SMBs Listen Up: Power Protection Could Really Help You

May 09, 2011

By Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin) - Director of Content Marketing, Content Boost

While a variety of companies in the telecom, security and computing and networking markets have already found a partner in Minuteman, a leader provider of power protection technologies, small to medium sized business (SMB) owners should not overlook the benefits afforded by the company.

“According to an Office Depot survey of SMBs, 60 percent of this group does not have adequate power protection installed, nor do they have any type of disaster plan in place,” Minuteman’s Marketing Director Bill Allen told TMCnet in a recent interview. “This was a surprising statistic, since most SMBs are fully reliant on their telephone, IT and security systems.”

This week, Minuteman sat down with TMCnet to discuss which industries can benefit from power protection that may not even realize it, in which fields Minuteman has gained a strong foothold and where the power protection industry is headed.

For the past 25 years, Minuteman has cast its eyes on the telecom market, particularly since it offers a “great set” of distributors and integrators, according to Allen. In turn, the industry has been receptive to Minuteman due to Minuteman’s impressive resume.

“We were the first UPS company to provide configuration tools for specifying UPSs for telephone systems,” Allen said. “Back 20 plus years ago, distributor salespeople from Graybar (News - Alert), Alltell, and North Supply all relied heavily on our SizeMyUPS.com to assist in determining what UPS was best suited for specific telephone systems. That helped us be successful in selling into the telecom market.”

Yet the power protection company has also made a splash in the security market, as companies see the value in purchasing power protection as a back up in the event of a power outage, in order to keep their critical infrastructure safe. Security is one of the most essential components of keeping businesses, governmental agencies and educational institutions safe and, accordingly, it's especially important to have battery back-ups supporting security systems, according to Allen.

While several industries have recognized the important of power protection, a group that may not realize that it can benefit enormously from the products are SMBs.

 “Business owners make substantial investments in equipment to run their business, and it's surprising they don't consider power protection to be an essential part of their equipment purchases – especially when UPSs and other power-related products are at an all-time low in terms of affordability,” Allen said.

Over the years, another field has seen the advantage of power protection more so than in past year – the security market.  Consequently, Minuteman now serves a lot of companies in the security market. 

“Now that more cameras, DVRs, and access control systems are being installed, security end-users and systems installers are becoming more cognizant that a security system is of no value if power goes out,” Allen said.  “And ironically, during a power outage or disaster is when security systems are needed the most.  The security market has grown rapidly and we have been successful in riding this wave.”

So where is the power protection industry headed? Well, according to Allen, the market will continue to see additional growth as more devices become critical to business operations.

Last year, amid economic unrest and cost cutting practices, Minuteman managed to still have a successful 2010 with regards to revenue and growth.

The market will continue to see more servers added, more security systems installed, and larger, more complex communications systems coming on board which means good news for power protection companies since all of these devices require power, according to Allen.

Another trend Minuteman is seeing is being able to manage power on a remote basis. 

“We have remote power management tools that allow IT, telecom and security managers to know what's going on with all of their critical systems that can be monitored and managed from their desktop, whether the equipment is local or at a remote facility,” Allen said. “We are also seeing a trend towards longer battery back-up times.  Again, as more systems become more critical, managers want to keep these systems up and running for longer periods of time. Consequently, Minuteman's line of extended run-time battery packs are seeing greater demand.”

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves