I have been having lots of conversations about the future of value added resellers and systems integrators. Like Marc Andreessen’s comment that it’s all about the software, the reality is that many of the jobs that were about hardware installation and some vague proprietary configurator are now moving to the Web and the cloud.
A lot of this is about the fact that servers in the cloud are becoming more directly addressable. But a large piece is the realization that the value of the data on the edge is available and just needs to be properly managed.
Speaking with Scott Johnson and Rick Weyer about Devicify, they make the point that we need to focus not on the technology but on the processes. When they developed Devicify they saw a gap between the APIs associated with the platforms and the processes they were trying to manage. They came from the perspective of production and inventory management. Understanding the workflow they developed around the process. Now, this does not mean that they have every interface figured out. What it means is that the integrator or value added reseller has the responsibility of mapping out the information and making sure the data is available. Devicify is built on top of Salesforce.com (News - Alert) platform, so the expectation is that there is a built in channel.
This is similar to what Etherios (now part of Digi) did in M2M and is a trend that will continue to impact how the channel works.
So the role of the integrator is becoming a software story and more particularly a Web interface.
Perhaps this means that Web developers have an expanded role. That certainly is the overall the impact of HTML5 and the mobile Web we are heading toward.
In telecom the role of the Integrator has become particularly fluid. For decades the electronic key system resellers kept the local contacts. Now there is a void between those contacts and the Digium (News - Alert)/Freeswitch developers.
Perhaps the outsourced Web masters of today will be the channel for the integrator of the future.
I hear about this void in almost every channel market. The cloud-like weather matters most to the people it influences. So local matters.
Edited by Alisen Downey