CRN’s 2022 IoT Innovators
CRN’s sixth-annual IoT Innovators list spotlights solution providers that are at the forefront of the Internet of Things, building unique offerings that are using data to bring customers the business outcomes they need.
Whether it’s agricultural solutions that let California’s drought-plagued farmers minimize the amount of water they use, health-care solutions that help over-worked nurses keep closer tabs on patients or facial recognition systems that monitor the temperature of workers to keep sick employees from returning to the office, the channel is getting creative when it comes to aiding customers in solving their biggest business challenges.
CRN ’s sixth-annual IoT Innovators list puts the spotlight on solution providers working with industrial IoT, connected systems, IoT security, machine learning and more to not only collect data but turn it into useful insights that businesses can act on.
Research firm Gartner has predicted that the number of IoT devices will triple from 2020 to 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent. Those devices will generate a plethora of data that needs to be analyzed, creating plenty of room for solution providers like Patti Engineering, an OT-focused solution provider in Auburn Hills, Mich., to help its manufacturing customers modernize, said CEO Sam Hoff.
“[Customers] are looking for companies that can help them analyze that data on a recurring basis, help them contextualize that data, help them figure out the analytics,” Hoff said.
Along with that IoT growth comes an influx of security concerns as more and more devices get connected at the edge. The OT side in particular is rife with security opportunities for solution providers as hackers and nation-state bad actors set their sights on public infrastructure as the next warfront, said Kevin Lynch, CEO of Denver-based security solution provider powerhouse Optiv.
“If you don’t have a strategy for playing in this space and winning in this space, you will be left behind,” Lynch said last week during a keynote address at CRN parent The Channel Company’s 2022 XChange Best of Breed Conference in Atlanta. “This market is going to wake up, and it’s going to be enormous.”
Patti Engineering and Optiv are among 25 solution providers being venerated in CRN’s 2022 IoT Innovators list. Here’s a look at the honorees.
Top Executive: Venky Medicharla, CEO
360IT’s robust services capabilities have made it a go-to solution provider for customers looking for cutting-edge IoT solutions that bridge the gap from smart homes and home automation—which in many cases are supporting hybrid workers—to office environments.
The company’s ability to offer support for work-from-home customers was a game changer during the pandemic with critical security and data recovery capabilities.
A big plus for IoT customers: 360IT’s “Proactive Care Plan” which provides peace of mind for customers taking the IoT plunge.
Top Executive: Rickie Richey, Founder and CEO
Richey’s visionary leadership and strong partnership with AT&T has put Altaworx into the IoT fast lane.
The company’s IoT solutions range from machine-to-machine technology that delivers breakthrough data solutions for customers to IoT private LTE network offerings.
The AT&T partnership has proven to be a critical differentiator, with AT&T Control Center managed services bringing the ability to analyze and control devices in the field in real time.
The company also offers services through the channel via its new Slingshot by Altaworx agent program, which launched in July.
Alvarez Technology Group
Top Executive: Luis Alvarez, President and CEO
The perennial IoT powerhouse has been delivering game-changing IoT solutions for many years with a focus on huge return on investment and big competitive advantages for customers.
Alvarez has been one of the pioneers in the IoT market who has kept pace with the fast changing IoT technology landscape. He has also transformed the company into a security powerhouse. Alvarez Technology Group has been recognized as a Registered Provider Organization by the Cyber Accreditation Body (CyberAB).
Top Executive: Dave Seybold, CEO
Atos upped the ante in the IoT wars with the launch this year of the Atos Business Outcomes as a Service offering, a 5G, edge and IoT platform developed with Dell Technologies.
The new offering, which was featured at the Dell Technologies World conference, is aimed at driving AI breakthroughs at the edge.
Seybold said the new platform re-imagines the “process of running digital operations at the edge.”
