“Digital change is driving companies. What is needed now are tangible solutions and not digital lighthouse projects.” With these words Frank Haines, CSO of Logicalis GmbH, describes the challenges of digitization for companies. But also for innovation providers. Because: “Especially in mid-sized companies, decision-makers expect visible results.” This statement makes clear that the midmarket has had enough of digital foam beaters, 20-year-old innovation coaches and self-proclaimed change managers. It is no longer enough in 2018 to be able to hang a few buzzwords together and thus impress a rather irritated audience for the highest hourly rates.
How to find the best IoT-Provider for your needs!
On the other hand, there is no doubt that there are more disruptive innovations and extremely profitable technologies today than ever before. And there are definitely a confusingly large number of providers, start-ups and consultants who are more or less familiar with it. The urgent question that arises from this combination is how to find a provider who can turn these technologies into meaningful business improvements. Urgent because, according to Forrester Research, 60% of decision-makers in international companies are already using IoT-enabled applications or are planning to do so in the next two years – and selecting the right IoT platform and providers is often a challenge for the company. Say: Who can help me as an entrepreneur to improve my operating result and who only steals me time and money?
ONE: Listen to your own network. Word of mouth is the best decision support and much better than Google. Because via search engines you will not find the best provider, but the provider with the best SEO manager or, in case of doubt, the provider that invests most in SEO measures. The same applies to “trade journals” and far too many online magazines – unfortunately, articles too often turn out to be advertorials. This is all about who takes the most money in their hands, not who has the best solution. Trust your network.
TWO: If you are looking for a provider yourself, look not so much at the impressive graphics, but very closely at the completed projects of the potential partner. And don’t be afraid to ask. Was the project more than one of the popular show or test cases? Because the fact that there was a showcase does not mean that it was successful and that more of it remained than the logo of a renowned company in the customer area of the provider. Anyone who has built up a sensor network for Deutsche Bahn, on the other hand, can be considered trustworthy.
THREE: Are there any distributors who already have the potential provider’s solution in their program? Well-known system houses or globally active component suppliers can afford to put off their customers with an inadequate solution much less than a start-up. This means that there has probably already been very thorough testing here.
FOUR: Are there testimonials? Do you find praising words from a company representative on the homepage or in the very popular whitepapers? If so, ask yourself under what circumstances you would be willing to give up your name for another company. But probably only if you would have been satisfied with the performance.
FIVE: Pro tips: Ask your potential partner whether the hardware offered or to be used complies with SITA standards, for example, or what IP protection class it has. If you look into empty faces, you may prefer to keep looking. By the way: If your potential partner has completed IoT projects in which a works council was involved in the data protection review, then you are dealing with real professionals.
tldnr: If you are looking for an IoT provider, don’t let Buzz-Words impress you too easily. Ask in detail about completed projects and existing customers. Word of mouth always takes precedence over good search engine rankings.