Ingram Micro Launches IoT Marketplace
(Pictured above: Ingram Micro’s Ben Xiang on stage at Cloud Summit X in San Diego, March 13.)
INGRAM MICRO CLOUD SUMMIT — A latecomer, maybe, but Ingram Micro on Wednesday announced the launch of its IoT Marketplace in the U.S. While not making a big splash announcement, Ben Xiang, the distributor’s global head of IoT, shared the news with attendees at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit X.
The company debuted a full suite of IoT products, solutions and services at last year’s Summit. With the development of these capabilities under its belt, the distributor launched its IoT Marketplace.
“Today, we have dedicated IoT resources covering 19 countries around the world, and in the next 12 months we’re growing our coverage to 30 countries. Our IoT portfolio consists of 30 vendor partners, 100 IoT products and over 40 end-to-end solutions,” said Xiang. “All of these solutions come from a variety of vendor partners, many of which you already work with today.”
The IoT Marketplace is a centralized, one-stop shop for partners to learn about the IoT solutions, components, kits and services being offered. There’s also a dedicated partner enablement team. A work in progress, expect to see Ingram Micro add more vendors, products and solutions to the marketplace.
Today’s launch formalizes the distributor’s IoT effort with a landing page for the IoT business unit, and a place for partners to go to learn about IoT solutions and vendor partnerships.
“We wanted to design this marketplace for ease of use for partners, and have it broken down by vertical segment — logistics, retail, smart cities, buildings, health care, agriculture and industrial,” Eric Hembree, director, IoT, advanced division at Ingram Micro, told Channel Futures. “Partners will also find use cases, so it really resonates for them around driving adoption in this space.”
Ingram Micro said it took a purposeful, slow approach to jumping into IoT.
“We wanted to show up differently in this space compared to some of our competition. We spoke to partners to dig into what they needed from distribution in the IoT space,” said Hembree.
After doing some digging, Hembree found that many Ingram partners weren’t equipped to go into IoT engagements with the right tools or the right approach.
“They might have overengineered the solution out of the gate and had too many features on it that weren’t necessarily needed to solve the problem their end customer was having. They lost sight of the customer’s desired business outcome,” he said.
Hembree was well aware that Cisco two years ago released an alarming survey that said 60 percent of IoT projects stall at the proof-of-concept stage and one-third of all completed projects were not considered successful. Only 26 percent of companies that completed an IoT project considered it a success.
So Ingram Micro built its IoT practice around partner enablement versus creating solutions and taking that to market.
“Those solutions may look great, but unless the partners are enabled and have built a practice around it, they won’t sell,” he said.
Expect to hear the distributor talk up its IoT business this year, as well as an announcement about the date of its first IoT Summit later this year.