Is the key to success in an IoT world as simple as working together?
In the realm of IoT, global is the goal. Business growth for enterprises means securing a strong presence in the global market, and for telecom operators, it depends heavily on how truly global their coverage spans. In some cases, operators can achieve global coverage through roaming. Yet as local regulations, big data consumption, and roaming costs come into play, this becomes tricky. So where do they turn?
Defining Roles Within IoT
Internet of Things will change everything – it’s not just smart vending machines or smart cities, it’s the full range of wearables all the way to industrial solutions like connected airplane engines. Where you fall in the IoT business depends whether you are an enterprise selling these connected devices, a telecom operator providing connectivity, or a tech company offering a software management solution to operators. In some instances, the latter two may be achieved within one company. In other instances, tech companies can form partner channels with telecom operators to win enterprise business. These roles become an integral part in the race to success, as they establish how various IoT players interact with one another.
I joined the Ericsson Device Connection Platform (DCP) team earlier this year in marketing and communication. Before I started, my boss recommended reading one book by Hans Peter Bech, Building Successful Partner Channels. This was a great explanation to the approach of organizations working through channel partners and implementing a revenue share model. Bech emphasized the importance of establishing sound communication with channel partners and developing unique strategies together.
In the DCP context, telecom operators are our channel partners, through whom we offer managed connectivity to enterprises all over the globe. It is the telecom operators who target the enterprises, and our role is more behind the scenes. We interact with our telecom operators daily—communicating changes and updates to the service, responding to incidents, and providing business development support.
Building a Strategic Partner Ecosystem
With so many market segments to address and numerous obstacles to navigate, IoT players might appreciate some support – at the very least to understand how others are carrying on. Recently, DCP operators as well as a few special guests from the greater DCP ecosystem—partners and enterprises—gathered for two full days of insightful presentations, demonstrations and networking. Now if you are thinking, ‘another networking event, what could be so special?’ I’m sure you are not alone... I myself was walking around with the satisfaction that ‘great! Our community is networking!’ And it wasn’t until I dug a little deeper that I understood why this was so impactful.
What I have learned is this: the community needs each other to succeed. DCP Community Days provides a unique forum for operators to meet face to face and collaborate in order to approach the global market. It allows for special guest enterprises to express their motives and needs. And it allows for Ericsson to develop our service roadmap with the needs of the community in mind. Together, the community shares experiences and business insights and ultimately discovers the ways that they can work together for mutually beneficial business endeavors.
As the ecosystem grows, the community continues to welcome IoT players who are all working toward success. The true magic happens when community members discover how they can simultaneously achieve success by working together. Hearing from Bridge and GMA for instance provides quite strategic networking opportunities for community members to potentially expand their global footprint.
Furthermore, in working together, operators can tackle the implications that come with providing global connectivity – like complying with local regulations, ensuring big data consumption and avoiding high roaming costs. They can both benefit by forming agreements if say for example, one operator has a local presence in China and wants to tap into the European market, and another operator in France wants entrance into China.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far...
...Go together. Because after all, when we enable one another, we are that much closer to a more connected tomorrow.
This guest post was written by Claire Sommer. Claire joined the Ericsson Device Connection Platform team to support marketing and communication. She holds a Bachelor's from Santa Clara University. In the age of content overload, she believes in the power of crafting compelling stories to bring a product or solution to fruition.