Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT), a leading global technology distributor, today announced it is working with IBM to increase the development and deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the U.S., Europe and Canada. The two companies’ efforts will help customers develop IoT solutions built on the IBM Watson IoT Platform to help create new revenue streams and operational efficiencies. This collaboration is designed to help Avnet customers, ranging from original equipment manufacturers to solution providers, capitalize on the opportunities in the rapidly growing IoT market, which is estimated to account for more than $921 billion in technology spending in 2016. 
This collaboration builds on Avnet’s successful IoT development practices; for example, Avnet recently worked with SPICA Technologies to help create a smart cities IoT solution to improve water safety. This solution reduces the risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease by using connected devices attached to water pipes that provide real-time information and analysis on water temperature and flow, improving accuracy and reducing monitoring costs by up to 60 percent. Avnet played an important role in building this solution, bringing together the sensor components, IBM Core Middleware, IBM Enterprise analytics, and an IBM Cloud deployment to manage the data.
“Developing an IoT solution is incredibly complex and requires deep technical knowledge from a semiconductor level to advanced data analytics running in a data center,” said Patrick Zammit, president, Avnet Technology Solutions, Global. “Avnet and IBM joined together to simplify the development cycle at every stage and give our customers the power to unlock the potential of IoT.”
Avnet and IBM will provide customers with a wide range of resources from the edge to the enterprise to develop IoT solutions that effectively gather information, connect to the Internet, and securely manage and analyze data. These include:
- Availability of IBM applications critical to designing and managing IoT solutions, including IBM Watson IoT Platform, IBM Watson and IBM Cloud;
- IoT development platforms and kits that accelerate the ability to prototype IBM Bluemix-enabled IoT solutions;
- Create proof-of-concept solutions with Avnet’s highly experienced team, enabling Avnet’s 100,000 customers to deploy connected devices;
- Avnet data center and cloud solutions based on IBM Watson IoT Platform that provide analytics engines, asset management, data management tools, IoT Platform-as-a-Service capabilities (PaaS) and security;
- Access to the Avnet Cloud Marketplace, which features IBM Cloud infrastructure; IBM Software-as-a Service (SaaS) solutions related to cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security applications; and the ability to create branded storefronts;
- Solutions design, integration and assembly support services at its solutions centers in the Americas and EMEA;
- In-depth technical education and training through Avnet Academy on IBM Bluemix and IBM Watson IoT Platform.
Additionally, customers will be able to leverage the Avnet Visible Things evaluation and development reference platform, which will be on display at Embedded World next week. This initiative, driven by Avnet in EMEA, is a platform, built on IBM Watson IoT platform, designed for edge-to-enterprise IoT projects. It delivers hardware and embedded software to connect smart sensors to the Avnet Devicepoint service, which adds context to sensor information and loads it to an enterprise-strength core system. It then presents a set of business and integration services focused on analytics, cloud and mobile.
“IBM, alongside its vast network of clients and partners, is ushering in a new era of computing, extending the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors and systems that comprise the Internet of Things," said Harriet Green, general manager, Watson IoT, Education and Commerce, IBM. “Working together, Avnet and IBM can help clients further embrace the full promise of IoT using innovative technologies to uncover hidden patterns in data and act on them, to transform business and society alike.”
Avnet and IBM’s IoT collaboration will be showcased at InterConnect 2016, a premier cloud and mobile conference, being held February 21-25, 2016 in Las Vegas. At this show, Avnet will also demonstrate the SPICA Technologies smart cities IoT solution.
Avnet at 2016 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference
Avnet is an Ambassador-level sponsor of this year’s IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference at the Hilton Bonnet Creek hotel in Orlando, Fla., February 15-18. At this event, Avnet and IBM will also be celebrating their 30th anniversary of working together. Avnet and IBM have collaborated closely over the past three decades, helping business partners to grow in more than 40 countries around the world.
Additionally, Avnet presented “Digital Distribution” featuring Sergio Farache, senior vice president of Avnet’s Solutions and Strategy business unit in the Americas, at a breakout session during the conference. This session provided details on how business partners can leverage the Avnet Cloud Marketplace to accelerate and simplify the delivery of IoT “born in the cloud” solutions, IBM SaaS and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, third-party offerings and business partner intellectual property to customers.
 Source: IDC, Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast, 2015–2020, Doc#256397, May 2015