IT service providers are finding a role in health-related IoT system integration projects amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, Insight Enterprises, an integrator based in Tempe, Ariz., unveiled a wearable offering for contact tracing, collaborating with Microshare Inc., a Philadelphia company that provides IoT-based smart facilities offerings. Earlier this month, Accenture partnered with consumer goods manufacturer Unilever to create a connected air purifier, tested to protect against some bacteria and viruses.
The moves point to a trend that could help fuel the growth of IoT technology in 2021 and potentially open opportunities for more IT service providers. According to Forrester Research, a market research firm based in Cambridge, Mass., "demand for new [IoT] applications, technologies, and solutions will be driven by connected healthcare, smart offices, remote asset monitoring and location services."
Insight's contact tracing offering uses Bluetooth devices that employees wear as lanyards, badges or wrist bands. The sensor-equipped badges or bands record and transmit data when they are close to other wearable devices. Insight's Connect Platform, an IoT application, then analyzes the data collected from the wearable technology, an Insight spokesperson said. The platform brings together the sensor data in a dashboard for a single-pane-of-glass view.
In the contact tracing partnership, Microshare contributes its ability to ingest, sort and protect data. The company also provides its LoRaWAN gateways. LoRaWAN serves as the backhaul for the data, the spokesperson said. Microshare procures the Bluetooth and other IoT sensors on the open market.
Insight will sell the contact tracing offering to customers through its sales team. Insight and Microshare have pilot deployments underway, including one with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
Accenture, meanwhile, provided IoT and digital manufacturing platforms to Blueair, a Unilever brand that specializes in home and professional air purifiers. According to Accenture, its platforms helped Blueair launch its HealthProtect connected air purifier.
Accenture tapped the AWS cloud to create the IoT platform, which lets Blueair customers use a mobile app to remotely monitor and manage indoor air quality. The platform sends alerts to customers when filters need replacement and remotely debugs and updates an air purifier's firmware.
Blueair uses Accenture's digital manufacturing platform to automate the assembly and testing of its connected air purifiers. According to a Blueair statement, HealthProtect has been tested on Staphylococcus albus and MS2 bacteriophage, but not tested against the coronavirus.
Channel acquisitions continue
This week's channel M&A activity involved a mix of distributors, service providers and security specialists.
- In distribution, Platinum Equity agreed to purchase Ingram Micro from HNA Technology Co. China-based HNA disclosed its plan to acquire Ingram Micro for $6 billion in 2016. The new deal is valued at $7.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the first half of 2021.
- Leidos Holdings said it agreed to acquire 1901 Group, an MSP and cloud solutions provider based in Reston, Va. Leidos, an IT and engineering company also based in Reston, expects to fund the $215-million deal with cash on hand. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.
- Sysnet Global Solutions, a cybersecurity and compliance solutions provider based in Dublin, acquired Viking Cloud, which focuses on asset, event and compliance management. The company last week purchased the Managed Compliance Solutions division of ControlScan, a managed security services provider based in Atlanta.
NetApp readies cloud tool for MSPs
NetApp has added partners into its private preview of Cloud Analyzer MSP, which will be generally available in the first half of 2021, the company said.
Cloud Analyzer MSP, a Spot by NetApp technology, lets MSPs manage, bill and provide cost optimization and governance to thousands of customers from a unified platform, said Amiram Shachar, NetApp vice president and general manager of Spot by NetApp.
Other features include active capacity planning and compute provisioning through Spot instances, backed by a service-level agreement. MSPs can also use Cloud Analyzer MSP to define customer billing rules, so customers can see their costs based on pre-defined pricing agreements, discounts, refunds or credits, Shachar noted.
- AllCloud, a cloud professional services company, said it entered a strategic collaboration agreement with AWS. Under the multi-year agreement, the companies will work together to accelerate AWS adoption, focusing on new customers in the startup, ISV and enterprise segments.
- D&H Distributing, a distributor based in Harrisburg, Pa., launched a professional services offering, which includes integration services, managed services and project services. Tiffany Ward has been appointed as director of professional services. The initiative operates within D&H's Cloud and Services Business Unit, which is headed by Jason Bystrak.
- EY recently launched EY Diligence Edge, an AI platform to support the M&A due diligence process. EY Diligence Edge is hosted on IBM Cloud and supported by IBM Watson Discovery. The company said the tool ingests data room documents that outline finance, tax, operations and IT information, then uses IBM Watson Discovery's natural language process capabilities to search the documents. The tool aims to help transaction professionals make informed decisions throughout the transaction's lifecycle, according to EY.
- Cybersecurity systems, fire/carbon monoxide alarms, and 24-hour alarm/video monitoring systems are the three most commonly used security systems worldwide, according to a survey of 2,400 decision makers published by Stanley Security, a security solutions integrator based in Indianapolis.
- Vantiq, a low code platform provider based in San Francisco, said it created an innovation accelerator with consulting firm Infosys. The collaboration aims to help customers build real-time applications for managing digital supply chains.
- Agiloft, a contract and commerce lifecycle management vendor, redesigned its partner program to focus on a strategic set of reseller and systems integrator alliances. The company said it aims to triple its channel revenue as well as expand its reach into international market and industries such as financial services, healthcare and the public sector. The revamped program will be led by recently appointed vice president of global alliances and partnerships Elisabeth Bykoff and global alliance director Danielle Haugland.
- Calligo, a managed data services provider based in Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands, unveiled a machine learning as a service offering. The company said the service will let customers outsource the steps involved in preparing data for machine learning and avoid the cost of hiring a data science resource.
- RapidScale, a Cox Business company, launched a managed device-as-a-service offering, which provides laptops, Chromebooks, tablets and other devices for a monthly price over a fixed three-year term.
- Field Nation, a provider of a field service marketplace, introduced MarketSmart Insight, a tool to give MSPs information about field services jobs posted on its marketplace, the company said. More than 100,000 North American IT technicians are registered on Field Nation, according to the company.
- Axcient, a provider of business availability software for MSPs, released x360Recover Virtual Office. The new offering provides self-managed cloud disaster recovery technology, the company said.
- UJET, a contact-center-as-a-service provider, has entered a strategic partnership with technology services distributor Telarus.
- Syntax, a Montreal-based provider of cloud-managed ERP services, said it earned AWS Advanced Consulting Partner status.
- NClouds, an AWS and DevOps consulting firm and MSP, said it has been recertified as an AWS MSP Partner.
- SlashNext, a phishing defense services company, named Robert Amaral as its chief revenue officer. SlashNext said Amaral will aim to develop its channel and OEM sales strategy.
Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.
Additional reporting by Spencer Smith.