Avnet Launches IoT Partner Program
It’s a changing world for 99-year old Avnet, the global distributor of electronics components and embedded solutions. Avnet on Tuesday launched an IoT partner program designed to orchestrate an ecosystem around IoT in a similar way to what the distributor has done in the OEM world for engineers. The new partner program is built around Avnet’s IoT Connect platform, powered by Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite.
The new partner program concept is a place where developers can come to build and scale their IoT solutions. Avnet has been focused on IoT for several years.
“What that entails are the infrastructure for connecting a device, connecting through APIs to an application, as well as using solutions that we started as a framework so [partners] don’t have to start from scratch,” Lou Lutostanski, vice president IoT at Avnet, told Channel Futures.
For example, if a partner is developing a solution for a customer in a vertical market, such as a smart factory for a particular machine, they can use Avnet’s Smart Factory application, modify it and use devices that Avnet offers to put a solution together. Avnet offers what it says are prebuilt and proven smart applications that include AI services for specific industry verticals.
In this changing world, people expect connected products, meaning that Avnet’s hundreds of thousands of customers must connect their products to the cloud and offer additional services and features through applications and artificial intelligence (AI), among other things.
Avnet also announced that partners can expect to see an IoT Marketplace later this year. The Marketplace will allow developers to publish, brand and market their solutions to expand their reach, and it will also offer a curated catalog of trusted IoT Connect platform certified devices and applications across a range of verticals for faster IoT development.
Lutostanski expects developers, ISVs, SIs, VARs and managed service providers (MSPs) to show interest in the new partner program.
“I think it’s a little fuzzy in the IoT space because its newer and people who were good at IT are struggling because they don’t understand IoT. We’re trying to give them a path to create new markets in IoT without having them understand the details of what goes into the [operational technology] world — the devices, the connectivity, the security.”
Lutostanski says the new program gives interested partners access to a place where they can experiment, help connect devices, and experiment in a “play zone” for 90 days. When a partner decides to join the program, there will be several levels of engagement that include varying levels of marketing and support hours, to integrate to Avnet’s IoT Connect platform.
Avnet made its announcements at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.