Tag Archives: data

Internet of Everything: channel opportunity or over-hyped dead-end?

While the Internet of Everything (IoE) keeps cropping up in conversation amongst the vendor community, it’s not hard to spot the opportunities for the channel – not only in the proliferation of internet-connected smart devices, but in the cloud storage, processing, pipes and software needed to manage and enable the flow of data.

Take the example of IP-connected CCTV cameras – one of the first IoE technologies to come of age over the past two or three years thanks, in part, to growing public sector investment in town centre surveillance. It created demand for the cameras themselves; specific types of network attached storage (NAS); and even Big Data and facial recognition systems developed to enable better crowd control and security. The London Olympics also gave sales a massive shove. CONTEXT recorded unit sales growth of IP cameras at a whopping 430% from first half of 2012 to 2013 on the back of the Games.  In Europe as a whole the figure stood at 157.7%.

The stats from 1H 2013-2014 may seem underwhelming by comparison; -55% in the UK and just +6.4% in Europe, although this is more than likely because 2012-13 was such a special year. I’d predict the second half of 2014 or next year will see sales getting back into positive growth, especially with the rise in consumer demand for such systems.

Other opportunities exist in the “smart home” space with internet-connected TVs and audio equipment – not just in supplying these products for end users, but also the cloud storage and bandwidth needed to deliver content. Earlier this year the new 802.11ac standard was adopted, which will provide a major driver for upgrades as the IoE continues to demand ever greater bandwidth and faster access to data. There’s even a push coming from the healthcare industry – where gadgets like heart rate monitors and internet connected weighing scales are finding a new customer base amongst the elderly.

With this backdrop it’s easy for channel players to get carried away and jump on the first IoE bandwagon they can find. But we’d advise caution.

Revenues will be linear so the need for education, training and associated services will be key to succeed in a very competitive environment with many new emerging vendors. If you can associate with the right vendors, there’ll be a great opportunity to capitalise on this new era in ICT. There may even be a chance there to reinvent yourself as a cloud-ready infrastructure or software and services channel player.

But the trick is in knowing which partnerships to foster and which to leave alone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Big data, Connectivity

Big data – still a challenge for CIOs?

Many companies, whether big or small have vast amount of data stored in traditional databases in-house or in public and private clouds, often without much knowledge around how much value this data has for:

  • increasing operational efficiencies
  • adding relevance to marketing towards more targeted audiences
  • understanding customers better in order to develop products and services more aligned with their demands and needs and hence improving relationships
  • gaining a competitive edge by better understanding trends and predicting market demands whilst preparing for their next strategic moves

CIOs already have a hard time storing and managing data in a way that is cost efficient, secure and accessible whenever required, as the scale of information to be stored has exponentially increased over the past years.

While public and private clouds have become an effective alternative to store “cold” data, companies need to ensure that both structured and unstructured data can be classified in terms of when and where it has left the network premises.

Against a backdrop of vast amounts of data, many companies are still faced with the challenge of being able to query the data as well as selecting big data hardware and software that will deliver insightful information.

Many CIOs are currently anxious about moving data to the cloud due to the costs associated, the challenges of choosing adequate partners, questions over security and reliable access to this data.

However, there are a number of vendors that offer approaches to helping companies take the first steps.

DELL amongst others are shifting towards tiered storage and flash technologies, closer to the processing units (servers), analysing what data should be stored where so it can be efficiently utilised and in a rapid manner in big data applications.

HP, for example, is also working closely with its customers, by supporting them in their projects with tools and technology, resources and software to test, evaluate and validate big data uses and scenarios.

There are also a number of companies, specialised in big data and dedicated to certain industries and applications, with tools and data scientists capable of taking on data, analysing it, querying it and according to requirements providing insights into that data.

However for many CIOs these companies are still to provide a blue print on how the process can be streamlined to their own applications in a costs effective way, besides other projects that may be more critical to them.

Big data management remains one of the technologies where one size does not fit all and is still very much a ‘personal’ case for the CIO and industry consultant who can guide their companies through a new area of aggregation, syndication and adoption of best practices.

Leave a comment

Filed under Big data