This morning I sat down with my coffee to read the headlines on my iPhone. And it really struck me how aligned our IoT business is to what I was reading. Energy changes around the world are impacting the macro-level global economy. Legislation and initiatives towards sustainability are reducing our carbon footprint. Cybersecurity is protecting our businesses and institutions. Technology is the common thread through all these initiatives and IoT delivers the common foundation of robust and secure connectivity.
And that’s why Cisco and our trusted network of partners are in a unique position to shine. As partners look to increase their relevance to their customer’s business, they don’t need to look far. Partners can quickly and easily leverage existing Networking and Security practices and investments in training and certifications to get to new buyers in new places with untapped budgets like:
- Businesses connecting their operations to lower energy usage and increase physical security with cameras and environmental sensors
- Manufacturers using industrial IoT to improve plant floor efficiency and uptime
- Utilities securely weaving renewables into the grid
- Cities and roadways becoming safer with smart highways and transportation
- Across the globe, countries investing billions in critical infrastructure projects
As IT customers extend their network into their operational areas like these, there’s a huge opportunity to take Cisco IoT with them. How can partners get started? Let me take you on a short journey through three IT partner stories where you see how they took their IT practice to new areas.
Take Cisco DNA Center to new places with the existing teams
Many of our IT partners have built practices around Cisco DNA Center and the robust automation capabilities to deploy campus networks and our Catalyst product family. That same Cisco DNA Center being used to manage the Catalyst products can also manage the Catalyst Industrial Ethernet product lines. The same software, same trainings, same licensing model, and same software sales model motion can now also serve outdoor parking lots, distribution centers, and more. That means our partners don’t need to retrain and reorganize to get to these new budgets.
Let’s start with a partner that’s extending their enterprise practice into non-carpeted spaces – like manufacturing floors. Atea is a leading technology service provider focused on Europe’s Nordic and Baltic regions with over 40 years’ experience in the IT space. As more manufacturers look to modernize their operations, Atea is seeing firsthand the value of extending their existing IT practice into these new places.
“We’ve been able to take what was traditional enterprise solutions like Cisco DNA Center into operational areas like manufacturing for net new bookings in completely new buying centers. All without having to retrain our teams or hire new talent,” noted Casper Ginderskov, Business Development Manager, Atea. “Our practice with Cisco IoT has been part of the double-digit growth that we have had over the last 2 years. Best of all, we’ve been helping our customers across manufacturing – pharma, automotive, consumer product goods – transform their own businesses.”
Grow business and profits with software and cloud management
Many of our IT partners are looking to deliver more software solutions, as well as manage and deploy via the cloud. Recurring services are a great way to build a stickier practice with customers and widen their range of services. Leveraging Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard, our partners can deploy and manage a distributed set of assets that can be located anywhere for retail stores, roadways and intersections, and more. They can then add value-added services like Secure Equipment Access and IOx edge application management.
Another great story is New Frontier Technologies and their work with Energybox. New Frontier Technologies, a Cisco IT partner, has decades of experience merging field level automation with corporate level networking – “where operations meets IT.” Given the increased corporate focus on sustainability and energy usage, they saw the opportunity to extend their networking products and experience into new areas. Using the capabilities of IoT Operations Dashboard to manage a set of industrial routers, they are now able to deploy in convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and gas stations and manage remotely. Plus, they are using Secure Equipment Access to remotely maintain their connected equipment and are building new software capabilities using IOx – our virtualization layer to deliver innovative services.
“Every one of our IT customers has an initiative underway to better manage their energy consumption. And that means they need to be able to monitor systems like refrigeration and HVAC,” said Mike Walden, Director – SCADA & IT, New Frontier Technologies. “We were able to take our IT networking expertise into these operational areas for new sales in quick service restaurants (QSR) and gas stations, as well as new recurring revenue streams with value-added monitoring services.”
Extend expertise into roadways and intersections
I’m guessing that we all will drive somewhere today or take some form of transportation. As we pass intersections with traffic cabinets and signals, we don’t think about the industrial switch and industrial router that connects to the traffic controller to manage those traffic lights. But this use case is an amazing opportunity for Cisco partners to build capabilities around roadways and traffic intersections for managing congestion, pedestrian safety, traffic control, and roadway safety. This is an excellent way to extend IT practices and services to the public sector customers across state and local governments, and Department of Transportations – and tap into government infrastructure funds. All these services are built on a foundation of secure reliable networking.
CDW is a leading provider of IT solutions to business, government, education and healthcare customers in the US, the UK, and Canada. Founded in 1984, CDW has tens of thousands of coworkers across a broad array of products and services, ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security, cloud, hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. CDW-G, a group specifically focused on the public sector and government clients, saw an opportunity to create repeatable solutions for transportation and other places where their customers and constituents want video and data services.
“We’ve been working with Central Ohio Transport Authority for years and had great relationships with the IT decision makers. We were able to leverage that into introductions to the transit operations and innovation teams,” added Nick Geiser, Field Account Executive, CDW-G. “Now they’ve extended their IT network into their buses and trains for real-time, secure video and Wi-Fi services. This aligns perfectly with both their core mission and their funding streams. It allows COTA to stay relevant to their riders by improving their experience.”
Use existing resources to get started today
What you see from these partner and customer stories – and across other industries that I didn’t cover – is that IT is becoming critical to the core operations of industries, like manufacturing plants, roadways, mass transit, utility grids, ports, and more. As IT practitioners, you all have a critical role to play in bringing your expertise to these operational teams to help operate, secure, and transform these environments.
With Cisco IoT, partners can:
- Tap into all their experience, training, and skill investments that are now directly applicable in these new areas
- Find new areas of projects and funding in customer’s organizations
- Add new value in places where IT didn’t always play
With Cisco IoT, partners have the market leading Industrial IoT portfolio and all the power and scale of Cisco networking behind that. In addition to the product and solution innovations that I’ve mentioned, we’re launching great new offers and packages here at Partner Summit designed to help our IT partners deliver business value and increase their profitability from day one with IoT. Partners get access to new revenue streams and get closer to the core missions of many of their customers.
While I’m excited about these business opportunities with Cisco IoT, I’m even more impressed by the relevance of all the work we’re doing together to improve our daily lives across the globe.
To learn more about how you can leverage your Cisco IT skills to bring value into new areas of your customer’s business, click here.