It takes a village to create an IoT solution, and no single vendor can accomplish a deployment alone. The exciting part of IoT is that there isn't one industry or vertical that can't be made more efficient through an IoT solution, making the possibilities almost infinite. However, because the technology can address so many needs, building solutions can be a slow and complicated process.
Strategic partnerships with other players in the IoT ecosystem can help mitigate complexity. When multiple companies contribute specific knowledge and resources to the development of a connected solution, it helps improve the efficacy of the IoT deployment process. Individually, it helps vendors reduce the time-to-market for their product or service, while strengthening their ties with fellow ecosystem partners. Additionally, it also helps enterprise businesses on the road to digital transformation reach ROI on a faster timeline.
Expand Ecosystem Network
The ecosystem is broad, and there are a variety of products and services needed to build a complete end-to-end solution. Each IoT device is developed by a range of companies, some of which fill multiple roles within the ecosystem:
In order to design an IoT solution for a specific business challenge, it is necessary to build an ecosystem of strategic alliances. Instead of one company trying to do everything, each company contributes its particular technologies and experiences to create a solution. Working with ecosystem partners is the most cost-effective and resource balanced method of designing and deploying an effective IoT solution.
Gain Market Share
Companies can increase the value of their solution by teaming up with a partner. As a strategy to gain market share, companies in one part of the ecosystem are branching into new areas of the ecosystem to enhance their core business services. One example is the hardware providers of cellular modules used to power IoT devices. Some of these companies have begun to team up with Network Operators and MVNOs to integrate connectivity into their hardware product. By offering both hardware and connectivity, they can provide more value to the customer by saving them the hassle of finding a connectivity partner.
Companies can capture a larger share of an IoT solution's value by leveraging the contributions of an ecosystem partner that complements their product or service. When customers can address multiple milestones of their digital transformation journey with a single vendor, it helps streamline the conversion process.
Increase Brand Value
The decision-makers for enterprise clients looking to adopt an IoT solution are not necessarily technical experts. While they may understand the need to optimize operations, they may need help understanding the multiple components required to build their specific solution. Vendors can use this knowledge gap to address customer needs preemptively. Companies who co-host demos and tutorials with complementary technologies from other ecosystem partners will stand out from the competition by providing more value to the customer upfront.
Ecosystem partners must have marketing strategies and campaigns that provide awareness and value to customers through edutainment, advice, or referrals. As Steve Brumer of BH IoT Group said during an Industry Insights event, "It takes engagement to get conversion during a webinar." The speaker must create interest by conversing with the other panelists and attendees in the live chat. It is their best opportunity to display subject matter expertise about digital transformation strategies based on intelligence and real-world scenarios. In return, speakers receive valuable feedback from an attentive audience and the opportunity to grow their network.
Where can I find partners?
Solution providers can build up their ecosystem by developing relationships with different vendors in the marketplace. Because trade shows have been put on hold, one place to learn about new and innovative vendors is by following Industry Insights Webinars. We cover a different industry every month, offer an opportunity to live chat with multiple solution providers and promote links to the recorded event. Making this content available saves valuable research time for vendors and clients trying to narrow down which partner would be the best fit.
Webinar interactions are a great way to gain insight into potential partnerships. Creating partnerships is a great way to expand your network, awareness, and reach, but more importantly, it helps advance the IoT ecosystem by increasing interoperability in the market.
Companies focused on anticipating customer needs and building strategic partnerships will continue to make the most progress and grow their business in 2021.