Tuya Smart announces US launch of IoT platform for connected device makers

Tuya Smart launches IoT platform for connected device makers in the US

Chinese IoT platform company Tuya Smart hopes to help US-based makers of smart, connected devices get their products to market quicker. 

Companies often flounder in their attempts to launch IoT devices, because they aren’t able to build a strong application platform that not only works well in itself, but also supports interoperability with other devices.

That’s the issue that Tuya Smart is hoping to tackle, with an IoT platform that focuses on speeding up smart device development and ensuring interoperability.

The company was founded in 2014 by former Alibaba employees instrumental in the development of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s Alibaba Cloud offering, as well as others from well-known smart device makers. Last week, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Tuya announced the launch of the US version of its IoT platform.

Read more: Thingstream launches IoT Starter Kit for smart device makers

Getting ideas off the ground

Tuya Smart provides the Wi-Fi modules (appropriately certified, of course), the app template and the cloud connectivity that device makers need to get their idea off the ground. It claims to have its side of the device development side ready for mass production in 15 days, something a device developer starting from scratch could never hope to achieve.

On the app side of things, Tuya will take control of customisation if a device developer wants that, or they can go ahead and do the customisation themselves. Interfaces with platforms like Amazon Echo, Google Home, IFTTT and Google Nest can be built in, and other platforms can be supported as directed.

The pick and mix nature of the services on offer means that device developers can focus on what they do best and outsource as much of the rest as they need to.

Read more: IoT device makers: Tackle security or face legal action

Faster, easier routes to market

The whole point of the Tuya Smart platform is to provider faster and easier routes to market for device developers. And it even goes a stage further, because it’s not just the software that’s on offer here. At the Tuya web site, it is also possible to pick and choose from a range of products like smart lighting, smart switches, and a robot cleaner, configure its features via picklists, and consult on getting the product built.

Tuya Smart says it has helped with production runs that deliver millions of units a month. It works with more than 3,000 manufacturers in the supply chain to help with entry to global markets and provides its AI services to more than 10,000 customers worldwide.

The company also claims to offer long-term support for the devices its platform helps to create, too. Its ‘smart cloud’ apparently caters for millions of users, carrying more than 10TB of data every day.

While Tuya Smart might not be well known to the average consumer, many of the brands it works with are. For example, in the US, Tuya works with brands like Geeni, Energize and Philips, while in China it works with brands such asChanghong, TCL and Delixi.

Read more: ROI beats security as biggest challenge for IoT device makers

The post Tuya Smart announces US launch of IoT platform for connected device makers appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

How to use Industry 4.0 to drive the production of the future

Eberhard Klotz is the head of the Industry 4.0 campaign at Festo, a supplier of automation technology and industrial training and education programmes. In this article he discusses the company’s activities in IoT, its view of production of the future, benefits for original equipment makers (OEMs) and end-users and partners in industrial markets with Matt Wilkins, a senior analyst of IoT Research at Strategy Analytics

Matt Wilkins: Industry 4.0 is a key aspect of the implementation of the Internet of Things in the industrial market, what does Industry 4.0 mean to Festo?

Eberhard Klotz: At Festo we view Industry 4.0 as the process through which we get to the production of the future. Festo has a holistic view of the changes in the production world, considers different perspectives and, in addition to technology, also takes other key points into account, such as the interaction between man and machine, and the issue of training.

Eberhard Klotz, Head of the Industry 4.0 campaign at Festo

The real and virtual world are growing increasingly closer: modern information and communication technologies are merging with industrial processes, increasingly changing the production landscape and the interaction with individual customers.

Industry 4.0 brings together various activities under one umbrella and describes the change that is imposing new requirements on production systems, machines and people in many areas. Festo is part of the Industry 4.0 steering team that includes government ministries, several official bodies, along with Siemens, Bosch, SAP and Deutsche Telekom.

MW: What does production of the future look like?

EK: The first thing is that production systems will be fully connected. There will be intelligent, selfregulating and self-controlling components for plug-and-produce. Production plants will be highly flexible, allow for economical manufacturing of small batch sizes, fast balancing of the workload in a production network – including logistics, and fast adjustment to the orders in hand.

