Time for the Channel to Embrace Wearables?

By Gina Roos  |  Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: Although use cases for wearables in the enterprise are just emerging, the channel should start looking at these technologies and their potential.

"When we use the term wearables, many people have the propensity to think about devices like Fitbit, but there are other wearables like goggles, as an example," said Joseph Zaloker, director of technical marketing for distributor Arrow Electronics. 

Zaloker cites an example where a service technician using augmented-reality glasses could evaluate the performance of a piece of equipment, such as a HVAC unit, via streaming information about things like performance, functionality and connectivity. The technician could then perform maintenance and service functions through a series of hand gestures and swipes.

VARs and SIs should be looking at this technology in terms of how to apply it to the solutions currently being provided to end customers in specific segments, said Zaloker.

Although wearable applications for the enterprise are just now starting to emerge, channel partners should start to prepare for widespread adoption and re-evaluate their product and services portfolios, market watchers maintain.

The Salesforce survey revealed that 79 percent of respondents believe that wearables are or will be strategic to their company's future business success. In addition, 76 percent of current users report an improvement in their business performance since implementing wearable device technology.

In addition to developing use cases that make sense for enterprises, other challenges—such as device management, pushing out software updates, handling bring-your-own-wearables to work and security—need to be resolved, said Zaloker. Other potential issues include how to handle subscriptions or fees, he added.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, focuses on technology and the channel.