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The AT&T Partner Exchange is adding self-service tools in the form of mobility APIs to help solution providers reduce the time they spend on daily activities. The company also introduced new IoT training certifications to help providers monetize opportunities in the burgeoning internet of things (IoT) space.

The Mobility API’s functions are designed to help solution providers increase the speed of their daily tasks and improve efficiency. New functionality includes a suspend/restore service (pause and restart), as well as customer information management for billing, reporting and inventory management under the subscriber profile. The customer plan management function enables providers to update rate plans, add new features and manage mobile share groups.

Sue Galvanek, vice president of marketing, pricing and product solutions at the AT&T Partner Exchange, said that 85 percent of a solution provider’s daily activities on the AT&T platform include account management, reporting and billing. The API platform enhances the automation capabilities for these business processes, which are likely to increase “speed, visibility, accuracy and control,” she added.

A Big Push to the IoT

For resellers that want to participate in the IoT space, which runs across industry sectors, a new IoT certification track provides solutions-based training for technologies and resources for IoT solutions. This certification track builds on the company’s April launch of several new IoT tools. These include “A Channel Executive’s Guide to IoT,” an IoT readiness assessment tool and an IoT starter kit.

To help kick-start the channel’s entry into the IoT solutions business, the AT&T Partner Exchange launched its IoT platform to the channel last year as part of its mobility platform. The AT&T Control Center gives channel partners the ability to “deploy, manage and scale” IoT solutions across different vertical markets.

The company will continue to launch new resources to help solution providers build their IoT skills to leverage these growing opportunities. IDC’s most recent research indicates that global spending on the IoT will grow 16.7 percent in 2017, surpassing $800 billion. This is forecast to climb to nearly $1.4 trillion by 2021 as more businesses invest in hardware, software, services and connectivity that enable the IoT.

A 2016 CompTIA IoT report finds that 36 percent of channel firm leaders believe that IT solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs) will profit the most from IoT initiatives. It is very likely that traditional solution providers and MSPs that want to embrace new IoT opportunities will look for vendors that can provide the skills, tools and resources needed to meet their customers’ demand for innovations that will drive business outcomes.