It has been one year since the launch of the ST Partner Program at the 2017 Developers Conference, and we are proud to announce that we reached 173 partners. This means that we more than doubled the number of companies in our ecosystem. We also continue to add features such as the integration of our partners’ products and services within the ST product catalog available on the ST.com website. Moreover, we can announce that we will soon launch a tier system to help some partners stand out, while also allowing more companies to join our initiative by widening the types of eligible candidates. All these projects contribute to better serve our customers by granting them access to more solutions and ensuring that they can use our infrastructure to shine a spotlight on what they bring to the ST ecosystem.
A year into this project, we are glad to say that we are still finding new ways to collaborate with our partners to make it an increasingly pertinent and useful tool in our ecosystem. At its core, the ST Partner Program is a network of companies that offer a wide variety of solutions. Some partners bring software and hardware developments to startups such as pre-built modules, embedded systems, or design expertise. There are also cloud and engineering service providers to ensure a product comes to market faster, while other companies offer training and workshops.
For example, once startups finalize their prototypes with our STM32 ODE Open Development Environment, they have access to partners that can assist them to design their custom PCBs, mass produce their final design, or earn their wireless certifications for various markets. However, the ST Partner Program is not simply about what others can do for our customers, but what we can do for our partners.
One Partner for All
ST is one of the only companies in the industry to open its product pages to the members of its Partner Program to enable them to advertise their products, thus giving them an unparalleled platform. One such example is SensiEDGE, a company that assists startups in building proofs-of-concept by providing easy-to-use modules containing what they’ll need to prototype their idea. Among the products they offer, SensiBLE integrates an STM32L476 MCU, our SPBTLE-RF Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) module, as well as a plethora of ST components, from our accelerometer (LSM6DS3) to our VL53L0X, the world’s smallest time-of-flight sensor. SensiEDGE also relies on our STM32ODE Function Packs, such as the FP-SNS-ALLMEMS1, to enable access to a myriad of features, such as firmware over-the-air updates, sensor fusion algorithms, or the use of a mobile device with Bluetooth to interact with the sensors through our BlueMS iOS and Android app.
Thanks to the ST Partner Program, the various solutions from SensiEDGE are much more visible. For instance, all the product pages for our microcontrollers and sensors now have an Ecosystem section that shows a SensiBLE module, so engineers interested in building embedded systems can start with an all-in-one solution from our partner. As SensiEDGE told us:
“For a young company like SensiEdge, having access to the ST Partner Program brings tangible benefits. By working closely with the ST team, we’ve been able to grow at a much faster rate than anticipated and develop our product roadmap at lightning speed. The result is lower development costs and efforts, a better time to market – not to mention the marketing support from ST that is second to none. That allows SensiEdge engineers to focus on tough technical challenges, like squeezing more sensors into our products while keeping the same form factor!”
All ST Partners for One
The ST Partner Program also extends beyond our online portal to reach a physical presence during trade shows, events, and other offline initiatives. At Embedded World 2018, a conference that took place early in the year in Nuremberg, Germany, we had seven partners showcasing their products on our booth and 14 others with their stands, but advertising the ST Partner Program logo. These initiatives are crucial because attendees can quickly spot trustworthy companies that they know can advance their cause. As a result, we are continually working to reinforce our presence and join lesser-known events. We are also looking at new opportunities that would enable us to showcase our products and solutions at other conferences alongside the members of our program and expect to increase the visibility of our initiative.
Additionally, we are diversifying the types of cooperation we have with our partners. We held the first Partner Summit the day after our Developers Conference 2018 in Santa Clara, last month, to bring our community together and foster the dynamic relationships that bind each member together. That meant offering a deep dive and various presentations into our strategies, products, and applications with Q&A sessions as well as networking opportunities. It was also a great time to interface with members on a personal level to bring the attention and care that is so important in such a program. The operation was a success, and we can already announce that we will be renewing it in 2019.
The ST Partner and You
Beyond the effects of the Partner Program on its members, we also want to highlight the many ways this initiative continues to give back to those the community and potential new customers. For instance, Würth Electronik, one of our partners, is collaborating with us on a public workshop teaching design principles behind offline auxiliary power supplies. Similarly, working in collaboration with TomTom, another partner, we have been able to release the FP-ATR-TOMTOM1, a new STM32ODE Function Pack that quickly allows developers to integrate GPS tracking within their embedded systems, and that even offers teams the ability to use the TomTom APIs for free while they are developing their prototypes. Ultimately, the ST ecosystem continues to be greater than the sum of its parts, its ramifications extend way beyond what we initially thought possible, and it’s only the beginning.