Organisations of all sizes, across every industry, are getting excited about the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT). It has the potential to cut costs, drive efficiencies and generate new revenue streams. But the technology is moving fast — and assembling your own components and software can be a daunting prospect for many businesses. IoT isn’t always suited to a do-it-yourself mentality, and very few providers are a one-stop-shop for your technology needs.
And it’s ok to accept this — the best businesses know their strengths and work with others to fill in any gaps and deliver on their objectives. That’s where partnerships come into their own. In the last Vodafone IoT Barometer, we found 75% of adopters had increased their use of partners to manage IoT projects.1
Partners can give you access to everything you need to make a success of IoT — bringing together hardware manufacturers, software providers and telecommunications providers to offer full-package solutions.
By joining strong, global partner ecosystems, your local providers can give you access to the IoT knowledge and resources you need to deliver results. It gives them a reliable way to get a turn-key solution and make it work for your specific business needs.
Here are three ways partnerships can give your business an advantage.
Trusted, local contacts
You’ve probably already developed close relationships with local IT providers. These are businesses you’ve worked with for years, that understand your business and that you trust. But can they keep you up to date with the latest developments in IoT that could benefit your business?
If they’re partnered with a global IoT provider, they’ll be better informed and able to bring your business reliable knowledge of the latest technologies. And they can call on their partners’ IoT resources and support, allowing them to provide you with an even better level of service.
We’ve found that working with partners helps us to give customers the best of both worlds — local contacts and a wealth of IoT knowledge and resources. This is why we recently joined forces with Tech Data and started our IoT on Wheels campaign. We drove a bus to 10 cities in six different countries around Europe, educating IoT partners and their customers. We wanted to meet them in person to showcase how IoT could benefit their businesses. We did that through a series of live demonstrations, illustrating how IoT is transforming industries from manufacturing and retail to transport and logistics.
It’s by forming partnerships that companies like ours are able to reach so many customers and provide the level of support needed to connect more businesses to the latest technology.
Partner ecosystems aren’t just about being closer to customers. They’re a great way for IoT providers to better understand the challenges businesses face, and develop new solutions to tackle these. By facilitating conversations with local partners, IoT providers can learn about your unique obstacles. And this can help them identify opportunities and devise plans to serve you better. By taking the time to understand your challenges, the ecosystem of partners can provide tailor-made solutions to meet your business goals — and make the latest technologies more accessible.
That’s why we regularly run events to support our partners and hear from customers in person. Virocom is a great example of this. We were recently invited to participate at their event in London to provide insight into what’s happening in IoT and how this technology could help businesses across different industries. We discussed the many ways IoT technology can add business value — from greater efficiencies and cost savings, to facilitating better communication, both internally and externally.
Events like these are great opportunities for identifying how partners can work together to provide tailored solutions that benefit you, the customer.
Customers look to trusted advisors to inspire their next move. They want to know that they’re making the right business decisions to stay ahead of the game. If your local suppliers work with industry leaders, they’re in a better position to keep you updated with the latest innovations and technologies. This is where partner ecosystems really come into effect. Local businesses can team up with global experts to bring you end-to-end solutions and help drive your business to success.
Another great example of our own ecosystem in action is the recently launched “Buildings and Energy” a joint solution we’ve developed with our partners Dell and Utilitywise. It simplifies how businesses manage their buildings through real-time insight and analysis. And it’s all made possible by using the latest IoT technology from a single platform. It’s this kind of innovation, and industry knowledge, that helps customers keep pushing ahead to gain a competitive edge.
Our expert knowledge means that we’re in a unique position to help both our partners and customers benefit from the latest technologies. We’re able to provide managed services to take any hassle or uncertainty away from your IoT deployments. Plus, by working with partners, we’re helping the next generation of suppliers embrace new technologies and learn how to better serve their own customers — so it’s a positive experience all round.
We recognise the value of partnerships — and we see the benefits these relationships and collective skills can deliver to our customers. We’ve built our ecosystem with the world’s leading operators, hardware and application suppliers, system integrators and distributors. And it’s these relationships that enable us to provide a better service.
Whether you’re new to IoT, or building on your existing strategy, you want your IoT solutions to adapt to suit your business needs. Working with a partner ecosystem is an effective way to do this. You benefit from the relationship of a local partner and the capacity of a global enterprise. And you get the competitive edge that comes along with this.
The future is exciting, and IoT is bringing it a lot closer for many businesses — let yours be one of them. Find out more about Vodafone’s partner ecosystem by visiting our website, or look for a partner in your area to help with your IoT strategy.
We’re working together to help customers be ready for tomorrow.