Avnet Taps Relayr's Cloud-Based Middleware Platform To Expand IoT Portfolio For Partners

Avnet wants to help its partners overcome a difficult barrier in the Internet of Things and be able to integrate scalable and secure IoT solutions into their customers' existing technologies.

The Phoenix-based distributor is linking up with Relayr to sell its middleware platform, IoT offerings and services, all of which will support partners in the implementation process.

"This relationship brings together the edge-to-enterprise idea behind IoT," Colin Blair, vice president of data analytics and IoT solutions at Avnet, told CRN. "We want to enable our partner ecosystem to take advantage of shifts in the market, and IoT is a big one. Now, partners have a platform that's the glue for analytics, components and opportunities on the operations side."

[Related: Amazon Web Service Partners Want More IoT Details At AWS Re:Invent]

Sponsored post

Berlin-based Relayr offers a device, hardware and sensor-agnostic enterprise middleware platform, which the company said makes it easy to securely connect to any cloud or device.

In addition to the cloud-based platform, Blair said partners will have access to Relayr's IoT consultancy service, 5-4-3 Accelerate, which helps companies walk through the complex steps of designing an IoT prototype and bringing it to market.

Hash Malik, CEO of SPS, a Rockville, Md.-based Avnet partner, said this service plays a critical role in helping partners get their feet wet in the Internet of Things by pinpointing specific opportunities where they can bring solutions to market.

"This service is catering to those partners who may not be at a point where they know how to implement IoT solutions," he told CRN. " IoT is end to end, and with all the various pieces the hardest part for resellers is going forward and helping customers implement these solutions. This will help partners look at all the areas where IoT can be most helpful, and find the best opportunity for innovation."

Avnet partners will now also gain access to an array of tools that help enable cost-effective development of new solutions, equipment and services for IoT applications – such as smart city solutions. In addition, Avnet will provide its partners with Relayr’s open-source software development kits and industrial-grade sensor kits for rapid customer prototyping.

Relayr's offering enables communications from any service, software or platform, and any sensor, making it easier for partners to pull together solutions, said Blair.

"Relayr has a natural affinity to run on different gateways and other products … and that strikes a nerve with our partner base, many of which are already selling infrastructure with various vendors," he said.

The Relayr news comes months after Avnet said it would sell its Technology Solutions business to Tech Data for $2.6 billion, which includes next-generation technologies including converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, as well as security, analytics and the cloud. The company's remaining $17 billion Electronics Marketing business will focus on supply chain, web enablement, embedded solutions and the Internet of Things, CEO Bill Amelio said in September.

Blair stressed that Avnet approaches IoT through helping partners excel through specialization while capitalizing on best-of-breed next-generation technologies.

"Avnet is uniquely positioned to help partners capitalize on IoT, and we're just getting warmed up," he said. "There's not many places where customers can go to get that edge-to-enterprise service."