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What Microsoft VP Rodney Clark Learned From 1,000 IoT Deployments

In an interview with CRN, Microsoft executive Rodney Clark talks about the biggest lessons his team has learned from more than 1,000 Internet of Things deployments the company has worked on, ranging in topic from new business models to security.

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Helping Partners Build Scalable Solutions

For the past several years, Rodney Clark has had a front-row seat at Microsoft to the way companies have been adopting Internet of Things solutions and what makes deployments actually work.

As the vice president of IoT and mixed reality sales at Microsoft, Clark said it recently occurred to him that while there has been a lot of discussions around the IoT market in general, there isn't enough talk about the real work that leads to successful projects. That prompted him to create an outline of the biggest lessons he's taken from more than 1,000 IoT deployments Microsoft has been involved with.

"For me, this conversation started with saying, 'What's actually happening, what are partners and customers actually going through, and how do we articulate this to the next partner, so that they don’t have to go through all of these things,'" Clark told CRN, speaking of the challenges associated with IoT.

Clark said he works with an ecosystem of more than 8,000 partners — ranging from system integrators to OEMs and software vendors — and helps them build devices, as well as edge and cloud solutions that include predictive maintenance and artificial intelligence applications, among other types of solutions.

Over the past few years, Clark said his role has transitioned from one that was focused on selling products to customers to one that is more collaborative and hands-on in nature.

"My role has changed from purely transactional to how we can help partners build a scalable solution and enable their profitability and success," he said.

What follows are some of Clark's top lessons from IoT deployments.

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