Microsoft has discovered a successful formula for introducing a broad range of Internet-of-Things solutions to different verticals, and it leans heavily on distributors such as Synnex, the company recently revealed at Synnex Inspire.
Sales executives representing some of the biggest technology manufacturers took to the stage at the conference in Toronto Oct. 24 to pitch the partners in the audience on their products.
While it didn’t utterly dominate the discussions that day, the topic of IoT was a big one. Gartner projects that the automotive and enterprise IoT market is expected to grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020, a 21 per cent increase from 2019, but one of the biggest challenges facing the business today when it comes to rolling out new IoT-based solutions is knowing who to partner with.
“When you think about the value chain across IoT, it usually takes anywhere between 10-40 partners to implement an edge to cloud IoT solution – that’s going from the original piece of hardware all the way to the cloud,” explained Nicole Denil, general manager of global channel sales and IoT for Microsoft.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Microsoft decided to develop a strategy where 80 per cent of the IoT solutions built by partners could be reused, while limiting the number of partners stirring the pot to keep the process simple.
“This way, you could take a smart city solution that’s deployed in Toronto, for example, and take it to the U.K.,” said Denil. “We selected a handful of partners, one of them is Synnex, and decided to call them solution aggregators.”
Solution aggregators, like Synnex, work closely with system integrators, software and hardware vendors and other manufacturers. They then aggregate their solutions and deliver them across verticals such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, among others.
While Denil didn’t specify how many of Microsoft’s Canadian partners engaged with aggregators like Synnex, the concept itself has been met with open arms by partners. Denil said Microsoft saw a 441 per cent increase in the number of partners engaging with solution aggregators in the past year.
Since introducing the aggregator concept two-and-a-half years ago, Microsoft and its aggregator partners have helped sell more than 500 applications to six verticals and roughly 6,500 end customers.
Share the Magic
Synnex also raised $485,000 for Kids Help Phone and First Robotics Canada in 2019, which led to the inaugural Synnex Share the Magic Canada Gala Oct. 23.
The $485,000 brings the total amount raised by Synnext during the past five years to more than $1.5 million in support of the two organizations through various events, including a golf tournament for First Robotics Canada and the Walk so Kids can Talk annual event for Kids Help Phone.