2017 Eaton Partner Summit
Last week I traveled to the annual Eaton Partner Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. This was my first trip to this event, and I have to say that Eaton did not disappoint. The conference was only about a day and a half’s worth of scheduled time spread out across three days, but the Eaton team was able to make the most of their time educating and entertaining their partners.
The Summit was made up of around 90 partners and distributors from across the United States and Canada. All of the Eaton UPS product managers were in attendance, as well as the Eaton Distributed Power executive team. The opening night was held at the impressive Atlanta Aquarium, with the welcome address being delivered in a ballroom with a view of playful Beluga whales. The Eaton team described the importance of their partner relationships and the push towards more investment in the channel.
The rest of the Summit was held at the JW Marriott in Buckhead. One of the highlights was the breakdown of 2016 and Q1 2017 numbers, which showed a steady increase in market share for Eaton, compared with a sharp decline in overall sales by their main competitor, APC. Eaton has seen an increased need for smaller UPS devices in network closets, where uptime has become more important as data centers are moved to the cloud and internet connectivity is crucial.
One of the breakout sessions that interested me the most was a discussion about a newly released software product called the Eaton Visual Power Manager (VPM). VPM is specifically designed to manage large quantities of power devices in a distributed or multi-tenant environment, from the UPS to the PDUs. DMD engineers are scheduling a deep-dive session with the Eaton team to learn more about this product, which I believe could be a great asset to Managed Service Providers and enhance DMD’s UPS-as-a-Service offering.
The final demonstration of the Summit was the announcement of a new Eaton UPS product line featuring Lithium-Ion batteries instead of the traditional Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA). As the price of lead has forced increases in the market, the price of lithium has decreased to the point that the comparison between the two technologies is more compelling from a price standpoint. Lithium-Ion batteries are lighter, charge faster, and last longer. Expect to see more breakthroughs and product offerings from Eaton in the Lithium-Ion space in the coming months.
The Eaton Partner Summit was a very rewarding experience for me as an Eaton partner. The Eaton executive team made themselves available to us for input, feedback and questions. Eaton continues to be a great partner for DMD Data Systems and I anticipate attendance at future Partner Summits from our team.
2017 Eaton Partner Summit – written by Miles Cox, Director of Services at DMD Data Systems.