Matt Wilkins, Strategy Analytics

Finally, there will be comprehensive condition monitoring which helps to avoid or reduce downtime and optimises maintenance procedures and mobile maintenance. Essentially the faster we can be aware of an issue and analyse it, the faster we can implement a repair before a minor issue becomes a major one. Digital twins and a virtual set-up of a smart factory also allow pattern matching and detecting random errors, thus optimising downtime as well as process optimisation online.

MW: If Industry 4.0 is the process which takes us to the production of the future, that must surely require a constant focus on refining and developing?

EK: Festo has been at the forefront of factory automation for many years. The research department helps shape the production systems of the future. So it is looking at mechatronics, the latest simulation technologies, microsystem technology and intelligent components for Industry 4.0. In our view innovation management creates the necessary framework to turn good ideas, knowledge and technology into successful commercial products.

Our research activities include the ENTOC (Engineering Tool Chain for Efficient and Iterative Development of Smart Factories) research project, where the aim is to significantly reduce the time taken and complexity […]

The post How to use Industry 4.0 to drive the production of the future appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Blogs – IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business

IoT deployment doubles among New Zealand enterprises in 2017, says IDC

The implementation of IoT solutions among enterprises in New Zealand has increased two-fold to 25.7% in 2017 from 13.7% in 2016, according to IDC.

IDC New Zealand’s yearly Internet of Things Decision Maker Report explains how the companies understand the advantages of deploying IoT and implement the solution to boost productivity and enhance customer related experience.

Explaining the reason behind the increase, Monica Collier, research manager for telecommunications, IDC New Zealand, said: "New Zealand organisations are understanding that the value of the Internet of Things is in the data it produces and, more importantly, what that data enables companies to act upon or improve. Additionally, endpoint costs continue to decrease and the range of connectivity options is increasing; it's easier to get an IoT business case across the line."

The report highlighted that the organisations implementing IoT solutions are more influenced by improving customer experience, than fixing internal processes. 

Summarising the opportunities associated with IoT, Collier concluded: "The New Zealand IoT Alliance research says that IoT could bring NZ$ 2.2 billion of benefit to the New Zealand economy over the next ten years. Our report illustrates how companies have understood that message and are implementing IoT to increase productivity and improve customer experience."

Alongside this, another newly published report by IDC presents a detailed analysis of enterprises providing cellular connectivity management and/or other capabilities such as device management for IoT. The report titled “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide IoT Platforms (Device and Network Connectivity Providers) 2018 Vendor Assessment” profiled 11 vendors including AT&T, Cisco, Ericsson and Verizon. The report has highlighted several factors that technology buyers need to consider while evaluating providers for IoT platform connectivity.

iottechnews.com: Latest from the homepage

Internet of Things: The Skills Connected Companies Look For In Young Professionals

Internet of Things: The Skills Connected Companies Look For In Young Professionals

Internet of Things: The Skills Connected Companies Look For In Young Professionals

This is the second of a series of exclusive articles by Nicolas Windpassinger**, Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert Partner Program and the author of the IoT book Digitize or Die*.

IoT skills wanted

The Internet of Things (IoT) is digitally transforming the world and opening up entirely new career opportunities. IoT skills are in high demand and so are the ‘soft’ skills that make digital transformation champions.

What organizations across the globe are seeking right now and what skills help you stand out in the connected age of IoT.

Everyone speaks about the Internet of Things. By now most people know what it is and some start-ups and young professionals are knees deep in IoT.

If it’s relatively new for you, I’m sure that you know and probably have or use one or more consumer IoT applications, maybe even without realizing it. A smart meter, some wearable device, connected technology in your home or car, IoT technology powering an application in one of your favourite shops, the list is long.

digitize or die book illustration: so what is changing?

Year after year the number of connected devices is growing and impressive numbers are released about what is yet to come. However, the real staggering growth numbers of IoT are elsewhere: in how it’s transforming industries, powering start-ups, changing how we solve societal challenges and boosting demand for IoT-related jobs.

IoT profiles, skills and job trends

digitize or die ebook chart: percentage of matching IoT job postingsJust check out the IoT job trend graphic from www.indeed.com, posted on February 2017: that is what we call exponential growth. Organizations, from very large to small and medium, face the same challenges: a lack of skills to realize their IoT ambitions.

