Tag: internet of things

IBM calls in Watson for the IoT

Sherlock-Holmes-and-WatsonThe ever shrinking Biggish Blue wants to use advanced analytics  and its Watson platform to help partners and customers stand out in the crowded Internet of Things market.

Talking to the assembled throngs at IoTConnex, IBM’s business development leader IoT for Manufacturing and Industrial Products Raghbir Kern said that analytics and cognitive computing capabilities will be an essential part of IoT as industrial companies continue to connect their manufacturing floors.

“You may have heard of Industries 4.0 … this is a concept that focuses on the digitization of the modern manufacturing plant, which means you are connecting all your equipment, data, sensors. … We are taking that and adding on one more layer, cognitive computing, and really delivering on a vision of cognitive manufacturing that our customers have,” said Kern.

Customers were collecting data from multiple sources and are making that data transparent so they can see patterns and trends in the data and deliver better insight.

Kern said that companies will come to rely on tools like analytics. “In order to get to these later stages of cognitive manufacturing … you really have to take advantage of advanced analytics and cognitive technologies,” she said.

Partners have access to advanced analytics through IBM’s Watson Internet of Things platform, which incorporates both rule-based analytics, enabling customers to see what happens when one event occurs, or model-based analytics, which allows customers to predict future events.

With these tools, IBM Watson delivers three core cognitive manufacturing applications: using IoT to sense and diagnose issues so companies can optimise the performance of intelligent assets and equipment; using cognitive processes to bring more certainty to businesses through analysing a variety of information from workflows; and using insight to optimise resources.

IoT adopters need systems integrators

fings-ain-t-wot-they-used-t-be-all-star-studio-cast-recordingEnterprises wanting to build end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are increasingly turning to System Integrators (SIs) as partners.

ABI Research forecasts that IoT system integration and consulting revenues will grow past US$35.7 billion in 2022 from just under US$17 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 16.1 percent. SI specialists address the challenges the IoT poses due to their vast experience integrating legacy systems into end-to-end solutions, their knowledge of the IoT landscape and players in the market, and their existing relationships with enterprises and end-users. That’s what it reckons.

“The core responsibility of a system integrator is to fill the gap between solution providers and targeted market verticals”,  said Ryan Harbison, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “As such, SIs have a deep knowledge not only of enterprise pain points and issues, but also of specific applications and the business as a whole.”

SIs are becoming essential partners in many IoT partner program ecosystems due to their expertise in integrating IoT solutions across specific vertical markets and regions. SIs range from global system integrators (GSIs) and consultancies like Accenture, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to IT service system integrators like IBM and HP. GSIs like Accenture have stayed ahead of the curve in IoT primarily by addressing client demand for connected solutions and by understanding the value behind enterprise digital transformation and technology convergence. Technology services providers such as Altimetrik and Leverege have delivered value to their clients by offering extensive knowledge and expertise within particular vertical market segments.

“End-users are less concerned with the features of a various device or software platform and are more concerned with how their IoT solutions work as a whole to truly become a system of systems,” concludes Harbison. “Enterprises looking to develop IoT solutions may not contact hardware or software vendors and instead rely on the advice of a SI to navigate the marketplace to find solution components that deliver a full solution. Moving forward, it’s crucial for software and hardware providers to develop deep relationships with a range of SIs that provide vertical-specific solutions to end-users.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Role of System Integrators in M2M and IoT report. This report is part of the company’s M2M, IoT & IoE research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

IDC thinks the IoT market is set to explode

hindenburg_burningBeancounters at IDC think that the Internet of Things (ioT) is suddenly going to stop being a buzz word and “explode.”

According to an IDC report IoT  is gaining traction as enterprise companies pivot away from proof-of-concept projects to scalable IoT deployments in 2016.

A third of companies have announced IoT offerings incorporating cloud, analytics and security capabilities, while an additional 43 percent of companies are looking to deploy offerings in the next year.

Carrie MacGillivray, vice president of mobility and Internet of Things at IDC said that outfits are starting to understand the benefits that IoT can bring.

She added that a strong partner ecosystem is essential and channel and systems integrators as playing an increasingly important role.

Companies are seeing vendors leading with an integrated cloud and analytics offerings as “critical partners” in an organization’s IoT investment, IDC found.

IDC’s survey found that 55 percent of respondents see IoT as strategic to their business to help them compete more effectively, there are still challenges – many organizations cited lack of internal skills as a top concern in deploying an IoT offering.

