In recent years I have listened till the satiety about the importance of ecosystems to make the promises of the IoT come true and in some way for not to leave in bad position the analysts who have flooded us with their optimistic predictions.
All, or at least most of those who read my articles know that there is no company in the world, no matter how great it is, it can do everything in IoT. So, ecosystems are the key to successfully in this business.
The ecosystem allows to achieve a multiplier effect and a trusted environment.
Creating an IoT ecosystem either horizontal (technology) or vertical (industry) requires a lot of talent alliance managers able to maintain win-win transactions over the time.
Select an IoT ecosystem is not an easy task. In the IoT ecosystems there are fights between equals, also abuses usually produced from the big ones over the little ones. There are conflicts with companies that are in several ecosystems sometimes with contradictory interests. It is very usual how partners collide with the objectives of the ecosystem and you can imagine betrayals and back stabs.
In my post “The value of partnership in Industrial Internet of Things” and subsequent comments I presented several successful cases of collaboration among members of these ecosystems. But let's be honest, there are few references and examples after 4 years.
The fragility of Alliances in IoT is a challenge to accelerate adoption of IoT Ecosystem solutions.
In Harbor Research article “ Has Anyone Seen A Real Internet of Things Ecosystem?” ,dated November 2013, the analyst firm wrote that no really significant ecosystem or network of collaborators had emerged in the IoT arena in spite there was early and very interesting efforts being made by several players. We can thing that in 2013, these ecosystems were very emergent alliance developments and have had not attained the scale, scope and momentum we expect will be required to really drive this opportunity to its intended and expected scale. Most of the attempts thus far to drive an ecosystem advantage have failed to scale and reach critical mass. This just underscores how challenging building a high velocity network of partners can be.
In this article I will focus my analysis on 4 examples of IoT ecosystems that represent a big portion of the value chain in the multiple IoT submarkets: IoT Connectivity Provider, IoT Cloud Platform Vendor, IoT Professional Services and IoT Solution Aggregator.
Telefonica: IoT Connectivity Ecosystem - https://iot.telefonica.com/partners
One of my first attempts to monetize my IoT services was through the Telefonica IoT Solution Partners program. It was four years ago. At the beginning I received a couple of calls from the Operator to help me create my account and describe my services. We were many partners and although the Partners Search portal left a lot to be desired, I did not see much competition in my services and I thought that we would be the perfect accelerator for the ecosystem. I was wrong. Since I register, I have not received any invitation to participate in any event for partners, nor has anyone contacted me to request my services, nor have I needed the portal for contact any other partner (for that I already have my LinkedIn network).
How the hell are you going to find me as IoT Solution partner if Telefonica IoT web page does not offer a link to the partner search page ? and the use of this non update page is frustrating with duplicates names, closed companies, etc.
Telefonica identifies 3 types of Partners: Operators Alliances, Channel Partners and Solution Partners.
Operators Alliances: Telefonica is partnering with other Tier-1 telecom operators including the IoT World Alliance and other operators like China Unicom, Sunrise and Avea in order to provide IoT customers with the best, seamless services worldwide and lower costs.
Channel Partners: Telefonica enables partners to drive growth and differentiate their business by reselling their Global Managed IoT services. It helps to increase their capabilities, enabling deployment on a global scale, in particular in regions such as Europe and Latin America
Solution Partners: Telefonica Solution Partners ecosystem consists of a global network of IoT providers with functional or industrial expertise: IoT Device Providers, IoT System Integrators and IoT Industrial Experts.
I never liked the idea of Telefonica oriented to quantity (around 1000 partners including duplicate names and not updated list) instead of quality in Partners and I think the results have been and are very poor. Clearly a point to improve if they want the IoT to take off inside the Operator.
Talking with Telefonica IoT you quickly recognize that if you are not Microsoft, AWS, or similar unless you bring business to them you will never get business from them.
Telefonica does not lead any IoT ecosystem, neither geographically, nor industrially nor technologically. It is just one more logo (important of course) in many presentations of IoT vendors.
I can not understand of its win-win strategy and goto market regarding IoT platforms. In addition to its own platform, Telefonica appears as a partner of at least Microsoft Azure, PTC-Thingworx, SAG Cumulocity, AWS IoT, Cisco Jasper, Libelium, etc. Maybe they should select partners around ‘share of outcome’ rather than share of investment if they want to lead some ecosystem. Pecking is good for the birds.
Telefonica need an open-minded company culture to become comfortable with an ecosystem structure.
IoT Cloud Platform Vendor - Microsoft IoT Ecosystem
Having worked at Microsoft, I recognize that I have had the temptation to become an IoT partner. But also, because my business model is based on vendor independence my decision was to help other companies to enter in the MSFT IoT ecosystem
This year I was convinced that I needed to change my approach. But, instead of becoming a partner, I decided to convince other 2 Microsoft partners strong in complementary disciplines (Business Intelligence and Cloud) to create a specific area for IoT. I have not succeeded, which makes me think that despite the efforts and investment planned by Microsoft, Partners do not see IoT business clearly yet.
The list of Internet of Things Trusted Partners certified in Microsoft Azure Certified is impress and I recognize the effort of Microsoft building an IoT ecosystem that fuels business transformation. Without going further, the largest partnership with GE Predix and the partnership with PTC will help industry customers accelerate their digital transformations by adopting IoT.
In this case, finding an partner de Microsoft Azure IoT is easier than in the previous case. The categories of IoT partners for Microsoft are: Devices, Gateways, security, isv, network and telecommunication and system integrators.
By the way, no partner in Spain according with this web. ☹. Maybe is the right time to invest.
Microsoft is expert identifying, nurturing and managing partners and Azure IoT is a great opportunity to lead some IoT ecosystems.
IoT Professional Services - EY IoT Ecosystem
EY, otherwise known as Ernst and Young, is a leader in the IoT space. Not involved in the construction of devices themselves, EY is instead helping organisations navigate the largely unchartered waters of IoT.
