Enterprise IoT Platforms Mature Along with New IoT Requirements and Accelerators

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:            

  • The enterprise IoT platform market continues to evolve. GlobalData reports that new initiatives over the last six months have focused on edge services, hybrid cloud integration, LoRaWAN support, vertical solutions, and new integrations and partnerships.
  • GlobalData also notes that AWS, IBM, Microsoft, PTC, and Google continue to lead this market. However, other providers, including Software AG, Oracle, Huawei, Hitachi, and Siemens, also have strong solutions.

Enterprise IoT platforms transform data collected from devices and machines to help customers build applications to automate processes, improve products, and help business leaders make decisions.  GlobalData has published its bi-annual analysis of the enterprise IoT platform market.    The report focuses on new initiatives from AWS, IBM, SAP, Microsoft, PTC, and Google, companies which GlobalData considers to be leaders in this space. Continue reading “Enterprise IoT Platforms Mature Along with New IoT Requirements and Accelerators”

Mobile Robots Have Arrived in Europe – Taking Robot Baby Steps

Summary Bullets:

J. Marcus
  • ‘Service robots’ are coming outdoors as 5G enables operation beyond the range of WiFi.
  • In Europe, early trials in the Nordics point towards both industrial and B2C use cases.

When 5G networks were first deployed in China, mobile robots were wheeled out almost immediately, demonstrating the possibilities of using the wireless network to control connected devices beyond the range of WiFi.  As early as February of last year, makeshift hospitals set up in Wuhan to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic were using robots to perform ultrasonic scans, while on streets around the country, 5G-enabled robots were providing body temperature testing, spraying disinfectants, cleaning surfaces, and delivering prescriptions.

Continue reading “Mobile Robots Have Arrived in Europe – Taking Robot Baby Steps”

Digital Acceleration – For When Digital Transformation Is Too Slow

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:          

  • Digital acceleration implements short-term tactical changes over longer-term strategic projects.
  • Digital acceleration is a response to changing customer demands, not just COVID-19.

Digital transformation has been an industry catchphrase for some time now.  Its definition is both vague and changeable, but it speaks to using technology to improve internal processes within an enterprise to deliver cost savings and/or improved performance.  It encompasses a wide range of technologies including cloud, SD-WAN, collaboration, IoT, 5G, blockchain, AI, and SaaS. 

However, there is a new buzz phrase on the block: digital acceleration.  So, is there a difference between digital transformation and digital acceleration?  The ‘helpful’ answer to that is ‘yes and no.’  The intentions of both digital transformation and digital acceleration are the same, as are the technologies involved.  The big difference is in methodology. Continue reading “Digital Acceleration – For When Digital Transformation Is Too Slow”

Can IT Service Providers Add Significant Value to IoT Deployments?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • The fragmentation of the IoT supplier ecosystem has long been a barrier to adoption, as enterprises may be worried about having to separately negotiate, pay for, and manage connectivity, devices, security solutions, management platforms, and vertical solutions from multiple suppliers.
  • The role IT services providers play in making IoT easier to adopt and use is by offering a one-stop shop that combines their own and third-party solutions and adds advisory, integration, professional and managed services, and end-to-end vertical solutions.

In COVID-19 times, IoT has evolved to become a key enabler of solutions to ensure safety of workers, facilitate remote operations through monitoring and control, and ensure uninterrupted supply chains. Some operators and IT services providers (ITSPs) have thrived in this environment, while others have found it difficult to convince skeptical businesses to invest in what may still be perceived as an unproven technology (that has actually been around for 20+ years) with uncertain outcomes. In past years, it has also been difficult for some IoT ecosystem vendors to generate substantial revenues, with security breaches, supplier fragmentation, and perceived high solution costs listed by enterprises as barriers to adoption, along with difficult-to-prove ROIs. Continue reading “Can IT Service Providers Add Significant Value to IoT Deployments?”

Cable Companies and Smaller Mobile Operators Progress on the IoT Services Front

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Comcast, Cox Communications, and UScellular all launched IoT businesses in the 2016-2018 time period.
  • While the big mobile operators get most of the deals, these ‘alternative’ providers continued to improve their portfolios and gained new IoT customers in 2020.

