Telecommunications Companies: Here’s How To Use End-To-End Enterprise Offers To Boost Revenue

Telecommunications companies are not new to the Internet of Things (IoT). Many have long used these tools as a way to gather data and implement change. These organizations, called communication service providers (CSPs), also tend to be willing to adopt technology that enhances operations. Organizations have routinely used IoT to automate processes and ensure networks remain stable. Yet, further investment in this area can also boost revenue. With the IoT market expected to be a $ 267 billion industry by 2020, according to BCG Perspectives, organizations cannot overlook this opportunity.

End-to-end enterprise adoption could mean new revenue streams

The industry continues to face fierce competition. Finding ways to reduce costs is one thing. Looking for ways to boost revenue streams continues to be critical. However, one of the largest opportunities available to CSPs has yet to be tapped by these organizations.

Within the telecommunications industry, a key area for IoT adoption is in providing platforms for end-to-end enterprise offerings, as well as for connected consumer services. Entry into these markets could provide an incredible new source of revenue. Some experts believe it could represent as much as a quarter of all CSPs’ total revenue within a matter of years.

Another key area for CSPs is in the thriving market of connected homes. Telecommunications organizations will see significant revenue by successfully launching connected home applications for consumers.

Finally, working with commercial entities to create methods for regulatory compliance can also be important. Many entities are struggling in this area due to stringent guidelines. This can be improved with IoT applications through telecommunications companies.

Why telecommunications networks matter

Consider the data from the IoT application. In IoT, there are numerous networks of networks. All are capable of pulling in massive amounts of data that can be used, in a variety of ways, to provide information. However, this type of network requires very specific elements. It must be incredibly reliable, provide ample reach, and have the resilience necessary to manage some of the most challenging circumstances. Other industries, including the semiconductor industry, are finding opportunities to use the tools they have to enhance IoT adoption.

These are the types of services that CSPs can offer beyond what other organizations can. CSPs are now a central point of integration where the digital world connects. Some organizations (generally the largest CSPs in major areas) are already aligning their networks to meet this important, developing need. And, as a result, they are seeing profitable margins.

Where is the endpoint and profit potentials for today’s smaller CSPs? The biggest opportunity lies with enterprise customers. These are end users who are looking for platforms and connectivity that will allow their own transformation into the digital world. CSPs can significantly play a role in this area.

Why CSPs should focus here

The telecommunications industry is still not immune to digital change. In fact, many organizations are struggling financially with the services they offer. High-margin profit centers are being eroded by low-margin network connectivity. Consumers and other end users are finding more affordable ways to get the services they need. New technology, including 5G, is coming as well. That will further increase competition in this sector. As a result, it has become necessary for CSPs to find alternative streams of revenue that can tap into their massive, secure networks to facilitate IoT.

This is also a very significant new opportunity for CSPs. Right now, less than 10% of the overall IoT market comes from connectivity and network managed services, like those CSPs can offer. Implementing these services will enhance profitability. For example, digital applications enabled by IoT, a key service that CSPs can provide, is likely to represent more than 30% of large CSPs’ enterprise-based revenue.

How to take advantage of the opportunities

Putting in place enterprise end-to-end offerings like this can seem overwhelming, but it offers profit potential and fits the framework that CSPs already have. To facilitate this, organizations need to first focus on connectivity. The well-developed networks of CSP management services, as well as their IoT-enabled applications, provide an access point. These organizations already have the ability to scale the number of things connected within any enterprise. They have the tools available to move data across the cloud in a reliable manner. And, they have the means to distribute intelligence to further points.

Creating the digital platform to launch it all

To transform from a typical connectivity service provider into one that meets the newer service demands, a telecom organization needs a versatile IoT platform. The platform must provide the support necessary for large-application development. It must be able to integrate its customers’ backend systems into the new platform. Additionally, it must provide the services that help CSPs manage the cost of their operations as their organization grows.

With 8.4 billion “things” in use and connected in 2017, according to Gartner, it’s time to find a way to tap into this industry. Transforming CSPs’ services through end-to-end offerings can create a new revenue source in one of the fastest growing and in-demand industries today.

 Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading The Future Services Sector: Connected Services for Continuous Delivery.


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Here’s an automatic parking service that can park your car driverlessly

connected-cars-1030x1030

Valeo and Cisco recently announced a cooperation agreement for strategic innovation in smart mobility services at the Viva Technology conference in Paris. Their proposed product is Valeo Park4U, a connected platform and app that enables cars to park by themselves in connected car parks.

See also: How do you make parking smarter?

