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Winning with the Internet of Things

Pankaj Sharma, Vice President Asia Pacific & Japan, Schneider Electric IT Business | March 3, 2016
The reality is that the Internet of Things is here to stay and will continue to evolve, providing both challenges and opportunities for businesses.

A silver lining on the edge?

Advancements in computing technologies has unleashed the next big wave of server innovation in the form of edge computing. Generally regarded as the architecture of the future, the rise of edge computing platforms has prompted many businesses to re-think their data center strategies as they contemplate between embedded devices, gateways or plug-and-play micro data centers.

For industries where there is a need to share and analyse growing amounts of data - such as retail, manufacturing and telecommunications - "plug and play" data center or micro data center, makes for a compelling choice as it is the ideal computing model for private clouds and converged IT systems.

So how does it work? A micro data center is a self-contained computing environment, which includes all necessary power, cooling, rack, security, services and associated software / management tools. And it includes all the storage, processing and networking necessary to run customer applications.

The modular nature of micro data centers allow it to add computing capacity quickly, reducing latency, and providing a secure environment to run customer applications.

As an added bonus, they can also minimize IT installation and operating costs - including a possible price per watt reduction of 50 percent.

According to David Cappuccio, VP Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, "creating micro data centers is something companies have done for years, but often in an ad hoc manner. By partnering with vendors, and creating a consistent and standardized architecture, enterprises can regain control of these critical assets, and increase the ability to rapidly introduce site-specific services, while reducing risks and operational costs, and improving service levels." 

IoT: A boon for channel partners?

The reality is that the Internet of Things is here to stay and will continue to evolve, providing both challenges and opportunities for businesses. The good news is, IoT probably presents a golden opportunity for channel partners.

Channel partners now have the option of moving beyond just the sales of products and services, to becoming a true business partner with their customers, instead of just a vendor. According to Alastair Edwards, principal analyst at Canalys, "channel partners have evolved from being pure suppliers of products and support to become trusted business partners. This means helping customers to generate business advantages from their investments in technology, particularly as they pursue digital transformation, or taking over responsibility for more technology functions through managed services."

As businesses continue to augment their IT strategy to take advantage of IoT, they turn increasingly to channel partners who have the expertise in the engineering and integration of fragmented vendor and technology ecosystems to stay ahead of the game.

Many businesses are looking for guidance in IoT. While the technology may be different to what channel partners and IT professionals are accustomed to, the underlying infrastructure principles of connectivity and data remain the same. Channel partners have a responsibility - and an opportunity - to usher in successful IoT implementations by exploring the adoption of technologies that help address client challenges and tap on the potential of IoT.


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