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Recently I had the pleasure of joining an acutely focused group of vendors, service providers, resellers, and partners at SYNNEX Catalyst (f.k.a. C3) to engage and share all things cloud, mobility, and IoT. Coming out of this event, I wanted to share some thoughts and takeaways. I hope you will consider sharing your own, and that this post may offer direction to those feeling lost in the expansive space of “IoT,” as well as an offering of strategic partnership for those seeking help moving their digital transformation strategy from concept to realization.

Conferences are the bastions of marketing Frankensteins and catch phrases, but there were a few perspectives and phrases at Catalyst seemed worthy of sharing with our EDGE360 blog audience.

Early in my foray into the IoT space, I found myself in a place familiar to many organizations and people today: I understood, generally, the concept of connected devices and a rapidly digitizing world, but was unable to align that understanding with the idea of an Internet of Things. Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, changed the nomenclature in a slight, but significant manner, when he said that his team encourages clients to consider their digital transformation not as the internet of things, but rather as the “information of things.”

This small change in wording, spoke to the me at the start of my own IoT journey, because it isolated the essence of WHY digital transformation, data, and data analytics: It’s not about the things, but the information those things create, and how, if we are able to capture and understand it, we can use that data to make fundamental changes and decisions to answer the question of “why us?”

Personally, the most rewarding work happens when my team is able to help Comstor partners and their customers do two things:

  1. Understand the phases in the journey from connecting devices; collecting data; aggregating or processing that data; to cognitive data implementation or analytics. That Nirvana-like state when data is not merely actionable, but informed, prescriptive and agile.
  2. Transition from doing cool things for their customers, to wowing them with delivery, solutions and outcomes that profoundly change and enhance the experiences for their customers, employees and businesses.

Simply, when our team helps theirs to articulate the answer to why a customer, employee, or partner should do business with their team.

Here’s another neologism, “IoTize.” This one stuck with me as it captures the essence of the solutions digital transformation teams are working to create. Fundamentally, we are connecting things, and digitizing information, so to say we “IoTize” them seems a near perfect description. It sounds pretty cool, too. Thanks, Andy Do, President Embedded Networks.

Comstor partners, and followers of this blog will know our EDGE program for engaging with partners; those coming to our community more recently via our inclusion in the SYNNEX family may not be so familiar.

That said, I wanted to close with this thought: At Comstor, our core competencies are Cisco, and helping our partners to grow and enhance their businesses. Our application of the EDGE approach mirrors the phases of the digital transformation journey. We speak to Engage, Develop, Grow and Extend, whereas the pillars to building and executing a digital transformation strategy are: Connect, Collect, Analyze and Implement. I cannot think of a better model to meet and support a partner ecosystem looking to “IoTize” solutions, enhance their IoT business, or execute against their digital transformation strategy.

Nik Sanchez is the Business Development Manager, IoT, Westcon-Comstor Americas.  He can be reached at 303-824-9866 or