Vendor Charts Savings in "Green" Approach to Managed Services

Canadian software company Level Platforms issues a report claiming environmentally based actions can save VARs and customers tens of thousands of dollars annually. The company offers its own remote monitoring platform as a solution.

September 17, 2008

D.H. Kass

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Level Platforms Inc., a privately-held, Ottawa, Canada-based provider of remote monitoring and management software for MSPs, has issued a new report quantifying sales opportunities for solution providers who direct SMB customers toward greener technology through managed services.

The report, entitled “Green IT: A Big Opportunity for Managed Services,” makes the case that remote management, specifically LPI’s remote monitoring and management platform, can help SMB customers and solution providers uncertain about practical and effective ways to implement green technology. The report details six avenues that MSPs and users can reduce costs and increase profit through adopting a managed services approach to green IT.

LPI generated the research and corresponding report specifically for its 2,500 channel partners, said Perry McDonald, the company’s vice president, marketing. “The research and report was spearheaded by our product organization,” McDonald said. “Last year, with the newer releases of our software we began to realize that we had some real opportunities to contribute a meaningful role in the green IT area. The cost savings [outlined in the report] is a tremendous selling point with customers.”

LPI contends that managed customer IT environments can promote environmentally sound technology through reducing travel costs, improving power management, replacing monitors, consolidating servers, rightsizing servers and optimizing power supplies. Properly attending to green solutions in these areas can save channel partners and their customers tens of thousands of dollars a year, according to LPI’s figuring.

For example, the company’s research shows that a solution partner with 30 customers spends about 2.5 non-billable hours per month per customer driving to customer sites. By implementing a managed services approach, a solution partner could eliminate those driving costs and save upwards of $90,000 a year. Additional cost savings, both for solution partners and users, can be accrued from applying other principles outlined in the report, the company said.

LPI touts its Managed Workplace remote monitoring and management solution as a “proven strategy to reduce energy consumption,” McDonald said. “For example, most PCs are capable of automatically transitioning to a sleep state, but it’s estimated that almost 90 percent have this function disabled.  Managed Workplace allows solution providers to remotely power on and off Intel vPro equipped desktop systems at a pre-determined time and have them up and running again for the following business day." LPI estimated that such a policy could save more than 60 percent of the electricity typically used by a desktop PC.

To make practical use of the report, LPI charged its 12 partner development managers with “implementing the opportunities we have identified through the report,” McDonald said. “We are proactively engaging with our community of partners to show them how to implement [green] changes with their SMB customers." LPI’s partner development managers work directly with about half of the vendor’s partner base, 80 percent of which is located in North America. Partners are afforded training in how to sell managed services, quarterly business reviews, free technical support, sales leads and assistance on installations.

One LPI solution partner backed the Managed Workplace as an eco-friendly solution. “We are saving an estimated $1,500 per annum in fuel costs and 25 hours a week in reduced travel time for our technicians,” said Graham Bray, managing director, CF Systems, a UK-based partner. “Managed Workplace has proven to be both an eco-friendly and profitable solution for CF Systems."

McDonald said that LPI, which maintains strategic relationships with Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, will follow up the green report in three to six months with case studies to show how its partners were able to increase sales and acquire new customers through implementing the guidelines identified in the research. This could help the company recruit new partners, McDonald said, and meet the goal of doubling its partner roster in the next two years.

TAGS: Microsoft,Intel,Cisco,managed services,Level Platforms

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