If there is any certainty in this market, it’s that technology is moving faster than ever, resulting in huge disruption to business models that don’t keep pace. It’s also the driving force behind consolidation in the vendor and partner ecosystem, and spawning new opportunities that at times appear to be truly amazing.
A strategic service provider we recently spoke to has jumped into the Internet of Things trend with a mixture of software and services that is driving tremendous growth in her new practice.
Kelley Ireland of CB Technologies has partnered with HP Software and built an IoT practice around tagging, tracking, monitoring and managing capital assets.
According to Kelley, it’s applicable to any industry that has capital assets that are in the field, sit internally or move around. We agree.
Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has said that the last 10 years was all about the consumerization of the internet, but that the next 10 will see the focus on the industrialization of the internet, where we will see rapid advancement of using it to rapidly change business process. We agree again.
We are already seeing this in some obvious examples, like Uber. Zenefits is another example of a company that is using technology to change how small and medium-sized businesses manage their health care programs.
For vendors, the future growth will largely be tied to building a capable channel and, more importantly, a channel that has imagination. Vendors and strategic service providers alike are going to need to see the possibilities technology and the internet can bring to a customer.
But to do that, both will need partners and vendors to think more vertically than horizontally. Too much technology is brought to market in a horizontal approach, where basic tweaks make it applicable.
Most managers in any field are not technologists. They certainly know what challenges they face, but not being a tech-minded individual generally means you don’t have enough understanding of what is possible to be able to envision a game-changing outcome.
Vendors and SSPs are not students of every industry and, as such, don’t know the problems each faces at a deep enough level to inherently know what can be a game changer.
It’s a solvable dilemma that is probably best attacked by a combination of bringing vertical talent into the vendor and partner communities alike.
While all this opportunity is in front of us, it becomes a matter of how best to position for success. That too is driving consolidation in the vendor and partner world. Dell’s acquisition of the EMC federation and Microsoft’s $26.2 billion buyout of LinkedIn are examples of companies that feel a need to acquire assets each feels are needed to move the needle and that would either take too long or may not be reachable if homegrown.
There are SSPs as well that feel a need to get bigger in order to be able to maximize the opportunity they see. Building multiple vertical practices takes resources and bigger generally means more ability to invest.
In any case the opportunity to grow and prosper for vendors and SSPs alike has never been greater.