Computer Dealer News

Tech Data opens up an IoT practice

TORONTO – When you look at the scope of the Internet of Things or the Internet of Everything you get a lot of numbers; numbers in the trillions of dollars.

For example, Cisco pegs the Internet of Everything opportunity to be $19 trillion by 2020. McKinsey Consulting has the IoT market between $3 and $11 trillion. IDC believes IoT is right around $2 trillion today and growing to more than $7 trillion by 2020. Even GE has a number and its between $10 and $15 trillion.

Despite what the actual number is distributor Tech Data is convinced IoT is lucrative enough to create a special practice inside the company.

The new division will be led by Victor Paradell, the vice president and global lead of the IoT at Tech Data.

His strategy is to help build the skills necessary to drive IoT growth in the channel. “We see ourselves as a VAD (value-added distributor) that can help with that growth,” he said.

Paradell is working to simplify the process for solution providers when it comes to deploying IoT solutions. He is also positioning Tech Data as an aggregator for this group to provide all the components to deploy an IoT solution.

According to Paradell, Tech Data’s IoT practice will comprise of an end-to-end approach across the stack. “All these components need to be integrated to deliver a special outcome and we believe a vertical based focus will work best for the vendor partners and to create an ecosystem of technology and integration that includes all the different elements. We connect all those dots. We are central to that ecosystem,” he said.
Tech Data will focus IoT in these verticals: manufacturing, logistics and transportation, retail, and smart space cities such as parking and buildings.

Tech Data’s IoT practice, technology wise, will centre around sensors, connectivity, networking and tools to capture data. Paradell did not want to mention any specific vendors, but said that they already work with Tech Data in other areas.

Paradell added that the solution providers may not have an IoT practice today but when the market hits 20 billion devices by 2020 there will be more projects and deployments may be into the millions that would involve not just larger partners but smaller ones as well.

Tech Data is investing in solutions architects for IoT on each level of the component stack that will help the channel with design and proof-of-concepts. And, these architects will be aligned to the technology of the vendor partners.

These architects will also go across regions and be in all countries. Paradell brought his IoT message to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference in Toronto because he said Microsoft is critical in the IoT space with its cloud-first, mobile-first approach.

Microsoft Canada channel chief Jason Brommet told CDN that he sees the IoT market changing the economic model. He said that each area of IoT; sensors, connections, networks and data will have their own profitability model. Some may have lean margins, while others such as data can be very profitable.

“You’ll see more companies become a data company and they will need to drive insights and partners need to innovate in this area and those that do will run higher margins,” Brommet said.