Will IoT and M2M mean anything for the channel?

IoT and M2M learning are going to get a lot of coverage this year but do they offer any revenue generating potential for the channel?

Craig Smith, director IoT & Analytics, EMEA, Avnet Technology Solutions

Craig Smith, director IoT & Analytics, EMEA, Avnet
Technology Solutions

Whilst the notion “anything that can be connected, will be connected” may be a bit overwhelming, this is not a new concept for the channel where networking and security is the mainstay of business.

The opportunity that Internet of Things (IoT) opens up for enterprise connectivity is immense.  Employee productivity, increased asset utilisation and supply chain efficiencies are just some of the key benefits organisations will enjoy.

One of the most exciting opportunities is greater use of smart devices in the enterprise space.  More easily accessible, near real-time organisational and operational information will lead to greater efficiencies for frontline staff and faster more effective decision making for business leaders. The networking and security infrastructure requirements to deal with vast amounts of data and analytics will provide the perfect storm of opportunities for the channel.

In this enterprise connectivity phase of IoT, the market for analytics software will open up even further.  The need for predictive and reflective analytics will present an ideal opportunity for consultancy and services for those business partners skilled and nimble enough to take advantage of them.  Services will enable partners to stay close to customers as they find additional business applications for IoT and machine to machine (M2M).  Channel partners will need to keep ahead of the game to provide business solutions using the most relevant software, networking and security products.

Security software and services are already in high demand to manage data transfer and analytics without leaking information and risking security intrusions.  Data derived through automated responses from remote sensors requires a more advanced level of security.

For example, transmitting data remotely from an oil rig floating in the North Sea requires secure cloud storage which is capable of handing millions of small data packages securely from multiple devices and locations.  Mobility adds another dimension with the requirement for asset tracking and management, as well as secure data transmissions over public networks.  What UK business partner wouldn’t like an opportunity to take at the look at the security requirements around this application?

As the different phases of IoT and M2M arise it will be impossible for individual channel partners to keep tabs on every opportunity. Building a robust IoT ecosystem with distribution at the core will be the secret to success for the channel in the coming year.

Posted under Internet of Things (IoT)

This post was written by on October 11, 2016

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Why accelerating channel success on next-generation technologies is about great partnerships

Simon Stevens, cloud & managed services business development manager

We are seeing the technology industry shifting gear when it comes to next-generation technologies. It’s an exciting time for the IT industry; we are experiencing a major technological evolution.

I’m all in favour of this change as my time and focus is spent helping Avnet’s partners evolve and grow their businesses. More than most, I see first-hand how change can be difficult at the best of times. It requires great courage for a business to change the formula that has made it successful. But in truth, when it comes to IT, the formula that made us successful in the past is not the same formula for our future success. Channel partners need to branch out and try new things with new technologies. They might need different skills, a different message or even different customers. But of course, despite what you might read, change doesn’t happen overnight. Read More…

Posted under Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), IT infrastructure

This post was written by on September 21, 2016

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How do we crack into the next IoT layer?

Miriam Murphy, senior vice president, Avnet Technology Solutions, North region, EMEA discusses the next phase for IoT and the channel opportunity

In the tech world, we seem to thrive on the phrase: “There’s never been a more interesting time in the industry.” It’s no wonder why. There have been so many transformational phases over the past two decades. We’re in an industry of constant change yet still it’s hard to imagine we’ll continue to see this happen at the same pace in the coming decade.

On the other side of the coin, when you consider the Internet of Things (IoT) and the opportunities that such a market will open up, suddenly the next phase of change doesn’t seem as difficult to envision. The roll out has already started but what does it looks like really? It can be a little bit overwhelming to think that ‘anything that can be connected, will be connected’ but we can’t ignore that this very concept will uncover vast opportunities for those of us willing to embrace this new world of IT.

This next phase isn’t just about enhancements in personal mobile and home devices. The opportunity that IoT opens up for enterprise connectivity is immense. Enterprise is being touted as the largest of the three main IoT markets next to government and connected home. Employee productivity, increased asset utilization and supply chain efficiencies are just some of the key benefits the enterprise space will enjoy.

So, what does this mean for growth opportunities? Smarter devices in the enterprise space, connected to the IoT ecosystem, mean data analytics solutions are employed to help frontline staff and power players in industry make more informed decisions based on greater accessibility to organisational and operational data. In this way, the world of work has already started to embrace analytics and information from the ‘edge’ of enterprise IT infrastructure such as sensors and gateways.

We use this data everyday too, like when we check the weather forecast and make the simple decision on wearing sunglasses or holding umbrellas, we’re using information based on complex mathematical models driven from enterprise level analytics engines. These are making sense out of huge amounts of sensor-driven edge data. This more effective use of data mining in the enterprise space alone is already having knock-on effects like creating a market need for big data storage solutions and services, not just data analytics and business intelligence (bi) products.

In the next phase, there’s a requirement for the channel to crack the next layer of IoT. This needs agile exploration, analysis and action around IoT data. The market for analytics software will open up even further. Whether ‘predictive’ or ‘reflective’, analytics will need to be optimised to adapt to data streams, in near real-time, and maintain a quality of insight that is accurate, integrated and can be interpreted easily.

Additionally, as we’ve seen on a regular basis in the news headlines, the requirement to protect privacy and secure information, whilst remaining compliant to regulations across EMEA, becomes absolutely critical. Both security software and services are already in high demand to manage data transfer and analytics without leaking information of being hacked. Data derived through automated responses from remote sensors requires a more advanced level of security. The location of data also adds to the complexity of security. For example, transmitting data remotely from an oil rig floating in the North Sea requires secure cloud storage which is capable of handling millions of small data packages securely from multiple devices and locations.

Mobility adds another dimension with the requirement for asset tracking and management, as well as secure data transmission over public networks. This mobility trend highlights the issue of security again as enterprises will need to be able to remotely identify faults in sensors to protect against sensor tampering, which allows hackers to ‘spoof’ data . This market need widens the scope for implementing access management solutions and services to verify data sources. All of these examples help to create an image of the next phase for IoT in terms of security requirements. This opens up another layer of IoT opportunity for the channel.

The moral here? Don’t simply think of IoT as a blinkered future where your coffee machine is connected to your alarm clock and your mobile is connected to your smart meter at home. It’s much more than that and we’ve witnessed the start of this. The edge solutions already in place around safety, compliance and facilities management have created the first phase of the IoT opportunity. The opportunity to connect ‘the edge’ enterprise systems to drive automated maintenance, for example, could be the first to realise real commercial value. For the next layer though, enterprise-focused IoT hardware and software in the manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and information sectors are where the real growth opportunities will be.

Posted under Internet of Things (IoT), IT infrastructure

This post was written by on December 21, 2015

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