(Note: This story was originally posted to CRN.com Sept. 1.)
The Internet of Things has caught up to managed service providers; in some cases it has caught them by surprise.
MSPs say the timeline for IoT adoption by customers has ramped up significantly, requiring them to be more proactive about their solution offerings.
Jason Waldrop, CEO of CWPS, said he’s heard the hype around IoT for years, but suddenly it seems like the technology has arrived to the channel.
“For the last four or five years, you’d go to Cisco Partner Summit, and there’s [John] Chambers on the main stage talking about IoT, and now [Chuck Robbins talking about] IoT, and how we’re going to make money at that,” said Waldrop. “Now, it feels like we better race to figure out what to do about IoT and get our practice together.”
Similarly, Dimension Data Director Lawrence Van Deusen said he underestimated how quickly customers would begin demanding IoT solutions.
“I remember thinking it was two to five years off and that clients would be in this kind of fact-finding, investigative mode where they were trying to identify what they should or shouldn’t be doing,” Deusen said. “Quite frankly, we’ve been surprised at the velocity of the opportunities as they are coming to us now.”
Waldrop said that now the challenge is to drill down into one or more specific verticals and excel in that space, with so many different opportunities to discover in the IoT space.
“Are we going to get really good at connected cities, and make that product? Are we going to do the physical security, or whatever it is,” he said. “We feel like we’re almost a little behind, and it came out of nowhere. From Chambers standing there saying it’s the next big thing, and me going, ‘OK, John,’ to now saying, 'Holy smokes, we’ve got to build a portfolio here.'”