What does IIOT mean for instrumentation resellers?


APRIL, 2020


What is IIOT? Which service areas does it require?  Are any of these three models adequate to provide a turn-key solution for OEMs and end-users?  Join us as we explore the answers to these questions and more…

The current affiliate models for industrial channel sales partnerships include:

VAR – Value-Added Resellers
MSP – Managed Service Providers 
SI (systems integrators)

All of these models augment the marketing and support capabilities of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer).  We can compare the service areas for each on this chart:

Affiliate Model Service Areas

IIOT – The Future of Industrial Process Control

Distributed Control Systems have been around in one form or another since the 1960s.  Although they have since evolved from simple field device monitors into full production scheduling systems, they don’t currently take advantage of the cloud’s ability to leverage data for process optimization.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) goes beyond aggregation of sensors, and provides a layered modular architecture for industrial process control.  These layers are typically defined as:

Device Layer: the physical sensors

Network Layer: communication protocols, network buses, and other data transport methods

Service Layer: applications for aggregation and manipulation of data

Interface Layer: can refer to the display type (phone, tablet, monitor) and/or the user interface of the service layer

Interested In Working With Red Meters?

We are currently seeking partners to join us in empowering industrial processes.

Service Areas Specific to IIOT

Areas of expertise for IIOT will combine the full range of services that all three other channels provide like Design Consulting, Hardware, Installation, Automation, Support, and Security.  However, in addition to these, a partner will be needed who can provide development of Service Layer applications that transform real data from disparate systems into meaningful information.  

We’ll label a partner that includes the Service Layer in their full-service product offering an Interoperable Analytics and Optimization Manager or IAOM.

Without an IOAM partner, an OEM is not able to provide a turn-key solution to customers in the IIOT-driven future.  If the customer lacks the expertise or sophistication to tie everything together into actionable intelligence, then what the OEM has ultimately provided is a walled garden.  A single closed system in the process negates the benefit of IIOT, which is meant to eradicate informational silos.

What’s Lacking in Current Channel Partner Models?

Eventually, IIOT Network Layers will be standardized enough to allow for automatic detection of and negotiation with other compliant devices in the ecosystem.  However, customers will always have unique data needs, so the ability to customize the Service Layer is a skill required for IOAMs.  This requires engineering personnel who have experience in software architectures like REST and MQTT to allow the communication to be scalable as the system grows in complexity

Affiliate Model Service Areas (cont)

The benefits of a fully IIOT-enabled industrial application are phenomenal in scope.  Imagine sensors that not only send out a system alert when something significant occurs, but they drop a pin in the data visualizations (modeled by a cloud analytics platform), then send an artificial intelligence analysis of the event to the mobile phone of the Process Control Manager and an array of Technicians that all have a stake in that part of the process.  Sensors connected to increasingly sophisticated machine learning cloud servers will be in a position to make process optimization improvements on their own.

Because advancements are being made so quickly in today’s industrial world, those aligning themselves with partners must be flexible enough to adjust to technology improvements and rapid scale changes.  A short-sighted decision on partnerships can paint you into a corner, putting you at risk of being left behind as the forward-thinking operations being designed around IIOT grow at a dizzying speed.

If you are looking to offer instrumentation that enables IIOT, get it touch.

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