After years of evangelization waiting for the promises of the Internet of Things (IoT) to come true it seems that we are finally close to reaching the trough of disillusionment phase, we begin to forget all the hype generated so far and focus on reality. A harsh reality that involves selling IoT and not continue selling smoke anymore
THE TIME TO SELL IoT IS NOW
The sale of IoT is perhaps more complex than the sale of other disruptive technologies such as Big Data, Cloud or AI and maybe as complex as Blockchain today. In the article “ Welcome to the first “Selling IoT” Master Class!” I commented how it should be the evolution of M2M Vendors for sell IoT and how should be the evolution of IT Technology Vendors for sell IoT. However, many of these companies still have difficulty in forming and finding good sellers of IoT
The truth is that nowadays it does not make any sense to sell IoT as a technology. Enterprise buyers only want to buy solutions that provide measurable business outcomes while, in the other side, many IoT Vendors only want to sell their portfolio of products and services that have been categorized under the umbrella of IoT, either as quickly as possible or at the lowest possible cost.
During last 5 years, I have been analysing how IoT companies sell their products and services. Some of my customers (Start-ups, Device vendors, Telco Operators, Platform vendors, Distributors, Industry Applications, System Integrators) requested me to create IoT sales material to train their sales team about how to sell their IoT solutions and services. And sometimes I also helped Head Hunters or customers searching for IoT sales experts
Based on this varied experience I have launched this year a new service: “IoT Sales Workshops” to help companies train their internal teams in how to sell IoT. Here are some of the lessons I learned
- There is a time for act as an IoT Sales generalist and a time for act as an IoT Specialist.
- You need to adapt the IoT storytelling based on your audience.
- Being an IoT expert is not synonymous with being successful in selling IoT.
- You need to show how companies can get more out of IoT by solving a specific business problem.
- Make it easy for the customer to see the benefits of your IoT product or IoT service and what is the value you are adding.
- Given the complexity and specialization of IoT by vertical, explain companies the need to focus more closely at business cases, on their IoT business model as well as the ROI over three to four years before jumping into technology.
- You need to be patient because IoT selling is not easy and takes time align strategy and business needs with the IoT products and services you are selling.
- Build a strong ecosystem and make easy the customer the adoption of end to end IoT solution collaborating with your partners.
- Train your IoT Business and Technical experts to get better at telling stories. Design a new marketing and sales communications playbook. Keep it simple. Build your narrative from the foundation up – one idea at a time.
- If you want an IoT sales expert you need to pay for it (not expect miracles from external sales agents working on commission base).
- IoT Sales is a full-time job. You will not have time to other enterprise activities.
- Selling IoT to large enterprises is a teamwork process.
- Be Persistent. Do not expect big deals soon.
- Be Passionate, Be Ambitious, Be Disruptive to sell IoT.
I do not consider myself an IoT sales expert. And of course, neither a superman of sales. In fact, I have shied away from classifying myself in the role of a pure salesperson even though over time I have given a weight and value to this work that once seemed derogatory to me.
Sell IoT is not easy. In a few years we will have forgotten of the word IoT and we will be selling new hypes, but in the mean time you need to be prepared for disillusionment moments, long sales cycles and a lot of work with sometimes poor results. However, I do not know if will be 2020, suddenly if you persevere you probably will be awarded as the best IoT sales expert and you finally will earn a lot of money.
Be Persistent, Be Passionate, Be Ambitious, Be Disruptive to sell IoT
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If you have read my post “Will finally be 2017, the year of Internet of Things? I do not think so.” you will have confirmed there were some analysts and companies who guessed and others who did not hit the bullseye.
As usual, numerous predictions about the Internet of Things (IoT) appear at the end of the year, some with foundation, others by interests and others by opportunism. Although I notice a certain fatigue this year perhaps due to the appearance of other cooler technologies or very likely to the lack of success and few differences from previous predictions.
It may also be the last time I write an IoT prediction article.
Let's start by reviewing some of the 2017 predictions.
Successes and failures of IoT 2017 predictions
Sorry Morgan Stanley but 2017 has not been The Year Of Internet Of Things however is true that there is less hype around IoT.
Yes Forrester, we continue worried that there will be a large-scale IoT security breach.
