Time to Get Serious About Wireless Data!
By Charles Kriete
A disruptive technology trend is at our door. The Internet of Everything is coming, although you could make the argument it’s already here. Telematics, machine-to-machine communications, telehealth, fleet management, digital signage and all the other technologies defining this space are hardly new concepts, but only recently, with the advent of LTE, are we starting to see their full potential.
As many of you know, this is huge marketplace. Companies like Cisco have defined it as a $14 trillion (that’s right, trillion) marketplace over the next decade. More and more, legacy landline players, CLECs, ILECs and their agents alike that haven’t traditionally sold wireless, are partnering with companies to deliver wireless data solutions to their customers, as often times they are easier to deploy and more efficient and cost effective for several applications.
In verticals like security, even peace of mind for their customers is a factor, knowing they have a connection back to the monitoring center that cannot be severed. LTE has also made the applications more pervasive. Almost any business requires Internet backup or point of sale; these solutions can be deployed in tandem with legacy landline solutions to deliver high reliability backup for those critical applications.
And why not offer guest Wi-Fi on an independent network while you’re at it? Free Wi-Fi is a growing expectation for many customers, and the business intelligence that can be gained from it when paired with certain applications specific to your vertical is a huge side benefit to the business while delivering a value to the customer.
We as a channel need to start having serious conversations with our customers around these segments and be looking at ways to partner and provide global data solutions to our base. This is particularly true for the legacy telecom channel, but also true for VARs, integrators and MSPs who are providing hardware and services to their customers, but often leaving the connectivity to the carrier. That model may have worked before, but in complex deployments like these, there are software and cloud components for monitoring and interpreting the data that are often the most difficult part of the solution and typically go hand in hand with the connectivity partner.
Many companies are emerging, Wyless included of course, that can deliver the end-to-end solution in the space to the customer and whose primary go-to-market is channel partners. We are seeing more and more channels come to the table. Large dealer channels in managed print, utilities, security and ISP come to us looking for these solutions for their customers. The reactive nature of these requests can prolong the response time and if the partner is lucky enough to have the customer wait, it can still prolong the sales cycle while going through setup.
As a channel we need to be proactive in this space and start bringing solutions to our customers. They are piecing them together today, and the first partners that to come along with a consolidated solution will be long-term winners in this space!
Charles Kriete is senior vice president, sales, for Wyless , an M2M managed services provider. He joined Wyless from Tech Data, where he was the executive vice president of the TD Mobility division, a company that he cofounded in 2005 as OTBT and that was later acquired by and operated as a joint venture between Tech Data and Brightstar. He is also a member of the 2013-14 Channel Partners Advisory Board .