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Defense Against Competitive Threats. IoT is the Answer

Posted by Emily Melone on Apr 17, 2019 3:04:15 PM

By now, businesses have received “the message” loud and clear - transformation is vital if you want your business to remain competitive.  OK, so you got the message; now the question becomes “how?” - especially holistically.  Transformation may come in various shapes and sizes, but for IT and business leaders it typically involves: consumer experience (employee and client); ecosystem alignment (including micro services); and,  “digital business.” 

Consumer experience is very demanding on today’s business, to the point where it is a significant influencer of recurring revenue and staying power.  Bad experience is bad for business. Likewise, reducing business friction and delivering quality service entails being smarter about available resources and knowing when to leverage outsourcing.  Even though the U.S. economy seems inundated with conglomerates such as Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and Alphabet Inc., to name a few, in the realm of emerging technologies no one supplier is king; even big players need to play nice in the sand box. Becoming ecosystem friendly is the name of the game.

Then there is digital business.  If you are a channel partner, you may be realizing that your customers’ transformation initiatives most likely will include some element of security (cyber), internet of things, edge computing, artificial intelligence, block chain and/or machine learning.  In any case, your clients are starting to embark on exploratory projects that start with questions and require analysis. Tech Data wants to help channel partners be prepared to answer some of the more pressing questions of their clients; focusing on IoT and analytics is a beneficial first step.

Recognize Use Cases with Impact

Below are five use cases of IoT that affect operations and bridge the gaps between operational and informational technology. 

  1. Manufacturing Operations
  2. Freight Monitoring
  3. Smart Cities (electrical grid)
  4. Production Asset Management
  5. Smart Buildings (temperature control, lighting, security, etc.)

Navigate the Latest Innovative Products and Services

Vetting the best solutions and services can be challenging. The market is extensive, with core suppliers and niche players fragmented. Determining the best vendors to address your clients’ business problems can be daunting.  Fortunately, Tech Data’s channel partners are positioned well to help maximize the benefits of an IoT project.  As your solution aggregator, Tech Data has a highly vetted strategic network of vendors with proven outcomes; ensuring our channel partners not only have access to the latest innovations, but proven solutions.

Establish Direct Customer Relationships through Better Consumer Experience

The key to improving direct customer relationships and a better consumer experience is data awareness. IoT and analytics is a significant factor in identifying, understanding and fulfilling the consumer experience. As long as channel partners and their clients, recognize how data proliferation can provide a competitive advantage, they are primed to earn repeat customers.

Data is a strong currency. It provides information about buying trends, personas, and supply chains. Imagine knowing a consumers preferences, how they consume, where they consume and when they will consume again.  If your client struggles with their customer relationships, be the solution provider that shows them how to leverage the power of data via IoT and analytic solutions.  IoT helps capture valuable data from a multitude of connected devices and physical assets. In turn, analytic solutions “translates” key performance indicators of the data to illuminate the powerful benefits to the business.

Grow Top Line Revenues through Operational Efficiencies and Expense Reduction

Uncertain return on investment is one of the major barriers to IoT adoption and requires some guided enlightenment. IoT and analytics improves operational functions and streamlines processes which can enable businesses to experience financial flexibility.  IDC projects that the net new revenue opportunity in IoT over the next three years is $96 billion.  For the channel, the opportunity includes hardware, software, services, sensors, and connectivity.  Which means opportunity in both edge and cloud.  For the channels’ clients, the focus on business value is aligned per use cases and desired outcomes.  According to Capgemini, Unlocking the Business Value of IoT in Operations, some of the more high potential use cases for return include, inventory intelligence, smart metering, environmental monitoring and renewable plants supervision.  Like any emerging technology’s evolution, the market projections, including further adoption and additional use cases of IoT will continue to influence the return of investment and benefits of implementations.  Your client’s expectations of cost effectiveness and revenue growth must be met upfront with desired outcomes identified and clear performance indicators.



How Do We Connect to Our Physical Assets?

Again, the scenarios for connecting to physical assets are vast, but fortunately, Tech Data has taken the guesswork out of where to start.   Tech Data’s IoT and analytics consultants have vertical expertise along with extensive vendor knowledge for helping our partners navigate the right path and aggregate the best solution for connecting physical assets.  Our approach is to start and end with business outcomes. Identifying the pain point and desired outcomes removes variables for complexity and leads to appropriate solution components. In addition to this methodology, Tech Data has also vetted repeatable solutions for primary vertical use cases. This allows our partners to not only pinpoint solutions for their clients efficiently but also have confidence in deployment i.e. connectivity.  We also offer demo solutions to support proof of concept.  For more information on how to prime your practice for IoT, please connect with Tech Data’s IoT and Analytics Specialist Practice at iot@techdata.com

About the Author

As a marketer who has spent some time with her head in the Cloud, Emily Melone is interested in exploring the benefits of Next Generation technologies principles and collaboration.  Her focus is dissecting the buzzwords in today’s digital marketplace and trying to remove the “fluff” for easier consumption. For the past twelve years, her aptitude has been in hybrid cloud, software defined data center, IT operations and management solutions, analytics and IoT. Trying to deliver value instead of “hype” is her inspiration.

Tags: IoT, Big Data, Analytics, Data, Digital Transformation, Next Gen, Data Generation, IoT Adoption, IoT Connectivity, Connecting Sensors, IoT Use Cases