Pre-packaged solutions accelerate IoT adoption

Cumulocity IoT is an innovative software platform that addresses the market demand for easy, fast, and scalable IoT solutions. It combines the power of Software AG’s Digital Business Platform with Cumulocity’s product portfolio. Functionality includes the ability to monitor and analyse streaming IoT data; cloud, on premise, edge and hybrid deployment; and a range of pre-packaged IoT solutions such as condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and track and trace. Andrew Brown, the executive director of Enterprise and IoT Research at Strategy Analytics, discusses this open, application-centric approach to Industrial IoT with chief executive, Bernd Gross

Andrew Brown: Cumulocity has an impressive track record and the company has been a leading vendor of device and application management platforms since 2010. Why did you do the deal with Software AG?

Bernd Gross: We had been and continue to be very successful with our platforms, but we operate in a very dynamic market and by 2017 it was clear that we needed to scale our offer and become a global solution provider. Moreover we needed to do it quickly so that was one of the reasons why we did the deal. Software AG currently has offices in 70 countries around the world.

Bernd Gross, CEO of Cumulocity

The second reason is their rich portfolio of software products that complement our offer, one of which is WebMethods, an advanced integration engine that enables seamless interoperability between the operational technology and information technology domains. The former is the domain where data are generated and the latter is the domain where data are consumed. Another key complementary product is Apama, a platform that allows organisations to analyse and act on high-volume event stream data in real-time.

The third reason comes from the emerging need for IoT platform providers to be more open about the performance of their IoT specific business offer. Software AG is leading this approach and has created a separate business unit that has enabled developments such as prepackaged solutions. These solutions reflect the way that the IoT market is maturing and they are facilitating the growing trend away from expensive, time-consuming in-house or bespoke IoT solutions.

AB: How successful have you been with this approach and can you also indicate its relevance to the Industrial IoT sectors that you target?

BG: We have been very successful. For example, Siemens has selected our technology in order to complement MindSphere, which is a powerful IoT operating system that has data analytics, connectivity capabilities, plus tools for developers, applications and services. In addition ADAMOS, that stands for ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions, a strategic alliance for machine and plant engineering, chose our IoT technology after an extensive evaluation process. Alliance partners include DMG MORI, Dürr, Homag, ZEISS as well as ASM PT.

The objective is to bundle knowledge in mechanical engineering, manufacturing and information technology. ADAMOS is set to become a global standard for the industry. It combines up-to-date IT technology and industry knowledge, thereby enabling engineering companies to offer tried and tested solutions for digitally networked production to their customers. These and other wins […]

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Sequans and NTT DOCOMO Partner to Accelerate Adoption of LTE-M Technology in Japan

Sequans and NTT DOCOMO Partner to Accelerate Adoption of LTE-M Technology in Japan

Sequans and NTT DOCOMO Partner to Accelerate Adoption of  LTE-M Technology in Japan

LTE for IoT chipmaker Sequans Communications S.A. announced that it has formalized an agreement with NTT DOCOMO to accelerate the development of LTE-M devices and applications on DOCOMO’s network, using Sequans’ Monarch LTE Platform.

The two companies have been working together on LTE for IoT for several years, beginning first with LTE Cat 1 technology, and the goal of this current collaboration is to develop and mature an end-to-end LTE-M ecosystem in Japan.

“We are pleased to extend our longtime and successful partnership with Sequans to address the LTE-M market,” said Toshiyuki Futakata, vice president and general manager of the Communication Device Development Department, NTT DOCOMO.

“The use of Sequans’ Monarch technology will be instrumental for us in reaching our goal of widespread adoption of LTE-M technology across Japan.”

“Sequans is a key player in IoT in Japan and their leading Monarch solution has the key characteristics needed to spur rapid adoption, including low power consumption, low cost, and ease of integration.”

“Working in close collaboration with DOCOMO over the years has yielded excellent results and we look forward to continuing our work together in anticipation of DOCOMO’s LTE-M network launch,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “DOCOMO has everything in place to serve its IoT customers well and we are proud that our Monarch technology will be a key part of DOCOMO’s LTE for IoT solutions.”

Monarch is the industry’s most highly integrated LTE Cat M1/NB1 chip, whereby baseband, RF transceiver, power management, and RAM memory are integrated into a single, tiny 6.5 x 8.5 mm package. Monarch is fully compliant with the 3GPP’s Release 13 definitions for narrowband LTE (LTE-M and NB-IoT). In addition, Monarch supports advanced features such as programmable RF filtering for global band support in a single SKU, and proprietary dynamic power management technology for ultra low power consumption and operating life of 10+ years.

