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Ingram Micro Vet Wants To Give VARs An Easy Way Into IoT

SensLynx, a vendor founded by Ingram Micro and Motorola vets, wants to give value-added resellers an easy and profitable way to get into the Internet of Things.

Mark Walker was starting to feel sour about GPS products.

As the president of Wireless Plus, a Nashville-based solution provider, Walker had been looking for a mix of fleet management and GPS solutions that would satisfy his public safety and commercial customers, but the vendors he tried "didn't have real good support and their products didn't hold up real well."

Walker was reluctant to keep looking until he was told to check out SensLynx, a small, emerging vendor that wants to give value-added resellers an easy and profitable way to get into the Internet of Things.

"I would have to say that working with SensLynx has been better than any GPS company I've ever worked with," Walker said.

[Related: Sophos Vets Launch AI Security Camera System For VARs, MSPs]

Founded in 2015 and based in Encinitas, Calif., SensLynx offers VARs and other kinds of resellers fleet tracking and asset management solutions through a new program called the GPS Management Accelerator Program. The solutions help companies in a variety of industries track their fleet vehicles for customer service, maintenance, fuel usage, employee management and other needs.

"I think they get a peace of mind of where their vehicles are supposed to be," Walker said. For example, the fleet tracking system can help customers provide customers an update on when a service vehicle is expected to arrive. The system can also be helpful for companies that bill customers based on mileage.

The new SensLynx program is meant to help ease VARs into the business of selling fleet tracking and asset management solutions with no upfront investment and provide them a new stream of recurring revenue.

Rob Garry, CEO of SensLynx, said initial success with VARs is important, which is why the company has an inside sales team that helps channel partners find warm leads, set up appointments and assist with presentations. The company provides partners with marketing material and website assistance as well.

But equally important is the ability to make it easy for channel partners to show off the technology. SensLynx gives partners a couple demo units with free cellular service so that they can install them in their vehicles and give real-time demonstrations to customers and prospects.

"We can provide them all the tools to start a business," said SensLynx CEO Rob Garry.

SensLynx provides channel partners revenue streams through the GPS hardware, which comes in a bundled solution, and a cellular subscription. For hardware sales, partners can expect margins anywhere from 35-75 percent, Garry said. For subscription sales, partners can bring in $6-10 a month per subscriber or vehicle. The business also provides revenue opportunities for services and installations.

When channel partners make sales on SensLynx's solutions, they earn points that can be used for various marketing resources, such as local demonstrations, telemarketing campaigns and email marketing campaigns, Garry said.

Walker of Wireless Plus said SensLynx's business model has allowed his company to make a decent margin.

"It's very competitive with everything else out there," he said.

One of the things Walker said he likes about SensLynx's hardware is that it can be easily hidden so that it can't be tampered with. The non-bulky nature of the hardware also means no external antennas that can be knocked off by accident.

The ability to track the location of vehicles and other assets also means Wireless Plus can help customers avoid problems that have happened in the past, such as stolen vehicles or equipment that was mistakenly left at a site, Walker said.

Tom Maguire, COO and CMO of SensLynx, said another benefit of the company's solution is that everything, both hardware and software, is bundled together so that VARs don't have to worry about integrating multiple point solutions together. This includes a web-based interface that gives customers a full view of their fleet.

The channel isn't new territory for the founders of SensLynx. Before starting the company, Garry spent 12 years as a VAR for Motorola, which included Radiowave Communications, a company that he founded and later merged with Day Wireless Systems in 1999. Garry then founded Mobile DataComm, a national distributor for Verizon that was acquired by Ingram Micro in 2007.

Maguire, Garry's co-founder, built his career spending years on the other side of the channel. He worked for Motorola, serving in general manager and global marketing director roles. He then went on to serve as vice president of global marketing, product planning and design at Kyocera Wireless Corp.

Garry and Maguire had first met while working at Motorola in 1988. After spending all those years on both sides of the channel with visibility into early IoT trends, the two realized that while plenty of VARs had the resources and capabilities to get into fleet tracking, they didn't have the right tools.

"When Rob and I started first looking at this, we thought fleet tracking would be pretty saturated at this point. It's really not the case," Maguire said.

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