How should the channel tackle SA’s power provision market?

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

There’s no doubt that South Africa has made some tremendous strides in alleviating our power provision challenges.  Rooftops are glimmering with solar arrays, and industry is moving at speed to implement distributed energy resources (DERs) to ease the strain on an overtaxed grid.

The above is also providing distributors and their channel partners with lucrative ground for expansion, delivering critical power solutions to a country that is making the most of our natural resources and other, viable energy options.

But there’s also a caveat; the above opportunity is giving way to a very competitive playing field.  Ultimately, only the strong will survive in a marketplace that – like most things in life – remains finite.

So how do distributors and their channel partners set themselves apart from the competition?  First, is a keen understanding of the needs of this exciting, fast-paced and somewhat cutthroat industry.

There are technologies in abundance – some available at mindbogglingly low-price points – that promise the earth and beyond. Market education is therefore essential in ensuring that organisations opt for the right – and not necessarily the cheaper – solutions from knowledgeable and reputable partners.

Another important point, that might seem a bit on the nose, is steering away from cookie cutter solutions.  Granted, solutions can be scaled to meet specific demand, however, user-specific challenges like space need to be considered.

Here, providing options like smaller solar panels, which require less space to produce similar power output, is a feasible option particularly to smaller businesses and homes that don’t necessarily have parking-lot-sized space to install solar arrays.

The trick is to read the marketplace and ensure that solutions are tailored to meet an ever evolving and importantly educated market. 

Second, is partnering with the right OEM.  And this is where Schneider Electric offers tremendous value to our partners.   For one, becoming a Schneider Electric partner is not merely a title; it’s a mark of distinction earned through adherence to stringent criteria and continuous excellence.

Our partners are evaluated annually against predefined benchmarks such as financial performance, technical expertise, training, and technology investment. For example, partners who attain Elite status within the Schneider Electric Secure Power Partner Programme gain access to a host of exclusive benefits and opportunities. These include priority support, specialised training programmes, and early access to new technologies and innovations.

Another important differentiator (of our partner programme) is our focus on end users. We understand and recognise the significance of meeting the evolving needs of customers. To this end, we’ve established a dedicated division within our Secure Power division that focuses exclusively on serving end users, understanding their requirements and recommending tailored solution.

By taking the initiative to engage with end users, we’re not only enhancing the customer experience but also creating new opportunities for our channel partners.  We’re doing a lot of the legwork, finding customers and ensuring that our dedicated team provides them with professional service that subsequently creates a demand in the channel marketplace.

Our Secure Power Partner Programme truly represents our commitment to excellence innovation and collaboration.  We are providing our channel partners with an important competitive advantage that will enable them to deliver solutions and services that are a cut above.  

About the author

Author Profile

Ben Selier, Vice President: Secure Power, Anglophone Africa at Schneider Electric


Add a comment

All fields are required.