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How to choose the right technology partner for your IoT products

Product development is an incredibly demanding, exacting process. Not only are there numerous opportunities for errors to crop up along the way, but years can pass before the first product is even introduced to the market. That process can be even more complex when you are introducing connectivity features to your product.

In the connected home and building market, continued growth represents an important opportunity for OEMs that develop devices, appliances, security and lighting to differentiate their products. But, with the expanding number of devices in the market, it will take domain expertise to help stand out.

The good news is that there is an easy way to minimize the inconvenience and potential missteps of this development process and ultimately further the success of your IoT products and services: identify technology partners.

Enlisting expert help can be a critical way to solve for challenges within a solution ecosystem. In fact, nearly all of the respondents to a recent survey, “Connected Home and Building Technology Trends,” identified partners as an important piece of their strategy. What’s more, companies consider technology partners with experience in data management as the highest potential value to them. As many as 60% of the survey respondents emphasized that partners with manufacturing expertise in connected devices are key to achieving their goals.

A diverse set of technology partners can greatly benefit global companies. So, what are the critical questions you should ask yourself in identifying the right partner for your IoT products and services?

What is the partner’s domain of expertise?

The options for technology partners are as vast as the number of connected systems available. And the success of your company and your collaboration depends on thorough research and a clear understanding of your potential partners’ domain of expertise, at both the functional and market sub-segment level.

That research shouldn’t rely solely on what the company shares with you. It’s important for you to explore online reviews if possible and arrange conversations with some of their current customers. Equally critical is to review the latest coverage of the company in the media. That alone can speak volumes about the authenticity of the company. You need a company that can deliver on its promises, so your search needs to be targeted yet thorough.

What is the partner’s global reach?

Whether or not your current plans for your company may involve international expansion, it is crucial to be prepared. A global technology partner typically makes the most sense, as you can start locally and then scale as needed. You wouldn’t want to spend all this time identifying a partner that won’t be able to accommodate your growing geographical needs down the road.

At the same time, a global company can also bring a more diverse workforce and broader perspectives into their work with you. This, in turn, can help to increase the effectiveness of your organization.

How compatible are your cultures?

In your search for technology partners, you will come across numerous companies that appear to have adequate domain expertise. However, what will truly set them apart will be taking a close look at their company culture and their values, and deciding if those are compatible with yours.

For example, if your company prioritizes flexibility and rapid response, ensure that you examine that in your potential relationship with a partner. After all, the cultural fit can be the guiding light for your business relationship with a partner.

The right partner, now — and in the future

As the connected home and building landscape continues to evolve, new opportunities for technology partners will arise for your business. Going through a thoughtful, thorough process of identifying the right partner is critical for any enterprise that wants to increase its capabilities and develop its resources with ease and efficiency.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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