Considering Tech Data as a Supplier of IoT Solutions

Tech Data is a global provider of technology products, solutions, and services.  The company provides channel partners with the expertise and the market reach to help bring their products to market in an efficient way.  In the IoT space, Tech Data acts a solution aggregator, working with a variety of partners to bring comprehensive IoT solutions to market.  These solutions span several vertical markets, including industrial verticals such as manufacturing and energy, as well as logistics, healthcare, retail, and smart cities.  In addition to the pre-configured solutions Tech Data delivers, the company can also work with partners to develop custom proofs of concepts and solutions.  

Tech Data’s process to develop commercialized or custom solutions with partners and vendors are delivered through a methodology called The Solution Factory.  

In the Solution Factory, Tech Data works with ecosystem partners through the following steps to develop these solutions:

After this process is completed, the aggregated solution can be included in the Tech Data IoT and Analytics Solution Catalog. Tech Data offers three levels of solutions (referred to as starter, transformer, and accelerator) to partners, based on the technical expertise and industry acumen required to successfully deliver a given offering. The Solution Catalog lowers partners’ barriers to entry and speeds their time to market by delivering proven solutions focused on specific business outcomesto fulfill their customers’ needs.

The ability for a customer to leverage a pre-integrated and tested solution (or work with a trusted partner to develop one) offers a variety of benefits in terms of speed to market, cost reduction, and risk avoidance.   The intensive process Tech Data goes through to ensure each solution component works well together, can scale over time, and has security built in is required for any successful IoT project.  Customers that leverage these solutions remove the time it would take for them to go through each of these steps themselves, with no guarantee of success on the first try.  They also remove the cost associated with trial and error, and /or developing a solution that fails to scale.  Business risk is decreased by relying on a pre-tested solution, especially one that has been vetted for security throughout.

Tech Data enables partners to sell these solutions using their Practice Builder methodology (Figure 3, next page). Tech Data consultants leverage the methodology to maximize partners’ success.

The industrial market, and manufacturing in particular is a key area of focus for Tech Data.  The company offers a broad variety of IoT solutions across the entire value chain of manufacturing operations; a sampling of which is provided below:

Brownfield & Closed Equipment Monitoring

This solution allows customers to see the status of critical equipment on the production floor at a glance. A self-service no code/low code browser-based customization is offered to set up the monitoring solution quickly. A large library of devices and protocols to connect existing PLCs or add sensors to equipment is supported.   The solution works locally and can connect to a cloud service to monitor multiple production lines or plants, and to aggregate data for more complex analysis and modeling. Leveraging such a solution, customers can increase OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) and optimize operations.

Video Analytics for Worker Safety

This solution helps manufacturers and industrial companies address the challenge of worker safety by using video to monitor hazardous areas and prevent worker injuries by alerting for unauthorized access.   Workplace safety is not only important for ensuring the health and wellness of employees, but also the fact that on the job injuries and accidents can be very expensive to deal with and reduce overall productivity.

Smart Manufacturing

The IoT PREDICT solution uses smart sensors to gather vibration, temperature and power consumption data from the production line to troubleshoot production problems, enable predictive maintenance scheduling, and reduce production downtime. IoT PREDICT offering securely gathers extensive real-time data from the production floor to help manufacturers reduce downtime, improve OEE and deliver cost savings.

Smart Material Handling

This solution makes conveyors intelligent so they can communicate with other conveyors, robots, systems, and people around them. Utilizing rugged edge hardware, it immediately extracts conveyor speed, load, age, and temperature in real time to improve operations and machine longevity and to help create new data-based services revenue. Engineers and other personnel can now obtain real-time alerts and notifications remotely as well as visualize holistic conveyor-system health with user-friendly dashboards.

Advanced Asset Tracking

This solution features an asset management platform that allows organizations to stay connected to their assets 24/7.   The visibility the platform provides into asset and equipment fleets enables businesses to improve asset utilization, accelerate turn rates, optimize fleet sizes, and ultimately, drive greater customer satisfaction. Additionally, real-time location updates reduce time spent searching for assets.  Instead, customers gain the ability to automate yard checks, track and measure engine run time, time on site, and stops made—leading to more accurate preventive maintenance and usage billing.  The insights this solution delivers enables customers to remain nimble and make better decisions across the entire business.