What does a Partnership of the future look like?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving demand for smart digital infrastructure. Companies everywhere are increasingly digitalising all aspects of their operations — everything from digital transformation and software development, ways to connect their workforce, operations and partners, and technology to power customer experience and improve business resilience.
Businesses that are undertaking this digital transformation are typically innovation-centric, software-driven and collaborative. They are also increasingly looking for support to monitor and manage the technology used to power these digitised systems.
Schneider Electric, a leader in automation and sustainability, is empowering its partners working in low-voltage electrical distribution to build their skills and support businesses in their connected power management. The company says that where once a contractor was simply engaged to install products, there are new opportunities for them to become a trusted advisor who will monitor and manage systems over time, to achieve operational efficiencies and sustainability. They are working with their partners to transform business models to meet the upcoming needs of digital businesses everywhere.
As well as creating new streams of revenue for their customers, Schneider Electric see this shift as a way to better manage product lifecycle and sustainability. For example, with an expert routinely monitoring and managing equipment, any changes or suggestions of inefficiencies can be caught quickly. This means that products and software are better cared for and can result in an increased lifespan, as well as having a higher value when it comes time to move them on.
What does a connected power management approach offer?
A connected power management approach offers an effective solution for business owners to discover, categorise, track, and manage a digitally enabled smart power distribution infrastructure.
This centralised, self-discovering cloud-based asset catalogue provides the ability for electrical equipment to register with and communicate directly with a digital asset management service in real-time. This allows electrical contractors to track the health and use of electrical equipment instantaneously in operational dashboards with remote monitoring and alerting.
The digitalisation benefits for a facility owner and operator are multi-faceted, going beyond financial cost savings to strategic planning and preventative maintenance, enabling organisations to take tangible steps to meet sustainability goals. Automated life cycle tracking and condition monitoring enable electrical contracting partners to proactively work with customers to refresh or renew electrical infrastructure. Dynamic power consumption can be monitored and areas of inefficiencies identified and actioned. This brings about increased opportunities for engagement, upsell, and margin-rich service delivery at all parts of the solution life cycle.
Digital transformation challenges
As noted above, intelligent and digital solutions create new benefits for customers, as well as for electrical contractors to expand their skills and explore a new open and collaborative ecosystem of partners and customers. By transforming their business, electrical contractors can find increased relevance and more opportunities.
For those businesses looking to move part of their operation to a digital system, the challenges they face are similar across industries. These challenges are:
- complexity of deployment
- complexity of process changes.
The opportunity for electrical contractors lies in helping customers overcome these challenges with integration expertise combined with industry-leading partners and technology. By understanding the digital capabilities of the customers, electrical contractors can engage with them at the right level and with the right message for their electrical infrastructure evolution.
Schneider Electric suggests the strength of a contractor’s business model can increase if they focus on capturing more operational expenditure (opex) spend from their customers and aligning their offerings with digital transformation goals. Building their business resilience around four core areas (below) is recommended. These areas are:
- activity mix and current revenue streams
- digital maturity and strength of portfolio
- financial position and outlook
- customer base, vertical and geographic coverage.
Furthermore, offering a wide range of services, value-added expertise, specialisation and collaboration can drive a contractor’s business expansion. These ‘value-accelerators’ can enhance traction and revenue opportunities with customers.
More than 80%1 of Schneider Electric’s partners have invested in building more sustainable business practices. It’s a key part of the company’s sustainability goals as they move to empower those up and downstream to better consider their energy efficiency and their carbon emissions. They are doing this by providing the innovative resources, tools, and platforms needed to help deliver long-term customer value.
Energy consumption, management and efficient use are primary tactics for reporting and creating sustainability frameworks within organisations — and these are key indicators that leading businesses are looking for. Contractors are well positioned to help customers easily identify improvements in their electrical systems that have a quick ROI and reduce energy consumption while simultaneously laying the groundwork for sustainability KPI development. The cost savings can be re-invested in electrical system improvements, which will continuously deepen the partnership between contractors and their clients.
For contractors, building up their focus on new service-based activities, increasing recurring revenues, and adopting a more agile approach to transformation will boost business resilience. And increasing the collaboration between partners is a move that can only help to strengthen the industry as a whole.
To find out more about how Schneider Electric can support low-voltage electrical distribution businesses, and to download their report into Partners of the Future, visit se.com.
 IDC Partner Survey 2020.
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