Invite a Co-worker
Send a co-worker an invite to the Exchange portal.Just enter their email address and we’ll connect them to register. After joining, they will belong to the same company.
Send Invite Cancel
80590members
346510posts

MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

Solved
BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
5
145

MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This question was originally posted by James on APC forums on 8/16/2010


For over twenty years my company has deployed APC UPSes as part of our controls system product line. Our qty's can reach as high 200+ units a year. Now, for APC, 200 units a year is nothing, but add up the volumes we have moved for the last twenty years. Also add in the replacement batteries and replacement units that go out every 3-5 years for existing customers.

We have just spent a lot of $$ on R&D to move from the simple signal (uses 940-0020 cable) to the UPSLink protocol (using 940-0024 cable). We use an RTOS, so the software provided by APC is no good to us. Now they have discontinued the UPS that has fit our application for the last seven years. That unit was a small tower that fit our control cabinets. Their listed replacement is a rackmount and only works with this new MicroLink communications.

First, how can you list a recommended replacement that is not a form-fit unit. Now, there is a unit that is a form-fit replacement, the SMT. However, it does not support the UPSLink communications, so its not a functional replacement.

I am told that a new interface, the AP9620, will allow for use of the UPSLink with the SMT units. Ok, another set of problems, the AP9620 is not released yet. So, I have projects that cannot be completed because I have no form-fit-function UPS to supply critical backup power to the main control system.

On top of this, APC will not make the MicroLink protocol available, even under license. So, we will have to increase cost on every project to include the AP9620.

As a global corporation, if I were to discontinue a product line without first having a proven FORM-FIT-FUNCTION replacement we would loose business and I would loose my job.

If I am unable to access the MicroLink protocol, causing me to have to purchase the AP9620, then I will instead invest in developing my RTOS interface to work a UPS from a company other than APC.

Tags (3)

Accepted Solutions
BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
143

MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This reply was originally posted by James on APC forums on 8/16/2010


For over twenty years my company has deployed APC UPSes as part of our controls system product line. Our qty's can reach as high 200+ units a year. Now, for APC, 200 units a year is nothing, but add up the volumes we have moved for the last twenty years. Also add in the replacement batteries and replacement units that go out every 3-5 years for existing customers.

We have just spent a lot of $$ on R&D to move from the simple signal (uses 940-0020 cable) to the UPSLink protocol (using 940-0024 cable). We use an RTOS, so the software provided by APC is no good to us. Now they have discontinued the UPS that has fit our application for the last seven years. That unit was a small tower that fit our control cabinets. Their listed replacement is a rackmount and only works with this new MicroLink communications.

First, how can you list a recommended replacement that is not a form-fit unit. Now, there is a unit that is a form-fit replacement, the SMT. However, it does not support the UPSLink communications, so its not a functional replacement.

I am told that a new interface, the AP9620, will allow for use of the UPSLink with the SMT units. Ok, another set of problems, the AP9620 is not released yet. So, I have projects that cannot be completed because I have no form-fit-function UPS to supply critical backup power to the main control system.

On top of this, APC will not make the MicroLink protocol available, even under license. So, we will have to increase cost on every project to include the AP9620.

As a global corporation, if I were to discontinue a product line without first having a proven FORM-FIT-FUNCTION replacement we would loose business and I would loose my job.

If I am unable to access the MicroLink protocol, causing me to have to purchase the AP9620, then I will instead invest in developing my RTOS interface to work a UPS from a company other than APC.

See Answer In Context

5 Replies 5
BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
143

Re: MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This reply was originally posted by James on APC forums on 8/18/2010



We have located some stock of the SUA1000 at Wesco and Ingram Micro, but we will deplete stock at both vendors within a week or two. Additional stock has been located at Amazon.



Ultimately I would like to move to the MicroLink communications and implement the SMT series. For I now, I would like to discuss reimplementing production of the SUA750xl. The 750 is already slightly larger than what we need; this makes the 1000 a major overkill.

As for the microlink streaming protocol, we won't know if implementing it into our QNX based solution is a good fit or not until we have it in front of our development team.

I need a contact at APC to discuss this further.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
143

Re: MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 8/17/2010


hi james,

sorry it took so long to post back - I wanted to make sure the right people at APC were aware of your post so that you got an appropriate answer to your comments/concerns/questions and that they did not go unheard.

