CRN's 2017 IoT Innovators Awards

The 2017 IoT Innovators Awards

The Internet of Things is beginning to truly take off as companies recognize the benefits of IoT solutions in terms of data insight, predictive maintenance and improved customer service.

But customers are still facing hurdles as they figure out how to integrate complex solutions while also taking security and return on investment into consideration – and that's where the channel comes in.

From systems integration to managed services, solution providers are key to filling in the gaps when it comes to helping customers set up and implement IoT projects. Solution providers with the necessary vertical market expertise and critical relationships with multiple vendors and customers are expressing interest in IoT, but some are taking it to the next level by successfully deploying solutions with their clients.

Here are the solution provider IoT superstars that have been named our 2017 IoT Innovators. You can also check out our IoT Innovators session during the IoT Connex Virtual event.

10th Magnitude

Top Executive: Alex Brown, CEO

10th Magnitude, a Chicago-based Microsoft IoT superstar partner, has been using a combination of Microsoft Azure analytics, security and application development expertise to help pull customers over the finish line with unique IoT projects.

The solution provider, for instance, worked with a major construction company to help it connect its industrial equipment and vehicles so it could centralize, analyze and visualize data from various assets.

Alvarez Technology Group

Top Executive: Luis Alvarez, President, CEO

Alvarez Technology Group is leading the IoT charge in the agriculture vertical by helping farmers connect their greenhouses and crop fields.

The Salinas, Calif.-based solution provider has been working with Netherlands-based Floricultura, which transports orchid seedlings to San Francisco to be grown in a greenhouse. The Microsoft, Cisco and Symantec partner has connected these greenhouses so that robots drop plants into larger cups as they grow and then add more dirt.

Avid Solutions

Top Executive: Piercarlo Romano, President

Avid Solutions has taken the lead in focusing on the industrial segment, helping manufacturers connect their industrial control systems on the plant floor. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based solution provider works with vendors on the IT and industrial sides – including cloud-based offerings like GE Predix, PTC ThingWorx and IBM BlueMix.

The company has built up a team focused on manufacturing execution systems, IT systems and cybersecurity as it looks to help industrial companies fill in the gap between IT and operational technology.

BlueMetal, an Insight Enterprises Company

Top Executive: Kenneth Lamneck, CEO, Insight

BlueMetal, an Insight Enterprises company, uses Microsoft's technology, along with cloud-based, data-driven systems of connected devices, to deliver IoT solutions to customers in the health-care and financial services markets.

The Watertown, Mass.-based company recently utilized Microsoft's Azure IoT platform to improve vaccine management for medical manufacturer Weka Health, helping more people become protected against diseases through a ’smart refrigerator’ that tracks where vaccines go and whether they are expired.

CB Technologies

Top Executive: Kelly Ireland, Founder, CEO

CB Technologies has been pivoting its focus around strategic services, as opposed to transactional sales, to better tap into the Internet of Things.

As the Orange, Calif.-based company built up its IoT strategy, it began to hire engineers and interview customers to better understand their business challenges so it could better design and integrate IoT solutions. CB Technologies works with oil and gas, utilities and industrial clients to help them connect and monitor their assets.

Control Point

Top Executive: Jeff Murray, President

Control Point, a Scarborough, Maine-based company, is taking IoT to the industrial workplace by looking to better integrate IT into operational technology.

The solution provider is partnering with industrial heavyweights like Red Lion and LEC to help industrial companies connect their assets and collect and monitor the data that goes through those connected devices on the manufacturing floor.


Top Executive: John McKenna, CEO

ConvergeOne is placing big bets on IoT through acquisitions and partnerships. ConvergeOne recently worked with solution provider Rattle Tech to create a front-end app for the city of Ontario, so that citizens could track city landmarks or engage with business through coupons and notifications pushed out a few hundred feet from a storefront.

The company in 2015 also acquired Sigmanet, a Cisco Gold partner and one of the largest IT consulting and managed service providers. Sigmanet has been working to plan, strategize and deploy solutions to digitize parts of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.


Top Executive: Jason Waldrop, CEO

CWPS prides itself on offering managed solutions that can help customers get started with IoT – from security to device integration into IT infrastructure to connected device remote management.

The company works with vendors including Microsoft, Cisco and Amazon Web Services to provide managed IoT solutions for customers. On the security front, the company uses Identity-as-a-Service to help companies authenticate and ID their IoT devices.

Dimension Data

Top Executive: Jason Goodall, CEO

Dimension Data works with partners such as Cisco to design, plan and implement innovative IoT solutions across multiple vertical markets.

One project that the company completed 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. 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.

