The 2016 Internet Of Things 50

According to market research firm IDC, the Internet of Things space will grow to an explosive $1.7 trillion market in 2020, up from $655.8 billion in 2014.

Yet while this wealth of opportunity exists for solution providers, some are still grappling with how, exactly, to capture a piece of it. Perhaps one of the biggest questions they have is where to start—and which vendors to work with.

This is where CRN's Internet of Things 50 list can help.

CRN took a close look at the vendors that are approaching the Internet of Things market in the best strategic ways, offering secure, efficient and reliable technologies, and looping in partners as part of their go-to-market sales strategies.

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In addition to key technologies, many vendors strive to help their partner community win in the Internet of Things by offering specific certifications, training tools and other resources. Solution providers looking to penetrate the market can turn to these vendors to get a better understanding of sales force trends and examples of use cases.

This year, CRN has divided its IoT 50 list into four main segments. The four categories include:

Solution providers have told CRN that the Internet of Things is more challenging than hardware-based projects because it involves collaborating with at least three different vendors for any given initiative. They have to sift through a number of components—including the hardware piece, such as routers and gateways, connectivity devices such as sensors, software for analytics, and visualization tools.

Stephen Lurie, vice president of IoT solutions at Auburn, Wash.-based Zones, which designs and implements connected elevator solutions for commercial properties, told CRN that working with multiple vendors—both on the IT side and the operational technology side—is key to success.

"Usually to put in new [Internet of Things] controls out there, you'd have to get with multiple vendors to see who has what component," he said. "We have a quick integrated solution that ties together technology from Intel and Cisco, and we also want to work with elevator manufacturers."