Green IT tutorial: Offering green networking services

Offering green IT services can prove to be lucrative in these environmentally conscious times. Learn how to offer green networking and other energy-efficient IT services, including understanding green networking technology, navigating the green IT market, and pitching green networks to your customers as cost saving measures, with this collection of top green IT resources.

Green networking -- consolidating devices, relying more on video conferencing and telecommuting, and using virtualization

to reduce power consumption -- is a part of the environmental trend toward "greening" just about everything from cars to coffee cups. Green IT in the network has become a hot topic for enterprise customers who want to be environmentally conscious and also save money -- this could be the next and best service offering in any networking solution provider's business portfolio. In this tutorial, we will guide you toward the selling points of green networks and provide top green IT tips on how to present the idea to your customers by highlighting the cost-savings benefits and explaining green networking ROI. For selling other energy-efficient IT solutions, be sure to check out this green IT solutions guide.

Table of Contents
Green network design and equipment can save your customers money
Finding business opportunities with a green networking portfolio
Building a green networking strategy and business case for your customers
 

 Green network design and equipment can save your customers money
A key selling point of green networking is its cost-savings benefits for your customers. But before you offer them any kind of green networking services, you must first understand the energy- efficient technology. In this section, we've collected tips and resources on how green networking saves your customers money by saving power and how the technology works.


How green is my network? A look at the cost-savings benefit of green IT This tip explains how going green applies to network operations, and how to explain to your customers why the cost-savings benefit may be more compelling (at least for now) than the urge to save the planet.


Keeping it green: Design principles for efficient architectures Offering green networking services means offering efficient networking services. In this tip, learn about the specifics of efficient network design that you can implement for your customers to keep their networks green, as well as avoiding waste of bandwidth, power and budget.


Green networking: Energy-efficient upgrades can cut costs Upgrading older networking products to greener, more efficient equipment can cut costs for your customers, but networking solution providers should guide administrators toward taking a closer look at total savings from switching out energy hogs like gigabit Ethernet switches for new, greener models.

Networks in need of a green thumb
Network power consumption comes in many forms. In this Q&A, Gary Audin, president of network consulting firm Delphi Inc., discusses the networking devices that are the biggest power drain and the best time for your customers to consider networking solutions that are a bit greener.

 Finding business opportunities with a green networking portfolio
Now that you understand green networking technology and how it can save your customers money, it's time to find those customers. This section breaks down the best places to look for business opportunities with a portfolio of green networking services.

Networking VARs could grab smart grid stimulus bill funding
Billions of dollars in smart grid stimulus bill funding are up for grabs to any networking solution provider willing to work for it. This would require solution providers to offer services to help modernize the energy grid and green government buildings. Learn how some cities are trying to create a system in which unused power can be sent back to the energy system.

Networked elevators and lights? VARs network building systems
Power savings in the enterprise and home will rely on networking technology that enables users to manage all of their power-consuming devices on one network. Your potential customers can constantly monitor how much energy is being used and can simply turn off appliances when they surpass set limits. Learn more about this green networking technology and how to explain to customers that your services can lower their overall spending.

Energy efficiency over-pitched by vendors; CIOs beware
As vendors continue to pitch green IT and green networking, CIOs and others buying power within companies are becoming skeptical of the information. Learn how to navigate this skepticism and to counter it with a commitment to green principles rather than pitching product lines.

Green networking: Selling the idea to executives
While your customer's network consumes a lot of power, you could offer services that could change that and cut network-related power consumption to a fraction of what it is today. Learn about selling this idea to executives.

 Building a green networking strategy and business case for your customers
You've read about the technology and have targeted the potential clients -- now it's time to build a business case for your customers by developing a flawless green networking strategy. This section helps you create a customized strategy for your customers using other energy-efficient technologies, such as unified communications (UC) and telepresence.

Making the case for green networking
More and more IT departments are being told to reduce power consumption in the data center, and this is the opportunity networking solution providers should be looking for. In this interview, Pat Scheckel, senior director of products and solutions at Cisco partner CDW Berbee, helps explain the green networking trend and why it's a good choice for channel partners.

UC plays into green IT strategy
Unified communications (UC) has been slow to catch on, in part because of the lack of a business case. Here, SearchUnifiedCommunications.com columnist and Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala explains that by offering UC services, you can help a company become greener. In this tip, Zeus explains how networking solution providers can guide their customers in building a business case around UC.

Telepresence ROI: People just as important as technology
Telepresence fits nicely into any enterprise corporation's green IT policy, as it reduces carbon footprints and cuts down on travel. Understanding telepresence ROI as it exists as part of a corporate green policy will help you understand green IT ROI.

This was first published in October 2009

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