• At LiveWorx, PTC showed off exciting new capabilities for Industrial IoT, including the use of Augmented Reality, a potential game-changer for both IoT providers and customers
• The IoT ecosystem, in demos and panels, also showed off new wares, but many acknowledged a long road to meaningful revenue and profits
PTC LiveWorx, held in Boston from June 7th through 9th, is an annual “love fest” for the industrial IoT industry – the majority of presentations and demos showed off new technologies, software, hardware, analytics, dashboards, application enablers, vertical solutions, and consulting services that point to an even more compelling future for industrial IoT. In particular, the use of augmented reality, which PTC now has in its arsenal through its acquisition of Vuforia in late 2015, has the potential to allow customers to sell, demo, manage, operate, and troubleshoot their products more effectively, and cost-effectively prototype new features.
The LiveWorx exhibit hall (Xtropolis) featured demos from 60 vendors (and even a few PTC competitors) featuring show sponsors such as Deloitte Digital, Accenture, Salesforce, Dell, Lenovo, Glassbeam, Tristar, Kalypso, ServiceMax, Stratasys, and GE. These ecosystem partners were also prominent at keynotes and panel discussions. PTC provided a dedicated analyst track to discuss company and product strategy. The upshot of including PTC company leaders to respond to analysts’ questions, as well as providing a “who’s who” of the IoT ecosystem sprinkled in and between PTC “show-off” sessions, was fascinating. Exposure to the technology and talent allowed analysts to come away with a renewed sense of awe of the potential of IoT, a sense of excitement about PTC as a driver of innovation, along with a simultaneous reality check. For example, many suppliers noted the obstacles ahead, i.e., the remaining problems relating to fears about security, development of compelling ROIs, the difficulty in convincing customers that IoT is not just about cost containment and efficiency, but can be transformational, offering them a road to new products, feature innovations, and in particular new service opportunities. PTC, which is investing heavily in IoT, including the recent acquisitions of Kepware and Vuforia, disclosed that it has over 700 customers using its IoT capabilities.