When we talk about our technology being smart, I think of Buzz Lightyear. Specifically, I think of Buzz in his more delusional days in the first Toy Story film, when he genuinely believed that the laser pointer in his arm was a dangerous laser beam and not simply a red beam of light. Nowadays we are kind of like Buzz Lightyear, kidding ourselves into thinking our technology is something it isn’t. We certainly have connected technology, but is it truly smart?
There’s a feature on my phone, a Motorola Moto X, which I absolutely love. It’s called “Motorola Assist” and to me, it’s the first application I’ve ever had on a smartphone that is truly intelligent. For example, Motorola Assist can detect when I’m driving, through the phone’s GPS (it can tell I’m traveling on a road and how fast I’m moving) so the phone acts differently. When someone texts me, my phone reads it out loud. When someone calls, my phone announces the name and I verbally accept or reject the call. Motorola Assist can also detect when I’m sleeping and it will not allow any calls to ring through unless someone calls twice in a span of minutes or if the caller is on my favorites list. I can set strict sleep hours in the phone or the program can intuitively learn at what hour I don’t use my phone and what time my alarm goes off in the morning, effectively setting sleep hours for me.
All of these features excite me because they are intuitive. When I’m driving or when I’m sleeping, those activities are my priorities and I don’t want to be bothered with texts or phone calls. And there are plenty of other things I don’t want to bother with either, especially as I walk through my front door.
Imagine this: You’re driving home from work, and your house receives a signal from your phone that you’re near. The thermostat adjusts to where you want it. The song you’re listening to on your phone turns on on your home stereo. The water heater turns on. The coffee pot starts brewing. Your computer fires up. The lights go on. The basketball game comes on the tv. You walk into your house and it is ready for you to relax immediately.
This is where I see the Internet of Things (IoT) going and it’s a great thing for you because it is going to drive massive growth within the telecommunications channel. For a quick and very basic definition, when we talk about IoT we’re talking about the concept of connecting everyday items to the internet, creating what Forbes calls “a giant network of connected “things”. We know for sure that sellers of connectivity will profit from IoT, because these connected items will be producing large amounts of data that will need to be transmitted and stored via bandwidth, as well as the people who sell the sensors placed in devices to capture the data.
As a channel professional, there are two fundamental steps you should be taking right now in order to get in front of what Gartner says will be a nearly $270 billion dollar growth market.
- Determine where your company fits in:
Are you a provider of connectivity? A provider of sensory hardware? Will you sell the underlying software that enables data capture? Is your company better suited to increase the user experience of the IoT or better suited to facilitate IoT itself? In other words, do you enhance the experience or make it happen in the first place? Are you having conversations with your customers about the massive amounts of data that they are going to be collecting on their corporate wifi LAN? Can you provide that solution? If you sell to the end user directly and are setting them up on a 36-month contract, are you informing those end users of the massive bandwidth growth they are going to need to accommodate?
- Learn, educate, be proactive, and get excited:
As this technology settles into our lives over the next five years it’s important to stay on top of articles and discussions about IoT. I would start asking my most trusted partners what they’re doing about IoT and where they fit in (or if they understand what it is). One of the challenges with cloud computing in the channel in years past was indifference and a lack of education. Let’s not let that happen again. Seek out conversation about IoT and position yourself as a thought leader. There’s a $263 billion dollar market out there! Who wants a piece?
Buzz Lightyear may have thought he had a laser that was dangerous, but all he could really do was “blink them to death.” Accepting that we are living in a world that is rapidly switching from connected to smart and providing thought leadership along the way is the first step to success, and it’s a never ending one. Formulating a strategy is the second. Where will it go from there? To infinity and beyond.
To learn more about The Internet of Things and what it could mean for you, watch the sixth webinar in our Convergence Webinar Series here.
About the Author
As a Sales Trainer at TBI, Dave Landsberger designs content and delivers sales training to support TBI’s sales campaigns. Dave develops training programs that foster a culture of continuous learning to ensure the maximum effectiveness of TBI’s sales efforts. You can contact Dave at email@example.com or connect with him on LinkedIn here.