Top Executive: Kelly Ireland, Founder, CEO and Chief Technology Officer
Ireland is an IoT visionary who has pulled together some of the top technology talent in the business to deliver breakthrough IoT solutions to customers.
CBT’s Refinery of the Future project—which has garnered praise from Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri—is one of many CBT solutions that has captured the attention of IoT cognoscenti.
CBT is bolstered by Ireland’s relentless drive to break existing technology barriers to power big competitive advantages for customers.
Top Executive: Brian Humphries, CEO
The $18.5 billion behemoth, No. 7 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, continues to break new ground in the IoT market.
Cognizant has partnered closely with Microsoft to help customers avoid what it calls IoT “proof-of-concept purgatory.” That means focusing on how to operationalize and scale IoT solutions rather than being caught up in proof-of-concept models that have not been fully vetted.
One example of the company’s IoT success: a project with a kitchen and baths home goods provider that focused on identifying the strongest IoT opportunities with a comprehensive IoT solution road map.
Top Executive: Dave Cerniglia, Founder and CEO
Cerniglia’s entrepreneurial drive has helped make Consiliant into a strong IoT player.
The company’s IoT practice has also benefitted from its industry solutions expertise and its razor-sharp focus on making sure that each and every IoT solution provides a “competitive edge” for customers.
Consiliant has delivered breakthrough IoT solutions for public safety with tools that provide “situational awareness” for smarter emergency response. The company also has a smart spaces practice which has provided motion sensor solutions that control parking lot traffic.
Dace IT Solutions
Top Executive: Louis Dace, CEO
Dace IT Solutions partnership with Intel in the Intel IoT Solutions Alliance has provided the company with an Intel OpenVino smart city reference implementation that is powering breakthrough intelligent traffic management solutions.
The OpenVINO implementation is designed to track pedestrians and bikes focusing on potential collisions and near misses to make city streets safer.
Dace IT has also distinguished itself with on-demand intelligent video analytics solutions that are improving sell-through for retailers.
Top Executive: James Gillespie, Co-founder and CEO
GrayMatter is an industrial IoT stalwart that has been singled out for its ability to transform operations and empower people with its IoT solutions.
Credit Gillespie, a Carnegie Mellon engineering graduate who also has an MBA from Duquesne University, for the company’s relentless focus on driving innovation.
GrayMatter has received plaudits from customers for using AI and machine learning to automate processes and to use industrial data to make operations more efficient.
Top Executive: Joyce Mullen, President and CEO
Mullen, who took over as CEO in January, is doubling down on Insight’s digital transformation solutions efforts, including IoT and intelligent edge.
One sign of Mullen’s digital transformation drive: the acquisition of Hanu Software Solutions, a Microsoft Azure MSP recognized in the Gartner 2021 Magic Quadrant for Public IT Transformation Service Providers.
Insight’s intelligent edge expertise runs the gamut from agriculture solutions with smart farming to manufacturing solutions that optimize factory networks.
Top Executive: Philip Morris, Co-Founder and CEO
The AI and deep learning IoT superstar offers subscription-based IoT products including its Spyglass Visual Inspection offering for machine vision systems.
Mariner’s deep learning and AI capabilities are helping manufacturers reduce defects and improve product quality. Case in point: Sage Automotive Industries, which used Spyglass Visual Inspection with Microsoft Azure to increase “efficiency and quality standards across the board.”
Another example: Vitro Automotive Glass, which used Spyglass Visual Inspection’s deep learning prowess to ensure the highest quality glass.
Top Executive: Jeff Stebbins, Founder and CEO
New Vision says it has been consulting, implementing, educating and developing software for over a decade, using its expertise in product lifecycle management to create applications that bring data from multiple systems together to gain valuable insights.
The Bloomington, Minn.-based company now is honing its focus to help customers achieve business outcomes, bringing on former PTC CTO Andrew Timm recently in the role of digital orchestrator to develop its strategy for helping customers find the best tools and technologies to achieve those outcomes.
Top Executive: Abhijit Dubey, Global CEO
NTT continues to break new ground in IoT with the launch this year of its IoT Services for Sustainability practice.
The new IoT solutions stack is aimed at helping businesses make “data-driven decisions” to reduce their carbon footprint with IoT connectivity.
Among the solutions in the NTT portfolio: an optical-based meter reader for water, electricity or gas; a real-time water leak management solution; a sensor-based predictive maintenance solution and a sensor-based environmental monitoring solution.
Onica by Rackspace Technology
Top Executive: Kevin Jones, CEO
An Amazon Web Services Premier Consulting Partner and MSP, Onica pledges to bring IoT solutions “to life in weeks, not years.” The company touts its IoT Cloud as a proprietary collection of hardware, software, accelerators and analytics built to enable customers to prototype quickly.
The San Antonio company in January became a deployment partner with AWS on emissions monitoring and management, which collects and aggregates sensor data with other industrial data to reduce systems failures and improve environmental protection related to methane.
Open Systems Technologies
Top Executive: Lisa Jilek, Interim CEO
OST helps customers navigate a number of IoT solutions areas, whether it’s optimizing their existing IoT platforms or aiding product and medical device companies design, build and manage smart products. It also has a strong focus on IoT platform migration, moving customers from niche IoT platforms they’ve outgrown to modern platforms through a three-phase approach that typically takes three months.
In one deployment near and dear to the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company’s heart, OST has joined Project Clarity, a community-wide partnership that aims to improve the health and clarity of Lake Macatawa and watershed in West Michigan. OST developed an IoT system that utilizes sensors, low-power radios, analytics and Microsoft Azure to track data on rainfall history, precipitation and drainage information to show how environmental variables impact water quality.
Top Executive: Kevin Lynch, CEO
It’s no surprise that Optiv, one of the premier security-focused solution providers in the country and No. 25 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, has set its sights on ensuring that its customers’ IoT deployments are secure given Lynch’s recent prediction that the U.S. will see a large-scale OT attack on critical infrastructure in 2023.
“My prediction is we will actually see an OT attack in the United States, certainly within 2023, of a magnitude that we think of it as an act of war,” Lynch said earlier this month at CRN parent The Channel Company’s 2022 XChange Best of Breed Conference. “I think we are on the verge of seeing one in Europe faster than [that,] perhaps the first quarter of ’23.”
Optiv is doing its part to protect customers with a bevy of IoT security solutions to identify and track critical assets, risks and vulnerabilities and unauthorized behavior.
Top Executive: Sam Hoff, CEO
Founded in 1991, Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Patti Engineering focuses on OT solutions for customers in automotive, retail distribution, food and beverage, pharma and other manufacturing areas.
In many cases, the company is helping its customers get more out of older manufacturing equipment, Hoff recently told CRN.
“A big issue with our clients is trying to find a skilled workforce, so they’re trying to do more with less,” Hoff said. “There is a lot of old equipment in these facilities, 20- to 25-year-old equipment that’s running a lot of these manufacturing systems that were never built to spit out data, and there are a lot of vulnerabilities out there.”
By upgrading that machinery’s control systems, Patti Engineering can help customers upgrade their equipment “for pennies on the dollar rather than buying a brand-new machine,” Hoff said.
Top Executive: Jeff Davis, Chairman and CEO
Digital consultancy Perficient promises to bring its vast digital transformation expertise to bear in helping clients achieve their IoT vision. Its IoT-focused capabilities include prototyping and software development, business strategy development, systems integration, predictive maintenance, experience design and software deployment, and digital design for web and mobile applications.
Its formula for success includes conducting an IoT readiness assessment, building a roadmap and vision, leading platform and hardware evaluations, formulating an integration strategy and creating an IoT Center of Excellence for customers.
Earlier this month Perficient, No. 51 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, acquired Ameex Technologies, a Schaumburg, Ill.- based consultancy that includes IoT chatbots among its experience design capabilities.
