Internet of things News

CBT CEO Kelly Ireland: XR ‘Absolutely’ A Channel Opportunity

Wade Tyler Millward

‘Is there an opportunity in the channel? Absolutely,’ CBT CEO Kelly Ireland tells CRN. ‘I've been espousing this for two years, if not longer.’

What’s your message to vendors on channel adoption of extended reality services? 

They're not looking at the capabilities (of partners), I think they’re looking at size. 'Oh, can they do this? Are they capable?’

Well, in our particular case, right now, it's not how big you are. It’s what you know. It's your knowledge base. And if you don’t have that, you can be successful, but I'm going to say it’s two to three years out. Not right now. We're successful right now.

So to the vendors, pay attention to those who have the skin in the game, who have made investments, who have the resources to support what they're trying to do, versus their mega size. Who cares? Those guys deliver product. They don’t deliver solutions. … It's like, because of my size, I get no attention. But to me, it’s like, I don't care. I get clients.

Do you want to see more channel partners offer extended reality services? 

It would help because right now what we're finding is people are out there doing a bad job. Gives us a bad name. Gives IoT and OT convergence a bad name.

If we had people out there that knew what they were doing, it would be a different story. I wouldn't have to fight with a client (who says), 'Oh, yeah, we went down that path. It didn’t work.’ No, no, no, no. You went down the wrong path. Here's our approach. Here’s our path. I can't tell you how many conversations we’ve had with people like that. They were burned. There's so many of them that have been burned.

So if we had an educated, prepared channel that was aligned with vendors, that’d be awesome. We don't have that.

Are the distributors important to building an extended reality channel ecosystem? 

I think it is. … I'm with (distributor) Tech Data, and I’m on their (IoT) council.

They are very much focused on, 'We know this is a bigger picture of delivering an ecosystem in a solution and that it's unique to each of the clients.’

So they're looking at how they need to change the way they bring on vendors and how they go to market as well. And they’re very open to having those discussions.

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Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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