The Dynamics Behind Telit’s New CMO Pick, SAP’s Former VP Shawn Reynolds

By: James Brehm

In a surprising turn of events, Telit has brought SAP’s Shawn Reynolds onboard to act as its new CMO. In his new position, Reynolds will direct Telit’s global marketing strategy, manage brand awareness, and develop global programs for driving success of its IoT-related products and services. Jack Indekeu, Telit’s now-former CMO, has formally stepped down from his position and will remain in a reduced capacity to make sure that the transition occurs smoothly. Afterwards, he will move to the beach and spend his days surfing and generally living the life of a beach bum.

Although Reynolds was a key figure in the development of SAP’s go-to-market strategy and—as a former global VP and IoT marketing head—has accumulated an extensive amount of experience in executive-level and marketing leadership positions, Reynolds remains a surprising choice because his newly-previous company, SAP, is still establishing its IoT strategy.

If IoT were a playground—young and full of possibility—then SAP would be one of the lil ’un’s. In a young place, SAP is younger still. In the recent years that IoT began to mature, SAP noticed and formed the following goals several years ago: (1) to become a major seller of the “shovels & picks” of the data-and-services economy that will be built around IoT, (2) to become a major provider of the back-end infrastructure as-a-service needed to make M2M/IoT possible.

Outside of the IoT, SAP is a well-established market leader in enterprise applications and analytics software and a leading Cloud enterprise company, to boot. It’s the world’s third largest software company, and spanning dozens of industries internationally, had revenues totaling $23.7B in 2016. That’s 64 times Telit’s 2016 revenues which totaled $370M.

Telit isn’t small potatoes, either. Especially in the M2M/IoT space. One of the fastest growing M2M companies in the industry, Telit is also one of the world’s largest M2M module suppliers and is a global leader in IoT-enablement, offering a broad portfolio of products and services for customers. Currently transitioning from being a hardware-provider to being a solutions-provider, Telit takes a horizontal approach to maximize its presence in the IoT market and provides a one-stop-shop for modules, connectivity, and platforms for customers.

SAP and Telit are well-matched and have been collaborating for years on driving IoT-centered transformations. In May 2016, Telit and SAP announced a partnership to license and resell Telit’s deviceWISEIoT platform. With Telit’s connectivity management expertise and SAP’s HANA platform (which was first released in 2010) combined, the two companies expect to successfully operate across a variety of different verticals.

SAP’s and Telit’s being well-matched may not guarantee that Reynolds was made for this position, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.  In fact, the SAP-Telit partnership and Telit’s choice of Reynolds speaks to the IoT space, itself, in that it is just one connection among many likely and unlikely connections that are being formed between devices, ideas, corporations, and people. We are watching the ecosystem form--today. And as it takes and gives shape, equally, this is exactly what it looks like.

Questioned on his opinion of Telit, Reynolds responded optimistically saying that, together with their customers, Telit would be a reckonable force that would profoundly affect way the entire world lives, works, and plays. 

We agree, but remain curious to see how Reynolds handles his new position as CMO--a position that plants him decidedly deeper into the IoT-jungle. What will he grow and what fruit will it bear? Welcome to the Real IoT, Shawn!