Strong Partnerships Enable Internet of Things Solutions

With the Internet of Things (IoT) emerging from the buzz cycle, the proliferation of new innovations and lack of consistency in how the market is defined has resulted in a highly fragmented landscape. As a result, it can be almost paralyzing for end customers to navigate the many different platforms and solutions.

Dell is in a unique position to be the leader in enabling infrastructure for IoT solutions with our new intelligent edge gateways and embedded box PCs and broad portfolio of security and manageability tools, server, storage, and networking hardware, and data integration and analytics software.

“With Flutura using the new Dell Edge Gateway 5000 Series for Industrial IOT applications, a variety of parameters can be captured at the industrial edge in extreme conditions like pressure, vibrations, inclination of valves, flow counts, valve status, leakages etc. Flutura’s Cerebra Machine Learning Edge Intelligence will be loaded onto the software stack of the Dell Edge Gateways with autonomous spare parts refurbishment and work force automation via algorithmic signals giving engineering teams insights on mission critical assets like they have never seen before," said Rick Harlow, EVP & Head of Americas, Flutura Decision Sciences & Analytics. 

But the capabilities required for IoT are more than any one company can deliver – we firmly believe that independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators are a critical span in the bridge between the industry potential of IoT and real-world customer success.

So yesterday we formally launched the Dell IoT Solutions Partner Program for the advancement of IoT technologies. Our program is a global, multi-tiered network of technology providers that offer software qualified to run on Dell IoT hardware such as edge gateways in addition to leveraging the rest of Dell’s enabling portfolio. Our growing program currently includes 28 partners ranging from industry heavyweights such as GE, SAP, Software AG, Microsoft, OSIsoft, and ThingWorx to emerging startups building innovative solutions in various parts of the IoT stack.   

A curated ecosystem

Many partner programs are structured like traditional channel programs, in which partners pay more to be ranked in higher tiers and get preferential treatment and visibility. We think taking this approach for the IoT market would be a disservice to customers because of the current fragmentation.

Our program does have multiple tiers (Executive, Associate and Registered) but our partners are assigned based on a combination of alignment to our strategy, technology differentiation, go-to-market leadership, and a proven ability to deliver value-added IoT solutions to customers. Our goal with the program is to provide more clarity in partner choices for customer projects.

We have summarized the complex IoT landscape into the high-level solution categories shown below to help customers quickly understand how our partners address the overall solution stack. While our IoT alliance site is relatively simple today, we are building out advanced search functionality for customers and partners to use when investigating IoT solutions providers.  Look for more updates in the coming months.

Common challenges in the IoT market

In addition to getting market visibility through our program, our partners also appreciate our community approach to addressing the key challenges in the IoT market. For our first IoT partner roundtable, we gathered over 30 different ISVs for an open discussion about how to accelerate in the market.  

We found that data integration and security are among the top challenges, and our partners appreciate Dell for our global brand, reputation of delivering robust hardware solutions, and our long-standing credibility with IT departments as they look to bridge IT and OT organizations within their customer base.

Real-world use cases for the IoT

A great example of how partners work together is a pilot recently completed at Arrow Electronics’ Phoenix distribution warehouse where they were having difficulty figuring out how each of eight business units were consuming power. Arrow’s system integration division teamed up with a leading data historian provider OSIsoft and the edge data ingestion startup Wireless Glue to connect Modbus power meters to a Dell Edge Gateway at each sub-panel within the warehouse. This enabled them to see granular energy data and perform analytics to reduce energy spend, in addition to distributing the expenses fairly across the business units. They are now looking to take the solution across their warehouses globally. 

Another example of partnering to build IoT solutions is through our sponsorship of the INEX Lab in Massachusetts. Along with Analog Devices, partner program members ThingWorx and Flowthings, the team of INEX developers, and members of the local community, the lab is working to field-test, document and commercialize the most efficient and effective approaches to IoT for community small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) such as fisheries and farms. This is a great reflection of what the buzz word “IoT” represents − the inflection point where smart, connected systems become more accessible and bring value to businesses and communities of all sizes.

We have also launched an initiative to create open, standardized, and repeatable solutions with IoT solution blueprints to drive further clarity on IoT use cases and pulling together solutions.   

Invitation to investigate the program

Many IoT providers participate in multiple partner programs. Dell’s program is attractive for key reasons: the Dell brand, our IT credibility, our global presence and support, and our broad customer base.

"We are excited to be part of Dell’s IoT partnership ecosystem. relayr’s Industrial IoT solutions are enhanced by Dell’s hardware. I am tremendously proud working together with Dell to jointly enable success for our industrial companies all over the world," said Josef Brunner, relayr CEO.

We welcome our new partners and invite other IoT solution providers to check us out online at

About the Author: Jason Shepherd

Jason leads a team responsible for technology strategy, standardization, business model innovation and strategic ecosystem development within the Dell Technologies IoT and Edge Computing Solutions Division. His proven track record as a thought leader in the market is evidenced through his leadership building up the award-winning Dell IoT partner program and establishing the vendor-neutral, open source EdgeX Foundry project to facilitate greater interoperability at the IoT edge. Jason was recognized as one of the Top 100 Industrial IoT influencers of 2018 and currently sits on the board of LF Edge - an umbrella project of complimentary open source efforts facilitating open edge computing. He has spent his career at both Dell and tech startups in roles spanning CTO, engineering and marketing. He holds 14 granted and 13 pending US patents.