Arrow acquires eInfochips to further its IoT leadership position

Arrow Electronics has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire California-based product engineering and software R&D services firm eInfochips.

eInfochips specialises in IoT-based business models. Arrow expects to further its IoT platform through the acquisition. Arrow’s IoT “sensor-to-sunset” platform will receive a boost from eInfochips’ efforts that include adding engineering, solution architecture, embedded software development, security, mobile device connectivity, app development, cloud configuration and management, and managed services including big-data analytics.

Michael J. Long, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Arrow, said: “We will deliver complex and connected IoT solutions and technologies across multiple cloud platforms. This acquisition adds over 1,500 IoT solution architects, engineers, and software development resources to Arrow’s already leading position in IoT design services.”

Matt Anderson, chief digital officer of Arrow, said: “Arrow has redefined design engineering with our industry-leading eDesign digital platform. Customers now collaborate on Arrow.com with hundreds of online-enabled engineers. Our engineers help customers with online reference designs, cloud-based design tools, and our eDesign platform. Connecting eInfochips’ IoT capabilities and engineers to our eDesign platform will substantially augment the scale of eInfochips’ services, delivered via digital tools, to Arrow’s 125,000 customers.”

Arrow had in July teamed up with IBM to integrate IBM's Watson IoT platform and IBM Cloud services into Arrow's ideation-to-production services to gain advantage from the growing IoT market in Asia Pacific. Arrow offered the IBM Watson IoT platform via IBM Cloud, giving them access to more than 160 industry-leading cloud services to incorporate ready-to-use capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, advanced data analytics and cyber security into their latest IoT inventions to the customers in Asia Pacific.

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Zurich Insurance Group acquires Bright Box to strengthen capabilities in connected cars

Zurich Insurance Group acquires Bright Box to strengthen capabilities in connected cars

Zurich Insurance Group acquires Bright Box to strengthen capabilities in connected cars

Acquisition will create unique value proposition for automotive Industry.

Bright Box HK Limited (Bright Box) announced that it has been acquired by Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich).

Bright Box was founded in 2012, has operations in Europe and conducts business globally. It provides a turn-key connected car platform that links drivers to their vehicles, and the vehicles to networks of car dealers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Bright Box already has business relationships with leading global OEMs and hundreds of dealerships worldwide, providing the entire stack of connected car technology like cloud IT platform, mobile and web apps, telematics hardware, as well as the connectivity between them.

Zurich’s strategy is focused on providing simple and innovative propositions through products and services centered on customer needs. Bright Box will contribute to further expanding Zurich’s focus on mobility through tailored services, enhanced by digital interactions with car drivers and closer collaboration with car dealers and OEMs.

Giovanni Giuliani, Group Chief Strategy, Innovation and Business Development Officer, said:

“We are excited by the potential that Bright Box brings to further strengthen our offerings to car drivers and the companies that support their needs. By enhancing our capabilities in data insights and analysis, we will be able to provide our customers more tailored and convenient solutions, which is in line with our strategy.”

“It is a great honor and tremendous opportunity for us to be part of Zurich with its strong international brand and ability to lead the way in the fast-changing environment of automotive insurance,” says Ken Belotsky, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Bright Box.

Bright Box will continue to operate as a separate business entity and all co-founders of the company, including Ivan Mishanin (CEO), Alex Dimchenko (CSO) and Ken Belotsky (Executive Chairman), will continue to manage its operations leveraging capabilities provided by the new shareholder.

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IoT Business News

ORBCOMM Acquires Blue Tree Systems Limited

ORBCOMM Acquires Blue Tree Systems Limited

Solidifies ORBCOMM’s offering for the global freight telematics market with consolidated in-cab, dry and refrigerated transportation solutions.

ORBCOMM Inc. announced today that it has acquired Blue Tree Systems Limited (Blue Tree) based in Galway, Ireland, along with its subsidiaries in the United States, Germany and France.

Blue Tree provides world-class transportation management solutions across multiple classes of assets that include trucks, refrigerated straight trucks as well as refrigerated and dry trailers. Blue Tree serves more than 300 customers in North America, the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Blue Tree’s products meet the demands of transportation companies that are increasingly looking to manage their assets under a single platform and facilitate simplified integration with their business systems. Blue Tree’s robust truck in-cab platform is based on an open Android architecture that offers customers a fully managed, flexible and proven solution that is easy for drivers to use. In addition, Blue Tree offers advanced, country-specific compliance solutions in both North America and Europe.