As not many large IoT projects in 2017, the role of System Integrators has not been as important as IDC predicted.
Have you seen, Analysys Mason, key developments in LPWA technologies, connected cars and smart cities?
Who now, MachNation if Internet of Things platform revenue grow 116% in 2017. There are only financial numbers but we all agree with Sandhill that still many doubts how “Choose your platform.”
I have to say that Judith Hurwitz and Associates, were right that the growth will be in industrial sector rather than the consumer sector.
Hard to fail if you consider what Moor Insights & Strategy predicted: IoT is still in its infancy in terms of dollars and deployments, and that can’t last much longer, before market frustration sets in.
Brave, ADLINK and FreeWave Technologies, Inc predicted that Edge computing will become a mainstream term for IIoT.
Internet of Things Institute - “Recruiting Will Remain a Challenge for Organizations with IoT Initiatives” and sorry Teradata not many companies looking for Internet of Things architect role.
Tier-1 operators in the US and Europe happy with Northstream because IoT revenues contributing up to 3% of total revenue in 2017.
Telefonica IoT and Cisco Jasper trusted that LPWA expansion to harness the growing IoT.
What will be of IoT in 2018?
According with Ericsson, in 2018, mobile phones are expected to be surpassed in numbers by IoT devices.
It seems that 2018 will be the year when AI and IoT will converge. But it will also be the year in which the CIOs will be busy integrating device management into overall IT infrastructure in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the organization. This is where the adoption of application robots, natural language processing (NLP) and AI automation of processes will come into their own, offering intelligent management of IoT deployments cheaply and efficiently.
However, 2018 will not be the year of Blockchain and the IoT, because although Blockchain-based IoT adoption rises to 5%, Blockchain is not yet ready for large scale deployments requiring reliability, stability and seamless integration with existing technology infrastructure. But promising pilot projects are beginning to emerge and the maturation of IoT and blockchain technologies and products will drive blockchain adoption in 2018.
To reinforce the ongoing investment across the industry Gartner’s Strategic Trends for 2018 back up the focus on IoT with Intelligent Things, Digital Twins and Cloud to the Edge all making the list for the coming year.
On the other hand, Forrester affirms that finally 2018 will be the year in which the Internet of Things moves from "experimentation to business scale". Forrester also predicts that IoT platform offerings will begin to specialize in “design” and “operate” scenarios.
Punctual to his annual appointment, IDC makes its Worldwide IoT 2018 Predictions.
One more year, Citrix leading thinkers also share their predictions.
A small startup, Imagimob considers 6 trends in the IoT and Industrial IoT-IIOT in 2018. As you can imagine Low Power Area Networks (LPWAN), Edge computing, AI on the edge and Blockchain are included.
Fog Computing, Security, and Smarter Decisions are IoT Predictions for 2018 by Saar Yoskovitz, CEO of Augury, a preventive maintenance company.
The State of IoT In 2018 for Marketers: We’re going to experience a massive increase in the number of digitally connected devices, changing the game for marketers across the globe.
5 IoT trends that will define 2018 - In 2018, IoT-based ventures will have greater access to startup capital and be taken more seriously in the market.
Only one wish for IoT 2018 from my side
In spite, I am not in this list of 17 Experts Tell The Most Exciting IoT Trends to Watch for in 2018, I have a wish for 2018:
“I hope that in 2018, all proofs of concept become successful projects and that the most innovative startups resist the temptation to be acquired."
Thanks, in advance for your Likes and Shares.
As if the Internet of Things (IoT) was not complicated enough, the Marketing team at Cisco introduced its Fog Computing vision in January 2014, also known as Edge Computing for other more purist vendors.
Given Cisco´s frantic activity in their Internet of Everything (IoE) marketing campaigns, it is not surprising that many bloggers have abused of shocking headlines around this subject taking advantage of the Hype of the IoT.
I hope this post help you better understand what is the role of Fog Computing in the IoT Reference Model and how companies are using IoT Intelligent gateways in the Fog to connect the "Things" to the Cloud through some applications areas and examples of Fog Computing.
The problem with the cloud
As the Internet of Things proliferates, businesses face a growing need to analyze data from sources at the edge of a network, whether mobile phones, gateways, or IoT sensors. Cloud computing has a disadvantage: It can’t process data quickly enough for modern business applications.
