UPS as a Service for Government and Education Sectors
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The uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a key component of any IT environment. It helps prevent downtime, loss of data and equipment damage that can result from issues with the power supply. Like any other piece of hardware, UPSs require maintenance, and batteries need to be replaced periodically, adding to the responsibilities of IT staff.
In many organizations, especially in the public sector, IT departments are often overburdened with manual tasks. Anything that can be automated or handled remotely by a third-party service provider is always welcome. A new approach to UPS management – UPS as a Service – unburdens the IT staff from these responsibilities, transferring them to a service provider.
For the SLED (State and Local Government and Education) segment, this approach addresses a number of challenges. For one thing, it saves money by reducing capital expenses and staff time associated with UPS management. It also helps address labor issues related to restrictions placed on staff from lifting heavy equipment.
Here's how UPS as a Service works: Rather than buying the UPSs, the agency or school district purchases a service that includes deployment and post-installation remote monitoring and management by a service provider.
When troubleshooting is needed, the provider can apply most fixes remotely, sometimes with a simple reboot. When it's time to replace batteries or the unit itself, the service provider takes care of it. This saves a lot of effort for IT teams, who are often spread thin on other efforts.
UPS as a Service requires no upfront capital expense but rather a monthly subscription fee that transfers costs to the OPEX column. Still, for a lot of SLED clients, the idea of investing in UPS as a Service rather than a capital expense is a new concept. But it isn't unlike the leasing or service models that many agencies and schools use for other technologies, such as printers and laptops. The approach works in those areas, and it works for power management too.
Service-based models are increasingly popular as organizations struggle with IT staffing. Qualified candidates for IT positions are always in short supply, and the current unemployment rate has made hiring even more difficult. According to Juan Rodriguez, National Strategic Advisor for SLED K12 E-rate at World Wide Technology, "Customers are looking for a better solution to help ensure uptime while also allowing their IT staff to focus on more strategic activities. The UPS as a Service model frees up resources and gives them peace of mind that they are minimizing the risk of unplanned downtime."
At WWT, we see the value of this type of service, so we are partnering with the power protection experts at Schneider Electric which is introducing UPS as a Service. Customers who sign up for the service can refocus their IT staff on more strategic tasks, knowing that an experienced, well-qualified service provider is in charge of the UPS infrastructure.
With this service's remote capabilities, it's possible to reboot hardware connected to the UPSs when there's an issue, which saves money on staff time and truck rolls while minimizing downtime. An added value of Schneider's service is remote monitoring through EcoStruxureTM, an IoT-enabled, vendor-agnostic monitoring and management platform that uses data capture and predictive analytics.
Customers that sign up for UPS as a Service with WWT benefit from a strong partnership between two best-of-breed companies. Both have vast experience in meeting client needs for efficient, cost-effective ways to manage growth and adopt new technology. UPS as a Service means organizations have one less responsibility to worry about so they can better focus on their overall IT strategy.