Industry talking to customers What's this? How Fleet Management Services Help SMBs Keep the Power On Published: April 14th, 2016 By: IT World Canada Staff Imagine you work for a small company with maybe a single staffer who is charged with looking after your IT needs, even though the person is not a full-time IT professional. Still, he’s savvy enough to know that IT gear requires some power protection, in the form of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).So he makes sure all of your servers, network switches, and routers are all connected to a UPS that can help them ride out any power outages and protect them from brownouts, surges, and the like. Now imagine that was 5 years ago. The person who held that IT position is no longer with the company, which has grown considerably. Now the company has a couple of full-time IT staffers, along with 2 or 3 additional remote offices to deal with, each with at least a small amount of IT gear that requires UPS protection. And now those UPSs are more important than ever given that virtually everyone needs Internet connectivity to remain productive, especially those making use of cloud-based applications and services. So you’ve got more UPSs along with some that are 5 years old or more. Just like a car, a UPS needs periodic maintenance in order to function properly. Your IT staff likely knows they should be checking the batteries, cleaning out any dust, and even testing them periodically. But they’ve got other, more pressing priorities. And they may not even know where all the UPSs are in the organization – especially if they’ve been added piecemeal over the years in multiple locations.This kind of situation is far from unusual, but it flies in the face of what a UPS is all about. You buy a UPS as a sort of insurance policy. But if you don’t perform the routine maintenance, you can’t be sure the UPS will be able to do its job when called upon.For many SMBs, the answer to this conundrum lies in fleet management services, where a third party will do the maintenance job for you. Offerings vary depending on provider, but at Schneider Electric, for example, fleet management services include: Remote monitoring of UPSs and other equipmentRemote troubleshootingExtended warranties on partsEnhanced reporting, including proactive maintenance recommendationsOn-site maintenance and repair serviceThe services ensure not only that your UPSs are properly maintained, but also that you get alerts when any of them have a problem. The remote troubleshooting service provides help in diagnosing any issues while on-site maintenance and repair ensures those issues will be addressed quickly – without taking your IT staff away from other critical job requirements. It’s difficult for a lean IT staff to take the time to properly maintain a slew of UPSs, but it’s risky to ignore required maintenance. Fleet management services can be a great solution, providing the peace of mind that your UPS insurance policy will come through when needed. To learn more about Schneider Electric services, check out our Critical Power & Cooling Services page.