IT vendors predict that this is the year that the Internet of Things (IoT) really hits the channel: the integration of IT and IoT solutions, security management, and data management that will require that multiple vendors and their channel partners work together to deliver a holistic solution. The Internet of Things has already generated many opportunities for the channel, but some solution providers are still scratching their heads about where to start.
For partners it’s about starting with what they know best – their current customers. It’s important for partners to recognize that the audience is not the CIO, but at the corporate strategy level. A partner can start by understanding this audience’s current challenges and projects, and asking questions about what they are doing, what they might want to do, and how they're looking at creating value for their business. It’s about beginning small and growing the opportunity. Many vendors are rolling out new IoT solutions and applications and penetrating vertical markets. Channel partners need to determine in what area they want to invest and leverage resources and which vendors are good partners.
Solution providers who IoT because once the systems are in place, they need to be monitored, and the data needs to be collected and analyzed. The solution provider is expected to have the insights and a platform. The application needs to be continuously updated and new features introduced.
Application development, as it relates to the Internet of Things, is gaining traction globally. According to a survey by market research firm Evans Data, the number of developers currently working on IoT apps has increased 34 percent year over year to more than 6.2 million developers today. This means development resources are needed to meet the growing demand for packaged IoT solutions addressing specific business processes and vertical industries, as well as for providing application development services for clients' custom IoT development projects. In addition to app development, solution providers see opportunities in analytics, consulting and security.
Internet of Things experts from a variety of vendors recommend that solution providers tackle the IoT market with a vertical-specific approach. In order for channel partners to scale and really monetize the opportunities is to target the use-case outcome. Many business problems are multi-vertical problems. Channel partners should think about the problems that IoT technologies solve and focus on specializing in vertical markets. End-user customers understand things from their own vertical. They may not be that technology-savvy. This is where the opportunity for channel partners lies. Take vendor IOT (horizontal) offerings and incorporate the vertical market expertise and solutions necessary to solve vertical market business problems. Look for 'adjacencies' to expand their technology portfolios and services.
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