By Christine Kern, contributing writer
As mobility, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things come together, there are many potential benefits. For example, manufacturers can assess efficiency and costs in real time (or near real time), “smart” equipment can pause or shut down if a risk is detected, and retailers can monitor a shopper’s behavior and dispatch an associate to close a deal.
At the Smart VAR Summit: Age Of Intelligence — IoT, Cloud, And Mobility Convergence, powered by ScanSource, Zebra Technologies, and Business Solutions, Tom Bianculli, VP, technology office, for Zebra Technologies, said another benefit is the huge business opportunity presenting itself to IT solutions providers. At the event on October 14 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, Bianculli discussed the outcomes end users are looking for, Enterprise Asset Intelligence, and how VARs can provide those solutions.
Bianculli explained the impact of mobility, cloud, and IoT converging. A combination of professional mobile devices and IoT solutions with cloud technology combine to provide new capabilities. These solutions can enable operational intelligence by providing answers to questions such as, “Where are workers right now?” “Where is stock right now?” or “What is the load efficiency of my vehicle?”
He cited Crossing the Chasm by Jeffrey Moore, which presents three waves of disruptive innovation in enterprise computing: systems of record, systems of engagement, and systems of intelligence. Bianculli explained that systems of intelligence use sensors, analytics, and the private cloud to reveal not just what should be, but what actually is. Bianculli explained, “If systems of record, which is the current play, are telling us what should be happening, and the Internet of Things and Enterprise Asset Intelligence, systems of intelligence tell us what actually is happening, then the gap between is and should be is the opportunity.”
Bianculli stressed VARs that can provide these solutions will see a return. Venture capitalist investments have increased by a factor of ten in the IoT space in just the past three to four years. Also, by 2018, half of the IoT will be made up of business devices, and manufacturing is expected to represent more than a quarter of the total IoT market — businesses are expected to invest more than a quarter of a trillion dollars by the end of the decade.
Bianculli said providing Enterprise Asset Intelligence solutions can be broken down into three steps: sensing information at the edge of the network, analyzing that information, and then turning that into actionable outcomes. To get there, he said VARs need to provide smarter devices, smarter things, and smarter environments. Smarter devices can enable asset intelligence, providing visibility into those devices from an operational perspective. Smarter things can provide information about their context that can help their management. And smarter environments can provide a sensor-based infrastructure to better collect information and make better decisions in the moment.
He commented that there is an interesting connection between this framework and the business model shift that using these solutions is likely to bring about among your customers — one that will make it imperative for you to make adjustments as well. “It is about selling outcomes, not selling products,” he said.
For additional coverage of the Smart VAR Summit, visit http://www.bsminfo.com/solution/smart-var.