Exclusive: IoT driving wireless opportunities for local resellers
The internet of things is helping drive wireless demand for distributor inTechnology, it’s sister distributor Cloud Distribution, and their reseller partners.
Mark Winter, inTechnology and Cloud Distribution chief executive, says business is booming for the both distributors,
“The growth area for us is in and around IoT – messaging platforms, looking at the Wi-Fi experience end users are having,” Winter says.
While Winter says IoT ‘isn’t at the point of massive growth’ in the corporate office, it’s a different story in healthcare, manufacturing and even education.
“If you look at healthcare, where you’ve got BYOD, medical devices, wireless clients, patients, doctors, nurses, staff all connecting, IoT in that environment is absolutely critical,” Winter says.
“And if you’re looking at IoT where wireless medical devices are connecting, then it’s mission critical. If the wireless network goes down, or a device has a bad experience on the Wi-Fi network for any reason, then you’re not getting that heart attack report back for example, and that’s a really big issue.
“Wireless is definitely a growth area for us,” he says.
“And partners who have been working a lot in the wireless space are seeing real uptake [in IoT opportunities].
“Obviously, because most of these devices are wireless, they are the guys who are really taking advantage of the early adopters of IoT.”
inTechnology recently added 7Signal’s Wi-Fi network traffic analysis technology to its portfolio in a move Winter says has seen New Zealand reseller numbers surge.
7Signals enables IT operations to proactively manage performance trouble spots before users and business-critical applications are affected.
“Wireless is mission critical for most businesses now and being able to monitor the network performance – not from the network perspective, but from the end user perspective – is critical too,” Winter says.
“It’s not about whether the access points are up, it’s about what the user experience is like. If it’s rubbish, you can have all the access points up in the work, but it’s the bad experience that the user remembers.”
Winter says Wi-Fi analytics is also heating up across Australia and New Zealand as companies seek to reap returns from their investment in Wi-Fi.
“It’s a medium to deliver content and information to staff and potentially customers, but it can be much more than that,” he says.
He cites the example of an airport delivering targeted advertising to travellers for the destination they’re travelling to, based on Gate locations, retail outlets targeting content to customers as they walk down an aisle, or a sports venue being able to charge a premium for food stands in certain areas, based on the foot traffic passing them.
“We’re starting to see a very large area of growth in that space.
“It goes back to the big data scenario – the more information you can get the more you can do with it.
“In the past it’s been about getting them on the network, then it was giving them a good user experience. Now they’ve got that, it’s ‘what else can we do?’”
Winter says the Airista messaging platform, which allows an organisation to receive alerts when a device moves away from a set location, or for users to send one-click alerts if they’re in distress, is also proving popular.
Both inTechnology – which was established in 1999 – and Cloud Distribution – which launched last year and focuses, as the name suggests, purely on cloud focused technology – are built around the three pillars of security, mobility and analytics.
On the Cloud Distribution front, Jason Burn, Cloud Distribution chief operating officer, says security is proving the hot area – and not just in the areas of technology itself.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth with things like security awareness training and services, where we’ve seen a lot more requests from partners and end users,” Burn says.
“We made a decision to fill that gap.”
Burn, who has been an information security professional for 17 years, says addressing the human factor elements is something that is often left behind.
“And it’s certainly showing with the growth in that particular area for us,” he adds.
Burn says the security awareness training is opening up new revenue opportunities and growth for the distributor and its resellers, bringing new resellers into the fold and making business ‘more sticky’
Winter says many of inTechnology’s traditional partners are now moving towards providing cloud-based technology, with several thousand of inTechnology's resellers now also active on Cloud Distribution’s books.
“A lot of partners who have traditionally been networking partners – selling Wi-Fi networks, switches, routers and things like that – have been really moving their business towards more of a managed service provider model, because of the requirement to do so,” Winter says.
“As these applications become more cloud-focused and cloud centric, a lot of the networking guys are starting to look at providing technology around security.”
Interestingly, Winter says the move is also happening in the opposite direction, with many MSP partners now looking at providing the tin as well.
“So we’re seeing the traditional networking guys moving into security and managed services, and the typical managed services guys starting to sell some tin.”