Blue Tree’s solutions meet the requirements for the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate regulations, which will require companies to replace drivers’ paper log-books with electronic “Hours of Service” applications within the next several months. Blue Tree’s customers achieve broad efficiencies, increased driver safety as well as workforce optimization throughout the supply chain.

The acquisition of Blue Tree solidifies ORBCOMM’s transportation portfolio by adding truck in-cab and refrigerated fleet vehicle solutions to ORBCOMM’s industry-leading cargo solutions. Customers will have access to an integrated offering encompassing nearly all transportation assets from one source. Blue Tree’s market leadership also adds strength and distribution in key geographies such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“With advanced trucking solutions combined with an integrated software platform, Blue Tree is a strong strategic addition to ORBCOMM’s broad transportation portfolio,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Combined with our acquisition of inthinc in June, Blue Tree enables ORBCOMM to provide the most complete transportation solution offering covering nearly every asset class – from in-cab to fleet vehicles to refrigerated assets to dry vans – making us the clear leader in this space and in global industrial IoT.”

“ORBCOMM is one of the leading IoT companies in the world, and we believe the increased scale, resources, customer base and geographic profile that ORBCOMM offers will support our rapid growth globally. We look forward to leveraging ORBCOMM’s strong brand equity in our markets,” said Charlie Cahill, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Tree Systems. “ORBCOMM’s leadership in transportation telematics provides great synergy and support for our transportation solutions and delivers an unmatched and long-lasting value proposition for transportation companies around the world.”

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IoT Business News

Itron acquires Silver Spring Networks in “intelligent strategic move”

Itron, an energy and water resource management provider, has announced the acquisition of Silver Spring Networks (SSN) for approximately $ 830 million (£615.6m).

Silver Spring Networks is a San Jose, California-based provider of IoT connectivity platforms and solutions to utilities and cities. With its widespread global network in the smart utility and smart city sectors, the company has generated more than 20% of its revenues via its primarily recurring managed services and SaaS solutions, which is Itron’s area of strategic focus. The company has delivered more than 26.7 million network-enabled devices across five continents till date.

With the acquisition, Itron expects approximately $ 50 million in cost synergies on an annual basis to be substantially realised within three years of completing the transaction by optimising combined operations and expenses.

Pablo Tomasi, senior research analyst, smart cities and IoT at IHS Markit, said: “To further grow, Itron needs to continue improving on the trend set by SSN of more than 20% of its revenues generated through SaaS solutions and managed services. Expanding this revenue stream is crucial as this model fits well with the smart city market as it tailors around cities’ needs and budgets.

“This is also in line with the major IoT trend of transition from product-based solutions to service-based solutions. Such a business model eases the pain point of high expenses, and generates recurrent revenues which can be expanded with further services.”

Thomas Frashier, research analyst, smart utilities infrastructure at IHS Markit, said: “This is an intelligent strategic move for Itron. While reliability remains important, metering hardware has become increasingly commoditised. Future competitive advantage for meter OEMs will be gained through competency in communications networking and value-added services at the meter and in the distribution grid – and beyond, in the case of smart cities.”

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German firm TRUMPF acquires industrial IoT software maker C-Labs

Industrial IoT software maker C-Labs was acquired by German industrial manufacturer TRUMPF International. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Before branding its services as a ‘packaged IIoT product/solution provider’, C-Labs made custom software for industrial IoT clients. Currently, the two core products of the industrial IoT software maker are Factory-Relay and C-D Engine. The former delivers remote and mobile access to industrial equipment through a security-compliant hardware relay.

The other is C-D Engine, an application development platform for IoT solutions. It has an API, an SDK for system extension and app development and automatically generates a user interface. It also provides a mesh network to establish a connection between ‘things’.

One of the services C-labs offers is Plug-in Development.

“When I founded C-Labs in 2009, the term ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) was not yet in popular use. Now our software simplifies and secures vital communications in places as diverse as automotive plants, power generation facilities, and research labs,” said Chris Muench, CEO of C-Labs.

TRUMPF’s interest in acquiring C-Labs dates back to the German firm’s investment in C-Labs in Nov 2015. The software maker then raised $ 2.7M in venture capital. Afterwards, TRUMPF also licensed the software C-Labs’ technology for its own product line. The German company makes machines and systems, power tools, power electronics, and smart-factory products. Buying an upstart and specialized software vendor makes all the sense as TRUMPF plans to expand its own IoT services/software division.

Nonetheless, being acquired by a leading manufacturer of machines and tools will also benefit C-Labs. It can both expand its geographical footprint as well as bring on bigger and better customers.


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