While working in an engagement with EY IoT, I read a report developed by Forrester Research dated Oct/18, 2017 “Vendor Landscape: IoT Professional Services”. This report segments the landscape of IoT Professional Services firms, based on functional capabilities to help enterprises deploy IoT-enabled processes, vertical market focus, and geographic reach. Based on the service offerings, vertical capabilities, and characteristics of a broad array of professional services firms, Forrester has identified eight categories. The major players in the consulting firm segment include Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PWC because these strategic consulting firms combine strong business strategy capabilities with the ability to execute on digital transformation initiatives. The report clearly showed EY strong IoT capabilities across the globe. EY was also recognized as Internet of Things services leader by HFS Research.
For EY, initiatives like launch a global IoT/OT Security Lab to help clients stay ahead of emerging threats or to launch EY wavespace™, a global network of growth and innovation centers to help clients achieve radical breakthroughs is a way to demonstrate its strategic alliances like SAP, GE Digital, Microsoft, IBM or Cisco how important is to create an ecosystem with the firm. These technology vendors rely on EY to implement IoT solutions in large customers with a business-driven approach.
Do not expect EY or any of the consulting firms to lead any IoT ecosystem. Their role is to leverage their business strengths and client relationship to empower the ecosystems to which they belong
IoT Solution Aggregator - Tech Data IoT Ecosystem
Perhaps the most complex task I have done regarding advising of IoT ecosystems was with one of the largest IT distributors in the world, Tech Data. The challenge of balancing players like Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, IBM, Schneider or Vodafone with innovative startups in several industry verticals and different use cases without anyone feeling careless was very exciting.
To find a right place for Tech Data in the IoT value proposition schema, , was another challenge. It was great helping the company defining its role as an IoT Solution Aggregator and define which partners should be included for Tech Data IoT repeatable solutions.
Tech Data has been able to demonstrate how to become useful for IT and OT vendors and how provide value to existing and new channel of IIOT system Integrators worldwide.
I always have believed this approach could make easy for their small and medium end clients to adopt IoT solutions quickly.
I did not have time during my engagement with Tech Data to analyse and support the launch on new business models, but I am sure they will leverage its position to offer new services based on data aggregation.
Education, the latest products, support services, and firm footing in the B2B world put IoT Solution Integrators at the centre of the Internet of Things craze.
The IoT market is still in its early stage. Enterprises face many different options for IoT partners and suppliers. Choosing the right ecosystem is critical not only for a successful IoT project implementation but for the journey in their Digital Transformation.
IoT ecosystems need to understand that most industries thrive on "coopetition," it’s important to become cognizant and respectful of competitors, as they may also be your potential partners.
Just like with people, when it comes to IoT business, no two ecosystems are alike. We have been helping different type of companies to build or enter in the most suitable ecosystem. I have no doubt only the best ecosystems will survive; the challenge is to rank among so many. It is really a nightmare.
Ecosystems is hardly new but as rapidly evolving and if they are able to leverage the shared data and information from intelligent sensors, machines and assets, radical new modes of value creation will emerge.
Given my Telco background, it was logical that back in 2014, I published some of my first articles in my IoT Blog about the topic “IoT Connectivity” . I described how the optimist predictions of analysts and companies like Cisco or Ericsson, made the Machine to Machine (M2M) an attractive market to invest.
The fact that “Tata Communications have acquired mobility and Internet of Things specialist Teleena is a clear indication of the phenomenal growth rate in the global IoT connectivity market. “By 2021, enterprises’ spending on mobility alone is set to surpass USD 1.7 trillion,” said Anthony Bartolo, Chief Product Officer, Tata Communications. I hope to see Tata Communications/Teleena in the next Gartner´s Magic Quadrant for M2M Managed Services Worldwide.
There are still people who doubt that connectivity is a key component in the M2M/IoT Value Chain. Please remember without connectivity simply there is not IoT.
Obviously during these years many of my projects have been associated with IoT connectivity. From the analysis of M2M/IoT Service Providers to the conceptual design of end-to-end solutions where connectivity selection was a key component. One of the most interesting projects was the analysis that I made for the Telefonica project "IoT in a box". Without forget projects to compare LPWAN technologies, End to End Security, Identification of Uses cases for 5G. Sometimes also I had to sell IoT connectivity.
In the last years in the IoT connectivity market I have seen:
- Consolidation of the market like “KORE buys Wyless” or “Sierra Wireless, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Numerex Corp.”
- The appearance of companies like 1NCE, the first dedicated Tier 1, Narrowband IoT MVNO providing fast, secure and reliable network connectivity for low data B2B applications offering a set of optimized product features – such as an IoT flat rate and the first of its kind 'BUY ONCE' lifetime fee
- The still not bloody battle between LPWAN operators (SigFox, LoRA network operators, NB-IOT, LTE-M)
- Telco Vendors, Operators and Analysts talking about the promise of 5G
- New Wifi and Lifi IoT use cases
- IoT Security breaches
- Operators focus on key industries and use cases
- The partnership M2M/IOT Service Providers ecosystem evolution
- Agreements among M2M, MNO and Satellite operators.
- The lack of standards in the Smart Home connectivity
- The expectation for solve the real time connectivity challenges in Industry 4.0 and Edge Computing –
- Time Sensitive Networking Industry 4.0 use cases and test bed by IIC members
But in my opinion, enterprises still are confused and delaying their decisions to adopt IoT / IIOT because they need good advice about the right IoT connectivity not just the cheapest prices but easy integration or better customer support.
I want to remember again that I can help you in the selection of the right M2M /IoT Service Provider for your enterprise business requirements as a strategic decision.
IoT Connectivity - the ugly Duckling of IoT Network Operators
Telecoms operators’ more focused approach to bolstering their IoT businesses appears rooted in refining the technology inherent in their connectivity networks. And no wonder, The powerful GSMA has been helping Mobile Operators to define their role in IoT. At first sight, the best way for large telecoms operators generate value from the IoT might appear to be by providing connectivity via their networks. Additionally, they could leverage their vast experience in customer engagement, customer premise equipment (CPE) support and their robust, proven back-office systems by offering their OSS and BSS platforms externally to IoT users, using their OSS to provide users with a turnkey platform to manage their equipment proactively in real time, and their BSS to support the related billing requirements. In fact Global telcos set sights on IoT for growth in 2018.
