10 Solution Provider Superstars With The Coolest Applications For The Internet Of Things

IoT Channel Superstars

The Internet of Things is still a fairly new market, but already many solution providers are taking advantage of this new market.

For the channel, IoT solutions represent more than merely a one-time hardware sale – it gives solution providers a chance to customize solutions to help businesses become more efficient through the combination of sensors, networks, analytics software and data maintenance.

Solution providers excelling in the Internet of Things are honing in on their areas of vertical expertise – such as transportation, agriculture, or healthcare – and using IoT solutions to help customers solve particular problems. And this is leading to some of the technology industry's coolest IoT applications.

Following are 10 solution providers with some of the coolest IoT solutions out in the market today.

New Signature

CTO: Reed Wiedower

New Signature, a Washington, D.C.-based Microsoft partner, has flaunted its Internet of Things sweet spot by helping The Hershey Company wire its existing production equipment.

New Signature helped Hershey save hundreds of thousands of dollars, decrease waste, and create a leaner operation, through connecting its infrastructure so that popular candy – like licorice – could be tracked digitally for weight and other factors along every stage of the production and packaging processes. That data is sent from the machines to the Azure IoT Hub, into the cloud, and analyzed with Microsoft Stream Analytics.

New Signature holds a silver-level competency from Microsoft in data analytics and a gold-level competency in cloud platform and cloud productivity.

BlueMetal, An Insight Company

CEO: Ken Lamneck

BlueMetal, an Insight Enterprises company, most recently utilized Microsoft's Azure IoT platform to improve vaccine management for medical manufacturer Weka Health, helping more people be protected against diseases.

The 2016 Microsoft IoT Partner of the Year worked with a variety of vendors to pull the whole solution together – including Weka Health to create sensor-equipped refrigerators, and with Microsoft, which provided the Azure IoT software and the Microsoft Surface devices for end users for viewing and analyzing data.

"Sensors in the fridge talked to our software running on Raspberry Pi, a very small computer installed in the fridge and running Microsoft Azure – and tells [Azure] the current location, temperature, or whether anyone added a vaccine to the machine," Scott Jamison, VP of services at BlueMetal, told CRN. "We compile these telemetrics and send them to the cloud, and you can monitor the fridges from one dashboard."

Silicon East

President: Marc Harrison

Silicon East, a managed IT services provider located in Manalapan, N.J., wants to become a leader in the Internet of Things market in one critical area – security.

The company provides support and monitoring solutions, but hopes to extend those services to address security requirements and concerns in building automation applications.

Silicon East provides external support for different components of building automation devices – from the heating vent and air (HVAC) systems, to security and alarm systems. In addition to working with connected buildings, Silicon East is also working to educate both clients and other channel players about the vulnerabilities that IoT devices inherently possess – and the critical role solution providers play in this space.

"I don’t feel there will be anyone better equipped to plug in these devices than us, as the solution providers," president Marc Harrison said.


CEO: Bacem Moussa

TSP, a Boston-based solution provider, is best known for its Apple expertise. But when the Apple partner isn't consulting clients about Macs, iPads and iPhones, it's working in a completely different space – high-end luxury homes, particularly in Iceland.

TSP has been working in the building automation space for about five years and works with both commercial buildings and luxury homes to implement Internet of Things services. The company sells three-year contracts for home automation implementation and services – including designing the connected system, and implementing various components and devices.

Beyond luxury homes, TSP also designs and implements building automation solutions for commercial buildings, such as smart conferencing and surveillance systems.

Alvarez Technology Group

CEO: Luis Alvarez

Because Alvarez Technology Group's business is located in Salinas, California, where many agricultural businesses operate, CEO Luis Alvarez has been able to use IoT solutions to solve algricultural industry issues such as asset monitoring and operational efficiencies.

For example, the solution provider has been working with Netherlands-based Floricultura, which transports orchid seedlings to San Francisco to be grown in a greenhouse.

The solution provider has connected the greenhouse so that robots drop plants into larger cups as they grow and add more dirt – a process that Alvarez said is completely automated and controlled at the back end.

On the services side of IoT, Alvarez Technology Group then has managed services contracts with companies to make sure the solutions are fully maintained.


CEO: Firoz Lalji

Zones, a Cisco partner that specializes in vertical industries such as manufacturing and transportation, showed off its IoT expertise through a building automation project with client Transwestern and Metropolis Investment.

Auburn, Wash.-based Zones worked with the privately-held real estate firm to install Cisco routers and switches, Cisco Aironet wireless access points and wireless control systems, and Cisco's video surveillance manager and physical access control manager technology into the building.

The IoT solutions enabled the client to monitor and manage air conditioning, lighting, and other building systems from wireless tablets – so they can adjust the schedule to automatically turn off lights.


CEO: Ahmed Al-Khatib

Sigmanet has been working over the past 18 months to plan, strategize and deploy solutions to digitize parts of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

This solution, which utilizes cameras to track people on the trail, will help city officials set up a dual surveillance system that enables the city to accurately measure the number of trail users and analyze that data for transportation and safety applications.

The solution included Intel's Access Point tool to store, manage and distribute digital content, cameras from Bosch, as well as technology from Cisco and CradlePoint.

Dimension Data

CEO: Brett William Dawson

Dimension Data used sensor, networks and data analytics tools to protect endangered rhinoceroses in South Africa. Dimension Data worked with Cisco to design and deploy the Connected Conservation project, which is aimed at protecting rhinoceroses in an unnamed private game reserve.

As part of the Internet of Things solution, Dimension Data first worked with Cisco to gather information from game rangers, security personnel and control center teams – and then create a secure Reserve Area Network and install Wi-Fi hotspots around key points in the reserve. The two companies also worked to incorporate drones with infrared cameras, thermal imaging, vehicle tracking sensors and seismic sensors into the network.

While Cisco created the plan to build an IT infrastructure, Dimension Data brought its range of remote networking monitoring capabilities, as well as managed services, to the table.

GTS Technology Solutions

CEO: Laura Grant

GTS Technology Solutions, which works with government, education and private entity clients, specializes in rugged mobility and consultative services.

More recently, the company took its consultative approach to a smart city application, working with the city of San Antonio and Cradlepoint to scale up the city's traffic management system and meet high population growth through IoT functions.

GTS Technology Solutions helped San Antonio design the proof of concept for its smart city application and worked with various manufacturers to deploy cloud-managed COR IBR1100 LTE routers as the primary WAN source throughout the city's traffic management network.


CEO: Bob Cagnazzi

Presidio brought the Internet of Things to students with a connected school bus. The Intel partner worked with school districts, communities, and cities to find the right mix of legacy and new technologies to ensure school districts have a reliable, scalable foundation.

As part of the solution, Presidio added live video monitoring capabilities, Wi-Fi access for students, automatic vehicle location capabilities, and fleet management systems.

This IoT solution enabled monitoring and management functions for school buses, including real-time vehicle tracking for trend analysis purposes, instant alerts in case a school bus travels outside of a designated route or violates transportation policies, and connected services like integration with radio dispatch operations to improve responses to emergencies. Presidio used on-board network designs with Cisco's mobile routing platform and an Intel-based gateway, as well as a rugged Intel processor-based tablet for student tracking and driver information.