In 2016, GE built up its channel by enrolling and formalizing arrangements with partners, but as the company continues to ramp up its digital strategy, it will "start to mobilize that partner network," GE Digital Global Head of Channel and Alliances Guy Taylor told CRN.
Meanwhile, Siemens is still in the early stages of expanding its partner program in North America as part of its overall push into the market. As of 2016, the company had 62 North American partners in its four-tiered program.
Many of Siemens partners that have access to the company's collaboration software and data and information management tools are operational technology partners specializing in product life-cycle management solutions.
The company's program, made up of channel partners, consulting and systems integration partners, and software and technology partners, still has a ways to go before catching up to its worldwide program, which had approximately 800 partners as of 2016.
Both cloud platforms ultimately drive the professional services for both IT and operational technology partners, partners told CRN.
"For us, the professional services side is a big opportunity for us," said Zones' Balistrieri. "There may not be as much money on the sensors -- it all comes back to data, storage systems, visualization products. That end of it is the important part of the pull-through for us. … It drives our technology."