Based on that, here is what i want to ask and let you know that:

After reading your post, it sounds like you are using SUA750*XL*, based on the reference to the form factor change, which is the same box size as SUA1000 and SUA1000/1500 and is something we will be continuing to supply in another, different special circumstance.

I want to make sure that it is also clear that we tried to capture information from customers who might have special communication requirements before releasing the new product and apologize for the fact that he did not get captured in our net of information.

For some customers who have these communication requirements, we have been able to make the legacy product available (SUA750XL) until the AP9620 is available, which will allow the new product to meet another end user's communication requirement. However, it would be important for us to understand how you typically buy APC product and through whom so we can determine if we can make legacy product available to you.

I can give you the option to try the new solution, SMT1000 + AP9620 before making a long term commitment to a different solution - whether through APC or another vendor.

Lastly, we definitely recognize customer concerns with these special communication requirements with regard to the fact there is now an additional piece of hardware, i.e., the AP9620 and APC is investigating options to address this.

Thanks.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
143

Re: MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This reply was originally posted by James on APC forums on 8/18/2010


It is unfortunate that we were not able to become an APC OEM partner in the past. This certainly would have provided for better communications.

Our purchasing department acquires the APC units from multiple vendors based on availability. A primary source for us has been Wesco.

I had looked at the SUA1000, but it was listed as ‘not available in country of choice’. I’ve requested my purchasing department to look into acquiring this unit in the U.S. If it is within the same dimensions and works with the 940-0020 cable as well as the UPSLink protocol then we should have no problem placing it into our product.

If we were able to continue to obtain the SUA750xl that would be the best solution. I would like to move to the SMT750, but not at the cost of having to install the AP9620. If we had a way to gain access to the MicroLink protocol then we could revise our solution to add support for the SMT and plan for migration away from the SUA series over time.

While other UPS manufacturers are offering an NDA for full disclosure of their protocols, APC has only provided agreements for accessing the UPSLink protocol. I can understand moving away from UPSLink and going to MicroLink. The new protocol offers better functionality and control. However, not providing access to the new protocol just alienates OEM integrators.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
145

Re: MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This reply was originally posted by Angela on APC forums on 8/18/2010


microlink operates differently though. it is a streaming protocol rather than a request based protocol. i understand what you mean about the NDA but i am not even sure that the new protocol would suit your needs if we did indeed offer an NDA.

i know you are investigating a few things on your end with replacements currently.

what i can do for you now from APC's standpoint, based on my offerings above?

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
0 Likes
0
144

MicroLink: APC has dropped the ball. May loose my business.

This reply was originally posted by James on APC forums on 8/16/2010


For over twenty years my company has deployed APC UPSes as part of our controls system product line. Our qty's can reach as high 200+ units a year. Now, for APC, 200 units a year is nothing, but add up the volumes we have moved for the last twenty years. Also add in the replacement batteries and replacement units that go out every 3-5 years for existing customers.

We have just spent a lot of $$ on R&D to move from the simple signal (uses 940-0020 cable) to the UPSLink protocol (using 940-0024 cable). We use an RTOS, so the software provided by APC is no good to us. Now they have discontinued the UPS that has fit our application for the last seven years. That unit was a small tower that fit our control cabinets. Their listed replacement is a rackmount and only works with this new MicroLink communications.

First, how can you list a recommended replacement that is not a form-fit unit. Now, there is a unit that is a form-fit replacement, the SMT. However, it does not support the UPSLink communications, so its not a functional replacement.

I am told that a new interface, the AP9620, will allow for use of the UPSLink with the SMT units. Ok, another set of problems, the AP9620 is not released yet. So, I have projects that cannot be completed because I have no form-fit-function UPS to supply critical backup power to the main control system.

On top of this, APC will not make the MicroLink protocol available, even under license. So, we will have to increase cost on every project to include the AP9620.

As a global corporation, if I were to discontinue a product line without first having a proven FORM-FIT-FUNCTION replacement we would loose business and I would loose my job.

If I am unable to access the MicroLink protocol, causing me to have to purchase the AP9620, then I will instead invest in developing my RTOS interface to work a UPS from a company other than APC.