By Victor Paradell, vice president, IoT Solutions & Analytics, EMEA at Tech Data
The Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting humanity to physical objects in ways we never imagined. With billions of objects exchanging an endless stream of data and becoming active participants in business processes enabled by the cloud, IoT is helping businesses transform the way they operate, creating significant efficiency gains and improved customer experience. Worldwide, IoT is a huge business, as global spending on the technology reached more than $643.8 billion in 2015 and, it is expected to account for approximately $998 billion of IT budgets in 2018.
Analytics and IoT offer the opportunity for partners to deliver new services and infrastructure, by building out existing platforms to offer even more value from them. The channel is in a unique position; it has access to a constantly developing technology landscape, and a partner ecosystem that is tapped into numerous verticals on the cusp of next-generation technology adoption. As customers become smarter, organisations recognise the importance of cross-vendor solutions and IoT applications will fast become a reality.
So, what is Technology Solutions, formerly a division of Avnet and now part of Tech Data, doing within the IoT sector and why is its recent partnership with the IBM Watson Lab so important? By working closely with IBM's leading technologists and IoT experts, Tech Data plans to enhance its existing IoT technical expertise through hands-on training and on-the-job learning. Tech Data’s team of IoT and analytics experts will partner with IBM on joint business development opportunities across multiple industries including smart manufacturing, logistics & transportation, retail and smart spaces. This enables the future to look even more connected than ever before, meaning everything from your car to your home, to your kitchen, to the collar on your pet will be linked. By partnering with IBM, Tech Data is taking the guesswork out of IoT developments by building a solid ecosystem of the ‘bread-and-butter’ technology companies they can work with to develop IoT solutions.
IoT is important for Tech Data as it has the potential to transform every industry. Tech Data’s vendors are actively involved in developing products and solutions that will accelerate the adoption of IoT and further advance the industry.
Tech Data is perfectly positioned as an IoT aggregator, right at the centre of the IoT ecosystem, to create and optimise IoT solutions thanks to the 360-degree view of the market it possesses, from the heart of the technology supply chain.
Tech Data and IBM will work closely together to accelerate solution development with IBM’s Watson IoT and Bluemix platforms. This includes proof of concept models, IoT starter kits and an extensive catalogue of DevOps, mobile and analytics services delivered via IBM’s and Tech Datas’ cloud platforms. These IoT starter kits are just a glimpse of how this collaboration can help companies across the globe begin their IoT journey. Another reason the IoT lab is vital to Tech Data’s position in the field is that it aligns customers with capabilities and services to address the entire range of IoT complexities, such as sensor design and development, infrastructure and gateway solutions, connectivity options, cloud IoT platforms, and global inventory management; all of which will bring customers to the forefront of the IoT sector.
The new joint lab will be a key place for customers and partners to come together to collaborate and advance their solution design. It is a vital resource that will be an asset to the Tech Data portfolio over the long term. In a nutshell, Tech Data’s mission for the sector is to aggregate IoT solutions and provide a simplified route to the rapidly expanding IoT market for partners to bring innovative connected solutions to customers to make IoT visions a reality.