American Power Conversion Corp. won the UPS Data Center Power Management category in the 2008 CRN Channel Champions Survey, thanks to a strong showing in the technical criteria and a solid performance in the financial criteria.
The West Kingston, R.I.-based vendor scored 75.6 overall to edge out Liebert Corp., which scored 75.3. Powerware with a 70.6 and Tripp Lite with 69.8 rounded out the vendors considered.
APC finished first in all five technical criteria, two of four financial criteria and one of five program and support criteria.
Tarun Bhakta, president of Vision Computers Inc., a Norcross, Ga., system builder, is not surprised APC scored well with other solution providers.
"There's a reason we sell them. When we get a spec in, they're always in it. Especially [for power management products], reliability and uptime is more important than anything else."
APC also offers strong margins with its data center products, he added. But when it comes to the desktop, the lines blur between the vendors, he said.
For this category, Bhakta also doesn't care if other vendors scored better in program and support criteria. "The post-sales support is there, but very little is required because the product tends to work all the time," he said.
John Layish, president of Red Barn Computers, a Binghamton, N.Y.-based solution provider, said he's never had issues with APC's support and conceded that technical support isn't a high priority when choosing a UPS anyway. "They're reliable. They work. They have a good reputation. You're not typically going to go wrong with them," Layish said. "On some lower-end retail stuff, we might use someone else. But with any higher-end stuff, we default to APC. They're a fairly de facto standard."
Rob McKernan, vice president of Americas channels and alliances at APC, said its strong showing in technical criteria could be due to the vendor's strategy, started three years ago, to put more advanced products into the hands of solution providers.
"We backed that with training, Webinars on how to sell, how to identify IT power-cooling opportunities," McKernan said. "It's still a very strong technology and we back it up, allowing partners to take advantage of revenue opportunities with those products."
Author: CRN Staff