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Smart IoT: 5 Solutions Beyond the Hype

Posted by Michelle Curtis on Jun 2, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Many people see the flashy, consumer side of IoT that’s filled with flying devices, robots that carry items for you, and coffee pots with data analytics. Those things are great fun, but when it comes to building a business around the IoT opportunity, there's a world left untouched by many of your peers in the channel.

Through our interactions with vendors, network engineers, facilities managers, and a plethora of other people across the spectrum of IoT, we've come up with a list of the hottest IoT solutions today. These are solutions that, when implemented, will produce solid, long-term results for your customers.

Why These Solutions Hold the Most Promise

In the next five to 10 years, the solutions we just mentioned will most likely be on the 'hot' list. For today's best options, you'll want to focus on these five IoT solutions for your customers:

Ruggedized Networking – Your customers need this to gather data effectively. These items hold the sensors and other tools necessary to monitor the 'things' portion of the IoT equation. Ruggedized network solutions are designed to be outside and endure the elements. They're also engineered to sustain long-term use in wet or humid environments.

Think about the network of sensors a system will need to monitor the humidity in a refrigerated truck bed. Those sensors would be considered a ruggedized network. The technology is proven, heavily tested, and ready to sustain years of heavy usage.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE)/Smart Buildings – With the right team of IT and Operational Technology (OT) professionals, along with the right vendors and partners, you can help your customer implement a workable smart building solution in a relatively short period of time. PoE solutions range from motion sensors to systems that adjust lighting based on the time of day, anticipated usage, and the amount of people occupying a space at a certain time. This creates enormous savings in energy costs so the solution pays for itself rather quickly. PcE is one of the most attractive areas of growth in IoT solutions for our partners.

Data Analytics – There are sensors all around us producing data today. However, the challenge lies in gathering and interpreting the data these devices produce. With the opportunity lying in understanding your clients’ needs and designing a data analytics strategy that gives them real-time insights into their business operations.

Driver and Cargo Monitoring – This is a hot solution because the demand is so high for reducing loss and monitoring drivers during the shipping process. That demand comes from legislation and regulations in certain industries.

For the trucking industry overall, drivers are required to keep logs of their time on and off the road, and elogs provide the perfect solution to the challenge of providing accurate reports around driver activity. Customers in the agricultural industry or those shipping produce are eager for solutions that prevent cargo loss and spoilage. The solutions in this area also have a proven track record of solid performance.

RFID Asset Tracking – We see RFID as a tremendous opportunity. You’ll find implementations in retail environments for inventory and security management solutions. But you’ll also find RFID asset tracking in other areas, such as the car sales industry, whether it’s sales, rentals, or customer service. This side of IoT provides inventory management and security. We’ve also seen applications in the agriculture industry, where RFID tags help stakeholders keep track of expensive equipment such as tractors and other valuable items that are subject to theft, or used to charge inventory use to the appropriate cost center.

Final Takeaway and Next Steps

Your biggest takeaway here is to focus on finding the right customers for one of the five IoT solutions above. Also, know you have help in making the solution a reality for your customer.

Work with the Tech Data Smart IoT Solutions team to design a solution that combines the best vendors, resources, network engineers, and IT/OT professionals for the job at hand. Find out more at iot.techdata.com or email us at iot@techdata.com.

Tags: IoT Opportunities