Here’s how it works — the driver gets out of his or her vehicle at the parking lot entrance and activates the automatic parking system using a smartphone. The vehicle then continues its journey in automatic mode until it has finished parking. With just a few clicks, it can be set in motion again to meet the driver at the designated pick-up point in the parking lot.

The vehicle drives itself inside the parking lot by combining the power of automatic parking technologies — Valeo onboard telematics and secure key systems (Valeo InBlue) and Cisco Parking Controller technologies, which equip car parks with Wi-Fi, video sensors, and artificial intelligence-based solutions.

Knowing its environment

The vehicle’s sensors, along with the information provided by the equipment installed in the car park, allow the vehicle to perceive its environment with an extremely high level of accuracy and anticipate and calculate its journey at any time up to the completion of the parking maneuver. The vehicle is able to navigate complex parking facilities in total safety, even multi-story garages, by processing all of the necessary information with the help of an integrated GPS service and the vehicle’s own sensors.

The ability of more recent cars to self-park is not new per se. More significant is the ability of the cars to drop off and pick up the owner at the entrance to the parking garage, with the car effectively acting as a driverless valet. The service is currently being introduced at a connected car park in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, owned by urban mobility company Indigo. With their parking network of over 750 cities and 16 countries, any future roll-out could be substantial.

Robert Vassoyan, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco France, said:

“With the innovative Cyber Valet Services project, we can currently connect millions of parking spaces in total safety. We are pleased and proud to combine our expertise, technological solutions, and resources with those of Valeo to together provide cities and their residents with new digital services. Partnering with a major French company further illustrates our desire to work in collaboration with the entire ecosystem and our ability to co-innovate as we pursue our commitment to accelerating the digital transformation.”

The post Here’s an automatic parking service that can park your car driverlessly appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Here’s how self-driving cars could impact your city’s planning

smart city

As the future of self-driving cars continues to evolve, many of the largest tech companies, auto industries, and city planners around the world are working to prepare for the impacts that autonomous cars will have across all sectors.

Since transportation is a central piece of our society, various thought-leaders and industry experts are working together to ensure public safety and find a way to have future technological advancements improve the economy.

See also: What is the future of self-driving regulation?

Across the related businesses, hundreds of billions of dollars is being invested in research and development. This investment of both technology and assets are looking to bring the promise of a cleaner, safer, and more efficient method to travel.

How autonomous cars could change policy

Several groups across the world are voicing their concerns on how autonomous cars will impact societies and the public good. Everything from social equality, cyber security, and even how our food is farmed will be changed by emerging technology associated with autonomous vehicles.

Increased urban sprawl

Autonomous vehicles will allow individuals to get more work done as they commute to and from the office since they won’t have to spend their time and energy doing something other than driving.

This will make longer commuting less stressful so that we could see more vehicle traffic in downtown areas.

Cities are witnessing an inversion of investment. As individuals and jobs return to downtowns, the demands to replace surface parking lots with mid and high density, mixed-use development increases.

Autonomous vehicles will propel the shrinking importance of suburban areas since the need to be located within proximity of downtown epicenters will not be needed.

As more people move out of suburbia, these areas will witness economic depressions and will have a difficult time maintaining basic amenities for remaining residents.

Increased parking construction footprint

As more people commute longer distances to work in their autonomous vehicles, cities will be pressured to develop larger and more parking areas to accommodate the increased traffic.

Parking is not an option for major cities, and providing convenient parking is a central focus for cities like Houston, TX, Little Rock, AR, and Washington, DC.

These cities have allocated more than half their land area to highways, streets, and parking areas. This type of land allocation will have wide-reaching repercussions on the environment, low-income communities, and cultural development in the vicinity.

Shifting commerce & service development

As autonomous car technology continues to evolve, many of the largest automakers are placing their bets that future vehicles will run on electricity and stored in onboard batteries.

This exciting advancement will reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil for remote fueling stations, but it will also change the way cities zone construction sites that will support city transportation.

In place of stand-alone gas stations, many parking lots will integrate electric refueling stations. Unlike the single purpose asphalt resting spots of today’s parking lots, future parking areas will double as recharging centers.

See also: Ford patents removable steering wheel for self-driving cars

Charging stations and induction pads in on-street spaces are going to be a vital part of the utility infrastructure of the near future.

The land use implication here is that on-street parking will continue to supply separation between moving cars and bicyclists and pedestrians.

Improved city aesthetics, pedestrian safety & air quality

As autonomous cars account for the majority of vehicles on our public roads, many city planners will be able to use more aesthetically appealing development plans.

This will not only incorporate more trees and other elements since planners won’t have to anticipate the human error. Also, urban planners can also integrate designs that are pedestrian friendly.

