IoT Data Connectivity, System Integrators, and Dev Kits
151 Advisors partner Steve Brumer and Internet of Things (IoT) expert Christ Hare joined host Jeff Mucci for a discussion on trends and news in IoT, including additional satellites improving the IoT global network and the synergy at Qualcomm, the semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company. This episode of IoT Innovation from RCR Wireless raised questions about the Internet of Things versus the Internet of Data, the impact of developer kits and who makes them, and the growth of System Integrators.
Further complicating the IoT connectivity ecosystem, publicly traded Silver Springs Networks (NYSE: SSNI) recently introduced “Starfish”, an international Wireless IPv6 Network Service for the Internet of Things with the goal of enabling commercial enterprises, cities, utilities, and developers to access a reliable, secure, and scalable IoT network service with service level agreements (SLAs) that meet their needs.
Companies looking to deploy IoT solutions will need to select between LTE, Sigfox, LoRa, Starfish and Ingenu connectivity. Satellite offerings will soon join the mix of licensed and unlicensed IoT connectivity options to consider. Licensing regulations for connectivity vary by country. Licensed options are sold to the company offering the most amount of money and unlicensed options are on the global market.
To effectively use IoT, companies must go through an education process to understand all the moving pieces of an IoT deployment to have a successful business. First, companies should ask what problem are they trying to solve and is that problem being solved in a beneficial way or in a novel way. People are used to controlling their world and IoT can be confusing to those who are reluctant to lose control. Education provided through seminars and answering questions allows companies to make more profitable decisions with IoT. Companies are sometimes just one piece of the process and need other pieces, provided by other providers, to find success.
This process and the different connectivity networks raises questions about whether the phrase “Internet of Things” fully encompasses what work is put into the process. Companies must collect the data and make connections, but then analyze it and make decisions. With how active this process is, some argue it should be called the “Internet of Data.”
Launching IoT on a global scale is a complex undertaking. Big companies like doing business with big companies. As such, system integrators like Accenture who recently acquired industrial IoT specialist Cimation and IBM, who announced opening an IoT lab in Munich, will be the “go to” partners for major industry leaders looking to “digitize” their business. These system integrators have become a key part of connectivity and delivery. While most big businesses partner with other big businesses like McKinsey and Bain, smaller specialized companies shouldn’t be looked over for their potential value. Although larger companies have the breadth and scale established, smaller companies bring detailed expertise and subject knowledge to create a profitable partnership. System Integrators should staff their companies with people who were customers that bring their own experiences to work. This growing field has a lot of trust among big businesses because of their extensive history.
IoT Developer Tool-kits and Boards
Orange, Imagination Technologies, Verizon Wireless and Raspberry Pi have recently announced new or enhanced IoT developer toolkits. Which begs the question: where do we start to develop IoT solutions?
For customers looking at which developer kits to use, there needs to be quick parallel testing that ends in a fast fail or a fast success. These pre-qualified kits give clients a sense of security that what they are using has been tested and compared to others. With many different platforms, companies should differentiate between them, understanding what best complements and corresponds with what problem they are trying to solve, like what software application to launch or what product to deploy. Looking for this safety and security can be confusing, especially when some developer kits are made by lesser-known developers. Large-scale developments need someone who has proven they can roll out large amounts of devices, someone who is a safer bet. Platform providers are constantly growing, but customers should learn to sift through the competitors and find the developers with the heritage and history that lead to success.