Nevertheless, Analysys Mason, highlighted “Telcos have been working with the broader ecosystem, including developers, cloud players and hardware vendors this past year – all of which “should set the market up for an active 2018”.
Although many people think that IoT connectivity is or will become a commodity with little value for customers and along with the hardware will form the ugly ducklings of the value chain, IoT Network Operators should strive to demonstrate that IoT connectivity is vital for the global adoption of the IoT and seek to increase the income derived from its connectivity services with aspect like security and the contextual data value that their networks transport.
IoT Data is the new Oil also for IoT Network Operators
If connectivity seems doomed to play the role of ugly duckling, the data on the other hand see how its value increases and increases with each new technology.
How many times have we seen a presentation with the title "Data is the new Oil”? Even taught by me
Many Telcos are in process of Digital Transformation. The want to compete with the Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA) and avoid same situation lived with these Over the Top (OTT) vendors. IoT is giving them an opportunity to monetize the IoT data and convert their networks in pipelines of value.
IoT data is a new source of revenue without forget that will also produce incremental profit through operational productivity and efficiency.
The new stream of data coming from the physical world and the billions connected things are mostly transported by the IoT Network Operator´s networks and once these data is captured, the IoT Network Operators can monitor everything and feed their AI systems. Is then, when finally, IoT Network Operators can make a lot of money of IoT contextual data and aggregated data.
Can you imagine the opportunities leveraged by the connection of millions of devices and intelligent things over your IoT network? A vast amount of useful data generated by smart containers, smart home appliances, smart cities, connected cars, smart healthcare devices, or wearables, which for many businesses is an extremely valuable commercial tool. IoT Network Operators possess the capability of performing real-time data analytics on readily available data to determine product performance, improve customer experience and forecast network capacity, all of all which IoT-ready businesses could benefit from.
IoT connectivity is still at the core of all IoT Network Operators / M2M Service Providers. But some of them are implementing different strategies to capture more business of the IoT value chain. The idea of IoT connectivity will become a commodity with not added value is influencing the decision to invest in new IoT enabled networks (5G, LTE-M, NB-IoT).
It’s clear that there are some strong opportunities for IoT Network Operators / M2M Service Providers looking to capture the full potential of IoT, and it’s time that they open up their services to support companies from all sectors who are looking to employ IoT connectivity but also machine data intelligence as part of their business models in this IoT driven digital transformation.
Telcos offering IoT connectivity should look to monetise data and offer businesses unique insights that could potentially open doors to new revenue streams or even improve operational efficiencies.
If IoT business is about data and assets, Telcos need to shift from technology and connectivity to business value and creation of valued services.
Thanks in advance for your Likes and your Shares.
Iot and IIoT has made it a long way in the past several years. In fact, according to Forbes, trillions of dollars are at stake as the Industrial Internet of Things rolls out over the next decade. But, has the multi-tillion dollar trend lived up to the hype?
It could be many more years until certain industries reach the levels described in the hype. Here’s the industries you should keep your eye on when it comes to IIoT technology.
The Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT and IIoT, respectfully), widely encompasses many concepts, technologies, and products, but can generally be described as:
- A system that contains wired or wirelessly connected components which relay data that can be analyzed or used to control an output of the system
- A network that allows for automated information exchange between two devices
- A vision where any and all systems are connected to gather masses of data that will lead to overall improved performance, insights, and control
As of 2018, we most commonly see IoT being used for location tracking, remote monitoring, and preventative maintenance. Yet, for IIoT the most common application is preventative maintenance. Many of these IIoT systems report back to a control interface, and are not completely automated control loops that are self-evaluating or self-improving.
There are some industries in particular that stand out when looking at the IIoT. We looked at trends that will progress through the end of 2018 into 2019, and asked the following questions.
- What industries will be most affected by IoT solutions?
According to BI Intelligence, the ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Transportation and Warehousing’ industries have received the highest amount of investment in IoT to date. These investments, totaling $230B between the two industries over the past few years, will continue to drive impressive progress in the development of IoT solutions.
- Who will be the key players in IIoT Solutions in 2019?
We are currently witnessing a race to capture the IIoT market. AT&T is collaborating with Honeywell, Verizon offers a machine-to-machine (M2M) management platform called ThingSpace, and startups like Uptake Technologies are raising absurd amounts of capital to compete with existing analytics giants. Uptake alone has raised $218M since 2015, and specializes in analytics of complex data sets.
Nearly all of the corporate giants you would expect to have a stake in the race are putting serious resources behind their efforts. GE is offering Predix, and end-to-end Industrial IoT Platform, and has incorporated capabilities like Predix Edge to allow for edge computing within the platform. Siemens offers their own Industrial IoT platform called MindSphere, and Bosch is also getting in on the action now offering their IoT Suite publicly available on AWS Marketplace. Further, Schneider Electric developed WonderWare and SAP offers Hana.
We expect that through 2019 we will see more partnerships develop, offering cross compatibility between the many platforms which are available today.
- What further developments in IIoT can we expect in the near future?
Security will continue to be a major focus for all providers and users of the IIoT. In a recent publication Steve Watson, CEO of VTO Labs, explains “security and specifically the ability to detect compromised nodes, together with collecting and preserving evidences of an attack or malicious activities emerge as a priority in successful deployment of IoT networks.” This ability to detect and preserve evidence of a cyber-attack will not only need to occur through edge computing, but it will also need to be maintain its integrity with interoperability of different systems that are linked together.
Given the amount of investment we are seeing in the ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Transportation and Warehousing’ industries we expect to see many breakthroughs in both cyber security for the IIoT and interoperability between the many IIoT platforms. Looking into 2019 we can expect to see more partnerships between major sensor providers and network providers, such as the AT&T Honeywell collaboration we saw in 2018. With more interoperability and collaboration, 2019 may be the year that we see the major breakthroughs in IIoT we’ve been expecting.
Until recently, we knew unicorns were mythical creatures which made an appearance only in Greek literature, the Bible, and Marco Polo’s travels. While not a single unicorn was ever discovered in the real world, these days, we seem to be dealing with a whole bunch of them, especially when it comes to business.
Technology has played a crucial role in small and medium businesses, made startups fashionable. Today we have many unicorns trotting about the business landscape.
