There is a common misconception that going green is a tiresome, expensive process, needing support at every turn. This couldn't be further from the truth, as it is based on outdated impressions of green technology.
More and more, it appears clear that the most capable and the greenest technologies are one and the same. Currently, green technology already offers the same performance as traditional technology, and for an up-front price which shouldn't dissuade customers. But they need to be made aware of this.
Moreover, green technology also opens up the opportunity for businesses to enjoy a host of benefits that can reduce costs even further.
This make the actual technology even more effective. For example, using less energy and reducing electricity bills is a main attraction of green products. And thanks to the design choices that result, it also means reduced maintenance costs, a longer lifespan and an all-round reduced total cost of ownership for IT.
To be as efficient as possible, green products are also generally 'smarter' than their counterparts. They can shut down automatically when not in use, and this can happen when other parts of the network are active in order to minimise energy. They can even adjust power consumption depending on the amount of cabling on the network.
The latest advances mean that today's green network technology lasts longer, costs less and does a better job than traditional equipment, in my opinion.
Resellers should find that persuading customers to go green meets with little business or cost focused resistance. What's more, any they do meet can be defeated with the available empirical evidence of superior capability.
Businesses are being told that cutting carbon emissions and going green is no longer just an option but the inevitable future of business in the 21st century. Executives are being urged to junk their Jag and pick up a Prius. Business travellers are encouraged to take the train instead of a plane. And organisations are urged, through legislation, PR, and sheer economics, to increase the efficiency of their operations, from logistics to networks to datacentres.
The reality is that green technology is now becoming the norm and it actually makes business and environmental sense to use it. As long as organisations are aware of this, the decision to adopt greener technology should be simple.
There are also a number of extra arguments that can make it easier for resellers to encourage take-up. Firstly, carbon emissions and energy use become more of a concern so increasingly stringent regulations are already being enforced.
After all, if customers take up technology that goes beyond complying with current environmental regulations, they are a step ahead, and are future-proofing themselves. And currently, green technology remains a differentiator.
The reseller who can offer technology based not just on cost and capability but on sustainability essentially has another way to attract customers.
Some may argue that, while an older 'traditional' switch will not magically become as efficient as a newer model, upgrading a customer's network early on in the life cycle of the technology is simply wasteful.
Calculate and communicate costs and benefits
So, as with selling any other equipment upgrade, channel providers need to help customers make the switch to green technology by calculating - and communicating - both the costs and the benefits.
The easiest way to do this, in my opinion, is to measure the total lifetime cost of using green technology against that of using your customers' current equipment. When it becomes cost-effective to upgrade to a newer model, taking into account an increased lifespan and lower energy costs, it is of course obviously time to switch.
With this approach, going green simply becomes another part of the equipment upgrade process. This is the way the channel should seek to promote it, in my view.
The green revolution is not just a fad. And whether a migration to greener technology is done for altruistic or financial reasons, it will need to happen. Organisations will need to become more energy efficient, and they will need IT to help this happen.
By making sure it is pushing the benefits of this new wave of green technology from the start, the channel can ensure it keeps pace with the increasing evolution of green technology, rather than missing out on what I believe is a potentially huge revenue stream.
Andrew Mulholland is marketing manager at D-Link UK and Ireland
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