The evolution of the technology industry has moved in the direction of streamlined service delivery, as exemplified by market leaders Amazon and Zappos, and is based on openness, transparency, and simplicity.
Following this trend, the market for machine-to-machine (M2M) / Internet of Things (IoT) communications is rapidly heading toward self-service, easy-to-manage, and low-cost cellular connectivity.
In the past, Value Added Resellers (VARs), Systems Integrators (SIs) and Distributors offering cellular connectivity as an option for embedded solutions had two choices either resell carrier plans or build out expensive wholesale operations. With the latter option being significantly less attractive, most channel partners have chosen to sell within the confines of the ever-changing and inefficient carrier agency agreements.
While VARs and SIs are adept at designing custom solutions for hardware, software or multiple technology platforms, agency relationships cause confusion and often an element of friction as the end-user is required to sign a carrier agreement (with a commitment) or receives a separate bill for connectivity. Naturally, carriers are predisposed to protect the status quo. Controlling the sale and the ongoing relationship with the customer is core to their strategy and if the end-user experiences a little complexity and friction, then so be it. But much like with other internet advances, NEO, an open and transparent online marketplace for IoT and M2M connectivity, provides a choice. NEO simplifies the purchase model by providing an open and transparent online marketplace for IoT and M2M connectivity.
End-users can access coverage maps and package details, create an account and order SIMs online. If a fully branded solution is required, NEO can be white-labeled, and customized to support specific solutions.
Aeris believes that VARs and SIs are best positioned to manage the customer relationship and only by enabling frictionless sales through knowledgeable distribution can the full extent of the IOT be realized. We see the model changing, with channel partners at the center of the relationship; managing bundled solutions, with simple connectivity options that the end-user can control.
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Andy Greig is Vice President of Sales, North America, leading the Aeris SMB, enterprise and Neo teams in the U.S. He is responsible for building and executing go to market plans, strategy, forecasting and pricing.