What’s exciting about any new tech trend is that there is often a groundswell of start-ups out to create new products and services. Combine that with established companies also making investments and you have a dynamic new industry that is full of booms, busts and opportunity.
To help sort this out, we’re starting something new at IoT Central - the company spotlight. Up first is ThingWorx, a company that I keep coming across. The owners of ThingWorx is a PTC, a publicly listed company that employs nearly 6,000 people worldwide, serving more than 28,000 businesses and has approximately $1.3 billion in annual revenue. PTC has its roots in product lifecycle management and has recently taken on the IoT mantra.
Jim Heppelmann, CEO of PTC, said recently, "IoT gives us connectivity during the product's longest life cycle. First, things are products, which we could call the Internet of Products (IoP). Secondly, we want to serve these products better, and we can only do that by knowing what is going on. Lastly, we want to engineer products better. IoT really is PLM, putting the product at the centre of PLM. We are reinventing PLM."
Enter ThingWorx, which PTC acquired in December 2013. According to the company, ThingWorx is an IoT platform designed to build and run IoT applications, and enable customers to transform their products and services, innovate and unlock new business models. The idea behind the platform is to reduce the time, cost, and risk required to connect, manage, and develop applications for smart, connected products such as predictive maintenance, system monitoring, and usage-based product design requirements.
ThingWorx solutions include tools from Axeda, another PTC acquisition that allows developers to securely connect machines and sensors to the cloud.
So What Thing Works?
ThingWorx offers three products:
ThingWorx IoT Platform - provides a complete application design, runtime, and intelligence environment.
ThingWorx Machine Learning - brings advanced and predictive analytics capabilities for ThingWorx developers.
ThingWorx Marketplace - brings together hardware and software vendors with IoT app developers and solution providers within an online exchange.
ThingWorx IoT Platform is the flagship product and is composed of:
- ThingWorx Composer: An end-to-end application modeling environment for building applications. Allows you to model the things, business logic, visualization, data storage, collaboration, and security required for an IoT application.
- Codeless Mashup Builder: A “drag and drop” solution to rapidly create rich, interactive IoT applications, real-time dashboards, collaborative workspaces and mobile interfaces without the need for coding.
- Event-Driven Execution and 3D Storage Engine: To make business sense of the massive amounts of data from people, systems and connected “things.”
- Search-Based Intelligence: This so-called SQUEAL (Search, Query, and Analysis) brings search to the world of connected devices and distributed data.
- Dynamic Collaboration: This sounds like Slack for PLM and IoT. It’s a module that virtually brings together people, systems, and connected equipment and utilizes live collaboration sessions.
- Business Process Management: Enables automation and orchestration of events, processes and communication across physical things, business systems and people.
- Thing Management: A portfolio of standard and advanced capabilities to monitor, interact with and update connected things.
- Digital-Physical Integration Hub: Provides an integration framework for both physical and digital information.
- Administration: A console for role based access for business and system administrators and developers.
If you have any experience with ThingWorx, feel free to leave a comment. Also, if you have any suggestions for future spotlights, please comment and I’ll add it to my queue. We’d love to hear from you.