The unicorns are celebrated for their successes and business acumen. Essentially, a unicorn is a start-up that is valued over $1 billion. When you think of them, think about, AirBnB, Uber, Xiaomi or even Flipkart. These are the new set of businesses that have disrupted the market in their respected sphere. But companies rise and fall all the time, so one may be tempted to ask what is so magical about these creatures?
The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
Part of the charm lies in reinventing the business model. They find a better way to do business. It may be a new idea or an improvement over the existing one. They offer a vision; a glimpse of what the future may hold and have an intense desire to grow.
Fuelling these dreams through constant innovation and the ability to adapt quickly. Precisely where some of the giant falter. Large businesses are bogged by internal processes and complexities resulting in delayed decision-making, allowing a start-up to swoop in.
According to a study by CB Insights, there are around 175 unicorn companies globally.
The Unicorns and the Internet of Things
Many entrepreneurs have realized that IoT/IIOT technologies can level the playing field if they intend to dislodge industry giants. IoT Start-ups are looking to attract consumers or SMBs or large enterprises by increasingly relying on innovation on cloud and edge computing, IoT platforms, Artificial intelligence, IoT networks, IoT security or IoT devices. Advanced technology is a key differentiator but not the only one- A new business model to attract customers could also become the initiator of a new unicorn.
After five years of exploring the fragmented but rich universe of IoT startups, no new unicorn has yet appeared. The most promising startups have seen their light turned off behind the Tech and Industry Giants check books. Those who are still pursuing their dreams of being unicorns see that the market does not accompany and no longer rely on analysts' predictions.
With all this, we may not see any unicorn of IoT. However, if I had to bet on some startups then these are my suggestions.
The IoT Application Unicorn
My vote for the startup to become a unicorn in IoT Application category goes to: Uptake
Founded in 2014 by the CEO, Brad Keywell, that was also Co-Founder of Groupon, the company counts with a good number of investors. The company is stealing execs away from GE. (Uptake hiring several General Electric top digital executives) and have raised around $260 million since launching in 2014. Uptake was last valued at more than $2 billion, in fact, this startup is probably the first IoT unicorn. Uptake's revenue run-rate exceeds more than $100 million a year and future rounds of financing are expected.
LinkedIn profile: “Uptake helps industrial companies digitally transform with open, purpose-built software that delivers outcomes that matter. Built on a foundation of data science and machine learning, our vision is to create a world that always works — one where the machines and equipment we depend on daily don’t break, and industrial companies are once again the creators of economic growth and opportunity.”
WHY MY VOTE: Predictive analytics software is hot. The company sells to the mining, rail, energy, aviation, retail and construction industries and hopes to leverage data to improve safety, efficiency and productivity for their clients' operations. In spite his CEO has not accepted my LinkedIn invitation, no surprise to be honest, only 54% approve of CEO in glassdoor, the aggressive campaign against GE could launch the company this year. I like that his employees are sent directly to the field to observe fast hand the needs of its client base so they can really build software that solve real business problems.
ALSO FOLLOWING: FogHorn Systems a developer of “edge intelligence” software for industrial and commercial IoT applications..
The Hardware and Sensor Data platform Unicorn
My vote for the startup to become a unicorn in IoT hardware category goes to: Samsara
Samsara sells hardware and end-to-end solutions for fleet and industrial applications.
Samsara was founded in 2015 by CEO Sanjit Biswas and CTO John Bicket, who previously founded and led Meraki – a successful cloud networking company that was acquired by Cisco in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Samsara is based in San Francisco and was funded by Andreessen Horowitz (Raising $25M in funding). In May 2017, the startup announced that it had secured $40 million in a Series C funding round.
Sanjit Biswas, recognized that “They were definitely not the first to notice the technology trend behind the Internet of Things movement, but they realized no one was building products the way we did at Meraki, by combining hardware, software and cloud into an easy-to-use system”.
LinkedIn profile: “Samsara’s mission is to bring the benefits of sensor data to the organizations that drive our economy—from transportation and logistics to construction, food production, energy, and manufacturing—and to improve the safety, efficiency, and quality of their operations.”
WHY MY VOTE: Although not on this occasion his CEO accepted my invitation to LinkedIn, I like that Samsara disrupts the traditional sensor model with an integrated, software-centric solution. The products combine plug-and-play sensors, wireless connectivity, and rich cloud-hosted software, all tightly-integrated for simple deployment. Samsara is used by customers in a wide variety of industries, from transportation and logistics to energy and manufacturing. The company offers various solutions including fleet, ELD compliance, trailer, industrial, temperature, and power.
By focusing Samsara system for ease of use and streamlining deployments in the field, the teams were able to make several design choices that help them deliver a 10 times overall improvement over traditional solution. Samsara was in the list of “The 20 Fastest Growing IoT Companies” and is demonstrating is able to capture customers in the fleet management and logistics industry against Verizon. The challenge is growth globally not only in US.
ALSO FOLLOWING: Geotab
The IoT Connectivity Unicorn
My vote for the startup to become unicorn in IoT connectivity category goes to: SigFox
LinkedIn profile: Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in Labège near Toulouse, France’s “IoT Valley”. Sigfox provides connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible.
WHY MY VOTE: There are drastic limitations in the Sigfox global network. I could say that this will be the network of the stupid devices, but if they improve the network, ensure scalability, quality and security and allow interoperability with their competitors that will connect the most intelligent devices, then this startup will continue empowering companies to create new innovations on the IoT.
Sources announced that Sigfox is in peril as Senior Execs exit. The company has reacted but the pressure to growth in revenues and network deployment is high. Compete with the Telco Incumbents and the mighty powerful GSMA is a Hercules' own task. Some help from the French government and the EU will be appreciated, so the company can not be acquired. The Board and investors should guarantee the money the company need to comply with the high expectations of the market. In my opinion the window of opportunity is 2020. They have 2 years to demonstrate they can become the IoT-Connectivity unicorn.
The IoT -AI Platform Unicorn
My vote for the startup to become a unicorn in IoT/AI platform category goes to: C3IoT
I have written a lot about IoT platforms and I think that most startups will disappear in 3-5 years or they will never become a digi-unicorn. But there is a special case that can reach the end of the road. Mainly for who is behind, my old CEO Thomas Siebel.