Sirius, a CDW company
Top Executive: Joe Mertens, President and CEO
Sirius, which was acquired by CDW at the end of 2021 for $2.5 billion, asks customers a simple question: Are you leveraging IoT to enhance your customer experience, improve workplace safety or reduce overhead costs?
The San Antonio-based company is tapping IoT solutions to help customers in a number of areas, including back-to-work strategies that tackle temperature detection, contact tracing, access control integration as well as IoT transformation workshops through which it performs a gap analysis of a customer’s infrastructure, builds an IoT business integration plan and develops a custom roadmap.
Top Executive: Brad Jackson, CEO
Seattle-based Slalom sees IoT as a cornerstone of digital transformation and included more widespread adoption of IoT among its top cloud predictions for 2022.
In May the company said it is working with Kawasaki Heavy Industries jointly to develop a rail track maintenance support service that leverages advanced IoT, machine learning and AI capabilities powered by Microsoft Azure. Kawasaki is beginning to deploy in the North American market.
The next month, Slalom received several awards from Microsoft, including the U.S. Azure Analytics Partner of the Year Award.
Top Executive: Ravikumar Raghunathan, CEO
Orange, Calif.-based TensorIoT is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner that also relies on AWS to power its portfolio of IoT products, including its SmartInsights data visualization platform and SafetyVisor offering for monitoring compliance to Occupational Safety and Health Act, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other local regulatory guidelines.
In November 2021, TensorIoT was named as a service partner for AWS IoT TwinMaker, which creates digital versions of real-world systems to model the current state and simulate the impact changes could have on the system. AWS IoT TwinMaker became generally available in April.
TSP Smart Spaces
Top Executive: Michael Oh, President and Founder
Driven by Oh’s technical vision, TSP Smart Spaces specializes in conference room technology and smart home integration, bringing together everything from advanced audio/visual technology to lighting to automatic window shades.
It has teamed with a number of technology partners such as networking vendor Cisco Meraki, speaker maker Bang & Olufsen and amplifier and speaker maker Biamp as the building blocks of its solutions.
At this year’s CEDIA conference, TSP Smart Spaces won two CEPro Home of the Year Gold awards, including one for its Experience Lab customer showroom at its Cambridge, Mass., headquarters.
Top Executive: Santosh Thomas, CEO
Virtusa, a solution provider that specializes in digital strategy, digital engineering and IT services, offers a rapid IoT prototyping laboratory to help customers quickly visualize IoT concepts in areas such as connected cars; smart homes, cities and workplaces; e-health and usage-based insurance.
In one recent success story, Virtusa, No. 38 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, integrated data from IoT devices and tapped AWS cloud services to bring real-time data into its customer’s wearable devices to enhance worker safety.
Top Executive: Brian Sloan, CEO
Wachter continues to up the ante when it comes to its technical prowess, making investments this year to renew its Cisco Gold certification and Cisco Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture Specialization, while also adding a partnership with hologram technology vendor Proto.
Lenexa, Kan.-based Wachter has also developed TempWatch, a solution that combines facial recognition with thermal scanning for real-time temperature detection, as well as its NOVA (Nursing Observation and Virtual Assistant) patient monitoring system.
World Wide Technology
Top Executive: Jim Kavanaugh, Co-founder and CEO
With Kavanaugh at the helm, WWT is always pushing the IoT technology envelope, whether it’s digitally transforming the manufacturing floor or engineering solutions for safe return to school or work.
It helped mining firm Freeport-McMoRan harness big data by collecting information from its fleet of haul trucks to increase safety and optimize workflows at its mines around the world.
Meanwhile it teamed with Cisco to deploy the networking vendor’s Industrial Asset Vision offering for Bouchaine Vineyards to collect agricultural data and use it to optimize growing cycles, coordinate farm equipment and provide precise water measurements.