Whether it’s Smart Home, Smart Office or Smart Building, IT resellers, distributors and integrators find their interest in smart building rising. It’s not only inspired by the decline of the PC—the IT industry naturally takes to any industry that moves to an IP-based backbone. Once an industry becomes digital and network-driven, the IT folks have an edge in constructing, integrating and maintaining the IP network. We interview the man in the center of this transition, Jan Nintemann, the head of The Center of Smart Building at CeBIT’s Planet Reseller.
Jan, tell us why Global Fairs TT-Messe created this initiative at CeBIT’s Planet Reseller?
For more than 15 years, we have had one of the most successful pavilions inside Planet Reseller, the trade-only area of CeBIT. There we have always brought new technology and new trends to resellers and distributors from across Europe and the Middle East.
For example, we were the first to bring in mobile technologies. Today we see that the IT channels need to find new profit areas, new ways to make business grow. Many interesting resellers like Vanti and Redstone in the UK have shown the way IT partners can get into smart building. Far more IT channel partners are now selling smart home and smart office. But they need to accelerate.
These channel partners are following the big IT players--like IBM, Cisco and Google—into Smart Building and Internet of Things. But we feel they need to meet even more new vendors and gain more insight into the opportunity. It’s the future…
Why CeBIT? And doesn’t CeBIT already cover smart building?
The industry likes to complain about CeBIT. They like to say that it “fell” after the peak in the dot.com business. But just like the dot.com business, CeBIT hasn’t disappeared. In fact, it has grown stronger in some ways, especially around the new digital world. With 200,000-plus visitors, it’s still by far the largest exhibition we have in Europe and it draws from all other the world. And it is the most important IT show in Germany, Europe’s largest market. You can’t help but make business at CeBIT…we see this each year across dozens and dozens of our own exhibitors who keep coming back. If a company has missed CeBIT in the last 10 years, they should come back and be profitably surprised. I would even argue that CeBIT—for channel partners-- is more effective at this size.
CeBIT indeed has smart building in other halls. What we have is the Planet Reseller environment, the area dedicated to distribution channels. Here we can talk openly and specifically about dealer and reseller programs, education, training and profit margins. We call it “The Center” because we believe all technology moves to the market in concentric circles with the distribution players in the center. Gartner once showed nearly 90% of technology sales start within this circle, and then goes out to end users in waves and ripples. The trade—the channel partners--are the very core and the center of technology sales and distribution.
What can visitors find at “The Center of Smart Building at CeBIT’s Planet Reseller”?
Technology, of course. We are recruiting interesting products and software that the channel can sell to make up for declining PC business. These exhibitors bring their knowledge to share and our pavilion offers a business meeting area (with food & drink) that encourages discussion. More than that, we can promise the channel partners important insight including research, case studies and expert advice.
We have started our own panel discussions with smart building industry leaders who will be live on stage at CRN TV inside Planet Reseller--and then on-line for the rest of the year. This is the only program in English on the stage and it is designed for an international audience of channel players. It’s free and you can hear great insight and advice. For example, a smart home expert, my friend Gunther Ohland from the Smart Home Initiative in Germany, is a great speaker and has so much knowledge to offer.
Visitors can pick up their Reseller’s Guide to Smart Building when they visit. We’ve commissioned this exclusive White Paper from Bob Snyder, Editor-in-Chief at Channel Media Europe, one of the top experts on this subject in Europe. On our behalf, he is also present on our pavilion for in-person discussion with any channel partner or partner that wants to discuss the market.
The Center of Smart Building at CeBIT’s Planet Reseller brings together experts, information, exhibits, and research in one place at one time so the IT channel can clearly see and grasp the smart building profit opportunity as it goes up.
Channel expert for IT, CE and Telecommunications, Jan Nintemann owns the trade fair project agency Global Fairs TT-Messe. He has been active in the fields of telecommunications, mobile, information technologies, consumer electronics (CE) and digital imaging for over 25 years now. He co-founded Nintemann Telecom, which today is “NT plus,” the telecommunications brand of ALSO Deutschland GmbH. For more than a decade, his pavilion has accurately reflected the trends significant for IT channel companies—and The Center of Smart Building at CeBIT’s Planet Reseller is his latest initiative.