CIOs` Cooling, Power Concerns Mean Opportunity for the ChannelBy Jessica Davis | Print
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APC is "Capitalize"-ing on all the attention to power and cooling during the energy crunch by revamping its channel program.
As energy costs and a looming recession weigh on the minds of top executives
across many industries, integrated power and cooling services vendor APC
has beefed up its channel program and is taking its message on the road.
A full 70 percent of CIOs surveyed by Gartner named power and cooling as the biggest problem in the data center, according to Marc Sherman, vice president of global channel programs for American Power Conversion.
"It's not just front-line IT people," Sherman said, noting that these concerns are held by people all the way up to the top executives who are actually allocating budget dollars to resolve the issue. "Solution providers sense they need to respond."
And they should, Sherman said, because it is a ripe opportunity for VARs to add new product and service sales to existing accounts.
"This is not a point product," he said. "This lets them add value and consult with customers. These programs serve as a blueprint for partners to really go out there and solve customer problems."
To help partners do that, APC has refocused from the inside out around what it calls six critical success factors for the channel. They are:
- Profiling—The company begins its relationship with partners by profiling them, starting by having them fill out a form on APC's partner Web page and ultimately creating a dialogue with the partners about their current business and goals.
- Alignment—Using the profile, APC will align each partner into the program structure.
- Empowerment—The company's program provides both instructor-led and e-learning opportunities covering technology and sales.
- Enablement—APC is giving partners access to sales and marketing tools, plus providing direct support to all partner tiers.
- Collaboration—The company has created an online partner community.
- Profit—APC said its program will offer partners greater rewards based on their commitment to APC.
The multitier partner program offers Registered, Basic, Select, Premier and Elite levels, Sherman said, with the Premier available to partners that specialize in areas such as small and midsize data centers, mechanical issues or cooling. Elite is focused more on data center environments, he said.
APC has also announced that it is taking its executives and industry analysts on the road to talk to channel partners and potential channel partners about the growing opportunities relating to power and cooling.
The "Capitalize 2008" Executive Partner Summit tour for solution providers will visit the following cities:
- Santa Clara, Calif. – April 22
- Costa Mesa, Calif. – April 24
- Boston – May 1
- Washington D.C. – May 6
- Detroit – May 8
- Chicago – May 13
- Dallas – May 15
- Toronto – May 29
- New York – June 5
- Atlanta – June 19
The company kicked off the tour with a session in St. Louis on March 26, and about 90 percent of the attendees were existing partners, Sherman said. But APC is looking to recruit new partners too, he added.