The IoT owes its explosive growth to the connection of physical things and operation technologies (OT) to analytics and machine learning applications, which can help glean insights from device-generated data and enable devices to make “smart” decisions without human intervention. Currently, such resources are mostly being provided by cloud service providers, where the computation and storage capacity exists.
However, despite its power, the cloud model is not applicable to environments where operations are time-critical or internet connectivity is poor. This is especially true in scenarios such as telemedicine and patient care, where milliseconds can have fatal consequences. The same can be said about vehicle to vehicle communications, where the prevention of collisions and accidents can’t afford the latency caused by the roundtrip to the cloud server.
“The cloud paradigm is like having your brain command your limbs from miles away — it won’t help you where you need quick reflexes.”
Moreover, having every device connected to the cloud and sending raw data over the internet can have privacy, security and legal implications, especially when dealing with sensitive data that is subject to separate regulations in different countries.
IoT nodes are closer to the action, but for the moment, they do not have the computing and storage resources to perform analytics and machine learning tasks. Cloud servers, on the other hand, have the horsepower, but are too far away to process data and respond in time.
The fog layer is the perfect junction where there are enough compute, storage and networking resources to mimic cloud capabilities at the edge and support the local ingestion of data and the quick turnaround of results.
The variety of IoT systems and the need for flexible solutions that respond to real-time events quickly make Fog Computing a compelling option.
The Fog Computing, Oh my good another layer in IoT!
A study by IDC estimates that by 2020, 10 percent of the world’s data will be produced by edge devices. This will further drive the need for more efficient fog computing solutions that provide low latency and holistic intelligence simultaneously.
“Computing at the edge of the network is, of course, not new -- we've been doing it for years to solve the same issue with other kinds of computing.”
The Fog Computing or Edge Computing is a paradigm championed by some of the biggest IoT technology players, including Cisco, IBM, and Dell and represents a shift in architecture in which intelligence is pushed from the cloud to the edge, localizing certain kinds of analysis and decision-making.
Fog Computing enables quicker response times, unencumbered by network latency, as well as reduced traffic, selectively relaying the appropriate data to the cloud.
The concept of Fog Computing attempts to transcend some of these physical limitations. With Fog Computing processing happens on nodes physically closer to where the data is originally collected instead of sending vast amounts of IoT data to the cloud.
The OpenFog Consortium
The OpenFog Consortium, was founded on the premise based on open architectures and standards that are essential for the success of a ubiquitous Fog Computing ecosystem.
The collaboration among tech giants such as ARM, Cisco, Dell, GE, Intel, Microsoft and Schneider Electric defining an Open, Interoperable Fog Computing Architecture is without any doubt good news for a vibrant supplier ecosystem.
The OpenFog Reference Architecture is an architectural evolution from traditional closed systems and the burgeoning cloud-only models to an approach that emphasizes computation nearest the edge of the network when dictated by business concerns or critical application the functional requirements of the system.
The OpenFog Reference Architecture consists of putting micro data centers or even small, purpose-built high-performance data analytics machines in remote offices and locations in order to gain real-time insights from the data collected, or to promote data thinning at the edge, by dramatically reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted to a central data center. Without having to move unnecessary data to a central data center, analytics at the edge can simplify and drastically speed analysis while also cutting costs.
Benefits of Fog Computing
- · Frees up network capacity - Fog computing uses much less bandwidth, which means it doesn't cause bottlenecks and other similar occupancies. Less data movement on the network frees up network capacity, which then can be used for other things.
- · It is truly real-time - Fog computing has much higher expedience than any other cloud computing architecture we know today. Since all data analysis are being done at the spot it represents a true real time concept, which means it is a perfect match for the needs of Internet of Things concept.
- · Boosts data security - Collected data is more secure when it doesn't travel. Also makes data storing much simpler, because it stays in its country of origin. Sending data abroad might violate certain laws.
- · Analytics is done locally- Fog computing concept enables developers to access most important IoT data from other locations, but it still keeps piles of less important information in local storages;
- · Some companies don't like their data being out of their premises- with Fog Computing lots of data is stored on the devices themselves (which are often located outside of company offices), this is perceived as a risk by part of developers' community.
