What is the IoT platform of the future?


Boston is these days host to LiveWorx 2015, the IoT event that joined together over 2,000 IoT experts from around the world.

During the conference, PTC unveiled an update to the ThingWorx IoT Platform with the sixth version enabling customers to scale and secure solutions.

At the same time, Howard Heppelmann, GM at PTC launched the ThingWorx Converge IoT offering that leverages the ThingWorx platform for connectivity, device management and rapid application development.

But questions remained from Tuesday’s event, and CBR went to investigate what to expect from an IoT platform.

The main function of an IoT platform is connectivity, according to Dave Hart from ThingWorx.

The CTO added that data management needs to be part of an IoT solution which needs to be able to process “massive amounts of data”.

Mr Hart said the IoT platform also has to offer device management and innovation to the market as the technology is constantly changing.

Eric Simmons, General Manager M2M at Rogers Communication continued adding that the ecosystem needs to let connected devices to talk through a gateway.

He said: “Monitoring and controlling devices is important.”

As for Wipro, VP Alan Atkins clarified that his company “looks at the data analytics”. He continued: “We look at the IoT from the beginning to end, stitching the whole thing together.”

The enterprise also categorised the type of benefits each sector could experience from using an IoT platform.

Mr Atkins said: “Manufacturers will benefit from more efficiency, while the sales market will gain the ability to predict failures.”

The VP added that such will lead to the introduction of a Spare Parts policy, where businesses have the stock to repair any machine at any given time.

“This will increase customer satisfaction, but having a CFO is vital, he is the key guy,” he said.

Mr Simmons agreed that by connecting existing devices and knowing when they are going to fail will be an advantage of using an IoT platform.

He said: “For manufacturing facilities this takes us to safety, it is important to invest in safety.

“Together, these will lead to new revenue streams.”

ThingWorx wants an IoT system that offers remote service and support changing relations with customers and creating new services.

Sunder Somasundaram, Sales Director at AT&T added that “IoT is transformational” and the industry needs to “change models and adapt” itself.

He said: “IoT is not anyone’s industry and it is happening now, a lot of customer want the full stack, the whole solution.”

Mr Hart admitted that “the real start of IoT are the manufacturers” with the next big wave in the industry being “demand of connected services”.

Wipro believes the major ramification in the future will be smart utilities, but Mr Atkins “hasn’t seen track of it” demanding “more flexibility”.

All companies acknowledged that the biggest misconception in IoT is security and complexity.

Mr Simmons said that complexity is the main reason why partnerships are important. He added: “It takes different companies to come up with a solution.”

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