Companies looking to transform with IoT technologies are confronted by a complex and diverse supplier market. To address this change, suppliers are leveraging ecosystem partnerships to provide end-users with a one-stop-shop portfolio of hardware, software and services. These emerging IoT marketplaces not only simplify IoT solution creation and adoption, but they also facilitate supplier and buyer interactions ultimately creating open networks that encourage innovation.

“The IoT supplier landscape is scattered right now with a diverse array of companies offering a myriad of complex components and solutions,” said Ryan Harbison, research analyst at ABI Research. “IoT marketplaces are a response to this complexity designed to reduce the friction buyers face when adopting and implementing IoT solutions.”

To reduce the friction that enterprise developers encounter when developing IoT solutions, IoT marketplaces need to effectively address all components of the IoT value chain, said analysts at ABI Research. Some IoT marketplaces already offer all solution components, but many do not have comprehensive offerings. Suppliers are currently working to formalise and expand marketplace offerings and, in some cases, integrate them with resources and programs already in place to fully leverage existing relationships.

“IoT marketplaces allow suppliers to build an IoT offering centred around their core offerings,” noted Harbison. “These marketplaces are particularly effective when they are built around a single connection point, such as a platform or gateway, because that simplifies the work enterprise developers need to do on both the front and back end.”

For instance, ThingWorx successfully leveraged its platform alongside its partners’ expertise to offer a comprehensive supplier exchange. Aeris’ Neo Marketplace provides enterprises not only end-to-end IoT solutions, but also access to support services, APIs and network services tools. Dell, likewise, worked with its partner program to centre its end-to-end marketplace offerings on its IoT edge gateways. Companies like Libelium, Sierra Wireless and Telus offer solutions in the form of vertical-specific application development and solution kits aimed at enterprise developers. Other companies like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft currently limit their IoT Marketplace offerings to software solutions, but both are looking to integrate their existing program into a cohesive end-to-end IoT offering.

“Today’s IoT supplier base is vast, and finding a singular entity to navigate the technology and supplier choices is a challenge for both enterprises and end-users,” said Dan Shey, vice president and managing director at ABI Research. “These marketplaces are relatively new, with only a select few offering a full set of products and services to build fully integrated, end-to-end IoT solutions. But this channel will only continue to grow as suppliers seek to ‘take the complexity out of the possible.’”