Partners are at the core of every IoT solution. Without technology and business partners, most businesses would be unable to cost-effectively and securely implement their IoT solutions. Partners need to have the latest technology, implementation experience, and go-to-market services to help a business maximize its IoT solution deployment. How should a business choose the right IoT partner or set of partners? We recommend following these 4 steps.
Step #1 – Identify a partner with a proper use-case expertise
Experience matters in an IoT deployment and finding a partner that has already done multiple implementations in your sector for your IoT use-case will save you time and money. Experienced partners will help you identify proven IoT technology architectures that optimize the security and ease-of-use of your solution. Keep in mind that these architectures can vary significantly between IoT use-cases, so relying on an experienced partner will help a business avoid mistakes during the proof of concept (PoC) and pilot phases of a project. Identifying a right partner is getting easier in the era of internet – search for the use-cases the company has previously done, see how much do they cooperate with the other companies and to have a look at their product portfolio to estimate if it matches your expectations.
Step #2 – Ask for partners that have worked together
Many deployments require more than one partner to help design, test, deploy and manage the IoT solution. In fact, some IoT solution can require up to 5 or 6 technology partners according to IoT analyst firm MachNation. The technology underpinning an IoT solution spans hardware devices, connectivity, platforms, applications and integration services. Finding partners that have deployed solutions together and seeing they are not afraid to speak about their successes loudly helps a business avoid some of the risks of employing multiple partners on a common implementation.
Step #3 – Verify a partner’s operational services provided
A business’ IoT deployment is about a lot more than technology. Depending on the business’ IoT use case, a partner might be expected to provide customer care center support; sales training and support; logistics and distribution; consultancy services; solution and trouble management; and much more. To estimate your future partner’s potential, ask them for tools, templates, SLAs or even some customer satisfaction to help describe the operational support they provide. But a savvy business will ask for and speak with reference accounts where partners are providing these operational services.
Step #4 – Determine needs for local support
Some of the technology and business services required by a company are best provided by partners that can provide local regional support. Often, a business will find it helpful to have local support for its IoT application design, application development, integration services and communications services. While not always required, a business should consider its ongoing needs for support when choosing partners. In addition, the smaller sized business might find local IoT support a more important aspect of the IoT solution than large enterprises due to lack of in-house IT expertise. That is why finding a person responsible for your area would be highly important in the process of searching for a partner.
Picking a partner or set of partners to help with IoT design, development, deployment and management is highly important process consuming a lot of time. Tele2 IoT has taken a horizontal approach and is acting as an orchestrator of a smarter world for our customers and partners. We have a broad partner ecosystem containing more than 130 best-of-breed partners to choose from. Our professionals are allocated all across the Europe and are ready to serve your needs and put you behind one table with our partners such as Creoir, Microsoft, Atos, Axians and many others. To make sure your solution is scalable and is working from day one, we highly recommend you to try doing our Proof of Concept, which uses our crawl-walk-run methodology to smoothly go through processes of starting running a connected deployment. So get in touch with us and remember to think big, start small and scale fast.