Dell Announces New Cheaper IoT Gateway 3000 To 'Accelerate' Channel Focus

Dell is adding a new product to its Internet of Things gateway portfolio as the company tries to engage more with its partners who sell to companies in vertical markets.

The new Gateway 3000, which is targeted for both fixed and mobile use cases requiring smaller sensor networks, tight spaces and simpler analytics, is a "balance between the maker spectrum and industrial grade folks," according to Jason Shepherd, director of IoT strategy and partnerships at Dell.

"With the smaller footprint and lower power of the 3000, we get into more vertical-focused environments," he said. "We're building out that set of opportunities for all our partners … the Gateway 5000 is a catch-all, while the 3000 has those targeted SKUs that lend themselves to sweet spots."

[Related: Dell Adds Systems Integrators To Its IoT Solutions Partner Program]

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The Gateway 3000 is the cheaper companion to Dell's 5000 series, which is designed for fixed use cases requiring modular expansion, large sensor networks and more advanced edge analytics.

Dell's new gateway, which is available for purchase in summer 2017 starting at $399, comes in three models, targeting general purpose automation, transportation and logistics, and digital signage and retail.

All models feature an Intel Atom processor and integrated digital GPS, accelerometers and atmospheric pressure sensors. The gateway also supports industrial automation and energy management, with the ability to operate in hot or cold environments.

Shepherd said that the 3000 is a good gateway for partners who want to deploy affordable, simple IoT solutions – or add onto their already more complex solutions. "The market is opened with all that innovation for the maker products, but we also want partners to get past the proof of concept stage and deploy IoT applications," he said. "It will open up a valuable capability to existing partners that need that offering of more focused products for certain use cases."

For instance, a partner who wants to deploy an IoT solution around elevator management can merely hook up the 3000 to the controller to an elevator at an affordable price. However, for the same application with more advanced analytics capabilities – such as voice command or digital signage – partners also have the option to use the 5000.

"The idea is if we have 600-plus proofs-of-concept now, the next step is going to deployment," said David Chang, director of product marketing for IoT Gateways at Dell. "Because of the similar architectures and operating systems, partners can use the 5000 to develop software today and launch their applications with the 3000, so they are one step further on development path. This creates new revenue streams for our partners."

Eric Duffaut, chief customer officer at Software AG, a Reston, Va.-based Dell partner, said he is seeing breaks in IoT to "offer business value that goes far beyond operational cost savings, but rather becomes the foundation for crafting new ’smart’ products and services," and the gateway 3000 plays into this opportunity.

"Our partnership with Dell [brings] together the best-in-class streaming, edge and predictive analytics capabilities of our Digital Business Platform and the purpose-built Dell Edge Gateway," he said. "This powerful combination enables organizations to monitor, manage and act on fast-moving, Big Data at the edge as well as in the cloud in an instant."

The new 3000 marks a step forward in Dell's new strategy surrounding the channel as it relates to the Internet of Things. In 2016, Dell was focused on building out its IoT channel program – but in 2017, the company wants to work with partners to solve pain points around IoT, offering blueprints describing IoT use cases and helping partners pull solutions together.

"We went broad and now we want to go deep," said Shepherd. "The 3000 is the kicker for the channel, as it hits that price point for price sensitive use cases."