The Rise of ‘IoT in a Box’ and the Sales Opportunity

Internet of Things (IoT)

The bundle method is becoming the standard for delivering internet-of-things (IoT) solutions to business customers.

Steve Brumer, partner at Brumer Hubler IoT Group, and Natasha Royer Coons, managing director, TeraNova Consulting Group, will discuss how vendors and channel partners are building platforms for the hot technology. One popular strategy is to offer pre-assembled combinations of hardware and software to clients.

The two experts will speaking during the “IoT in a Box: Are Prebuilt Bundles Right for Your Business?” panel, part of the revenue and portfolio supplier conference track, sponsored by Nextiva, April 10, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

We chatted with Royer Coons and Brumer about their upcoming talk. We’ve edited the transcript for clarity.

CP: Are prebuilt IoT bundles becoming more prevalent?

Brumer Hubler IoT Group's Steve Brumer

Brumer Hubler IoT Group’s Steve Brumer

Steve Brumer: The market is trending to a complete solution based on several components, which include technology (LTE, Cat M, NB-IoT, LoRa) across all MNOs. This allows solution providers to invest in an entire offering for their down channel. In other words, they take their solution — for example, fleet. They package the back-end platform, customer facing dashboard, data, device and ongoing managed services, which allows VARs to go to market in less than 30 days; [that] includes NDA, contract, training and ordering for their customers.

Eliminating the relationship building across the entire ecosystem is worth the cost savings for a true “IoT in a Box” relationship. You can do this across multiple verticals including fleet, network failover, PERS, security [and so on], allowing for a one-stop-shop environment from start to finish. IoT in a box — voila!

Natasha Royer Coons: Yes, I see bundles as an early trend to increase IoT adoption and to attract more channel partners to sell IoT by simplifying the “solutioning” and integration process. As with most technology revolutions, they start out with science projects and a lot of proofs of concept and pilots.

In 2017 there remained reports of an ongoing 75 percent IoT project failure rate. [But] as with most great technology waves, IoT technology providers started adapting and companies deploying IoT began to focus on defining opportunities around verticals.

TeraNova's Natasha Royer Coons

TeraNova’s Natasha Royer Coons

According to Bryan Merckling, CEO of Thinaer: “Consider early IoT, where the leading platform providers focused solely on the ability to manage your edge devices. In short, you could only monitor the health and update firmware on your edge devices. The key to IoT is the data and the ability to analyze it in real time, but, in the beginning of IoT, that required an expensive consulting engagement and cross-unit collaboration inside of the end-user’s organization.”

Fast-forward to today and platforms are “self-contained.” IoT can be deployed quickly with readily available dashboards to visualize your data, built-in reports and analytics along with rule-based alerts so your IoT project can succeed, now needing only the data the platform generates. Expansion and integration [are] easier now too as IoT platforms have APIs right out of the box.

CP: How might partners benefit or suffer from selling an “in-a-box” solution compared to doing custom integration?

NRC: IoT “in a box” can be the undergrad degree before entering the Master’s in a custom integrations program. It helps to simplify the complex, making it easier to sell and deploy, and it requires no capex or upfront investment, making it very low risk for the partner, and also the end user. It also can be leveraged into …

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