With predictions about IoT devices numbering in the billions and revolutionizing every market from medical to industrial, a simple question remains: How will all these devices and solutions get sold? Who will deploy them, connect them, and harness the data they emit to allow businesses to become more productive and efficient?
Consider that estimates put the number of public and private companies in the U.S. at more than 27 million and over 115 million worldwide. That’s a lot of companies, and not all of them will become experts at implementing IoT solutions. Still, IoT will never reach its full potential if we have to rely on vendors and companies to hire and train teams to implement these solutions. Sure, there are many organizations that are already doing this – they are generally the larger companies or the ones that are already more tech savvy. But what about the others?
When a new market emerges where customers must be knowledgeable to deploy solutions, which comes first, the vendor or the customer? In other words, without a way to quickly get products installed, there is no new industry. In a smart move, AT&T has partnered to come up with an IoT solution for channel partners to deploy.
The platform – AT&T Control Center, powered by Jasper Wireless – will accelerate market entry for connected devices while offering unique features such as instant activation and flexible rate plans that benefit device manufacturers and end user customers, including consumers, small businesses, and enterprises.
Through a unique suite of applications and services, the AT&T Control Center offers automated management capabilities for device manufacturers, including:
Instant activation, which simplifies provisioning and enhances the customer experience by automatically activating wireless service when the device is powered on for the first time;
Usage analytics, which enables manufacturers and service providers to gain real-time insight into product performance on the AT&T network;
Performance assurance, which utilizes best practices to test devices and assure their performance before deployment;
Flexible business models, which provide customized rate plans that address the needs of particular market segments;
Design services, which optimize devices for global deployment within a few weeks; and
Customer support, which ensures service continuity with support from expert engineers.
In an in-person interview, Sue Galvanek, vice president of marketing, pricing, and product solutions at AT&T Partner Exchange, was excited to explain how this big news coincides with the three-year anniversary of Partner Exchange. AT&T now has more than 400 solutions providers who are now able to sell a combination of wireline, wireless, mobility, and IoT solutions. Galvanek thinks some big markets for the IoT solution will be asset tracking and health care. She says it can help solution providers offer better service to their customers, and the channel is considered a trusted advisor so channel partners are in a perfect position to get these solutions to market quickly.
Galvanek continued to say the goal of Partner Exchange is to have solution providers wrap solutions around their network. In other words, AT&T gets to grow with its customers.
This is a great leap forward for the company and builds on the sales proficiency certification programs the company rolled out last year as explained to me in an interview with Brooks McCorcle.
In an email exchange with Chris Penrose, senior vice president, for the Internet of Things at AT&T, he wrapped up what is happening quite nicely when he said, “We began our journey in the IoT industry nearly a decade ago, and now we have over 26 million connected devices on our network. With our IoT solutions, companies in a wide range of industries are remotely managing their assets including fleets, vehicles, heavy equipment, smart meters, shipping containers, storage tanks, and more. AT&T continues to push the envelope on IoT solutions that can help companies of all sizes transform their operations and stand out from their competitors.”
To learn more, please come to IoT Evolution Expo, July 11-14, 2016, in Las Vegas. This is a unique event – the only one with Battle of the Platforms, IoT and M2M certification, dedicated security content, Business Impact Awards, Case Study Theatre, 100 sessions on vertical applications, Enterprise IoT, Connected Home and Building Conference, Connected Transportation, Fog Computing and Analytics Conference, IoT Developers and more. The Super Sponsor happens to be AT&T. Be sure to come by and visit them.
Edited by Ken Briodagh