Channel's IoT Opportunities Aren't Hard to See

By Howard M. Cohen  |  Print this article Print
IoT opportunities for channel

COMMENTARY: Where the channel opportunities are in the Internet of things is an increasingly popular question, but the answer is really right in front of us.

Do you think for a moment we have enough bandwidth deployed in the world to accommodate 340 undecillion addressed items?  No? So where's that all going to come from? And who is going to sell and provision it?

To Infinity and Beyond

The visionaries who actually built the Internet in the first place, Vinton Cerf, Bob Metcalfe, Jon Postel and many others, foresaw this need way back in 1969 when they first launched Arpanet. 

The first step, and a huge opportunity for channel partners, comes from helping customers with their transition to becoming IPv6-enabled. This will require two substantial projects—the first to create a hybrid dual-stack network with both IPv4 and IPv6, and the second to complete the transition completely over to IPv6 alone. But that's just the first step.

Indeed, 340 undecillion is about as close to an infinite number as most of us have ever encountered. At each of those addresses is an endpoint. It may be a computer, or at least a virtual machine. It may be a toaster oven, a sensor or a life-saving medical device, or any of a large number of other devices. Whatever it is, it will keep channel partners very profitably busy for years to come. Welcome to the Internet of things—Channel Edition.

Howard M. Cohen is a 30-plus-year IT industry veteran who continues his commitment to the channel as a columnist and consultant.