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IoT: How to Get Your Share of the Pie

IoT

Edward GatelyVerizon reported $200 million in Internet of Things (IoT) revenue for the first quarter of 2016, on top of $690 million it earned in 2015.

Gartner estimates that 80-85 percent of IoT devices will be sold by indirect channels. Are you getting your piece of that pie?

During the concurrent education session titled, “IoT Gets Real: 3 Innovative – and Profitable – Products to Sell Now,” at Channel Partners Evolution, Aug. 14-17, in Washington, D.C., panelists will discuss three real-world product IoT offerings that hopefully will spark some ideas.

Nancy Ridge, executive vice president of Telecom Brokers, will be the moderator. Michelle Curtis, senior manager of IoT strategy for Tech Data, and Sam Oliver, program manager of IoT and data analytics for Avnet Technology Solutions, will be panelists.

Tech Data's Michelle CurtisIn a Q&A with Channel Partners, Curtis and Oliver talk about how to jump-start your IoT business to make more money.

Channel Partners: Can you give a preview of the real-world product IoT offerings that will be discussed?

Michelle Curtis: Predictive maintenance, energy optimization, asset management (and) intelligent shopping experience.

Sam Oliver: A good example of where we are seeing success is with Avnet partner SPICA Technologies. We worked with them to help create a smart cities IoT solution to improve water safety. This solution reduces the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease by using connected devices attached to water pipes that provide real-time information and analysis on water temperature and flow, improving accuracy and reducing monitoring costs by up to 60 percent. Avnet played an important role in building this solution, bringing together the sensor components, IBM Core Middleware, IBM Enterprise analytics, and an IBM Cloud deployment to manage the data.{ad}

Avnet's Sam OliverCP: What are some of the basics of formulating an effective and profitable IoT strategy?

MC: Partners should look at the entire chain of a solution, leading with the business outcome, and understand how they can add their value to the solution. Distributors can help partners with this process, for solution aggregation, sales and technical enablement, and vendor marketing support.

SO: Many channel partners can expand into the IoT market by leveraging both their existing and new technologies. Even with the growing number of IoT use cases, many are still wondering how they can leverage their current enterprise capabilities – perhaps selling server, storage, networking and software – and engage in what seems to be a very device-and sensor-based ecosystem. What is important for them to realize is that all of those devices and sensors generate data at constantly increasing levels. The true power of IoT for the enterprise customer is …

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… not in the devices or sensors themselves, but in how the user harnesses the data and turns it into business insight.

In order to map an effective strategy, it’s important to start your initiatives with focus. One option is to begin with an untapped opportunity where you already have competencies – whether it’s in cloud, data analytics, mobile or security – and get some early wins with customers. For example, solution providers that have already built their capabilities around cloud computing can begin to help many of their current customers with IoT use cases by collecting and analyzing the array of data that comes from new sensor infrastructure that their customers have already deployed or are planning to deploy. Using those skill sets, solutions providers can work with Avnet’s OEM customers to help develop complete IoT solutions.

CP: What makes a great real-world product IoT offering as opposed to a not so great offering?

MC: Success comes from the ability to drive actual outcomes that solve real needs in the business, outcomes that drive return on investment for customers. IoT is still in the proof-of-concept phase for many end customers and partners, and it’s understanding how to take successful proof of concepts and rapidly scale them. Simplification is the key to success.

SO: What immediately strikes me about the IoT market is that it involves so many different technology areas, including sensors, semiconductors, security, analytics, cloud computing, storage, servers and the list goes on. All of these are needed to create a truly great real-world application that actually works and provides meaningful information. Partners need to take a solutions approach to IoT, but also recognize that no single solution provider will be able to address all the elements necessary to bring new, sustainable and connected IoT solutions to market. They will need to work with a partner who has the right suppliers, manufacturers and resources to help them navigate the IoT journey.


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