The Internet of How: Recognize the need to partner.
Technical system architecture dictates a product’s location and how it can be used. Bluetooth connectivity serves as a prime example, providing an internet gateway via smartphones. However in the home space, Zigbee and Wi-fi make more sense because of their range and continuous access to power. System architecture determines an IoT fit from a technology standpoint.
Determining the scale of your product narrows the search for partners in the IoT space. Many of them sell their offering based on scale and price their business models accordingly.
Where you are within the product development process determines how IoT can support you. If your product itself is still in flux, it’s best to look for a smaller vendor with experience developing for a number of networking protocols. They tend to be more adept at using whatever technology is available to solve for your product’s value proposition. If you are concrete on product requirements and value, it’s more important to find an IoT platform vendor who can quickly scale and test your product in real world conditions.
Most IoT partner platforms include specific SDK’s and API’s to interact with their electronic hardware. More devices within your products ecosystem will require larger and more experienced vendors. As a starting point, interrogate their platform’s IoT API and SDK to see how their offering is structured as well as their flexibility in application.
Often overlooked, regionality is an important consideration to make when evaluating IoT platforms and partners. If your IoT product is set for global distribution, your IoT partners must bring devices online in other countries around the world, registering devices with each country’s communications groups and keeping compliance with any local regulations that may be in place.
By using this criteria you can locate a partner who best fulfills your needs in each category and fit within your organization’s skillset.
“The Internet of How” article series is co-authored by Mark Breneman, Bernardo Schorr, Tucker Fort and Tara Gupta Dabir.