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How to Engineer Growth of Consumer IoT Adoption

How to Engineer Growth of Cellular IoT Adoption

How to Engineer Growth of Cellular IoT Adoption

An article by Marc, Editor at IoT Business News.

The rate of adoption of consumer IoT tech products has been underwhelming. The Accenture 2016 Digital Consumer survey showed a 1% growth in demand for devices such as smartwatches, connected security cameras, and personal drones. That wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t speaking about one of the most hyped technological advancements of the decade.

Some of the disappointment over Consumer IoT (CIoT) adoption rates can be blamed on high expectations. Ever since it was conceived, the Internet of Things has been a victim of overoptimistic forecasts. Those who made those forecasts were often subjected to harsh reality checks. But the 2016 survey brought some other problems into the limelight. Security is a major problem for IoT. Consumers can’t find the value in CIoT devices to justify their cost. There’s a steep learning curve to using CIoT devices. You don’t need an engineer’s skill set to see that there’s a disconnect between the industry and the consumers.

Addressing the Main Concern

Consumers can’t be blamed for their lack of trust in IoT security. In 2016, the Mirai malware hacked hundreds of thousands of IoT devices and used them for a DDoS attack. The same year, hackers DDoS-ed the heating controllers in two buildings in Lappeenranta, Finland. They managed to effectively disable the heating by making it reboot over and over again. This is a big problem when the daily mean temperature is around 30°F. The CloudPets leak was also significant. Information of half a million of owners of CloudPet’s IoT toys was stolen by hackers.

It doesn’t surprise that 96% of organizations and 90% of consumers think the government should step in and regulate IoT security. That’s what the results of this year’s Gemalto survey showed. The survey also said that IoT manufacturers and service providers devote only 11% percent of their budgets to security. And 92% of them saw an increase in sales or product usage after adding security measures.

The Trust Issues

Trust will be a major roadblock to increased CIoT adoption as long as the devices and services are seen as unsafe. People will not buy products that might compromise their personal safety, or the safety of their information. We’ve seen some companies, such as MasterCard, make big moves to fortify their fences. Companies with smaller budgets should do whatever they can to add security features if they want to grow. Sitting and waiting for the blockchain to solve IoT’s security problem is not an option.

Data access and management is another opportunity for the CIoT industry to increase consumer confidence. Consumers’ concerns over the safety of their data are well documented. Allowing consumers to see and manage their data can be a great way to start bridging the trust gap. However, just making it possible to access and manage data will not suffice. Manufacturers and service providers will need to make it reasonably easy to access and manage data. The steep learning curve should be reduced for all aspects of usage of IoT devices and services, including data access and management.

Adding Value

Commercial IoT devices and services should be on the cutting edge of product and service personalization. Interconnected devices offer an unprecedented opportunity to capture consumer data. Service providers build their offering around the devices. They can leverage the data to deliver personalized services with a clear and realistic value proposition.

Accenture’s Digital Dynamic Consumer report gives an insight into the types of services consumers want. 18% are interested in starting to use health assistant services within the next 12 month. 16% are interested in smart trip and personal assistants in the same timeframe. 12% are interested in using entertainment and event advisors.

Things look even better in a 5-year period. 60% of consumers will be interested in health assistants, 59% in trip assistants, 56% in personal assistants, 51% in entertainment advisors, and 50% in event advisors. CIoT manufacturers and service providers need to look at the services consumers want the most. Then, they need to engineer the solutions that will make those services available, affordable, and easily usable.

Engineering through the barriers to CIoT adoption will not be easy. The first step, building trust, would require industry players to quickly deal with issues that have been plaguing IoT for a long time. It would also require them to work with the consumers to achieve a satisfying level of data transparency and control. At the same time, the transparency and control measures cannot be implemented in a way that makes CIoT devices less valuable to the users. Adding value is the number two concern that should be addressed in parallel with security and data usage.

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IoT Business News

Adoption of IoT platforms to lead key trends dominating Asia Pacific technology market in 2018

Hitachi Vantara has highlighted 10 key trends that will dominate the Asia Pacific technology market in 2018 – with adoption of IoT platforms in pole position.

Hitachi Vantara’s CTO Hubert Yoshida and Asia Pacific CTO Russell Skingsley have worked together to predict the key trends. Some of the key trends highlighted by the Hitachi subsidiary are:

Adoption of IoT platforms by the IT sector to facilitate the application of IoT solutions 

IoT solutions are really fast in turning out to be a strategic imperative in almost all industries and market sectors in addition to delivering insight to support digital transformation. Enterprises are expected to look for an IoT platform that offers an open, flexible architecture which eases integration with complimentary technologies.

