AT&T: IoT, Mobility Presents A Tactical Way For Partners To Grow Their Business


Almost all enterprise executives have IoT initiatives on their roadmaps, so mobility is quickly turning into a growing source of revenue for the channel -- and for those partners willing to accept the challenge, according to executives from AT&T and Chicago-based master agent TBI.

The leaders told partners at The Channel Company's Xchange 2019 conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday that a full 98 percent of all enterprise executives have a plan for IoT.

And while many solution providers and MSPs haven't yet built mobility practices, it won't be a completely foreign concept for the majority of solution providers, said Rob Ayres, application sales executive for AT&T.

"With mobility and IoT, there's a huge correlation with things you’re already doing today, like SD-WAN and fail-over," Aryes said.

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[Related: The Channel Company CEO Bob Skelley: Public Cloud Is Having A Big Impact On Channel Landscape]

With an estimated 80 billion connected devices in the next five years, it's safe to say that IoT is a quickly-growing facet of mobility, Aryes said.

"IoT is a really great opportunity for everyone in the room," he stressed to the audience.

Wade Hoffman, CTO of Earthbend, a Sioux Falls, S.D.-based MSP that specializes in cloud contact center and hosted voice solutions, is offering IoT to its customers today in the form of video surveillance and secure access, as well as asset monitoring solutions.

"Unfortunately for reasons we see on the news, some of our nonprofit customers are starting to look at security and access control, but our solutions have led them into efficiencies as well," Hoffman said. "These customers are using our technology to do things like optimizing their energy spend."

As more devices become connected, the network that the channel has known for years is going to be extended, Hoffman said. "I think the idea of IoT is going to blur, and it's just going to be another node on a network."

IoT used cases are going to be super-powered by 5G thanks to much lower latency, said Joe Fizor, solution engineer for TBI.

For its part, AT&T's standards-based mobile 5G network is live today in certain areas of 12 cities for consumers and select businesses, including; Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio and Waco, Texas. The carrier expects to be live in parts of 19 cities by the middle of 2019, and has added Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose to the growing list.

The Dallas-based carrier is already helping the channel sell mobility and IoT. Specifically, AT&T has created use cases that partners can repeat, including fleet management, smart cities, and retail applications.

"Someone is going to have to install those 80 billion devices," and [mobility] is a great way for partners to make some money in terms of professional services," Aryes said.