WTG, Agents Ponder the Value of IoT

"We're telecom people out here," one agent said. “We do phones and cabling and stuff like that. We don't really know IoT; it's another 3-syllable word."

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

December 3, 2016

3 Min Read
WTG, Agents Ponder the Value of IoT

James AndersonWTG HOLIDAY EVENT — How do channel partners make money with the Internet of Things (IoT)? And how do they secure it?

World Telecom Group (WTG) walked partners through those pertinent questions on Friday as it encouraged its agents to take advantage of the blossoming IoT industry.

WTG's Cory Dzbinski“Between the private and public sector, over $10 trillion is going to be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years,” said Cory Dzbinski, training development manager at WTG. “You guys want to get a piece of that.”

Dzbinski moderated a panel of channel leaders from vendors such as Microsoft, CenturyLink — and all of the panelists reiterated the same message: IoT is a disruptive trend that is here to stay.

Dzbinski gave a long overview of how pervasive IoT is, how it is transforming industries like trucking, factories and health care, and what it will take to successfully connect devices for businesses.

Spoiler: He thinks partners are key part of delivering IoT. He said that although vendors provide IoT devices and solutions, partners ultimately control the future.{ad}

“[Vendors] provide IoT services, but they don’t provide the whole package,” he said. “They’re not hands-on with the customer like you are. They’re not in front of the customer understanding their daily needs. Understanding a customer’s daily needs and their challenges is key to coming up with proper IoT solutions.”

But it may take time get partners adjusted to IoT. Several agents had questions for the panelists about the technology. Two asked about security and recent, high-profile DDoS attacks. Others asked about revenue and how to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

“We’re telecom people out here,” one agent said. “We do phones and cabling and stuff like that. We don’t really know IoT; it’s another 3-syllable word.”

WTG CEO Vince Bradley said the panel was a forward-thinking discussion about a technology customers are most definitely going to demand. As the speakers and the vast majority of analysts agree, IoT is the future.

Still, the panelists advised that agents not force an IoT agenda on end users but instead continue to listen to their goals. Often, those long-term goals will require IoT chops.

“Try to change the conversation that you’re having today with your IT managers in your context to find out …


… what else they’re doing in the space and what’s driving them,” said Ted Tavrides, director of indirect channels at NTT America.

Matt Tyre, vice president of channel sales at KORE Telematics, summed up IoT concerns by likening the industry to a teenager. It’s on its way to become an adult, but the path to maturity will be a learning experience.{ad}

“It’s in an awkward stage. It’s definitely not in its infancy. You tell a small child, ‘You can anything you want to be when you grow up,’ and when you’re looking at this Internet of Things industry … it is literally everything. Every vertical market. Consumer applications, government applications, you name it. Security, financial — it’s all over the place,” Tyre said. “And now we’re in that middle ground where it’s starting to mature but it’s not quite an adult. There are still issues. You have rogue devices. You have your kid who’s 16 who takes your car and crashes it. Things happen. But we can actually see what the industry is going to be in the next three to five years when we get to 50 billion connected devices.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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