LinkedIn profile: C3 IoT is an AI and IoT software platform provider for digital transformation. C3 IoT delivers a comprehensive and proven platform as a service (PaaS) for rapidly developing, deploying, and operating large-scale AI, predictive analytics, and IoT applications at scale for any enterprise value chain in any industry. At the core of the C3 IoT offering is the revolutionary C3 Type System—an extensible, model-driven AI architecture that dramatically enhances data scientist and application developer productivity. C3 IoT also offers configurable, high-value SaaS products for predictive maintenance, fraud detection, sensor network health, supply chain optimization, energy management, and customer engagement.
WHY MY VOTE: In January 17, 2018, the company announced a new round ($100 Million) of financing by existing investors TPG Growth, Breyer Capital, Sutter Hill, Pat House, and Thomas M. Siebel.
After the sale to Oracle of its CRM business, Tom, could with this new adventure, return to be relevant in the industry and I think he will not allow his new baby to be acquired. Not at least until he makes C3 IOT a unicorn.
ALSO FOLLOWING: The competition in the AI-powered industrial IoT sector is brutal, but the opportunity is big enough that the 10 startups highlighted here still have room to maneuver and time to scale up. I also keep an eye on them because one or more could well be the next unicorn in this hot market.
Not being a IoT unicorn is not a tragedy. Many companies that started in the M2M business or that have been born in the heat of the IoT are doing well. Their employees are happy and satisfied customers guarantee a long life.
In my post “Is it possible to democratize the Internet of Things? How to avoid that a handful of companies can dominate the IoT”, I pointed out the opinion of Ryan Lester (Director of IoT Strategy, Xively by LogMeIn company acquired by Google). Ryan alerted that IoT feels only achievable to those companies with unlimited resources to make it happen. Looks like, the facts have given him the reason.
Yes, I admit, I would like to see unicorns in IoT. I would also like startups not to be obsessed with this issue and not throw in the towel too soon. If they are acquired, their legacy is very likely to be lost soon and in exchange for money they will have lost the opportunity to contribute to changing the world with their unique innovation in IoT.
Thanks in advance for your Likes and your Shares.
Guest post by Ajit Jaokar
Recently, google launched a Dataset search – which is a great resource to find Datasets. In this post, I list some IoT datasets which can be used for Machine Learning or Deep Learning applications. But finding datasets is only part of the story. A static dataset for IoT is not enough i.e. some of the interesting analysis is in streaming mode. To create an end to end streaming implementation from a given dataset, we need knowledge of full stack skills. These are more complex (and in high demand). In this post, I hence describe the datasets but also a full stack implementation. An end to end flow implementation is described in the book Agile Data Science, 2.0 by Russell Jurney. I use this book in my teaching at the Data Science for Internet of Things course at the University of Oxford. I demonstrate the implementation from this book below. The views here represent my own.
In understanding an end to end application, the first problem is .. how to capture data from a wide range of IoT devices. The protocol used for this is typically MQTT. MQTT is lightweight IoT connectivity protocol. MQTT is publish-subscribe-based messaging protocol used in IoT applications to manage a large number of IoT devices who often have limited connectivity, bandwidth and power. MQTT integrates with Apache Kafka. Kafka provides high scalability, longer storage and easy integration to legacy systems. Apache Kafka is a highly scalable distributed streaming platform. Kafka ingests, stores, processes and forwards high volumes of data from thousands of IoT devices. (source Kai Waehner)
Full stack – End to End
Image source: Agile Data Science, 2.0 by Russell Jurney
We have the following components
Events: represents an occurrence with a relevant timestamp. Events can represent various things (ex logs from the server). In our case, they represent time series data from sensors typically represented as JSON objects
Collectors are event aggregators which collect events from various sources and queue them for action by real-time workers. Typically, Kafka or Azure event hub may be used at this stage.
Bulk storage – represents a file system capable of high I/O – for example S3 or HDFS
Distributed document store – ex MongoDB
A web application server – ex flask, Node.js
The data processing is done via spark. Pyspark is used for the Machine learning (either scikit learn or Sparl MLlib libraries) and the results are stored in MongoDB. Apache Airflow can be used for scheduling
from github repository of Agile Data Science, 2.0
The real-time notebook with Spark ML/Streaming : https://github.com/rjurney/Agile_Data_Code_2/blob/training/ch08/Deploying%20Predictive%20Systems.ipynb
Finally, below are some of the reference datasets you can use with IoT.
To conclude, using the strategy and code described here – you could in principle, create an end to end streaming IoT application.
Health and home activity
Source: for some of the datasets Deep Learning for IoT Big Data and Streaming Analytics: A Survey
This article origally appeared on our sister site Data Science Central.
Those who regularly read my articles know that I like movies and TV series. Just remember my article "About IoT Platforms, Super Powers Methodology, Superheroes and Supervillains".
This time my article is dedicated to the two trilogies: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World (the latter still pending the third movie).
Have not passed millions of years since the appearance of the first telemetry species and their evolved cousins of Machine to Machine (M2M.) But the tempo in technology is measured differently. The unit of time here has to do with Gartner Hype Cycle. For Gartner the technologies pass quickly from Innovation Trigger to Productivity. Companies that want to appear in Gartner´s Magic Quadrants have to adopt successfully these technologies or are condemned to disappear.
Large companies that have been in the IT world for more than 15 years seem like dinosaurs and they themselves are afraid of disappearing because of a meteorite (IoT metaphorically).
In this article I present some technology companies that we could consider as dinosaurs and that are undergoing a cloning (transformation) to adapt to the new world of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence(AI) or Blockchain.
As usual in this type of articles, the included companies and the classification is subjective. Therefore, not all dinosaurs are represented (47 species of cloned animals have been portrayed in the novels and films) nor all companies can feel be represented by the dinosaur that I have chosen for them.
Welcome to my Jurassic World of IoT.
The threats to these cloned dinosaurs are constant. Despite its size and strength many predators lurk to take down these giants (Uptake digital safe package over GE Digital).