- · Whole system sounds a little bit confusing- Concept that includes huge number of devices that store, analyze and send their own data, located all around the world sounds utterly confusing.
Disadvantages of Fog Computing
Read more: http://bigdata.sys-con.com/node/3809885
Examples of Fog Computing
The applications of fog computing are many, and it is powering crucial parts of IoT ecosystems, especially in industrial environments. See below some use cases and examples.
- Thanks to the power of fog computing, New York-based renewable energy company Envision has been able to obtain a 15 percent productivity improvement from the vast network of wind turbines it operates. The company is processing as much as 20 terabytes of data at a time, generated by 3 million sensors installed on the 20,000 turbines it manages. Moving computation to the edge has enabled Envision to cut down data analysis time from 10 minutes to mere seconds, providing them with actionable insights and significant business benefits.
- Plat One is another firm using fog computing to improve data processing for the more than 1 million sensors it manages. The company uses the Cisco-ParStream platform to publish real-time sensor measurements for hundreds of thousands of devices, including smart lighting and parking, port and transportation management and a network of 50,000 coffee machines.
- In Palo Alto, California, a $3 million project will enable traffic lights to integrate with connected vehicles, hopefully creating a future in which people won’t be waiting in their cars at empty intersections for no reason.
- In transportation, it’s helping semi-autonomous cars assist drivers in avoiding distraction and veering off the road by providing real-time analytics and decisions on driving patterns.
- It also can help reduce the transfer of gigantic volumes of audio and video recordings generated by police dashboard and video cameras. Cameras equipped with edge computing capabilities could analyze video feeds in real time and only send relevant data to the cloud when necessary.
See more at: Why Edge Computing Is Here to Stay: Five Use Cases By Patrick McGarry
What is the future of fog computing?
The current trend shows that fog computing will continue to grow in usage and importance as the Internet of Things expands and conquers new grounds. With inexpensive, low-power processing and storage becoming more available, we can expect computation to move even closer to the edge and become ingrained in the same devices that are generating the data, creating even greater possibilities for inter-device intelligence and interactions. Sensors that only log data might one day become a thing of the past.
Janakiram MSV wondered if Fog Computing will be the Next Big Thing In Internet of Things? . It seems obvious that while cloud is a perfect match for the Internet of Things, we have other scenarios and IoT solutions that demand low-latency ingestion and immediate processing of data where Fog Computing is the answer.
Does the fog eliminate the cloud?
Fog computing improves efficiency and reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent to the cloud for processing. But it’s here to complement the cloud, not replace it.
The cloud will continue to have a pertinent role in the IoT cycle. In fact, with fog computing shouldering the burden of short-term analytics at the edge, cloud resources will be freed to take on the heavier tasks, especially where the analysis of historical data and large datasets is concerned. Insights obtained by the cloud can help update and tweak policies and functionality at the fog layer.
And there are still many cases where the centralized, highly efficient computing infrastructure of the cloud will outperform decentralized systems in performance, scalability and costs. This includes environments where data needs to be analyzed from largely dispersed sources.
“It is the combination of fog and cloud computing that will accelerate the adoption of IoT, especially for the enterprise.”
In essence, Fog Computing allows for big data to be processed locally, or at least in closer proximity to the systems that rely on it. Newer machines could incorporate more powerful microprocessors, and interact more fluidly with other machines on the edge of the network. While fog isn’t a replacement for cloud architecture, it is a necessary step forward that will facilitate the advancement of IoT, as more industries and businesses adopt emerging technologies.
'The Cloud' is not Over
Fog computing is far from a panacea. One of the immediate costs associated with this method pertains to equipping end devices with the necessary hardware to perform calculations remotely and independent of centralized data centers. Some vendors, however, are in the process of perfecting technologies for that purpose. The tradeoff is that by investing in such solutions immediately, organizations will avoid frequently updating their infrastructure and networks to deal with ever increasing data amounts as the IoT expands.
There are certain data types and use cases that actually benefit from centralized models. Data that carries the utmost security concerns, for example, will require the secure advantages of a centralized approach or one that continues to rely solely on physical infrastructure.
Though the benefits of Fog Computing are undeniable, the Cloud has a secure future in IoT for most companies with less time-sensitive computing needs and for analysing all the data gathered by IoT sensors.
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