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A Week in IoT: Not so dumb now, huh?
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A Week in IoT: Not so dumb now, huh?

by Jeremy CowanOctober 10, 2017

We take it for granted amid the growing Internet of Things that enterprises deploying IoT solutions are taking a transformational step in their business as they connect hitherto isolated devices. Companies are giving ‘voice’ to dumb assets, says Jeremy Cowan, like street lights, parking spaces, water pumps, and transport vehicles.

In reality, they are doing so much more than that; these firms are changing their entire business model from machinery suppliers to data gatherers and analysts. I’m thinking, for example, of tyre makers like Michelin transforming their fleet business from rubber vendors to service providers offering subscribers (no longer just their ‘customers’, you’ll note) advice on fleet mobility and the planned lifecycle of transport assets.

I was reminded of that this week talking to Ayla Networks; it’s not only the corporate clients who are changing their business models – it affects those further up the delivery chain. Ayla was briefing me on its new Phone-as-a-Gateway (more of which later this week, Ed.). Inevitably dubbed PaaG, it takes locally-controlled Bluetooth devices (think power tools, water fountains, microwave ovens, even electric toothbrushes) and connects them to the Ayla Cloud via a mobile device so that manufacturers and users can learn from the usage data they generate. This Bluetooth network gets around the prohibitive costs of cellular connectivity for low value items, and the limitations of cellular networks in remote or hard to access areas.

Josh Pederson says Ayla Networks’ consulting arm guides customers through the possible outcomes of IoT

This isn’t just going to change the companies that use PaaG. I had to ask, ”Isn’t this also changing your own business model at Ayla? After all, you’re no longer simply selling a hardware or software solution, you’re providing data management for your customers.”

Josh Pederson, Ayla’s director of Product, said that its consulting arm now guides customers through the possible outcomes, towards business transformation. Clearly, this transformation is affecting both customers and suppliers.

Testing the IoT weather

I’ve been mulling over the state of the IoT market, prompted by the latest annual Vodafone IoT Barometer 2017/’18. Hats off first to Voda for investing time and effort for the past five years in sharing their understanding of the IoT market. It always makes fascination reading, but especially when you hear (as we occasionally do) the cynics saying the Internet of Things is all hype and underperformance. One thing’s for sure, the nay-sayers aren’t talking to the same people as us or Vodafone.

Among the latest highlights, the proportion of companies using IoT (the adopters) has more than doubled in these five years. Adoption has risen from 12% in 2013 to 29% in 2017. Transport & logistics (19% to 27%) and retail (20% to 26%) have shown the largest year-on-year gains from 2016.

Organisations using IoT are doing more of it. More than eight out of 10 (84%) agree that “Our adoption/use of IoT solutions has grown in the last 12 months.” As many as 12% of adopters now have at least 10,000 connected devices, and the share with more than 50,000 connected devices has doubled, from 3% to 6%.

And the benefits go way beyond cost-cutting. Adopters are using IoT to cut costs, reduce risk and increase revenue. But the main focus is on increasing efficiency (55% of adopters). Adopters are getting more sophisticated. They’re embedding IoT within their business processes — 46% have integrated it with core systems, such as enterprise resource planning,

So, who owns the data? No, seriously

Kurgan: BICS extending to digital world from telco

The question of who owns the data in the Internet of Things (IoT) came up again last week in discussions with BICS, a Belgium-based carrier’s carrier making the most of its soon-to-close acquisition of California’s TeleSign, a digital services fraud control and security company. BICS sees this — and I’m sure they’re right — as an opportunity for it to hasten its transformation from a pure (if that’s the right word for a telco) connectivity provider to a digital services provider. TeleSign boasts 500+ corporate clients, mainly in North American online services and BICS is impatient to extend the same security offering to its long-standing telco customers in Europe and Asia.

CEO, Daniel Kurgan was talking to yours truly and others of tech media’s Great Unwashed and was asked “Who owns the data?” in this digital age. He referenced BMW which is shifting inexorably (my words) towards a future where they sell mobility not cars or bikes. But he was adamant, it’s always the customer who owns the data.

Which brings us neatly back to transport. Look, it’s not just thrown together here, you know.

Transports of delight

If you haven’t already, take a moment to check out our new website, www.IoTNowTransport.com. It’s the first vertical industry spin-off from IoT-Now.com, and provides information specifically targeted at all aspects of the Internet of Things in transport, whether it’s automotive, fleet management & logistics, rail transport, or shipping & cargo handling. If that’s your sector, check it out and give me your feedback on Twitter @jcIoTnow.

The author, Jeremy Cowan, is editorial director of IoT Now, IoT Now Transport, IoT Global Network, and the telecoms title, VanillaPlus.com.

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Jeremy Cowan

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