Some species go in packs (Google and Ayla Networks or Microsoft and Electric Imp) to survive and others seek alliances with other cousins giants (Rockwell to take $1 billion stake in software maker PTC) the best way to reign in its territory.
There are also dinosaurs in the WestWorld of the Telcos and in the world of Industrial companies that are adapting or cloning, but that is another story.
Your comments and suggestions can vary my Jurassic World table of the IoT.
The textbook definition: Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices connected to each other. In layman’s term, any device or appliance that is connected to other such items via the internet or any such wireless network.
You must have watched in movies devices like smart mirrors that show weather and news, and touch screen car dashboards. These things are not fantasies anymore but present-day gadgets. IoT solutions aren't just for larger than life devices but also for normal appliances. You can convert your regular water faucet or AC into an IoT Compatible device with some simple adjustments.
There are some sensors and radio frequency tags that receive commands from your mobile or computer and follow the instructions accordingly. So you can sync your mobile’s alarm with your bathroom’s faucet so that after 15 minutes it will start heating water for your bath. And the fridge can send a message to your smartphone with the list of items running low like milk or eggs.
What is the IoT App Development?
The textbook definition: IoT App Development is an amalgamation of many different skills in the production and maintenance of app products like Native/Hybrid apps, web applications built to control consumer electronics, IoT devices. Simply said, IoT app development is the means by which we develop a platform where unconventional smart home Devices (toaster, doorbell, etc) communicate with conventional IoT devices (computer, smartphones, tablets).
If we are talking about IoT developers then, they are working to make other unprecedented objects also networking just like present-day mobile devices.
Present day IoT facts:
- In the year 2018, there are almost 2 billion individual devices across the world connected via IoT technology.
- It is projected that the IoT industry will become a whopping $3 trillion business by 2020.
- Back in 2008, there were more devices connected to the Internet than people.
- ATMs can be considered as some of the first IoT devices that went online back in 1974.
- The market for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, used for transmitting data to identify and track objects, is worth more than $11.1 billion.
IoT (Internet of Things) examples:
Smart Home, connected devices from bulbs, fans to TV and in some cases the entire house is Smarthome.
Business offices have adopted smart projectors, voice-enabled assistants (Alexa, Home Pod, Google Home) and other devices. Transportation has real-time responsive vehicle dashboards that warn you about traffic and even save lives by projecting possible accidents and warn the driver in the span of milliseconds. A groundbreaking example of this is the BMW i8.
The possibilities are endless with IoT web development. With more and more things joining the IoT club and that too the objects that could never have been imagined to become an Internet of Thing.
Advantages of IoT app development
Data is the currency of the future. So the more data you have, the richer you are. IoT devices like smart clothes can keep track of your skin condition and warn of possible skin conditions. This information can be sent to your dermatologists who can clearly understand your symptoms without making an error and give the right cure.
Time is the most invaluable thing; more for people who may be fighting a life or death situation. If the paramedics responding to an accident call have an IoT device that can give the vitals and relevant medical information of the patient then countless lives can be saved because of the timely response.
Money is the driving force of the financial world and IoTs are saving a whole lot of it. If your fridge knows which grocery items are running low, it can send a list of items to the home assistance device which can order the groceries from the best and cheapest source.
Tracking your daily activities will give in-depth information about almost everything. This makes medical, retail, entertainment, and many other industries to cater to your needs on a more personalized level.
IoT Product Design
If you are an IoT web developer or an entrepreneur planning to build an connected products or IoT service then you need to learn what platforms and what languages will be used for the same. The pre-requisites before starting you IoT product design (for this blog we would consider IoT app development) are:
IoT Development Platform
IoT app development programming languages were more unique earlier but now common web and app development languages can be used. This choice in programming languages freed IoT app development from restrictions that were present with older embedded systems. The choice of programming language can be done on the basis of the knowledge of your app developer, compatibility with your IoT app development ecosystem, the speed of development, size and memory of the code, and efficiency required.
C & C++
Almost every programmer know this language
Code is more hardware-specific
Popular for Linux OS and Arduino which were used for IoT software systems
Code is less hardware-specific, making it more portable
Requires libraries to run on different hardware
Write once, run anywhere type of code
It’s an interpreted language, making it more flexible.
Compared to Java’s speed, Python is slow.
Codes are easy to write and read.
Perfect for data-heavy apps.
Back End Development
When trying IoT app development you need to consider that each device has different capabilities and commands. The way of communicating with each device will vary. So a pre-defined framework for communication should be set or each individual device that the IoT app can understand. Node.JS has emerged as the common framework for this type of communication between IoT devices.
Design strategies for slow connections should be adopted. Unlike traditional websites, where requests go to a web server which sends data back; there is another communications step involved for IoT devices. This potentially means additional latency and the user’s perception of slow response.
User Interface (UI)
The UI for IoT app should be fast, clean, and intuitive. The need for a good feedback program and user-assistance is a must to get precise data from the IoT device. Because the app will be in the mobile device and command other non-mobile IoT devices, all the standard usability practices are to be integrated for the users’ ease.
IoT app development has a bright future ahead. It is the next big thing after the Internet and if you wish to be a part of this glorious future then you need to hurry.
Internet of Things News, Podcasts, Events and Insights from Rob Tiffany
Internet of Things Insights from Rob Tiffany
Despite the great promise of IoT to improve business and society, many think it’s being held back due to complexity and the associated lack of required skills to make it a success. Is it possible that the antidote to this complexity and skill shortage problem lies in the existing open standards and technologies that comprise the World Wide Web? In this podcast, Rob Tiffany makes the case for using existing W3C standards to power the Internet of Things.
Internet of Things (IOT) has certainly come of age and has grown beyond the smart home gadgets. The connected reality created and nourished by IOT devices, sensors and gateways ultimately is on the verge of transforming public domains like transport and workplaces. The connected office or smart office is now gaining more attention worldwide thanks to its vast promise ranging from productivity, innovation, security and pushing business growth.
