The internet has spawned yet another game changer: the Internet of Things, or IoT. IoT connects objects, people and animals to the internet with sensors that enable them to send and receive data. Using IoT, people can monitor, measure, access and manage what’s happening with things in the physical environment more efficiently.
By replacing manual data collection and subjective judgments with automated data collection, businesses can more precisely monitor what’s happening— whether on the factory floor or on a farm—and then analyze it to improve operational efficiencies, boost performance and increase security. IoT can also help companies better engage customers and develop new services and business models.
SMBs are becoming more aware of how IoT can help their businesses: Overall, 36% of SMBs currently use or plan to use IoT solutions, both to streamline existing operations and to develop new type of services and business models. (Figure 1).
However, SMBs—and often larger enterprises—lack the resources to piece together all of the components necessary to take advantage of IoT solutions. To move from aspiration to action, SMBs need more turnkey, easy-to-deploy solutions that cater to specific use cases, requirements and constraints.
Enter Dell Technologies IoT Connected Bundles
Recognizing this issue early on, Dell Technologies began building its IoT partner ecosystem in 2016 (add link to https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/lauriemccabe.com/5122). Now, working with its ecosystem partners, Dell Technologies has pulled all of the components needed for use-case specific IoT solutions into preconfigured, packaged IoT Connected Bundles (Figure 2) that are easy for channel partners to sell and deploy, and provide fast time-to-value for customers.
The program is launching with eight solutions:
- ELM Fieldsight Compliance-as-a-Service for HVAC, refrigeration and power systems
- Action Point Predictive maintenance in midmarket manufacturing
- Modius Advanced Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and Smart Building Monitoring.
- V5 Systems Self-contained & powered surveillance for safety & security in outdoor spaces
- IMS Evolve Energy savings for grocery retailers while improving food quality and safety
- Pixel Velocity Efficient remote monitoring of field assets in Oil and Gas operations
- Software AG Digital manufacturing intelligence suite for larger-scale operations
- Arundo Analytics Maritime for shipboard analytics
Dell Technologies combed its IoT Ecosystem to select these solutions based on compelling customer outcomes and return-on-investment metrics. Each solution includes all of the necessary components—including sensors, gateways, Microsoft network connections, ISV licensing, licensing for VMWare’s Pulse IoT management software, and other elements in one turnkey package, along with step-by-step instructions on how to activate the solution in a customer environment.
Some of the bundles come in t-shirt size bundles–small, medium, large, extra-large—to make it easy to choose the right one to meet each customer’s individual requirements. Fulfillment is through TechData, one of Dell’s key distributors.
IoT Takes a Village
Dell Technologies IoT partner Ecosystem provides it with first-hand experience in learning what works—and what doesn’t—and affords it with ample opportunities to add more bundles. Ideal bundle candidates are partners with repeatable solutions that have demonstrated credible results with several customers.
Each IoT bundle has some very specific sensors, cameras, and other components that need to be carefully configured. Dell validates the results of each IoT bundle, and brands the solutions as “powered by Dell Technologies.” It partners with TechData for distribution and fulfillment, providing them with a recipe card to integrate the relevant components.
Dell Technologies is working Dell EMC channel partners to sell its IoT solution bundles in this initial phase. In addition to recruiting more partners from its own channel ranks, Dell is also working with TechData to identify, train and work with IoT practice builder partners who would be a good fit specific IoT solutions in different regions.
The vendor is also training partners to help them understand the use case, business drivers and challenges, benefits, outcomes and decision-making process for each bundled solution—not just the technical considerations. By focusing on business outcomes, partners can more readily engage with line-of-business executives, CFOs and CEOs and other IoT stakeholders outside of the IT department. Dell is also educating partners on ways they can add value on top of the bundle with installation, integration, monitoring, security and other services.
Dell Technologies’ market-tested, turnkey bundles start with a value proposition that offers customers clear time and cost-savings benefits. This approach makes these solutions more accessible to a broader range of customers.
Just as important are the resources that Dell is providing to channel partners. These tools—including step-by-step guides to engage effectively with decision-makers across an organization, insights to address customers concerns in a relevant and concrete manner, and ways to drive additional revenues throughout the solution lifecycle—offer partners everything they need to kick-start their own IoT ventures.
In addition, the decision to fulfill via TechData not only helps Dell Technologies to get these solutions into market more quickly, but should help it recruit new partners that want to build new, IoT-focused businesses into its channel network.
Taken as whole, Dell Technologies’ practical, experiential approach to IoT will help demystify IoT for both customers and channel partners—and help more customers take advantage of IoT solutions.
© SMB Group