Who turned off the lights?
The idea behind writing blogposts for our customer base is to try and reach out to as many people as we can and to educate them in a variety of different products and services that we as the IT community can provide to our customers.
One thing any of you who know me or have read any of my previous posts will already be all too well aware of, is that I am not technical. I have a basic understanding of a few IT concepts but what I do know and have a lot of experience in is the value in upselling, cross-selling and making the most of the broad range of products and opportunities our industry affords us. With that in mind, today we thought we would look at something that is often overlooked.
“Write something about UPS” they told me – “and make it sexy”. “We need to jazz it up and appeal to new markets, above all, we need to make it more exciting”.
Well that my friends is easier said than done. That black box in the corner or in the server room that sits there all day and does nothing as far as most of us can see is far from exciting.
I mean, it’s just a battery isn’t it? I may be at risk of showing my age here, but when I got my first Walkman and started listening to my first ever album (Inxs – Kick if you must know), my first thought was not – wow, good batteries but it instead I was thinking of the wonderment of the fact that I was listening to my music on the move. When I change the channel on the telly, I don’t think “hmm, that was a good crisp channel change, they must be a great brand of batteries”. From remote control cars to torches to laptops, to be perfectly honest, the batteries they run on are largely irrelevant to me. All I care about is the fact that they work, which of course they usually do – until the batteries run out and then the importance of them kicks in. The fact is, consider it boring or not, they all need power to work.
We spend a lot of money securing our networks from threats, we protect our business with backup solutions, we expand our storage to allow for the ever-growing mountains of data we are producing. In every way possible we engineer all kinds of clever IT solutions to cut costs, combine resources and ensure our business is protected, whilst also being flexible and agile enough to grow and change. All very clever stuff. Things that people a lot smarter than I are paid great sums of money to manage, but of course none of which however will work without power. You can have most expensive system in the world or the most advanced one, but if you have not planned for it, should you accidently pull the wrong plug out of the wall to plug in the kettle for a nice cuppa and you will suddenly find it is worthless. No power equals no systems and no business. So the thing here is, the boring old UPS does not need to be seen as sexy, it does not need to be exciting, it is what it is…. It is a crucial part of the business and should not be overlooked or underestimated in its importance – do so and you could very quickly find yourself up the creek without a paddle.
Like many of you reading this, I drive a car. I even think of myself as a bit of a petrol-head & like a lot of people, I love nice cars, the faster and the more Italian the better. Maybe one-day I will get there, but for now I have to make do with something a little more modest. I do however try and make sure I have fuel in the tank every day and that the insurance is up to date. I would prefer not to have to pay for either, but until I invent perpetual motion or there are some regressive law changes I will continue to do so. The point is, whether I want to pay for them or not, I need them. Without fuel, I am going nowhere and without Insurance I am an accident waiting to happen. Insurance is one of those things we pay for that we hope we will never need, but when the day comes, we are ever so thankful we took out that fully comprehensive policy with step back protection and every other optional extra offered to us. Our good old friend the UPS is no different, it is protecting us against what we hope will never happen.
Ok, so before I get given out to, of course it does many other tricks over and above just being a battery waiting to go in a blackout. It will clean your power and protect your expensive IT equipment against power surges. It can be used to shut down the equipment in a safe and protected manner – but from an IT Resellers perspective, it is an easy upsell opportunity to help expand the sale and offer a crucial level of resilience to our customers. It is something we can offer a service level around and look to replace batteries on a regular and managed basis – one more way to help create stickiness to our customers.
Fortunately our friend the UPS also extends us the opportunity to increase the overall sale value. It can be a PDU for connecting multiple devices or a Bypass panel or how about a network management card? Maybe an additional battery for an extended runtime all housed together in a rack. Suddenly that boring black box in the corner is expanding to become something a whole lot more interesting – or dare I say it – sexier.
So, when the lights do go out and other companies around you fumble for candles and matches in the dark that boring box in the corner will ensure you shine brightest and longest – possibly even with the dulcet tones of Michael Hutchence singing an aptly named “Need you tonight” playing away in the background.
To learn more about APC UPS solution, contact MicroWarehouse on 01 616 0400 or email