CRN Exclusive: Globetouch CEO Says Company Aims To Be The 'Airbnb Of Connectivity'

Globetouch is teaming up with telecom operator China Unicom and Chinese integrated communication service provider Net263 to help OEMs scale out their Internet of Things products globally.

The partnership comes as Globetouch looks to expand its channel and telecom partnerships to create a global IoT connectivity platform and eventually become the "Airbnb of connectivity," CEO Riccardo Di Blasio told CRN.

"We signed this triumvirate to help continue to scale out our platform ... we want to use a new model to help OEMs provide global coverage and connectivity for their Internet of Things devices," he said.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: IoT Company Globetouch Hires Riccardo Di Blasio, A Former VMware Sales Exec, As CEO]

Oakland, Calif.-based Globetouch, founded in 2014, uses this "new mode" to offer IoT connectivity solutions in conjunction with network operators for enterprises, operators and connected device OEMs.

Di Blasio said that in the "old model" of global IoT device coverage, OEMs needed to work and integrate with multiple network operators – all of which have their own platform – while bringing connected products to market.

When launching connected cars and other products on a global scale, OEMs' go-to-market strategies can take "up to years" to come to fruition as they need to comply with various market and operator requirements. For instance, Di Blasio said, OEMs would need to understand the technical differences between SIM cards for connected cars from various countries.

"Enterprise OEMs want connectivity with value-added services on top … they want their own platform, as opposed to having to essentially rent from different telecom providers around the world," he said.

As part of its channel push, Globetouch has sought to work with telecom providers to help OEMs scale their businesses to new countries – and the deal with China Unicom further increases the global connectivity platform from the company.

In the past few months, Globetouch has also paired up with Verizon Telematics to help General Motors expand its OnStar services for connected cars.

Through the partnership, Globetouch's GControl platform will integrate with OnStar to boost General Motors' connected car efforts and Verizon Telematics can bring more scale and network expertise to the table.

The company's flagship offerings include connectivity product GConnect and management solution GControl, which is built on a cloud SIM scalable architecture. Globetouch also offers an IoT analytics and orchestration tool, GFusion.

Former VMWare executive DiBlasio was hired as CEO at Globetouch in April. The executive told CRN he hopes to focus on scaling Globetouch's business and reaching new key customers in the IoT market.

Moving forward, Di Blasio said he hopes to continue to build out Globetouch's IoT platform for the future, as well as make acquisitions around IoT services and solutions for OEMs building connected products.

"We're coming from something everyone discounts … everyone needs that commodity. Once we’re connecting these devices, like providing connectivity to cars, it's much easier to bundle tools and to remotely manage your fleet, or provide real-time analytics for fleet management," he said.

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