Many IoT projects originate as open discussions with lines of business (LOB) that aren’t related to the IT department.
Here’s a recent example that we heard from a college at a technical seminar:
“We had a theft incident last night. Our new building construction site was robbed again and we can’t have someone sit there every night to monitor the site.”
This was a business issue provided by campus security staff. At first, the issue didn’t seem to be related to technology. However, our partner was able to identify the desired business outcome of the campus security staff – to prevent any further robberies at the building construction site. The partner was then able to provide an IoT solution consisting of a DC-powered IoT gateway (industrial server and router), thermal cameras and software that set tripwires, alerts and alarms to secure the location. As a result of the feedback provided by campus security during this open discussion, the partner was able to expand their opportunity, value and relationship with their existing client.
The key takeaway here is that partners should consider adding stakeholders from various areas of the business, not just IT, to the technology discussion.
To help you get started, we have identified key personnel within vertical segments that partners should consider inviting to their next IoT discussion.
Manufacturing plants typically have a wide range of systems and subsystems with specialists and engineers that serve as experts assigned to certain domains, not unlike IT architectures. Business level discussions could involve a wide variety of these functional areas, so pulling together plant operations managers, corporate IT, and industrial network engineers and automation specialists is critical.
‘Transform your business, or go out of business’ sums up the current state of retail. The evolution taking place in retail and hospitality is largely a result of changing consumer buying habits and technology advancements.
Marketing departments in restaurants, retail, casinos and hotels are all fighting to retain existing customers and attract new ones. Starting a conversation with a marketing director is a great place to show them how IoT can help differentiate their practice in a crowded marketplace. The marketing team doesn’t need to understand the technology, but they’ll certainly appreciate the solutions that can help differentiate their practice, such as: personalization, loyalty rewards, push ads and targeted marketing based on social media data.
We’ve found that IoT solutions focused on these two areas tend to resonate the most with municipalities:
- Using technology to drive down the cost of operations within city services. Examples are: waste management, traffic control/routing and smart lighting.
- Using technology to improve the visitor and resident experience. Examples are: pervasive WiFi, smart parking, surveillance and public safety.
Your approach will be different for each solution and so will the key personnel with which you engage. For visitor and resident experience, your target would be innovation officers, city managers and in some cases, even the mayor. For city services, you should look to engage with personnel from the public works departments.
Technology has advanced to the point where IT infrastructure is being ‘baked in’ to plans, so making connections with developers is a great value because you can help them optimize the building for IoT solutions such as POE lighting and environmental controls. Another benefit for the developer is being able to articulate the value of having a building that’s both energy-efficient and state of the art. These factors will help attract tenants to the building.
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