CRN Exclusive: Siemens Goes On The Channel Offensive With New IoT Mindsphere Partner Program

Siemens Tuesday launched its Mindsphere partner program as the company ramps up channel efforts around the industrial Internet of Things.

Paul Kaeley, senior vice president of Siemens’ partner ecosystem, said the program strengthens the Washington, D.C-based company's commitment to IoT and equips partners with the sales, marketing and technical acumen necessary to bring the company’s Mindsphere cloud-based IoT platform to market.

’Partners are well positioned to drive IoT,’ he said. ’IoT is the biggest opportunity right now in terms of what’s happening in the industrial space. Our partners are positioned to bring our IoT solutions to existing customers but also to new areas and new use cases.’

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The Mindsphere partner program targets a host of partners, said Kaeley – including systems integrators, app developers, software companies, consulting companies, operational technology hybrid partners and technology partners.

The program is based on a three-tier model, including Platinum, Gold and Silver levels, and provides partners with sales and technical training, marketing investment and resources, deeper access to developer kits, and a partner portal that will be launched in the future.

Siemens also is giving Gold and Platinum members access to its Business Development Fund, which offers a joint funding pool to invest in digital transformation business plans as an incentive for partners to take Mindsphere to market. A MindSphere partner manager will work with such partners to define a joint business plan to align resources for joint success.

’We want to help partners get to production as quickly as possible. … IoT is really about the use cases that will drive productions, and we want to identify new opportunities through joint engagement,’ said Kaeley.

Kaeley said he hopes to grow the program so that 40 percent to 50 percent of Mindsphere revenue is being delivered through partners in the next year.

As part of the program, Kaeley said he has also been aggressively hiring a channel team to spearhead program initiatives and strategies – including Dan Smith, a former Hewlett Packard Enterprise director of global partner programs who is now vice president of ecosystem management program development at the Siemens PLM Software business.

’We know the industries well … we bring our vertical knowledge to the solution, while partners bring their expertise around cloud transformation and IoT solutions, and deploying solutions in manufacturing environments,’ Kaeley said. ’The combination is compelling, and our partner program will make it easy for partners to deploy IoT solutions to market.’

Ettore Soldi, president and managing director at Siemens partner Hyla Soft, a Chicago-based systems integrator, said the Mindsphere partner program gives his company the opportunity to ’cover the entire spectrum of Siemens’ offering’ and dive deeper into IoT.

’A lot of companies can collect the data through IoT, but Siemens has the full vision of using the data – because they have PLM and automation, they can leverage that to take advantage of the data,’ he said. ’Being able to provide an IoT platform for our customers is key to us … we already have expertise in IoT in terms of functionality, and we are now aggressively training and aligning our internal resources to deliver on the Mindsphere platform.’