How to get the most from the independent IoT platform finder – IoT Pilot webinar on-demand
If you missed the webinar don’t worry!
Catch up with our highlights below and register here to stream the live recording.
Participants: IoT Now, IoT M2M Council, ARM, Beecham Research
The Webinar started with two on-line polls of the areas of interest and the challenges of the participants. The first was the role of IoT in the organisation: user, OEM, application developer, solutions vendor, or systems integrator / consultant. About 50% were solution vendors and 50% users of various types, including consultants. This is more or less as expected. The second was the challenges: government regulation; internal conflicts, difficult to establish the right businesses model; lack of funding / skills; interoperability and standards. The business model was seen as the primary challenge, with interoperability also a significant challenge.
The on-line polls were followed by an introduction to IoT platforms and their use in the marketplace. Topics covered included the four key components: the application development layer plus the data, device and connectivity management layers, which are becoming increasingly complex. This was followed by an architectural view of the platform, i.e. the four main components, plus three additional categories – consumer centric, vertical-centric, such as Smart City platforms, and developer centric, plus end-to-end security which affects all categories.
This was followed by a graph showing the accelerating growth in the number of platforms in recent years. It is not slowing down: over 400 in 2016; 450 in 2017; over 500 right now and counting. Consolidation is taking place, but not a lot. Big companies are acquiring smaller companies in order to add more functionality. The wide choice will continue for the foreseeable future, hence the need for a way of helping users match their IoT requirements with the relevant platform or platforms.
That is something Beecham Research and IoT Global Network have been working on and now there is an online platform-matching tool known as IoT Pilot. It is free for adopters and has been designed to help enterprises evaluate and navigate the IoT platform landscape. This tool is not intended to generate a final selection; the aim is to provide an objective short list of candidate platforms.
Usage of the tool starts by entering responses to key questions. IoT Pilot employs the resulting search data to match the user‘s needs with a database of IoT platforms and create a short list that is available online straightaway. The same data is also summarised and analysed by Beecham Research to highlight emerging trends in the market place as well as key user requirements and concerns.
The short list identifies the name of the platform and the vendor, the category, plus a “heat map” of the platform’s strengths and weaknesses. Heat maps are a visual representation of capability of the various components of the platform: they are the results of analysis conducted by Beecham Research. In addition, there is a button on some of the individual platform pages that users can employ to auto-generate an email containing their selection criteria, to start a discussion with selected vendors.
Once users have a short list of platforms to look at – what next? Ideally they will want to approach some vendors with a list of questions to answer, so they can make a final selection and move towards implementing their chosen IoT solution. This is where work on an IoT software RFP, fronted by the IMC and on which Beecham Research also worked, comes into focus. A template RFP covering IoT platforms was created from this work that includes nearly 100 questions to ask platform vendors in order to learn more about their capabilities. This RFP template is available from the IMC (www.iotm2mcouncil.org).