At best, power management solutions are typically seen as an add-on. But without them, AV projects can literally be fried by power surges — or, at the very least, be tampered with unnecessarily after a simple outage. Either situation is a pain for both the integrator and their client.
Joe Piccirilli, CEO of Rosewater Energy, sees it differently. He thinks power management solutions should be seen as mandatory AV project insurance.
“When it comes to making technology decisions, when there’s a budget involved, the product last specified is the product first-out of the budget,” he says. “It’s no surprise that power doesn’t often make the cut, because it doesn’t tend to crop up early in the discussion.”
The problem then becomes: how do you present this product as a necessity to end users, not just an add-on?
The first step is to brand these solutions as the thing which can actually allow for seamless solutions without disruption.
“Power quality has become so much more important for end users to actually enjoy the fruits of automation and high technology,” Piccirilli says. “User satisfaction and financial satisfaction means fewer callbacks.”
He considers it a foundational product for two main reasons:
- power quality is getting worse, not better, due to poor infrastructure
- it’s very difficult to build power plants, so as the population grows and clusters, power quality becomes worse
More important now than ever before
Prior to COVID-19, more businesses were going digital, with industries beginning to fully-embrace cloud-based infrastructure.
Now, remote employees need to access those cloud servers, sometimes at volumes much larger than when everyone was sharing hybrid on-prem and cloud servers at the physical workspace.
Power management solutions can help mobile workforces, but of course it isn’t realistic to assume any organization would buy each employee even a small APC for the home office.
“The consequences of a power glitch which denies ability to reach data is catastrophic.”
So how can these solutions benefit organizations with large remote workforces?
“With all these employees needing to access centralized data, power quality in a centralized office becomes even more critical, since everyone is accessing remotely,” Piccirilli explains.
“We’re finding as more businesses go digital and store more and more files in the cloud, the consequences of a power glitch which denies ability to reach data is catastrophic. What does it cost to be down for ten minutes? An hour? The actual numbers are surprising.”
Costs of outages aside, every client will tell you they’re just a major hassle.
“If they lose their connections, it’s over 30 minutes to re-sync, and their offices can lose a LOT of money in that time. As we rely on high-speed communications and those communications are critical to monetization, power management is a no-brainer.”
The benefits reach into other markets, too; especially healthcare.
The reaction to COVID-19 by state and federal governments is data dependent. Delays can create really bad decisions. People are reacting to data that’s either too late or unavailable.
Listen to this story: Don’t Ignore Power for AV Projects: Episode 118 of AV+
“When you look at dollars-per-job, it is very difficult to scale clients per year,” Piccirilli says.
“Dollars-per-client become important, and the ability to allocate a portion of budget will give you leverage to charge for a field no one is paying attention to.”
Selling tips for power management solutions
Piccirilli says a consultative selling approach is best for this category. Very early in a sales conversation, ask the client if they’ve noticed power glitches, sags, surges, etc.
Have they occurred in the home or facility? Do you notice them?
If they say yes, talk about the consequences of issues and increased frequency.
Do they know what downtime costs them?
Explain that even if they might not think these questions are relevant, they have a huge impact on the proposed project’s long term viability.
“Everyone else bidding for the job won’t look as thorough,” Piccirilli says.