Telit IoT Innovation Presentation
Speaker: Jeff Clemow —Director of NA Channel Sales at Telit
Telit is a global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) enablement. They offer the industry’s broadest portfolio of integrated products, platforms, and services to support and enable IoT deployments from things to apps. Their IoT connectivity plans and IoT platform services help reduce the risks, time to market, complexity, and costs associated with deploying and providing IoT services across industries and vertical markets worldwide.
In this session, Jeff Clemow, the director of NA Channel Sales at Telit, talks about the company’s IoT Innovation and growth within the space.
Jeff Clemow said hardware is complex and problematic because people define it different ways — at the component level, at the box level, at the solution level — and all those different layers have to tie into the application layer, the user experience, and the user interface. Telit is a global company and module manufacturer in an industry where there is a constant evolution of technology at the carrier level as well as influences and wide area solutions that are competing in the space. There’s, not a one answer fits all from a hardware space and companies need to understand their niche, business model, and solution.
Telit is trying to augment their hardware solution around other capabilities for IoT integration. This includes connectivity, platform services, connectivity management, device management expanded beyond cellular to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other technologies.
Jeff Clemow said he sees a big change coming in the industry. There is a move into M2M and IoT, power management, battery environment, the ability to suspend activity, sharing processors, sharing memory. He said bundling components is the new direction.
Telit hopes to get into a lot of trends that hopefully make the design at board level through to partners that leverage products to build their box solutions, making it easier to integrate into cloud environments. App zone support on modules allows programming on module level and in some use cases, that makes sense and in others, it doesn’t. Companies should ask the tough questions on what optimizes cost model and efficiency model and what they are trying to accomplish with the data as it is collected through sensors, end-devices, or controllers.
The consulting side of Telit is inherent. 80% of the time is spent in the sales cycle educating, especially with new designs, people that have never done cellular before, the certification process, and testing. When Telit talks about IoT enablement and IoT integration, it is trying to put all the parts together including service-oriented partnerships or actual hardware components and their capabilities. In Jeff Clemow’s role, he manages channel sales, which is anything that is not sold by their direct sales team and includes their partnership ecosystem. He said he wants to make sure that the hardware manufacturers who are using products are linking to application partners and cloud providers, whether it is Amazon or their own facilities, whether it is a global or regional deployment. Companies need help understanding the nuances and players needed as part of the solution.
Jeff Clemow said there is a debate over LTE’s global-ness but it is not global. There are differences in carriers in their deployment. Historically, companies followed the standards that drive for more power and less latency, and with that comes more power requirements, more antenna design requirements, form factor issues, heavier processors, more memory — all that drives the expense. These changes are great for cellular in traditional M2M markets on the industrial side, but it is a roadblock for the IoT side and the consumer side of things. With new standards as we move into CATM and CATMB, it significantly changes the trajectory of cellular in this space. It won’t compete with BLE or Wi-Fi, but it can complementary as a bundle, such as putting Bluetooth and cellular in the same module, sharing the same processors, leveraging GNSS and Bluetooth. This keeps cost down and allows you to have a synergetic relationship between the two technologies. Depending on the solution use case, companies may need both and don’t need to make sacrifices in choosing one or the other.
Wide area technologies like Lora and SigFox are gaining attention and taking root in parts of the world, providing niche opportunities for IoT companies to leverage them. Currently, there are a lot of unknowns in the space, but it will find its home and settle into where it fits. Licensed spectrum, robust carrier, standards-based driven technologies like cellular are here to stay and will probably be dominant, especially in North America.
When companies are deciding to do a module, a board, or an end device, it depends on what their total end product cost is. Having reference designs, pre-certified boards, and socket modems can help, especially if you’re early in first generation design to get to market faster. Then when new companies grow in size, they can do a module down design or an off the shelf box. Decisions aren’t always easier, especially when you’re factoring in what markets you might be deploying, domestic or global. Global markets are more complex with LTE because carriers don’t have the same bands. Companies still end up with a carrier by carrier model to a large degree.
One example case study Jeff Clemow shared was about Tenant, a commercial cleaning vacuum space. Telit worked with Tenant from a module standpoint into their design to deploy on all their equipment for IoT integration, with linkage and development support end to end. Telit didn’t do it by themselves because it is hard to find one entity to do it all. Companies need strategic partners for some components. Whether companies are on the design path or figuring out how to go to market, they need to evaluate where they are, their internal expertise, and staffing capabilities — and then match it with a partner to help easily get to the next phase.
Telit’s goal is that when companies are using Telit products or one of their partner’s products, they can get to market as fast as possible and be successful the first time. Certification is expensive and companies need to start making revenue to make more models.