Air quality in our cities will also improve once fossil fuels are now not a portion of the exhaust system, improving the environmental surroundings and people’s health.

Self-driving the future of urban planning?

The future of city planning looks bright, and the evolution of self-driving car technology means that our cities will see dramatic impacts moving forward.

It is our responsibility to ensure that our local lawmakers are setting proactive regulations to protect public safety and keep up with the ever-changing environment of emerging technology.

The post Here’s how self-driving cars could impact your city’s planning appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Not sure whether to build or buy an IoT platform? Here’s what you need to do

It’s easy to foresee the rewards of leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) for any industry. However, getting a pertinent IoT platform or solution that helps you reach your business goals is far from easy.

Before getting to the pros and cons of building or buying an IoT platform, let’s get to know if your business really requires an IoT platform. Ask the following questions:

  • How will an IoT solution improve the business or existing processes?
  • What is the ROI that the platform may provide?
  • What are the architectural requirements based on which I can pick the IoT solution?
  • Will the insights gained from IoT implementation help my business in making better decisions?
  • Will it save enough time and resources that can be utilised to expand my business further?

After analysing the abovementioned questions, you probably will still feel the need to get your enterprise IoT-enabled. IoT can bring real value to any business by contributing in cost reduction, better customer experience, increased revenue, and by creating new revenue streams. To reap these benefits, you need to either build an IoT platform or buy one from an IoT platform provider.

Build an IoT platform

If you decide to build an IoT platform on your own, you’ll have complete control over the solution, you can customise it to make it a good fit for your industry and business. Everything from the data collection to the end-user experience is yours to modify, merge, and maintain.

Building an IoT platform is a great option for companies that have all the required expertise in-house or for businesses who do not find a suitable IoT solution from the existing ones in the market. While building an IoT platform from scratch may require proficiency in all the aspects of IoT ecosystem, it provides a perfect solution without compromising any feasible functionality.

Pros:

  • Allows businesses to develop a customised solution that provides a smooth interface to connect devices and run IoT applications.
  • Companies can leverage in-house expertise or hire a team of experts to develop the IoT platform.
  • A truly tailored IoT solution can be developed that is packed with all the necessary features that can benefit the business.
  • Organisations can offer improved and refined end-user experiences by delivering an IoT solution that directly reflects their brand.
  • No need to rely on IoT platform providers to update or maintain the developed solution.
  • A great option for businesses that do not find a suitable IoT solution in the market that can address their exact requirements.

Cons:

  • Building an IoT platform from scratch can increase the time to market, thus affecting the trust of your target market.
  • If you don’t have any experience with IoT, the steep learning curve will increase the risk of failure.
  • Hiring a dedicated team for building the IoT platform would be more complex and costly as compared to buying the solution.
  • It takes a lot of research, design, architecture, and development to build the solution. Once the IoT platform is built, it also demands maintenance after a regular interval.
  • If the solution is complex, it needs hardware, software, cloud, applications, security, and big data analytics to not only work together but also work efficiently.

Buy an IoT platform

While building an IoT platform on your own terms may seem alluring, most of the businesses underestimate the risks and challenges that are associated with the do it yourself model. In such cases, it’s always better to rely on IoT platform providers that have experience and expertise to develop an IoT solution for your enterprise.

There are plenty of IoT platform providers available in market to choose from. The challenge here is to find the right platform that fulfils all of your solution requirements. An experienced IoT platform provider will make sure that you have everything that you need from the very beginning, which is far better than building it yourself to realise later that your solution is still half-finished.

Pros:

  • This is the safest option for companies that don’t have any hands-on experience with IoT.
  • Buying an IoT platform will significantly reduce the time to market and provide you a working solution in lesser time.
  • A great fit for organisations that want to increase the value gained from an IoT solution and minimise the risks.
  • With a ready-to-use IoT platform, businesses can focus more on their core functionalities instead of struggling to build the platform.
  • The cost of buying is lower as compared to the cost of building the platform.
  • Businesses can also get a customised solution from IoT platform providers.

Cons:

  • Businesses may be delivered with device clouds instead of an IoT platform. A device cloud will allow companies to manage connected things but will fail to provide an application enablement platform.
  • Companies may fail to identify functional requirements and end up buying a platform that does not foster their business needs.
  • Companies will have to rely on platform providers to maintain, update, and enhance their platform over time.

Conclusion

The benefits of the Internet of Things are hard to ignore for any industry. Whether your enterprise chooses to build an IoT platform or buy one, you need to ensure that it addresses the functional requirements of your business. 

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The Senate’s IoT security bill won’t do much, but here’s what could make an impact

A Senate bill would do nothing about consumer devices like connected teddy bears.

