Expert SpeakSustainability

Channels to Increasingly Support Sustainability in 2023

Written by Ashraf Yehia, Managing Director of Eaton Middle East

It’s fair to say that the last couple of years has been hugely disruptive for businesses everywhere.
From COVID-19 to geopolitical unrest, and from rising prices to an energy shortage, we face a series of unprecedented challenges. Here, we’ll look at what all of this means for channel partners and their customers over the coming 12 months and beyond.

Support in uncertain times
The channel has been experiencing supply chain issues since the global health crisis began in 2020, the impact of which is still being felt today. In China, for instance, whenever there’s an outbreak of COVID-19, everything in the area shuts down, leading to delays for some component manufacturers.

And this has a knock-on effect. Even the big players are seeing long delays in the delivery of products. This can be challenging for channel partners, of course, whose customers are expecting these goods. It means they’re unable to install products and provide the services their customers expect.

Rising energy prices have added yet another cost to businesses, leading many companies to pause investment. This has spurred more green power cooperation between the EU and the Middle East. These supply chain issues are a significant challenge for everyone and, given that the current geopolitical crisis is disrupting supply routes, they’re likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

One of the effects of these supply chain issues is that it’s becoming harder for channel partners to forecast with any accuracy. Customer projects typically require multiple components. But if one of those components is missing, the whole project must be put on hold. Without knowing when that component is likely to be delivered, it’s difficult to advise the customer on how long it will be before they can expect their project to be completed.

Channel partners look to their vendors for support in times like this in the form of easy-to-manage partner program provides that support – in the form of solutions, training, and lead and demand generation activities – while allowing them to focus more of their time on supporting the needs of their own customers in these uncertain times.

Digital transformation through remote monitoring
Digital transformation is vital to all aspects of business today. Take sustainability, for example. As environmental concerns continue to grow, most organizations want to cut down on travel, to reduce their carbon footprint. Indeed, Eaton has already taken steps in this direction with regard to the provision of backup power, aiming to manage devices from our service centres rather than travelling to sites.

Through remotely managing assets and using predictive maintenance, there can be a better understanding of when power devices, such as a UPS, will reach the end of their lifetimes. Despite its benefits, however, remote monitoring also represents a new cybersecurity threat. The more connected an organization is, the greater the opportunity for hackers to access its network. That’s why we are witnessing more initiatives and investments toward cyber security.

Opportunities in sustainability
Sustainability will be an increasingly important focus, especially with the new sustainability commitments the UAE has put out recently such as intensive efforts to find feasible and pragmatic solutions to climate change issues. To meet their ESG goals, many companies will have targets in place to reduce their carbon footprint.

There’s growing investment in renewable energy sources, too, for more sustainable, accessible, and cost-effective power. Fortunately, there is already a wealth of government support and funds available to encourage sustainability initiatives, and we can expect to see a growing number of regulations being introduced to further help companies with these.

All of this represents significant opportunities for channel partners. UPS, energy storage, and assets such as solar panels and EV chargers will have to be managed by IT. By understanding this area of the business, partners can play an important role in supporting their customers’ sustainability efforts, providing them with expert guidance and products such as long-life lithium-ion UPS, storage systems, and remote management services needed to better enable this.

We live in challenging times. While some issues look as though they’re likely to remain for some time, it’s possible that, by working together vendors like Eaton, their channel partners, and their customers can ride the storm and make the most of whatever uncertainty the future holds.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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