Ryan Jones, business development manager at Riello UPS, explores the most important factors IT resellers should consider when they are looking to team up with an UPS manufacturer.

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems play a part in so many different electrical installations that any reseller or MSP who doesn’t have a comprehensive offering as part of their product portfolio is missing out.

However, with all the various manufacturers and models available, it’s understandable why some still view the UPS market as something of a minefield.

Aligning with the right UPS partner can quickly make the equipment a lucrative part of your offering. And picking a provider isn’t necessarily as complicated as you might think. It basically comes down to four key criteria.

Crucial considerations

Firstly, consider the manufacturer’s product range. Obviously, you should look to team up with a supplier that has a thorough offering so you can give your customers as wide a choice as possible.

Ideally, they’ll have a broad range of power ratings, freestanding and rackmounted solutions, and a variety of UPS topologies (i.e. standby, line interactive, online UPS). The more options you have as a reseller the better, as you’ll be able to cover the biggest possible range of customers and markets.

Moving on, the next criteria is the level of pre- and post-sales support. How much product training will the manufacturer give your reseller team so they can give customers the most informed opinion? And what about the technical support after you’ve made a sale? Where is their tech team based and how easy are they to get hold of?

Always remember that how they response to any issues will have a direct knock on effect to your reputation too, so you need to know they’re up to the job.

Thirdly, what does the manufacturer’s warranty tell you about the confidence they, and in turn you, should have in their product range. Most single phase UPS come with a 1 or 2 year guarantee, however, with Riello UPS you get a 5 year extended warranty as standard on all UPS up to 3 kVA.

A final factor to bear in mind is stockholding. Will the manufacturer hold most of the stock? Will they deal with logistics and deliveries to customers? If as a reseller you’ll have to deal with at least some of the inventory, you’ll need the appropriate warehousing and storage space.

And don’t forget that UPS batteries have a specific lifespan too, you can’t just leave them sitting on a warehouse shelf for too long, so there may be significant stock management issues to consider.

Decision time

So you’ve weighed up all the options and it’s now decision time. While cost is always a crucial consideration, what’s more important is who will deliver the best added value to your customers.

Certain manufacturers might not be the cheapest at face value, but as an overall package in terms of training, tech support, and aftercare will they offer you far more in the long run?

Whichever UPS partner you pick, the vital thing then is for you both to work together hand in glove and share your ideas and expertise.

And from a reseller’s perspective, you also need to get into the mindset of seeing a UPS as something that can complement your core products like your servers and switches.

It’s much easier to bundle a UPS as an add-on to other electrical and IT equipment rather than selling a unit on its own. Such an approach is also a fantastic way to increase your average customer spend over time.