Let’s talk about toys. Technically, we’re going to talk about toys as a smarter path to thinking about regulating IoT device security, but I promise there will be teddy bears.

This week four Senators introduced a bipartisan bill to regulate the security of connected devices sold to the U.S. government. The bill received a lot of laudatory coverage in the media. CNN asked “Hackable door locks? Senators want to make smart gadgets more secure” while Slate said, “At Long Last, a Sensible Internet of Things Security Bill Has Been Introduced in the Senate.”

Did these reporters even read this bill? The press release that accompanies the bill? If they did, they’d probably be less impressed.

The bill aims to keep the government from buying connected devices that can’t be updated, have existing security vulnerabilities and that have hard-coded passwords. It also protects good-faith efforts by hackers to expose security vulnerabilities and ordered the Office of Management and Budget to develop both a disclosures policy for connected device vulnerabilities and a networking policy for securing “dumb” connected devices.

Like many, I’m glad our legislators are talking about IoT security, but this bill does nothing to protect consumers or enterprises. It also doesn’t go very far in its security measures. The best aspects of it are its effort to promote updates and protect ethical hacking.

So now let’s talk about toys. The hacking of several connected toys has prompted a few actions from federal agencies, actions which could actually make a bigger impact earlier on than a legislative effort. This summer the FTC updated its compliance rulesassociated with the the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) to clarify that connected toys that collect information about children under the age of 13 are also subject to the Act. From the FTC’s news release:

As technologies evolve, companies have new ways of collecting data, some of which may affect your obligations under COPPA. Just one example: voice-activated devices that collect personal information.

That has me wondering if data collected by my Amazon Echo from my 10-year-old daughter would become a problem for the retailer. The update also specifically calls out connected toys and “other products intended for children that collect personal information, like voice recordings or geolocation data.”

COPPA is a big deal because it is a law that is actually prosecuted and each individual violation can cost up to $ 20,000 for an offending company. If the FTC wasn’t signaling its seriousness, the FBI put out a notice about connected toys at the end of July.  The federal law enforcement agency warned parents that connected toys had the potential to violate their children’s privacy. The FBI also offered a list of actions a parent could take to determine if a connected toy was offering good security.

The list included things like common sense actions such as turning toys off when not in use and changing the device’s default password. But it also asked parents to check the security practices of these companies, such as asking how the toy company transfers data (is it encrypted?), where toy data is stored (does that firm have good cybersecurity?) and whether the toy is capable of receiving firmware updates over the air. The FBI also recommends reading the terms and conditions associated with the toy and the privacy policies.

I don’t know about others, but I can barely keep track of what type of batteries my daughter’s electronic toys need, much less remember to ask if they have AES-256 encryption (AKA bank-grade encryption).  These are good things to know, but this information is hard to get. I actually sent many of these questions to Fisher Price months ago after a reader asked me about the security of this baby monitor.

A Fisher Price spokeswoman responded to my questions with questions about how I would use the information rather than answering them. We then traded emails over the next few months, but she never responded to me on the security questions. I revisited the inquiry again this week and haven’t received a response yet.  Fisher-Price did provide some security data on the Aristotle website however:

Aristotle was created with parents in mind. To provide digital safety, security and peace of mind, it features 256-bit, end-to-end video encryption and parental controls that help protect your family’s privacy. The COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant App safeguards your information and data.

That doesn’t address all of the questions, such as where the data is held, and that isn’t something we may ever know. If it’s tough for a journalist to get this information, I’m not sure how a parent is going to do this. And this is where the Senate could really signal an understanding of IoT security and a willingness to solve some of the challenges with products on the market today. I’d like to see some kind of labeling around what constitutes a well-built IoT device from a security perspective, and then see that made available in an easy to understand format.

The average consumer doesn’t know what AES-256 encryption is, but if the government put out a requirement that toys use that when transmitting data from the toy to the home’s router and then from the router to the cloud, the toy could get some sort of label saying it transmitted data securely.

Much like our nutrition labels adapt to new research (and plenty of lobbying by the food industry) our connected device security label may have to adapt.  The current Senate bill tasks the Office of Management and Budget to evaluate security requirements, but over at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) they are working hard on cybersecurity definitions and practices. Maybe a law delegating that research and standards setting to NIST makes sense here.

Based on what we’re seeing from the government’s response to insecure connected toys we could put forth a strong bill that would protect consumers, enterprises and the government by clearly defining aspects of a secure IoT device and then creating labels to go on such devices that show how they measure up.

For certain markets more stringent rules would likely make sense, but better information seems like a really good place to start. Think of the children.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis