Most big technology and service providers like to offer you one standard solution. Put you in a box that’s either small, medium or large. Very convenient for them, but the problem is that IoT projects don’t work that way. By nature, they demand flexibility, scaleability and speed. Partly because users have higher standards and continuously expect more. But also because of the pace that new technology is developed, which opens up opportunities for solutions that simply weren’t possible before. And last, but not least – IoT solutions have no boundaries and you will want to export your success to as many markets as possible.
IoT should unlock your company, not lock it in.
Open systems and open minds are what all successful IoT projects have in common – they are developed in collaboration with several partners. Each one being a specialist with a higher level of skills than a general supplier can ever attain. These partnerships not only outperform the big organisation, they give you freedom to change and improve your solution rapidly without restrictions.
Five criteria when building your own partner network
1. Vertical and use-case expertise
What you specifically are looking for are partners that have vertical expertise relevant to your project. But also use cases that include aspects that are vital to you, be they asset management, factory automation, predictive management, security etc.
2. Technology complementarity
Getting the right kind of competence mix is crucial. You need to make sure that the partners you choose have complementary technology and horizontal platforms.
3. Customer sales/support capabilities
Strong partners have customer sales and support capabilities with clearly defined processes and systems to support clients throughout the customer lifecycle.
4. Shared vision to market and customers
Good partners realise and appreciate that IoT will change customers’ business processes and create new opportunities.
5. Similar values and corporate culture
A strong sense of propriety, honesty, a willingness to delight customers and the tenacity of a market challenger. People with passion.
A circular business model – the partner glue
Even if you have chosen your partners with great care, how do you get them to work well together? Leadership – a clear vision of what you want to achieve and a strategy how to get there, are vital but not sufficient.
The key is to create a partner glue consisting of a circular business model, where they make money when you make money. Beside just getting paid to deliver their expertise, they are in on the upside when the IoT solution is on the market.
IoT projects go from idea to development, then you deploy them in the market and then refine and improve them further with new ideas. This is a circular movement and partners that are in on a circular business model will make money continuously depending on the solutions success. This forms a joint custody, where everybody cares for the well being of their creation.