2015 was a sea-change for the M2M connectivity market according to Jon-Paul Clarke, Business Development Director for Wireless Logic. During that period, the organisation witnessed a seismic shift as the reseller/unified comms market began the adoption process of M2M/IoT communication integration into their overall service proposition. “ It was a period of trials, a few errors and finally great successes as we saw more and more of the channel embrace the opportunities brought to market by all things M2M-based,” comments Jon-Paul Clarke.
For Wireless Logic, developing solid relationships with the channel was a key objective for the year and with well known names on board the marketing also targeted distributors such as Varlink. In partnership with O2, Varlink encouraged their own value-added resellers to integrate M2M/IoT airtime to create end-to-end solutions with hardware and application software at the core of their offering. With multiple business wins incorporating a range of mobile hardware solutions, Varlink opened their customers’ minds to deliver more comprehensive and revenue-generating solutions.
With 2015 over, Wireless Logic have taken stock and reflected in terms of their own ‘take to market’ strategy. Lessons learned included the need to provide ongoing knowledge training and close liaison at every stage of the enquiry, sale and ongoing support processes. As the M2M/IoT market evolves, so has the need for more complex solutions. Jon-Paul Clarke explains: “With higher bandwidth applications coupled with the dictates of secure and resilient platforms, gone are the days of simply placing a data SIM in a device and pressing go. Applications are becoming more feature-rich, data hungry, and integrated across multiple infrastructures. Consequently, the knowledge to devise suitable communication architectures often across a number of mobile networks has meant a generally more complicated sales process – and it will get harder as the demand for more intelligent and multi-tasking applications moves forward.” Thus for the year ahead, it is more vital for the channel to be empowered to manage more challenging requests and develop solutions that are fit-for purpose, cost-effective and manageable.
With Wireless Logic’s unique position that straddles solutions providers and mobile networks, 2016 will see the launch of the M2M Connections Partner Programme. Formalising strategic relationships with unified comms specialists and other value-added resellers, the partner programme will become a conduit to Wireless Logic’s complete range of connectivity and bolt-on services enabling the channel to take the most comprehensive IoT/M2M communications offering to market. Fundamental to the programme is access to the business development, technology support and customer services teams at Wireless Logic. With these teams a channel partner will have unrestricted open door access to the sector’s leading specialists who can advise, support and accompany on projects requiring appropriate levels of expertise to win business.
Key benefits include the channel being able to market high-end platforms and infrastructure that are all provided on an OPEX model. “The breadth and depth of solutions architecture now required for connectivity projects is cost-prohibitive to many end-users. As part of the M2M Connections Partner Programme customers will utilise the ‘SIMPro’ management platform and secure virtual private network ‘NetPro’. SIMPro is a portal that manages multiple network SIMs –provisioning, tariff management, access control and real-time visibility of data usage. And with NetPro, our multi-£m secure and resilient infrastructure with interconnects into all major MNOs. Importantly, there are no upfront costs enabling customers to manage their connectivity platforms on an OPEX basis.”
The partner programme is designed to enable resellers to market M2M/IoT with confidence. A key aspect will be on-going training for sales teams that will empower them to identify opportunities and commence initial discussions with potential customers. At this point, dependent on the complexity of the brief, Wireless Logic can be brought in to deliver a more consultative approach which is becoming more the norm as the technology and applications evolve. “It’s all about giving our partners the skills to open doors and confidence knowing that there’s a big team behind them to help develop the right proposal,” explains Jon-Paul Clarke. The programme will include structured training days as well as tele-support for day to day enquiries.
Monetisation of the M2M/IoT market is of course key to potential partners. The M2M Connections Partner Programme is designed to optimise revenue streams through ongoing revenue share and/or connection bonuses dependent upon the tariff model. End users can be charged via the reseller or directly through Wireless Logic with recurring commissions paid throughout the duration of the contract. Each deployment will be unique based upon the application’s requirement for data and ancillary services. But key will be the levels of usage/data traffic which with increased capacity through 3G/4G is growing year-on-year with resultant revenues increasing accordingly.
Additionally, on a case by case basis, the programme can also include a tailored incentive programme ‘SIMfinity’. “SIMfinity is designed to encourage sales teams to really get behind the M2M/IoT opportunity,” continues Jon-Paul Clarke. “As a motivational tool, we have used SIMfinity across a number of partnerships and is a great way to inspire people. The incentive programme can be tailored to integrate with existing commission schemes or as a standalone model.”
Core to becoming a M2M Connections Partner is for unified comms providers and resellers to broaden their portfolio of services. Within a world that is becoming more automated, it’s likely that many existing customers will at some point seek an IoT/M2M solution. The technology revolution is not limited to the ‘more traditional’ industrial applications. Enterprise is an important market for Wireless Logic and partners will also be able to leverage their latest solution offering with packaged hardware router and airtime for mobile broadband applications. “We want to put our partners on a journey that will have a massively positive impact on their business,” explains Wireless Logic’s Clarke. “With opportunities such as Enterprise, we firmly believe that existing business models for resellers will be reviewed as new revenue streams are created. But importantly, we know there’s still a ‘day job’ to be performed. That’s why we are in the wings to support and convert new opportunities alongside our partners, enabling you to focus on your core business activities, with minimal additional resource required.”
Wireless Logic now manages over 2M connected devices across the UK and Europe. With over 30 Mobile Network Operators and Satellite, the organisation is Europe’s leading M2M Managed Services Provider. The M2M Connections Partner Programme will not be limited to UK-based applications; partners will be able to offer a European and Global solutions in conjunction with Wireless Logic’s European offices.