In this respect, some statistics can work as an eye-opener to the future prospect of smart office solutions. A market research report when forecasting the growth predicted that the smart office market which had a global valuation of just USD 22.21 Billion in 2017 is expected to grow up to USD 46.11 Billion by the year 2023. According to the same report, several factors are responsible for the increasing adoption and popularity of smart home solutions that include energy efficiency, advancement in connected gadgets, demand of cutting-edge security solutions and favourable policy decisions at government and corporate levels.
IOT promise for workplace realised by smart office systems
The primary promise of smart office has emerged from the connected building equipped with an ecosystem of sensors and gadgets. The immediate promise of such connected buildings is that they can be utilised better for the manpower and the businesses operating from there.
The connected sensors and gadgets grossly referred to as IoT technology can enhance the efficiency of the legacy processes. With every new process, more value can be created as smart connected technologies will furnish more important data about usage and manpower. From office space management to attendance regulation to real-time activity monitoring to smart security solutions, we have entered a new era of connected solutions.
The offerings of a connected commercial building
Recently, few large-scale commercial building projects have emerged with the full promise of connected smart systems. There have been several significant players in delivering connected solutions for modern commercial buildings. One such building is the LifeCycle Tower ONE of Dornbirn, Austria. This digitally connected building has a fully equipped monitoring system capable of benchmarking and evaluating different important KPIs, ranging from energy consumption and voltage to space utilisation.
BYOD and smart office environment
Today's workplace is unthinkable without the employees using mobile devices during their working time. While there can be some restrictions on the usage of certain apps and services, mobile devices are also part of the business processes in most companies. Only 22% of corporate employees use company-provided smartphones. Naturally, there is no surprise in the fact that “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) protocol is a big success.
With the BYOD being the most popular and widely adopted device protocol for employees, it also plays a crucial role in the last mile rendering of smart office solutions. The company-owned and employee-only version of enterprise apps now can silently monitor device usage and can guide the employees to stay in sync with reminders, alerts, emails and feedbacks across the table. Mobile application developers would have unparalleled opportunities with this new breed of enterprise app that works in sync with smart office solutions.
Smart Office solutions: projects in the making
Over the years several different smart office projects are in the making. Several of them have been successfully deployed and is in use while there are quite a few waiting to be tested in workplaces. Here we picked few of these projects to show how smart offices of future are going to be made.
A Raspberry Pi based Smart Office Automation
Smart office automation solution which is run on Raspberry Pi OS requires almost no skills, but it can be highly customised to suit different needs in workplaces. The idea behind such solutions is basically to utilise the office resources to the optimum level. Such a solution can offer features like automating lights, appliances and connected gadgets, triggering automatic turning-off of the lights and gadgets, monitoring the office space through webcam and managing the whole system through an easy to use, notification based interface.
Smart Office Notification Breadboard
A smart office notification breadboard can help employees keeping track of the work in hand while delivering relevant alerts and notifications. This works with just a board where blinking LEDs give alerts and when alerts and notifications come based on scheduled tasks.
Smart Attendance System
Smart RFID based attendance management system can help to enhance efficiency and boost productivity in several workplaces and also in educational institutions. Such systems working with the RFID reader are exceptionally easy to use requiring the employees or students only to carry RFID card tags. Though such attendance system is already in use, connecting a system like this with a rigorous database of attendance and analytics solutions further can provide us valuable, actionable insights to improve attendance and spot some trends.
Smart Office Security System
A smart office security system with its surveillance mechanism and data-centric collaboration with the back-end analytics can deliver real-time actionable insights and suggestions to track security breaches and spot any unusual trends. Such systems are capable of real-time motion detection and sending a smart notification to the responsible security professionals in no time.
Smart office solutions will grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years primarily because of the overwhelming range of innovations that are taking place to make life in every sphere more connected. Frankly, there is no slow-down to innovation in connected gadget space in the near future, and so, every human habitat and endeavour is bound to feel the push of automation and smart connected technologies.
Internet of Things Insights from Rob Tiffany
Security systems installed in a typical facility consists of cameras, access control, intrusion sensors and fire alarms. Typically, these devices are places behind a firewall on a dedicated network. Building control systems are installed on a secondary network can contains lighting, HVAC, fire protection, elevators/lifts, chillers and air/moisture sensors. These systems serve their purpose and will continue to be adapted and make facility systems design more complicated. This complexity can be controlled using common development tools and platforms. Not only will this approach make the process of creating smarter, safer, more energy efficient systems but will also reduce the number accidental deaths and injuries that occur every year.
The redundant network design approach is not a very efficient nor cost effective way of operating a facility. This is starting to change as savvy building managers are making the decision to integrate security and building control systems and map them onto a single network. This can entail integrating multiple disparate systems, sensors, NVR devices and video management software. The concept of integrating a camera or access control system to an HVAC system, or a visitor/facility management system or edge recording device to a lighting or fire protection system may seem unusual to some. Yet, this is where many security systems integrators and manufactures are missing out on untapped applications and services opportunities. Modern integrated security and building systems can give facility managers and security directors the tools to improve, simplify operations and reduce the efforts of the operations staff and points of control teams.
In the past, the security industry has relied on it’s own approach to integrated systems know as physical security information management (PSIM). PSIM attempts to provide an open architecture to integrate multiple security system products into a single operating platform. This approach has been very hit-or-miss and has left a bad taste in the mouths of systems integrators and end-users. On the flip side of the coin, facility managers have their own integration platform known as a building automation system (BAS). As it relates to physical security, BAS systems are intended to integrate with PSIMs and control individual security systems. However, BAS systems come in many different flavors; many of them are not viewed in a glowing light by building operation end users. Past integrations are not all filled with doom-and-gloom. There are some successful integrations attempted by the collaborative efforts of building controls and physical security organizations. The question is why is this design practice not more common where the benefits and economics make sense?
In order to facilitate the adoption and implementation of an integrated system the use of open standard protocols is an absolute must. The building automation industry created BACnet and LONworks which allow for real-time remote connectivity between sensors, actuators, controller devices and software. In the case of LONworks, hardware manufactures have the ability to include a chipset with built-in building control system support. It took some time, but finally the security industry created the protocols ONVIF and PSIA. These open architectures allows the end-user to choose vendors selecting either security or BAS equipment based on features and price. The end-user can also decide to install partial system upgrades without the risk of making costly investments in obsolete legacy systems. With that said, The security industry is curious about implementing the building controls protocols but needs an easier way to integrate them into their hardware and software products in an ad-hoc applications based manner.