In a 2017 survey, 47% of organizations said they lack the skills to make the most from IoT at a delivery level. Moreover, IoT does not stand on its own: connected applications need data, analysis, networks and the people who are specialized in one of these areas.

IoT also impacts organizations by creating new positions and job descriptions such as Chief Internet of Things Officer (CIoTO), IoT Architect, IoT software engineer, Business Designer, IoT Stack and platform Developers and more.

Existing jobs are changing too and some become more important. If you have or seek a career in buildings, energy, logistics, retail, sustainability or manufacturing, for instance, the demand for digital-savvy Millennials with IoT-related skills is on the rise, as is the usage of IoT.

The IoT skills which are most in demand revolve around technology: network engineers, developers, data scientists, data analysts or specialists in technological aspects of the just mentioned industries and areas of application.

However, to really stand out and build your career in this fast-growing Internet of Things world, there are some skills which are less mentioned but at least as important.

Customer skills for digital transformation champions

At the center of success in digital transformation and IoT projects is a deep understanding of what customers want in this digital age. The customer experience, user experience and understanding of the voice and true will of the customer is what makes or breaks digital transformation. As I highlighted in a recent blog post (Linking Digitization and Companies’ Performance), digitally mature companies derive more revenue from their physical assets (+9%), are more profitable (+26%) and have overall higher market valuations (+12%).

But to extract the most value out of a digital transformation, companies need to be obsessed by their customers. Being customer-centric and able to fully turn the changing expectations and will of people into innovative solutions and IoT applications that customers value is both an art and a skill. Those that master it are the champions of tomorrow.

The ability and will to continuously learn

Companies fight to attract IoT talents. However, many of the mentioned jobs are new.

One of the challenges faced by businesses today is that graduates are not educated and trained in the areas required in the modern world. Continuous education is needed, not just for young professionals but also for older generations.

digitize or die ebook illustration: the importance of IoT digital savvy organizations

To address this need, new training organizations have emerged, such as the IoT Talent Consortium. Career advancement and training opportunities are also offered to people who work for, or start up businesses in industries that are transformed by IoT.

An entrepreneurial and innovative mindset: coal mine canaries wanted

Most young professionals are digital natives and often have an entrepreneurial mindset and will to operate in varying circumstances. It’s the kind of flexibility the IoT needs: an appetite for change and agility.

On top of that, organizations seek innovative and creative thinkers who see what’s happening in markets before anyone else does. They see the new digital evolutions and what they mean for companies.

Brian Solis in “Change agents: The unsung heroes of digital transformation” (published January 10, 2018 on Clikz.com here), states that:
“Change agents are often early adopters of digital trends who want to help their companies modernize. (…)They recognize the impact of digital and they’re driven to help their organizations adapt. However, they may lack the experience or authority to lead digital transformation at the enterprise level”. I wrote similar words in my book, I called the change agents, “Digital Mine Canaris”.

Another important aspect when dealing with people in a digital transformation environment is that there is often someone who will understand the necessary steps to digital transformation before the rest of the peers and thus challenge the status quo. Those within the corporation who recognize the need for change often face marginalization from the minds of the “analog” leaders and skepticism from peers. My conclusion is an Ode to Digital Mine Canaris.

Modern organizations seek such visionaries who see what others don’t.

The ability to collaborate in diversity

Most organizations transform from the edge as I call it in my book: they maintain their existing markets and channels, while investing money in new opportunities at the edge of their core offerings.

As a business transforms from the edge, one of its challenges is to manage various teams, including existing staff, team members dedicated to the new digital technology and staff that straddles both worlds. Younger people often have a much greater affinity for new technologies and rapid change, while members of the older generations often have a deep understanding of the business, its processes, channels and markets.

Smart managers realize the great opportunity in mixing different generations with a common purpose towards digital transformation despite different cultures and generations.

Smart young professionals are able to work more closely together with greater understanding for the strengths and weaknesses of workers from different generations. They know how to truly collaborate in diversity.

Seizing the opportunities

Companies get disrupted by new technologies such as IoT, by changing customer preferences, by start-ups and by their peers who are digitally transforming. It is why all the mentioned skillsets are essential.

Your unique opportunity is to leverage those you have, master new ones and be a leader in the world of IoT and digital transformation. The opportunities are there, the choice is yours.

