Stronger Together: Partnership & Collaboration Matter in IoT Previous item Cyber Insurance Policies... Next item 2018 Cisco Predictions...

Since September of 2017, I’ve been thrilled to be a part of a movement focused on being #StrongerTogether with new colleagues in the SYNNEX family, and more specifically the SYNNEX IoT practices (CloudSolv, MobilitySolv & GovSolv). As our partners know, this partnership has accelerated more quickly in some areas than others. In IoT, we are experiencing unprecedented opportunity through our now combined capabilities.

IoT has created a number of challenges and demands for businesses and the partners that seek to create, deliver, and support solutions driven by a connected enterprise. In most cases, the model of an emerging market follows a steep curve from disruption to stabilization, as manufacturers and partners assess, respond and address the needs of the marketplace.

IoT presents the industry and partners with some different challenges: From the urgency attending a digitize or die pathos, to the need for capability to coalesce once-isolated projects into aligned phases within a broader digitization strategy. Further, the seemingly relentless acceleration of the market has made it more difficult for manufacturers and partners to find their footing in the space as market behavior has thus far defied the stabilization typically delivered by time. It is our estimation that this will continue in conjunction with projections for the number of connected devices expanding from 25 billion by 2020, to 1 trillion by 2025.

IoTization, or the nativization of IoT behaviors, in devices through built-in connectivity and data transmission has further challenged long-held spaces first occupied by PLCs and M2M communication in Industrial IoT and has enabled and given prominence to data proliferation in more recent IoT trends like BYOD. These ongoing disruptions have challenged businesses and their support infrastructures in real and persistent ways, but foremost, they have created a demand for increasingly flexible and diverse solutions, often involving multiple manufacturers. This in turn has generated new space for partnerships to deliver these IoTized solutions.

At Comstor we advise IoT partners to adopt a solution-driven approach to their IoT practice. When supporting engagements around these solutions, Comstor emphasizes focusing on the overarching steps in a customer’s Digitization Strategy and modeling support around our EDGE methodology:

Each step in this process requires focus and strategic awareness of the end state or objective, the business challenge or problem being addressed, or both. Partners will be challenged to accept that IoT engagements are more often iterative in nature, requiring phased approaches to manage the apparent inflation of project-to-project costs brought about by combining efforts previously handled independently of one another. Simultaneously, they will need to show themselves capable of connecting once segmented elements of their customer’s business, as digital initiatives emerge from new innovation centers and, invoices traverse cost centers. A partner’s ability to map and align IoT projects with the broader objectives of the Digital Journey will prove essential to driving successful sales cycles.

Equally, internalized or partnership-driven abilities to create and deliver solutions using technologies and devices from multiple manufacturers will set strategic partners apart from those competing narrowly for segments of IoT business. In the past, I’ve highlighted that Comstor’s core competencies have been Cisco and the ability to help our partners to GROW their business with Cisco. As we join forces with our new colleagues at SYNNEX we are excited to demonstrate that 1+1 can be greater than 2, and that SYNNEX and Comstor partners in IoT are partnered with an IoTized distribution partner able to support them more fully than our competitors.

About the Author: Nik Sanchez is a Business Development Manager, IoT, at Comstor who partners with Cisco resellers to deliver smart, connected solutions that aggregate, analyze data, and help drive informed decisions and outcomes. Follow Nik on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.