There are security directors that are not completely sold on the idea of integrating with building control systems. On the other hand, facility managers may question the benefits of sharing a network with security systems especially when functions do not overlap with life-safety systems. However, system integration between building controls, physical and now cybersecurity offers more than just staffing convenience and operational efficiency. Here are a few results from a truly integrated security system.
Faster Response to Incidents – With the use of a robust mobile software solution and integration approaches such camera-to-access control-to-lighting or HVAC staff members can be freed from a console which makes them readily available to respond to incidents or equipment failure.
Provide more accurate compliance reports – Data provided by building controls and security edge devices can be paired with artificial intelligence technologies such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. This helps facilities to comply with government regulations with regards to security.
Reduce accidents and save money – Integrated systems provide better control of building and security systems. For example, if some accidentally stumbles into a restricted area or manages to make it to overly heated or chilled area the access control system, Variable air volume (VAV), or other HVAC system components can send alerts and create historical trend reports. Also a single network architecture can make managing system components easier.
Integrated building control and security systems are gaining some traction. However, it is still not a mainstream approach among many manufactures and systems integrators. One proposed solution is to utilize a common platform that is utilizes the industry protocol standards as application and system component building blocks.
The dream of making money with IoT, AI and Blockchain
Have you ever think about how could you make money with the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) and of course with Blockchain? What would happen if you could use the three of them in a new business model?. Apparently, Success, Success and Success.
In the next sections I provide information of some business models implemented with these three technologies.
IoT Business Models
As IoT moves past its infancy, certain trends and economic realities are becoming clear. Perhaps the most significant of those is the realisation that traditional hardware business models just don’t work in IoT. Take a look at “The top 5 most successful IoT business models” that have emerged as particularly effective applications for IoT.
If any of you is building an IoT product, this article ” IoT Business Models For Monetizing Your IoT Product” show how to make money with IoT.
Zack Supalla, the founder and CEO of Particle, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, suggest “6 ways to make money in IoT”.
Finally, in “How IoT is Spawning Better Business Models” we can read three ways companies like Rolls Royce, Peloton, MTailor or STYR Lab was rethinking their business model and have created revolution in the marketplace.
Blockchain Business Models
It sounds repetitive, but yes "Blockchain technology may disrupt the existing business models”. The authors´ s findings concerning the implications of blockchain technology for business models are summarised in the following picture.
Do you think that blockchain will likely to cut into big-players’ revenues? Then, this article: “New Blockchain-Based Business Models Set to Disrupt Facebook and Others”, is for you.
If you are ambitious and you are planning to build a viable business on blockchain, then read “Building an International Business Model on Blockchain”.
I am also an advocate of the coming era of decentralization (at least in my most optimistic version) and Blockchain is a step more to create value when the End of All Corporate Business Models will arrive.
AI Business Models
Companies from all industries, of all shapes and sizes are thus faced with an important set of questions: Which AI business models and applications can I use ? And what technologies and infrastructures are required?.
It seems that we all are convinced that artificial intelligence is now the most important general-purpose technology in the world that can drive changes at existing business models. Not surprised then, that AI is Revolutionizing Business Models. The “data trap” strategy, that in venture capitalist Matt Turck’s words consists of offering (often for free) products that can initialize a data network effect. In addition, the user experience and the design are becoming tangibly relevant for AI, and this creates friction in early stage companies with limited resources to be allocated between engineers, business, and design.
New Business models with the intersection of IoT, AI and Blockchain
With IoT we are connecting the Digital to the Physical world. Connected objects offers a host of new opportunities for companies, especially in terms of creating new services. The amount of data generated by the billions of connected objects will be the perfect complementary feed to many AI applications. Finally, blockchain technology could be used to secure the ‘internet of things’ and create smart contracts in a decentralized infrastructure that boost the democratization of technology and creation of sustainable communities.
You must remember that new business models that include IoT, AI and blockchain need among other characteristics: Volume and Scalability. Volume of devices, Volume of data, Volume of customers, volume of developers and powerful ecosystems to escalate.
Good luck in your search and implementation of your new business model.
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Too much time waiting for the IoT year
After years of waiting for my wishes to finally come true that it was finally the year of IoT, I give up. There will be no IoT year. Other technologies are usurping the dubious privilege of leading the technology bubble. Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are now much cooler.
As has happened on many previous occasions, the IoT will be replaced by other acronyms that will make you forget bad experiences and failed expectations. And with the new acronyms the illusions of those of us who continue to trust in the beneficial implications that the "new IoT" will bring to society will appear again.
Event Organizers were the first to notice the decline of IoT
The first to realize this situation were the organizers of IoT events. If a couple of years ago the weight of the new secondary on stage (Blockchain and AI) did not seem worrying to detract from the main actor (#internetofthings). Now they are the stars and the IoT is marginalized and surrounded by other technologies, badly hurt and melancholy.
Quo Vadis IoT events ?
Will IoT events disappear? Sure. Doesn’t matter if is in 2 or 3 years, but IoT only events will not make sense. In the last 3 months I attended several IoT events in London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Bilbao. I see a slow decline and transformation of #IoT events. Most of them do not satisfy my expectation. I am tired and saturated of see the same tired case studies parroted over and over again.
As my friend Rick Bullotta, I'd like to see some more innovative stories, some failure stories/lessons learned, some HARD FACTS about how long it looks to build, what it cost to build, return on investment.
Of course, we will continue seeing IoT companies, products and services in the Big Events like CES in Las Vega, MWC in Barcelona or Cebit and Hanover Messe in Germany or in industry specific events or company specific events like PTC LiveWorx or Bosch ConnectedWorld . But the same way that we do not see today Internet events we will not see Internet of Things events beyond 2020. It will be a good sign because the Hype will have disappeared and the reality and the market will have been imposed.
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In part two of a three part series, Leonard Lee and Dean Freeman of neXt Curve discuss how IoT enables new business models with Rob Tiffany, CTO of Hitachi Lumada.
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