* About the Book
IoT book: Digitize or Die by Nicolas WindpassingerUnderstand, master, and survive the Internet of Things with one simple and pragmatic methodology broken down into four steps. Digitize or Die is used by front-line business decision makers to digitize their strategy, portfolio, business model, and organization. This book describes what the IoT is, its impacts and consequences, as well as how to leverage the digital transformation to your benefit.

Inside these pages, you will learn:

  • What the IoT means to all businesses
  • Why the IoT and the digital revolution is a threat to your business model and survival
  • What you need to understand to better grasp the problem
  • The four steps your company needs to follow to transform its operations to survive

** About the Author
With 15+ years of computer networking industry experience, Nicolas Windpassinger is the Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program, whose mission is to connect the technologies and expertise of the world’s leading technology providers, pioneer the future of intelligent buildings and the Internet of Things, and deliver smarter, integrated and more efficient services and solutions to customers.
As a result of his work, Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program has been granted a 5-Star rating in the 2017 Partner Program Guide by CRN®, which is part of The Channel Company group. The 5-Star Partner Program Guide rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs.
Nicolas has been recognized by The Channel Company’s Top Midmarket IT Executives list. This annual list honors influential vendor and solution provider executives who have demonstrated an exceptionally strong commitment to the midmarket. The Channel Company, has recognized Nicolas as one of 100 People You Don’t Know But Should in the IT channel for 2017.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of IoT Business News.

The post Internet of Things: The Skills Connected Companies Look For In Young Professionals appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News

Interview: Frank Piller on people, smart factories and Industry 4.0

nalysis: Frank Piller on people, smart factories and Industry 4.0

Professor Frank Piller talks Internet of Business through the workshop he’s preparing for our Internet of Manufacturing event in Munich in February. 

Analysis: People, smart factories and Industry 4.0

Professor Frank Piller

At many manufacturing companies, the time for IoT pilots and experimentation is over. Technologies have been chosen, business models have been defined. The challenge now is people-focused. In other words, it’s time to help employees get productive in smart, connected factories.

That’s the view of Frank Piller, professor at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and co-founder of the Smart Customization Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Piller will be chairing a workshop at the Internet of Manufacturing event in Munich on 6-8 February and he’s keen, he says, to get attendees thinking about these people issues. Even if their own organisations are still piloting and experimenting with IoT technologies, he adds, it’s never too early to think how the workforce will get the most from them, in terms of boosting efficiency and becoming more productive.

Read more: Analysis: Four smart factory trends to watch in 2018

People, process and technology

It’s worth bearing in mind, after all, that getting workers to accept and adopt new technologies can be the hardest aspect of any technology deployment.

“Absolutely!” Piller agrees. “That’s always true – and there are some really interesting new challenges emerging as we start to think about the role of people in smart factory of the future. Some people say that algorithms are better decision-makers than humans, so we should outsource decision-making to machines. Others say that humans can exercise better critical judgement and should therefore be cooperating with algorithms.”

And then there’s the issue of robots, he adds: many organisations will need to decide how to allocate tasks between humans and robots, based on whether they’re complex, repetitive, error-prone, dangerous and so on. In many cases, robots and humans will collaborate on tasks – and human workers will need to become accustomed to working side-by-side with robotic colleagues and perhaps even helping to programme them.

Read more: Analysis: A manufacturer’s guide to IoT monetization

Job for humans, jobs for machines

Piller’s research work takes him to many factories worldwide every year. But, he says, “in all the smart factories I’ve visited, I can tell you that there are always humans there – always! I’m not seeing 100% automated factories.”

“There are jobs for humans and jobs for machines,” he continues, “and it’s really important for manufacturing companies to carefully consider how they can best combine human expertise, experience and knowledge with automation.”

The aim of his workshop, he says, is to get attendees thinking about these issues, hearing how other companies are tackling them and leaving the event with the start of a plan for preparing and skilling staff for the Industry 4.0 era.

Our Internet of Manufacturing event is coming to Munich on 6-8 February 2018. Attendees will get the chance to learn more about how connected technologies open up new paths to increased productivity and profitability for industrial companies. 

The post Interview: Frank Piller on people, smart factories and Industry 4.0 appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business