Networking vendor Aeris launched its Neo Affiliate Program designed to deliver recurring revenue streams to Internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) partners. Under the no-cost program, IoT ecosystem partners, including device makers, distributors and solution providers, can integrate Neo, an online marketplace for IoT and M2M connectivity, into their offerings.
Launched in October 2014, the Neo online platform provides a connectivity solution in minutes and full functionality within a day, and because Neo is an online platform, Aeris can reduce connectivity costs by 50 percent or more compared with other solutions, said Raj Kanaya, chief marketing officer, Aeris.
“Neo is the genesis of the partner program. We want to make buying M2M and IoT connectivity as simple as Amazon Web Services made it to buy computing,” Kanaya added.
Customers who are buying M2M devices and modules need to have them connected so it makes sense for the device makers or resellers to offer a connectivity option, said Kanaya. “It’s a win-win. It makes it easier for the customer, and it’s a value-add for our partners, enabling them to move from a product transaction to a recurring revenue stream. As we bill that customer on a monthly basis, they continue to participate in the revenue stream.”
Targeted partners include device manufacturers that sell cellular-capable IoT and M2M devices, distributors that resell IoT and M2M products, and solution providers that offer complete IoT or M2M offerings for a specific vertical market such as fleet, asset tracking and health care.
“Resellers and distributors are more interested in how they are able to participate economically in the M2M world beyond just selling product,” said Kanaya. Aeris also is open to white-label partnerships with distributors that help the resellers drive higher revenues and build ongoing customer relationships.
With the Neo Affiliate Program, partners can significantly simplify and speed up the M2M connectivity process for their IoT customers in two ways, the company said. Cellular connectivity is part of the solution that customers purchase, but it is the end customer’s responsibility to find the provider. Through the affiliate program, partners can integrate Neo into the buying process, providing an additional value to their customers, while providing connectivity within a day.
A standard sales and on-boarding process through mobile network operators offering M2M connectivity can be time-consuming and inefficient and can take weeks and months, said Kanaya.
In addition to receiving a portion of the monthly revenue for each customer who signs up for the service, partners receive data about their customers’ programs on a monthly basis that includes the amount of data usage, location, traffic patterns and other data points. However, customer-specific or confidential info will not be provided. “We anonymize that information around how a particular set of devices is being used. They find this to be very useful as they do their own product planning to understand how these devices are being used in the real world,” said Kanaya.
Neo initially targets small and midsize customers that are not being well-served by a sales model that is very slow and geared toward large customers, said Kanaya. However, like Amazon Web Services, Aeris believes large enterprises will also be interested in the Neo approach because “it’s fast and consistent.”
Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.