedule of new product releases over the coming months, along with the planned introduction of a channel incentive programme.

Channel incentive programme

Mallia says the incentive programme will be a points-based rewards system, aimed at incentivising resellers and distributors to sell the products.

The programme is due to launch in Australia within three months, and Mallia says after a couple of months to bed it down there, it will be rolled out in New Zealand. "It’s very easy to forget to ask whether a customer needs power protection, and we hope this might encourage resellers to do just that.”

The launch comes as the company gears up for nearly 10 product launches in 18 months.

The company’s new Ellipse ECO, due for release soon, includes an eco-control function which automatically disables peripherals when the master device is turned off – delivering energy savings of up to 25% compared to previous generation products.

Meanwhile Eaton claims the new 3S UPS, an all-in-one UPS, surge suppressor and power board designed for the small office/home office and point-of-sale applications, can save up to 30% of power consumed by idle peripherals.

Chris Westall, Eaton’s New Zealand-based Power Quality UPS sales manager, says a New Zealand business with around 100 computers is looking at the 3S, which also includes the automatic disabling of peripherals when the master is turned off, because of the electricity cost savings which can be made.

The company has also launched the 5PX, which meters the energy consumption of every device protected by the UPS.

Green pitch

Mallia says most of the new products ‘have some kind of green’ aspect to them. "With power bills going through the roof, efficiency is becoming increasingly important to the point where it is top priority for some.”

Adds Westall: "In the past a lot bought on price, now they’re buying on efficiency.”

That trend can make the product an even easier sell for resellers, Mallia says. "It’s driving a lot of upgrades and even the end user consumers are looking for efficiency. If you can show its going to save a few kilowatts a week it’s a good way to differentiate the product.”

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