10 Hot Internet Of Things Certifications For Channel Partners

IoT Interest

Vendors are looking to strengthen their go-to market strategy around the Internet of Things by offering IoT certifications, specialty benefits and programs for channel partners.

While IoT was once a vague, broad term, more solution providers are beginning to understand the opportunities surrounding the market, but many are still wondering where to start and how to make money. Luckily for the channel, many vendors – including Intel, Microsoft, and IBM – want to help partners better understand the Internet of Things with marketing resources, use cases, and sales support.

Following are 10 programs and certifications that partners can use to broaden their IoT horizons.

Microsoft IoT Program

For Partners Who Want marketing and sales support around bringing Azure's data collection, monitoring and analytics capabilities to IoT solutions.

Microsoft's IoT program, formerly dubbed the "Red Carpet Program" and intended to be a pilot project, was recently broadened to a larger base of partners.

Partners who join the company's IoT program are listed in Microsoft’s IoT Partner Directory, and gain access to exclusive resources including engineering, marketing, and sales support. Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite, introduced in 2015, combines the best of Azure’s capabilities in a set of features specifically tailored to power the Internet of Things. The company said its Azure IoT Suite excels in data collection, reporting, monitoring and analysis.

Intel IoT Specialist Designation

For Partners Who Want to double down on developing end to end IoT solutions for vertical markets including retail, hospitality and food services.

In 2015, Intel launched a partner designation incentive for partners specializing in IoT, which offers eligible Gold and Platinum partners access to Intel technical specialists, vertical-specific resources, and professional development tools for formulating end-to-end solutions. Partners also gain access to solution-focused sales kits for digital signage, point of sale, content management, digital security, and industrial PC.

AWS IoT Competency

For Partners Who Want a way to navigate multiple vendors' technologies while deploying an end-to-end IoT solution with data analytics and edge computing.

AWS offers its Competency for IoT, Amazon's professional certification for specialized businesses. The competency aims to draw partners closer to AWS' IoT efforts with new business, technical and marketing efforts. IoT competency partners receive specialized differentiation from others with a dedicated brand and logo that they can use in their marketing materials, preferred access to market development funds and other resources. To become an IoT Competency Partner, solution providers need to provide use case-specific customer references and complete a third-party audit of their IoT solution or practice.

Cisco IoT Specialization

For Partners Who Want to double down on IoT in specific vertical markets or through operational technology.

Cisco offers three partners specializations - the Advanced IoT Connected Safety and Security specialization; the Advanced IoT Manufacturing specialization; and the Advanced IoT Industry Expert specialization – to help their partners double down on IoT across vertical markets. These certifications offer eligible partners the sales and technical training they need to double down on these lucrative areas for IoT.

Dell IoT Solutions Partner Program

For Partners Who Want to integrate Dell gateways and embedded PCs into full end-to-end differentiated IoT solutions.

Dell offers an entire solutions partner program for its channel, enabling technology and services providers, OEMs, developers and customers find the right tools to deploy IoT solutions. The program is multi-tiered, with executive, associate and registered partners – both technology providers and service providers. Depending on these tiers, partners in the program will receive increased market awareness, co-selling, joint marketing, case studies, access to Dell Global Solutions Centers and IoT Labs, and authorized use of Dell's IoT Solutions Partner logo.

Partners can integrate Dell's hardware – including edge gateways and embedded PCs – into full IoT solutions.

AT&T IoT Partner Program

For Partners Who Want to better understand the opportunities for the channel around devices, software and applications, platforms and services, and connectivity.

AT&T recently launched an IoT partner program, which the company says acts as a programmatic framework for its IoT technology providers, developers, solution providers and resellers.

Partners can align with AT&T to expand their market potential with IoT products through a traditional resale model, utilize AT&T branded products and services, and manage customer implementation and integration. Interested partners can work with an AT&T IoT specialist to set up their account and become active in the program.

IBM Watson IoT Partner Program

For Partners Who Want to build effective industry solutions that go beyond mere connectivity to include data analytics services.

IBM works with reseller and system integrator partners to deploy Internet of Things solutions through its Watson IoT partner program. The company works with a variety of partners, including Capgemini, Deloitte, and Infysys – but IBM's partner program also offers resources to help the channel determine the various roles it can play across the IoT value chain. Partners will receive access to use cases, industry solution development, and engagement within specific domains and industry settings. Through IBM, partners can work with the vendor to create their own "IoT recipes" and help their customers get onboard an IoT solution faster.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform For The IoT

For Partners Who Want to extend their existing support of the SAP HANA platform to address the needs of IoT applications.

SAP supports partner solutions on top of its own offerings, including edge computing, connectivity management, device management, dashboarding, and analytics and predictive computing. SAP offers an IoT foundation bundle for SAP HANA, enabling existing partners who offer the SAP HANA platform to extend their offerings to include IoT data management, big data analysis and IoT device connectivity management. SAP also offers an IoT intelligent edge processing bundle for SAP HANA, so partners can tap into edge computing capabilities as part of IoT.

GE Digital Predix Program

For Partners Who Want to double down on industrial IoT solutions.

GE wants its partners to double down on IoT through its Predix industrial IoT program. The program offers Predix as the building block for new applications and to enhance industrial operations components such as maintenance, content development and asset management. Predix enables customers to analyze data generated by IoT sensors embedded in industrial equipment – but from a partner standpoint, resellers, ISVs and systems integrators can gain marketing, sales and technical benefits around IoT through GE's program.

PTC ThingWorx Marketplace

For Partners Who Want to validate product integration with PTC's ThingWorx platform.

The ThingWorx IoT platform is comprised of rapid application development functionality, connectivity, machine learning, augmented reality, and integration with device clouds. These capabilities deliver a comprehensive IoT technology stack that enables companies to connect assets, quickly create applications, and innovate new ways to capture and deliver value. Solution builders, for their part, can bring IoT solutions for their vertical customers, but they need the underlying IoT technology – such as connectivity, application development, and augmented reality – that PTC offers. PCT also offers pre-integrated products, extensions and starter kits for partners interested in IoT.