IoT Partner Programs Now Streamlining Ecosystem to Enter New Markets

Oyster Bay, New York - 16 Jul 2019

In its recent analysis ranking 558 companies on their IoT service capabilities, ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm, finds that partner programs are increasingly turning to system integrators and professional services providers to deliver end-to-end IoT solutions. Additionally, these partner programs are focusing on more niche verticals such as wearables and hospitality, while continuing to target major applications such as healthcare, manufacturing, and energy. Partner program parents are aligning themselves with a handful of higher-value partners across different regions who can better help end-users navigate the convoluted IoT ecosystem.      

“System integrators (SIs) have emerged as a gatekeeper when it comes to IoT,” says Ryan Harbison, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “SIs fill the gap between solution providers and the specific needs of targeted market verticals. Additionally, they have vast experience integrating legacy systems into end-to-end solutions and have a significant footprint in their respective regions. SIs offer partner programs unparalleled insight and access into new and existing markets.” 

Partner program parents need to ensure that their partners can effectively address the top needs of the market while also addressing high-growth niche vertical markets. Companies like AWS have shown that it’s possible to address these changing market dynamics by working with a select number of regional SIs instead of being spread thin supporting hundreds of partners. By working with partners such as Classmethod in Japan and Asavie in Ireland, AWS can to ensure that its partner program has a high depth of localized IoT expertise to meet end-user needs. The three most targeted verticals within these partner program ecosystems have consistently been healthcare, manufacturing, and energy applications, but over the past three years, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of partners offering solutions targeting the wearables, hospitality, and smart home markets due to end-user demand.

Additionally, providers up and down the value stack continue to offer professional services solutions such as strategic consulting and advisory engagements alongside their overall IoT solutions to add value to end-users. Global advisory firms like Accenture and PwC have stayed ahead of the curve in IoT primarily by addressing client demand for connected solutions and by understanding the value behind enterprise digital transformation and technology convergence. Technology services providers such as Capgemini and IBM have delivered value to their clients by offering extensive vertical-specific knowledge and expertise within particular market segments. 

“The most successful partner programs are the ones that strike the right balance between the breadth and depth of their partner program offering,” concludes Harbison. “Enterprises and end-users across all vertical markets will continue to turn to these ecosystems to more effectively navigate the otherwise fragmented technology and supplier landscape, and these ecosystems will increasingly rely on SIs and professional services providers to provide regional and vertical-specific solutions to end-users.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s SI/VAR and Partner Program IoT Ecosystem market data report. This report is part of the company’s M2M, IoT, & IoE research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.  Market Data spreadsheets are composed of deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight where opportunities lie.

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