Industry OEMs and Technology Partners: Working Together to Deliver Business Outcomes for Customers
I woke up this morning thinking, “Aren’t we lucky to be in this industry at such a fascinating time?” Gartner refers to it as the Nexus of Forces; IDC deems it the Third Platform (the first platform was mainframe and the second, client/server); and at Cisco we call it the Internet of Everything — the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. By whatever name it’s referenced, the upshot is there are tremendous implications for anyone doing business in today’s world. The technological capabilities made possible by this quantum digital shift are a game changer for those who provide IT solutions, those who apply them, and how they are used.
Empowered by the unprecedented possibilities of digitizing their businesses, customers are migrating from technology-based purchases to business outcome-based IT solutions. This transition requires IT vendors to re-imagine the ecosystem of companies required to build, deliver, integrate, and support these solutions. The ecosystem must ensure the business outcomes (cost reduction, margin expansion, revenue growth, etc.) are achieved, and needs to include solutions-focused Industry OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Specifically, I’m referring to Industry OEMs that build solutions like process control systems, medical devices, and plant floor systems, along with OT (operational technology) and IT integrators, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), consulting partners, and Value Added Resellers (VARs) among others. These new ecosystems are critical to delivering what customers are really looking for — not products; not services; but solutions that address their business needs.
The Digital Age of Business
Within the next five years, nearly three out of every four businesses will be digital or be preparing to become digital. However, many of these companies’ digital transformation efforts will fall short because they’re not looking to reinvent or re-imagine their business from top to bottom. In large part, this is due to not having the proper information and expertise advising key decisions. According to Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2015 and Beyond (published February 18, 2015), “by year-end 2016, 50 percent of digital transformation initiatives will be unmanageable due to lack of portfolio management skills, leading to a measurable lost market share.”
Becoming a digital business requires rethinking core business processes and implementing a foundation and intelligent infrastructure that combines security, mobility, cloud, social and analytic technologies. This is the fertile ground that IoE inhabits. Through the connectivity of people, processes, data, and things, companies will have the ability to harness massive amounts of data from the core to the edge of the network. New insights will be derived from analytics that make business decisions actionable in real time. Just think about it… shelves connected through the cloud will alert the supply chain when inventory is low; a proactive analytics-driven manufacturing operation that fixes problems before they occur on the factory floor. There are not only significant cost savings to be had, but major enhancements to employee safety, efficiency and productivity.
Cisco is the one company uniquely positioned to help customers move from traditional to digital and beyond with the assistance and collaboration of its ecosystem partners. The company has years of experience working with Industry OEMs, Integrators, VARs, buyers and influencers in the parallel value chains of operational technology and information technology. Through IoE, we are now leading the convergence of these value chains to deliver solutions that can be rapidly adapted and adopted across most industry sectors.
Call to Action
Opportunities for partnership with technology partners and Industry OEMs are greater than ever. Through a continuing collaboration and focus on delivering integrated solutions to our customers, the industry can and will avail itself of massive opportunities in the expanding digital age. When our consolidated efforts converge to meet customers’ needs, everyone wins — and that is what makes this an incredible time to be in this industry.
What do you think? Are you a partner, Industry OEM, Integrator or VAR that is looking for better partnership with Cisco or within your own ecosystem? What’s your strategy for solidifying and strengthening those connections? Are you taking full advantage of all that is available through IoE? I would like to hear your thoughts in the feedback section.
If you would like to learn more about partnering with Cisco, check out these sources: