Edge key focal point of Schneider’s new IT partner program

Schneider Electric yesterday announced a major overhaul of its channel initiatives with a revamped program it said is designed to “provide a simplified, innovative and collaborative approach to enabling partner growth.”

“The mission of our partner program has become clear,” said Paul Tyrer, the company’s global IT channels vice president. “Partners participating in the evolved program will stay agile amid today’s evolving market trends, and in turn, produce approximately eight times higher revenue.”

The updated mySchneider IT Partner Program, the press release stated, focuses on “unique specializations, giving partners the flexibility to certify in one or more based on their current capabilities and future aspirations.”

The company said what this will do is highlight the true value of a channel ecosystem by enabling the development of diverse business models.

Set to be rolled out over the next 12-18 months, the program is segmented, with the IT Solution Providers specialization in existence now, and Data Centre Solution Providers and Software & Services Providers to come.

For channel members who specialize in IT infrastructure and distributed IT environments, it is both an exciting time, but also a complex time for the channel to really capitalize on digital acceleration, said Tyrer during a media conference.

“At Schneider, a significant portion of our business is actually in IT and data centre environments. The majority of our business goes through channels, ranging from IT distribution through to alliances, VARs, systems integrators, managed service providers, the list goes on. We trade with over 150,000 partners on an annual basis across the globe. We have a synergistic relationship with the channel.”

The new program, he said, is future-ready to be able to support, engage and animate a partner ecosystem.

Tyrer also focused on the importance of edge computing and the role it plays and will play in today’s organizations.

“I firmly believe the time for the channel is now, and for channel partner of all flavours, sizes, and specializations,” he said. “But if I recall, only recently, the headlines were that the channel is struggling, all users of IT are moving everything to the cloud and on-premises computing is a thing of the past. But roll the clock forward to today and what I see is something very, very different.

“Indeed, cloud is an engine powering a large part of our IT requirements. However, the massive digital acceleration that is happening, and we see it in our personal and our professional lives, is really necessitating a complex hybrid approach for customers to address their specific IT requirements.”

And to that end, said Tyrer, it’s “no longer a question if edge computing is real or not. It’s here, driven by data latency, data sovereignty, privacy, and user experiences. Gartner is expecting that by 2025, more than 75 per cent of enterprise data is expected to be created and processed at the edge. And we all know the edge — the on-prem compute — is the domain of the IT channel.

“And then here comes the rub. That increased digitization is driving huge energy consumption at the edge.”

Energy use at the edge, he said, is expected to outpace data centres, or at least be equivalent to large data centres by 2030. By 2040, it is expected there will be a 60-40 ratio between the two, with edge computing outpacing large data centres.

“This is where we start talking about sustainability. We’re all familiar with the scrutiny that the large data center operators have been through, trying to justify their sustainability, their ESG, commitments, their ESG credentials, and really working on very successful programs to enhance the sustainability.

“This is now pivoting to the edge environment. If you’re an enterprise organization out there, deploying a very strong sustainability charter, you need to start considering edge as part of your strategy, because of that increased energy consumption that is occurring.”

With the rapid acceleration of digital transformation driving increased energy demands, the challenges of sustainability are potentially too complex for any one company to tackle alone, said Tyrer.

“In most cases, hence, organizations are increasingly looking to join forces to co-create co-innovate, co-sell, and to deliver solutions at scale.

“And they’re starting to create and participate in ecosystems, ecosystems of organizations coming together with key disciplines and skills. We’re talking about technology providers, alliances, channel partners, including integrators, service providers, solution providers, plus IT distribution all working seamlessly together.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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