Dell starts IoT partner programme

michael-dell-2Tin Box shifter Michael Dell has started an IoT solutions partner programme designed to make it easier for partners to identify themselves as specialists in this area.

The vendor is contacting providers to encourage them to use its technology in their offerings to provide more features, including security and data analytics.

Dell has been listing the tech it provides for intelligent gateways, embedded PCs, security, manageability tools, data center and cloud infrastructure and data analytic tools. It also is building ‘use case blueprints’ that will make it easier for partners to deploy IoT gear.

The IoT partner programme has three tiers – executive, associate and registered.

Registered partners might be doing enough to get the public backing of Dell but do not have enough experience to get the sort of recommendation other tiers. Associates can deliver more differentiated and proven solutions when compared to the registered level. Executives are those that have a stand out proposition and are seen as ‘best in class’ with a proven ability to deliver.

The IoT partner programme includes working with firms including GE, SAP, Software AG, Microsoft, OSIsoft and others.

Dell also stressed that it would continue to build relationships with systems integrators that have vertical expertise.

 

HP Enterprise, Intel and Aruba team up

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudFormer maker of expensive printer ink, HP Enterprise (HPE) has announced a new IoT and Aruba solutions package aimed at better cloud data collection, analysis and beacon management.

The move will help HP partners come up with IoT packages for big corporate clients.

Dubbed Edgeline IoT Systems, the new product line is a joint venture between HPE and Intel. Two devices, Systems 10 and 20 are available in rugged, mobile and rack-mounted versions and sit at the gateways at the network edge. Built around Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite they will run Windows 10 IoT for industrial, logistics, transportation, healthcare, government and retail applications.

System EL10 is tailored to  entry-level deployments, EL20 comes with more features for higher compute capabilities and quick deployments. It’s can handle higher volumes. Both run on HPE’s Moonshot.

Aruba has released a cloud-based beacon management solution aimed at multivendor Wi-Fi networks.

The IoT Aruba Sensor crosses a  Wi-Fi client and BLE radio, so that users can remotely manage Aruba Beacons across wi-fi networks on a  Meridian cloud.

The new sensors are meant to help companies introduce location-based services.

HPE Edgeline IoT Systems are available now in the US and Aruba sensors are now available to order.

Distributors take aim at services market

truckThe CEO of Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) pitched services as a key element of distributors profitability.

Speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum, Curran said the GTDC has 19 members totally $135 billion in global sales and covering 95 percent of the planet.
He said: “We asked the GTDC executives how big the channel opportunity for the internet of things was, and they think it’s a good thing.Distributors will enable partners to understand the internet of things.”

Distributors will be able to provide a geographic reach, scale things with a variable cost infrastructure, and be able to look at things with multiple vendors.

But distribution as a service is taking off, he said. Distribution isn’t just about packing boxes and sending them off, he claimed and produced a long list of services disties offer. Distribution has been good at doing “the smelly things” like credit checks, credit cards and compliance checks.

The group collects information on distribution covering a billion dollars of data a week. He said sales in all major Western European countries are improving.

GDTC trains vendors how to learn about distribution and how to avoid common mistakes.

Curran led five executives onto the stage from disties inluding Azlan, Tarsus, Logicom, Arrow, and Avnet.

A chap from Logicom said it was important for both the channel and the vendors align themselves to bring IoT stuff to market. The Arrow chap said vendors create the room but won’t relinquish their services. Azlan’s Simon England said vendors want to keep control but we (distributors) should be considered as service providers.

Graeme Watt from Avnet said disties were sales, marketing and service companies too.

Services is extreme;y important, said Watt, but it is difficult to persuade vendors and resellers how it can help them.

He said Avnet had been in channel conflicts over services, but that wasn’t the company’s intent. Resellers don’t have to take Avnet’s services. “Where we’ve encountered conflict we’ve either stepped aside or developed “teaming arrangements.””

IoT needs to be sold to enterprises

map-of-internetBeancounters at IDC think that the Internet of Things is an important strategic move for companies and resellers need to convince them.

IDC said that the Internet of Things (IoT) was gaining traction in a number of verticals and is now seen as “strategic to the enterprise.”

The analyst asked  2,350 IT and business decision makers in 15 countries such as Brazil, China and Germany, and found that 73 percent of respondents have deployed or are planning on deploying IoT solutions in the next 12 months.

The survey found that 58 per cent of respondents believe IoT is “a strategic initiative”; while 24 percent see it as “transformative”. Healthcare is ahead of the overall awareness, with 72 percent of those surveyed seeing it as strategic in this field. Transportation and manufacturing followed with 67 percent and 66 percent respectively.

