A partnership this month between Austin-based ClearBlade and IT distribution giant Ingram Micro Canada could signal a change for the IoT industry, we believe. The detail of the deal is fairly straightforward: ClearBlade, which offers an Application Enablement Platform (AEP) for IoT applications, is adding Ingram Micro Canada to its roster of distribution partners.
“Ingram Micro’s experience and expertise enabled them to recognize the sophistication of our technology and interpret the benefits it could provide for their channel partners,” ClearBlade CEO Eric Simone said in a written statement to the Austin American-Statesman.
MachNation believes this is more than just another AEP distribution deal, though. So far, most of the agreements we have seen in the AEP space have been between developers and companies that already have a significant interest in the IoT market. That was the case with ClearBlade in June, when the company announced a partnership with advanced tracking software firm Nanotron.
With Ingram Micro, it’s a different story. Ingram Micro is one of the world’s biggest IT distributors. It has 155 distribution centers worldwide, represents more than 1,700 tech brands, and serves more than 200,000 customers in around 160 countries. Notably, too, it is a strong player in the small-to-medium-business IT space.
Over time, we think such collaborations, perhaps involving an increasing number of AEPs and IT distribution companies, will yield a growing range of pre-integrated, tested, end-to-end IoT solutions. This, in turn, could remove one of the big impediments to enterprise (and small enterprise) IoT adoption. Being able to buy a pre-packaged IoT system from Ingram Micro, rather than having to develop one from scratch, could be a major milestone on IoT’s path to mass adoption.
We think the massive channel capacity and procurement simplicity of IT distributors means they could be critical in helping to bring IoT to the masses. Based on this announcement from ClearBlade, it looks like IT distributors are starting to see things that way too.