Encon Mechanical

Top Executive: David Indursky, President

Encon Mechanical, a systems integrator focused on operational technology like HVAC systems, focuses on building automation and smart buildings. The company partners with technology giants such as Dell to help end users remotely control and monitor the data and systems in their buildings and facilities so they can, for example, automate and monitor the temperature.

Gray Matter Systems

Top Executive: James Gillespie, CEO

Gray Matter Systems, founded in 1991, works with various customers to consult, plan and implement connectivity solutions. The Pittsburgh-based solution provider works with vendors on the industrial side of IoT – including GE. Gray Matter Systems helps customers use IoT to cut costs, decrease downtime and streamline their operations.

The company worked with DC Water, for instance, to create a drinking fountain that monitors water quality and flow in real time, helping to save money on maintenance and water testing.

New Signature

Top Executive: Jeff Tench, CEO

New Signature, a Washington, D.C.-based solution provider, works with Microsoft to implement IoT projects across an array of vertical markets.

Those projects include one with The Hershey Company, in which the solution provider helped wire 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.


Top Executive: Paul Anderson, CEO

Novacoast wants to help customers secure their devices and data as IoT gains traction. The company provides full stack penetration testing for IoT products – from the device to the cloud services hosting the data coming from the device.

The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company, which works with companies such as Tenable, Symantec and Dell, also helps IoT customers with data security evaluation services and embedded code review.

Open Systems Technologies

Top Executive: Meredith Bronk, President, CEO

Open Systems Technologies, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based solution provider, has built out its IoT practice with a full suite that includes application development, data visualization tools and data analytics tools.

The solution provider has worked to implement IoT with an array of vertical market customers – for instance, it worked with truck manufacturer Navistar to connect more than 300,000 commercial vehicles, helping them track and ultimately lower vehicle downtime.

Rattle Tech

Top Executive: Wilfred Martis, CEO

Rattle Tech offers software development services for IoT.

The Altadena, Calif.-based company, for instance, worked with ConvergeOne and the city of Ontario to create a front-end app tailored for modern mobile users so that citizens can follow a digital docent around city landmarks or engage with business through coupons and notifications pushed out a few hundred feet from a storefront.

RedNight Consulting

Top Executive: Chris Ploessel, President

RedNight Consulting, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based managed service provider, is helping small-business owners understand IoT opportunities, particularly in the agriculture and manufacturing verticals.

The company has partnered with Amazon Web Services to create a branded Dash button for its customers. This IoT solution, currently in production, uses the AWS IoT platform and Amazon's Dash button to act as an IT support ’easy button,’ used so that customers can press it in various ways to determine the urgency of support needs.

Silicon East

Top Executive: Marc Harrison, President

Silicon East, a managed IT services provider located in Manalapan, N.J., is penetrating the IoT market by providing support and monitoring solutions to address security requirements and concerns in building automation applications.

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

Sturdy Networks

Top Executive: Tolga Tarhan, Chief Technology Officer

Sturdy Networks, a big Amazon Web Services partner based in Irvine, Calif., is leveraging its AWS IoT platform knowledge with its software, hardware and DevOps expertise to help customers implement IoT.

The company helps customers rapidly develop an IoT prototype through strategy sessions, providing a custom-built framework and end-to-end testing, and helping customers with security and monitoring. For instance, Sturdy Networks helped oilfield chemical manufacturer FRAC-CHEM build a custom IoT prototype to collect and transmit data so that it could improve quality and control costs.


Top Executive: Bacem Moussa, CEO

TSP, a Boston-based solution provider, is working to automate 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 IoT 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.


Top Executive: Matt Tyler, Director, IoT

Wachter, a Lenexa, Kan.-based solution provider working with IoT on both the IT and industrial side, is working with vendors such as Axis and Davra Networks to deploy IoT solutions.

The company recently worked with a large regional health-care provider to create a VPO patient monitoring software solution to give the hospital a complete virtual window into the patient's condition and status so it could reduce patient falls and injuries and enhance workflow efficiency. This solution used HD Video Cameras from Axis Communications, HD Audio from Cisco, Emergency Notification technology from Singlewire and hardened gateways and workstations from Dell.


Top Executive: Jim Kavanaugh, CEO

World Wide Technology works to help customers deploy IoT through consultation services, as well as services around connectivity, secure communication and analytics.

The company most recently teamed up with Cisco and WWT's Asynchrony Labs to create an IoT solution for health-care organization Mercy Virtual. This solution helped the customer create a virtual hospital so it could reach more patients and collect more data in more locations -- from those in rural cooperative hospitals across the country to patients in their homes.


Top Executive: Firoz Lalji, CEO

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 customer to monitor and manage air conditioning, lighting and other building systems from wireless tablets so it can adjust the schedule to automatically turn off lights, for example.