The analyst found that government is behind the overall awareness, and “often needs clarification around the IoT basics”.

Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IoT at IDC, said: “IoT momentum continues to grow and our survey shows that it is seen as strategic to the enterprise.”

IDC’s survey found that security was a key problem for IoT, as “upfront and ongoing costs have become the top challenges”.

Cisco brings IoT certification to channel

ciscoCisco is helping its channel partners get a leg up into the Internet of Things.

The idea is to run training programmes to give them the skills needed to try to capture some of the $19 trillion it expects from the new industry.

A new Cisco Certified Network Associate Industrial IoT certification has been set up along with two new cloud certifications to help partners deliver optimal business outcomes.

Cisco thinks its channel needs to understand the context of the industrial and IoT environments while it is deploying and managing these network and IT devices.”

The lab-based training program targets networking engineers, plant administrators, control engineers and IT engineers and teaches them how to build, manage and operate converged industrial networks in the fast-growing IoT manufacturing markets.

The certification targets both the customers and channel partners

Last week, research firm IDC released a report forecasting that the IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from $42.2 billion in 2013 to $98.8 billion in 2018 — representing a CAGR of 18.6 percent.

Cisco warns partners of IoS skills shortage

ciscologoWhile everyone is talking up the Internet of Things, network giant Cisco has cleared its throat and pointed out that there is a huge skill shortage based around the technology.

Speaking at the Cisco Partner Summit, the outfit’s vice president for Industry Solutions Group, Steve Steinhilber, said that the IoT market will be worth $19 billion by 2020 – $14.4 billion of which will come from the private sector, and $4.6 billion from the public sector.

He claimed partners were getting a 40 percent annual boost to their Cisco businesses through selling IoT kit, but said the skills gap is a pressing concern.

He said that for Cisco and its partners this is a genuinely new available market. But one of the big gaps in the next three to five years is a tremendous shortfall in skills.

“You have people coming from the operational technology space and people coming from the IT space so you need training on how these worlds are going to merge. For Cisco, just in the industrial [vertical market], we see a shortage of 300,000 people with the right skills across the globe.”

In the past nine months, Cisco has trained 38 partners globally as IoT Specialised partners, and another 94 are currently going through the process, Steinhilber said, adding that this should start to fill the gap.

“We’ve begun rolling out a series of programmes,” he said. “Over the next 12 months you will see a serious of other unique training courses focused on industry-vertical skills.”

Blackberry puts security on IoT

Samsung Browses BlackberryTelephone outfit BlackBerry is launching a new certificate service that will help bring the security level it offers on smartphones to the Internet of Things

Certicom, a subsidiary of BlackBerry, announced a new offering that it contends will secure millions of devices, expected to be part of the Internet of Stuff (IoT).

It said that it had already won a contract in Britain to issue certificates for the smart meter initiative there with more than 104 million smart meters and home energy management devices.

The service will make it much easier for companies rolling out such devices to authenticate and secure them, the company said.

In another move BlackBerry also outlined a plan to expand its research and development efforts on innovation and improvement in computer security.

Dubbed the BlackBerry Centre for High Assurance Computing Excellence (CHACE) said that it will to develop tools and techniques that deliver a far higher level of protection than is currently available

 

Smart buildings to generate fortunes

asus-buildingA report from IDC estimates that there’s so much interest in so-called smart buildings that spends will grow to $17.4 billion worldwide by 2019.

IDC said that although the market had been expected to blossom before now, it’s flowering pretty vigorously and will soon bear fruit.

Growth will be concentrated at first in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, with people becoming a bit smarter themselves and realising that investing in the technology can save money.

Commercial buildings in particular are expected to grow more than domestic buildings and companies realise that such construction can save energy as well as create operational efficiencies, the report said.

In Europe, legislation driven by EU regulations is helping the market to burgeon.

Spending in 2014 was only $6.3 billion but that’s expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.6 percent, reaching $17.4 billion by 2019.

That figure, however, is only a small percentage of the whole construction market.

Osborne backs the internet of things

gosborneGeorge Osborne, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, has promised to throw £40 million into research into the internet of things (IoT). He made the announcement during yesterday’s 2015 budget speech in the House of Commons.

And, in addition, Osborne said that it will spend a further £100 million in R&D on smart cities and future infrastructure in the UK.

Osborne said the UK government was still committed to improving net connections and wants to spend £600 million for better networks and ultrafast broadband across the UK.

The government is also spending money on looking at digital currency and improving wi-fi connections in public places.

