Darren Seward, head of Mobile for IT distributor Westcoast, has described the ‘Internet of Things’ as a ‘huge growth opportunity’ for retailers.
On the Westcoast blog, Seward quotes HPE CEO Meg Whitman, who recently sent out a Christmas message talking about a world ‘where everything is connected and everything computes’. Whitman cited a recent World Economic Forum report predicting that within the next 10 years, IOT will impact nearly two-thirds of global GDP.
Seward goes on to argue that predictions of 26.5 billion connected IOT endpoints globally by 2020 may be conservative. ‘These end points will be hundreds of different products from smart meters to buildings’, he says. ‘There is no question that there are real life benefits that will drive productivity and efficiency in both the business and consumer world. The challenge is how you manage them, get them talking to each other and make sense of all the data they produce. It is not a surprise therefore that IT vendors and Mobile operators are all scrambling to provide IOT solutions.’
Discussing IOT applications ranging from print management to factory automation, as well as many domestic products such as domestic products such as lighting, heating and cooking, Seward asks how resellers can take advantage of the opportunities of IOT.
‘The question many resellers may be asking is how they can get involved in this huge growth opportunity’ he says. ‘Firstly, you should talk to customers about the challenges they face. At a basic level, all of these devices need to connect to the internet. HPE Aruba offer a range of wireless networking options that address this requirement. Once connected, how are you going to manage all these endpoints? We have Unified Endpoint solutions from the likes of SOTI and Microsoft. Finally, analysing the data can be managed by something like Microsoft Azure, available from our Cloud team.’
With systems such as IFTTT allowing users to create different scenarios based on multiple devices and systems, Seward predicts a big take up of Connected Home solutions, with Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and British Gas all fighting to be at the centre of living room systems ‘on a dedicated hub device, or from your smartphone.’
Westcoast, an award-winning UK IT Distributor with strong partnerships with HP, Apple, Microsoft & Lenovo, is a privately held company employing over 1000 people across multiple sites in the UK and Europe.