Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are like your health insurance policy – you pay for one and forget about it until something drastic happens and you need a bit of support. Unlike most other areas of IT, which transform and advance at F1-speed while generating plenty of hype, UPS are slow moving beasts that rarely light up a conversation.
But while there are few articles gushing over the latest UPS trends, with the increasing need for always-on networks and the critical importance of data there are sizeable business opportunities to be had. In fact, if you are not selling a UPS or at least asking about it as one of the first questions in the sales process, you are missing out on a potentially lucrative volume business.
“It is something that the industry has been very good about for a long time. There are not many customers out there who do not have a UPS,” HP server and storage marketing manager, Angus Jones, said. “You’ll find that, certainly big corporations will have 100 per cent of people using it in one form or another. And in brand new small businesses you’ll have every reseller trying to sell the customer a UPS.”
UPS are now being used with everything from IT and consumer electronics to security cameras and traffic lights. With the importance of computing instilled in business processes across the economy virtually all industries are in need of UPS and many have now become aware of their key role in IT infrastructure.
“Market-wise I think that there is a lot more awareness with resellers out there now that a UPS can reduce some of their warranty maintenance costs by making sure there is clean power provided to whatever device they are supplying,” Upsonic managing director, Paul Riva, said.
Power Shield director sales and marketing, Malcolm Levin, agreed and pointed out that as UPS were not a luxury item, business was robust in spite of the feeble economy.
“It has become a real general thing,” he said. “There has been a little bit of a dip in the retail industry but the wild thing about it is we are not in a want-type industry. We are in a need.
“Somebody puts up a new office – they don’t want to have a UPS, they need a UPS.”
And with more and more employees working on sensitive corporate projects from the home, there is also a growing need to provide protection pretty much everywhere. At IBM, for example, site and facilities specialist, Bob Rogers, claimed about 20 to 30 per cent of employees conduct business affairs from their home office.
“People are realising a lot more users are working from home,” Rogers said. “Therefore by working from home a lot of the work is not just playing games – it is critical applications and critical work they are doing so they must have more robust systems.”