By Jeff Kaplan, THINKstrategies
The increasing attention and accelerating innovation in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) marketplace was clearly on display at the Axeda Connexion 2014 conference May 6-7 in Boston. The event brought together over 600 attendees from more than 150 companies worldwide to share perspectives and best practices regarding how to capitalize on the rapidly expanding consumer and commercial opportunities created by the IoT.
Axeda has been at the forefront of the IoT movement as a pioneer of the previous generation of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. In the same way the vision of the ‘connected world’ has expanded from connected devices and systems to a broader set of connected objects and services, Axeda’s mission and product portfolio has also widened.
Over the past few years, Axeda has broadened its focus from helping its customers and partners more easily connect remote objects, devices, systems and services to enabling them to better manage and ultimately monetize the value of their connected worlds as well. It has also shifted its technical focus from hardware-oriented to software-driven solutions, and moved from primarily on-premise to Cloud-powered solutions.
Today, Axeda’s IoT portfolio includes three major components to address three key IoT requirements:
- Connect – Middleware
- Build – Platform
- Manage – Analytics
At the Connexions 2014 conference, Axeda unveiled five new offerings that strengthen its ability to satisfy its customers and partners’ needs in these three areas:
- Axeda Connected Builder which moves IoT agent mgmt to the Cloud.
- Adaptive Machine Messaging Protocol to provide a standard language for IoT.
- Machine Streams for streaming high volumes of data in IoT networks.
- Connected Asset Management for Salesforce.com to improve customer support, sales and marketing effectiveness.
- Axeda community.axeda.com to encourage greater peer-to-peer collaboration and information sharing of IoT best practices.
One of the most impressive aspects of the Axeda story is the ecosystem of customers and partners it has built. AT&T has been a strategic partner for many years and played a prominent role at Connexion 2014. In fact, the two companies co-hosted a special luncheon on the first day of the conference for the industry analysts attending the event where they shared information about the growing number of customer success stories they are generating together across a variety of vertical markets.
Oracle, Intel, GE, Salesforce.com, Deutsche Telekom and Broadcom also gave keynote presentations at Connexion 2014. In addition, the conference expo included Wipro, Dedicated Computing, Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Appirio, Software AG, TeraCode, CaseBank Technologies, HP Vertica, Integron, Lantronix, Mitsui Technologies, Option Wireless Technology, SAS, ServiceMax and Venetia Systems.
While there was plenty of excitement about the boundless opportunities created by the IoT, there was also a healthy amount of practical perspective about the technical, organizational and market barriers to success that still exist.
First, there is no single standard or vendor that can satisfy the end-to-end requirements of most IoT deployments. Therefore, industry collaboration and integration is essential for success.
Second, there are just as many security vulnerabilities as there are network connections in IoT deployments. Many product innovations and policy decisions will be required to combat the rising security threats.
Third, many organizations must understand how the IoT redefines their customer relationships. Capturing and properly utilizing a new level of customer data carries tremendous responsibilities in addition to creating incredible new business opportunities.
Axeda’s Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Product Strategy, Bill Zujewski, suggested during his keynote presentation that these challenges make it imperative that the IoT vendors and the industry as a whole adopt policies to ensure their products and business practices are in harmony with their customers’ needs to alleviate their concerns. In his view, “harmonize” is the latest level of value created by the rapidly evolving IoT market.