Osborne said the IoT would connect everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances.

The £40 million will be used to create business incubators for startups that will work on the government’s smart cities initiative.

The tech industry is investing hundreds of millions in IoT applications, but so far there is a distinct lack of standardisation and there are worries about security when billions of devices are all potentially connected to each other.

Windows 10: Summer is a coming in

windows-10-technical-preview-turquoiseWe’ve already written how Microsoft is to give away Windows 10 to Chinese users but senior VP Terry Myers has revealed other elements that he hopes will give his company an edge on the operating systems front.

Speaking at a Windows technical conference in China, Myers said the firm will roll Windows 10 out this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.

He showed off a feature called Windows Hello that supports biometric authentication rather than the usual typed in passwords. Hello will use facial recognition, iris recognition or fingerprints to unlock devices using the Intel RealSense F200 sensor.

He also said there will be a new version of Windows specifically aimed at the internet of things (IoT) market – and that version of Windows will be free and see applications in ATMs, ultrasound machines, and gateways.

Microsoft has signed deals with a number of organisations including the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Qualcomm, Intel and others.

Myerson also announced the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C which is a Windows 10 developer board with integrated wi-fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and uses a smartphone style Snapdragon 410 chipset.

He claimed that Windows 10 is the only operating system that has a reach across such a broad family of hardware.

 

Smart city connections rise over a billion

Internet of ThingsEven though there’s little in the way of standards for the internet of things (IoT), the revolution is already here, according to research published by Gartner.

In a report released today, Gartner said that 1.1 billion connected things will be used by smart cities this year but that figure will soar to 9.7 billion by 2020.

But a significant number of connected things this year will be down to so called smart homes and smart commercial buildings – right now the share is 45 percent but the percentage will reach 81 percent by 2020.

Gartner said most of the money will be spent from the private sector. It released figures which showed that public services and in particular healthcare are lagging behind other sectors including transport and utilities.

For the home, connected devices include smart LED lighting, such as Philips Hue lights, healthcare monitoring, smart locks, and sensors that detect things as diverse as motion and carbon monoxide. The highest growth will be in smart lighting – in 2015 there will be only six million units shipped but that will grow to 570 million units by 2020.

Major applications in cities include IoT deployments for parking, traffic and traffic flow. And the UK is leading the way in the field.

Commercial IoT applications will span multiple industries and firms specialising in analytics will see a rise in revenue as big data generated by the billions of devices will represent challenges for the industry.

Intel promises “things” will get even smaller

tiny chipzillaChipzilla has promised that the gear which comes out under its “internet of things” plans will be getting a lot smaller soon.

So far, Intel’s SD card-sized Edison have been mainly adopted by enthusiasts which is normally the kiss of death for manufacturers who want mass sales. However with the next generation,, Intel said that it is considering a different approach to make Curie and its components accessible to a wider audience.

One idea is to sell a prebuilt “board” resembling a button with the Curie chip, wireless circuitry, sensors and expansion ports on it.

Mike Bell, corporate vice president and general manager at Intel’s New Devices Group, told PC World  that Intel’s larger wearable computers like the SD card-sized Edison were mainly adopted by enthusiasts.

“You hook up a battery, you hook up some wires, and you have something you can build a product out of,” Bell said.

Another idea is to have a smaller multi-chip package with just the Curie processor, radio and other basic circuitry. It’ll be small and come without the board, and will be ready to implement in wearable devices.

It will be quicker to implement, and should give device makers more flexibility in size when designing wearables.

What is strange however is that Intel has had more success putting its software, called IQs by Intel, in wearables more than its chips. It is seems that this sort of app-like approach is going down well with those who want to build wearables. That software only approach might give Intel a leg-up with Curie. Curie has a low-power Quark chip, Bluetooth wireless capabilities and a sensor hub to track activities like steps. It also has a pattern recognition engine, and software packages are key to analysing collected data.

The health software package will use the pattern recognition engine to analyse steps and other health data. Intel’s idea is turn the whole lot into a data analysis machine.

Fashion companies don’t have time to think about technology, and the software packages make implementing Curie into wearables easy, Bell said.

Intel’s main challenge is ARM and MIPS, whose processors are used in most wearables today.
Chipzilla has technology for smartwatches – it has been trying to peddle its Basis Peak idea mostly through partners. It is already in the market – in a fairly low key way. Intel’s technology is already in SMS Audio’s BioSport earphones and Opening Ceremony’s MICA smart bracelet. Intel has also partnered with eyewear companies Luxottica and Oakley and watch company Fossil Group.