- As Current Analysis forecasted in our December predictions report (see Enterprise Mobility and M2M Predictions for 2014: Growth Industries That Excite the Service Provider Imagination, December 10, 2013), 2014 is expected to be a year that will see consolidation in the M2M market, especially when it comes to the large number of small application development platform (ADP) vendors.
- As the first of such acquisitions in the new year, PTC’s acquisition of ThingWorx is an interesting one; companies not generally thought of as M2M/IoT players are clearly figuring out how to add services and solutions to their portfolios to target or take advantage of the growing market for connected machines.
PTC has long been a prominent provider of solutions to manufacturers, beginning with its industry-leading CAD/CAM software in the ‘80s, which has since evolved to a portfolio for product lifecycle management (PLM), computer-aided design (CAD), application lifecycle management (ALM), supply chain management (SCM) and service lifecycle management (SLM). As connectivity is becoming an increasingly important part of manufactured goods, it makes sense that PTC would want to integrate solutions to allow its customers to build ‘smart’ machines that can be remotely monitored and serviced and to capture real-time performance data about them to improve their operations.
ThingWorx, founded in 2009, provides a development and runtime platform for building sophisticated ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and M2M applications including social, mobile, ‘mashable’ and searchable components. It is one of a dozen or so small but rapidly growing M2M application development platform vendors, and it touts several named accounts and recent partners such as Railcom and Libelium. The company is also a Verizon partner and a founding member of Verizon’s M2M Application Development Program.
When we predicted 2014 acquisitions of the leading ADP providers in M2M, we named operators and systems integrators as likely buyers. However, the acquisition by PTC proves that the potential exists for an even wider ecosystem to invest in these solutions and integrate them with other offerings to manufacturers (or to any other key M2M target segment including transportation, logistics, utilities, point of sale, etc.). It is clear that many high-tech companies want a piece of the M2M/IoT market or see connectivity as a huge enabler in providing next-generation versions of their product lines.