Growth of analytics and artificial intelligence

It has been predicted that 2018 will witness real growth in analytics and AI as enterprises start realising the real returns on investments. Skingsley commented: “AI became mainstream with consumer products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, and Hitachi believes that it is the collaboration of AI and humans that will bring real benefits to society.”

Blockchain to take centre stage

For two possible reasons it is believed that blockchain will take the centre stage in 2018. First, the use of cryptocurrencies and second an increase use of blockchain by the financial sector for several day-to-day processes such as customer documentation and regulatory filings.

Smart storage of data

Although there is advancement in digital transformation among enterprises, the issue arises when they are not able to access their data as it is stored in “isolated islands” making it costly to extract and use. Object storage has become “smart” with the help of software which helps in searching and reading content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyse it for cleansing, formatting and indexing.

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Nicolas Windpassinger, Schneider Electric: On why culture trumps technology in IoT adoption

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming into the enterprise; there is no doubt about that. The thought of the work executives have to undertake in their organisation to accommodate digital transformation is only eclipsed by the thought of what happens if their firm gets left behind. In other words, if you don’t digitize, you die.

Not this correspondent’s words – but those of Nicolas Windpassinger (pictured), global partner program vice president at Schneider Electric. His new book (left) offers little in the way of compromise. “The title is a good explanation that you need to change, you need to evolve, all of us, personally and professionally,” he tells IoT News. “If you don’t evolve or learn, you’ll die, and your competition is going to take care of you.”

The window of opportunity to take advantage of IoT, Windpassinger argues, is gradually shutting. But the problem has always been the lack of magic formula to make things work. If it were so easy, everyone would be doing it by now; we wouldn’t have to wear out shoe leather pounding round industry events, or reading every analyst report we can get our hands on.

For Windpassinger, this point of getting past the ‘you want to succeed, you need to be IoT’ one size fits all mentality is key. Companies – and company cultures – differ. “It’s very interesting,” he says. “If you go to an IoT event, you look at the startups, you look at the companies… they’re selling technology, but what are they solving? What is their core value proposition?

“Very often we say to succeed in the IoT you need to be a startup. Well the reality is that it’s not true, and there’s quite a bit of literature on that,” adds Windpassinger. “If you are a pioneer, and you have been very successful in your marketplace, it’s easier for big or medium-sized companies with a strong legacy of customers to digitize from the edge.

“Everybody talks about Uber – they’re always the same stories. They’re really the exception – if you look at the literature, a small company has a lot of difficulty to beat a well-established pioneer.”

Yes, there is no magic formula, no one page or sentence that enables organisations of all sizes just to flick a switch and ‘become IoT’. However, whatever the size of your organisation, as the book details, there are common steps that can be taken. The book outlines what it calls an IoT4 methodology, going through each section; how the IoT structures itself from a technology perspective; offering differentiation strategies; different business models; and transitioning from an analogue to a digital customer experience. If you don’t know the rules of the game, how can you expect to win, as the prologue puts it?

Don’t expect this book to be a tech-heavy trudge, though. This is for two reasons; firstly, anyone who has read such tomes knows the majority of the material is out of date by the time it hits the shelves; and secondly, because it’s difficult to predict how the market – particularly though standardisation – will go.

On the standards issue, Windpassinger recounts being at an industry event a couple of weeks ago, and the impression was clear. “You look at all those standards, it’s just crazy,” he says. “Everybody is designing their alliance, or their ecosystem based on their specific use case, or based on [something else]… since there is no global standard, everybody teams up.

“Is it going to last like this? Are some of the consortia going to team up and try to go for these global standards? Honestly, I don’t really know, and I don’t think anyone on the market really knows where it’s going to go.”

Neither is Digitize or Die a guide to help organisations sort out their customer value proposition – the book assumes companies already have that bit tied down – but where the book excels is around giving examples of companies who have successfully digitised, alongside companies who failed, as well as how the cultural side, instead of the technological focus, remains a key theme.

“The middle management is key to successful or unsuccessful digital transformation,” says Windpassinger. “It’s an education book for the middle management – or the top leaders who can use the book towards their middle management to initiate change.

“The core idea of the book is really that digital transformation is a people transformation more than a technology transformation, and to be able to initiate change at the management level, it’s about educating those people, creating a sense of urgency amongst them, and be able to explain to them,” he adds. “Yes, it’s a threat, yes, it’s a struggle, we as a company can choose not to do anything, but in a couple of years it’s going to be very difficult, or we consider that we need to transform ourselves as a company – and this begins by educating people about the different options.”

Editor’s note: You can find out more about Digitize or Die and purchase it here. All benefits from the book will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association and Fondation de France.

Read more: Digitize or Die book extract: The importance of leadership and middle management for IoT

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