2020 was a mixed bag for IoT services as COVID-19 tamped down some opportunities while spawning others, especially in the areas of healthcare, building management, and remote operations. While new services were launched by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, there are other service providers in the mix. MVNOs such as Sierra Wireless and KORE offer increasingly industry-specific IoT connectivity and platforms, using aggregated cellular connectivity from top mobile operators. In addition, several cable companies and consumer-oriented cellular providers also launched IoT services or full-fledged business units in 2016-2018 to further monetize their networks and offer added value to their business customer bases. In 2020, they added platform capabilities, launched services for new verticals with wide-ranging solution partners, and gained a sprinkling of new customers. Continue reading “Cable Companies and Smaller Mobile Operators Progress on the IoT Services Front”

Telco Edge Computing in ASEAN

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Edge computing is still new in the ASEAN region, with very limited initiatives by providers and enterprises.
  • Providers and enterprises should start exploring the opportunity to gain a first-mover advantage.

The edge computing market is still new, but the ecosystem is developing fast with various initiatives and collaborations announced by key players in the last 12 months. This includes SK Telecom’s recent partnerships with VMware and Dell to offer edge computing in private 5G networking solutions (January 2021), AWS and Vodafone’s collaboration to roll out distributed multi-access edge computing (MEC) services in the UK (December 2020), Ericsson and Telstra’s initiative to develop enterprise use cases in verticals such as agriculture and smart cities in Australia, and many more. Edge computing has become a key focus for every provider across the technology stacks, including hardware vendors, cloud providers, telcos, and device manufacturers. Continue reading “Telco Edge Computing in ASEAN”

NCS Has Moved Out of Singtel Group Enterprise and Doubled Down on Digital Services

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • NCS is investing in digital services, expanding its operations in China and Australia, and targeting key industry verticals.
  • NCS has gained greater autonomy moving out of Singtel Group Enterprise, to strengthen its regional capabilities in delivering digital solutions.

NCS, formerly National Computer Systems, was founded in 1981 to support the Singapore government’s initiatives related to IT implementation. It was acquired by Singtel in 1997, and it remains a key business within Singtel, delivering ICT solutions for enterprise customers both in Singapore and across Asia. According to Singtel, NCS has delivered revenue growth for seven years running. However, most of the business is generated in Singapore and especially within the public sector. NCS operated as a business unit within Singtel Group Enterprise for several years, but it has never been fully integrated with Singtel. The company has retained its brand name, and it has different capabilities than Singtel (e.g., consulting, business application services, AI, and automation) as well as a different business model (e.g., project-based, industry-focused, and bespoke solutions). Continue reading “NCS Has Moved Out of Singtel Group Enterprise and Doubled Down on Digital Services”

Outlook for 5G-Enabled Enterprise Solutions in 2021: The Potential Telco Game Plans

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • While 5G-enabled enterprise solutions offer new revenue streams for telecom operators, they need new capabilities to develop and sell the full solutions, not just the carriage component.
  • Telecom operators will look to partnerships and/or acquisitions to gain the necessary competence to help customers in key industry verticals to transform their business operations.

Telecommunications companies (telcos) are at a crossroads as they rollout 5G and looking at how to monetize this investment. While they can continue to focus on selling carriage services, with the saturation of mobile subscription and competitive pressure, the hope of increasing ARPU from 5G connectivity remains elusive. Instead, many telcos are looking to enterprise solutions as a way to open up new revenue streams, leveraging 5G’s unique capabilities around ultra-low latency, reliability, and significantly higher throughput. Some will go even further and set new performance parameters with 5G. This shift inevitably involves moving into new territories for the telcos, including IoT, data analytics, cloud services, cybersecurity, etc., and bringing these capabilities together to solve business problems and prove outcomes. Emerging 5G enterprise solutions also tend to target specific use cases across various industries (e.g., smart factory, port automation, and connected utilities). Most enterprises do not know how 5G can help to transform their business and they rely on their technology partners to advise and show them the possibilities. Continue reading “Outlook for 5G-Enabled Enterprise Solutions in 2021: The Potential Telco Game Plans”

GlobalData’s Enterprise IoT Connection Forecasts Show Moderate Growth, But Connections are Only Part of the Story

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData’s new IoT forecast for the number of connections associated with Enterprise IoT deployments predicts that by the end of 2020 we will see 5.5 billion connections, which will rise to 11.3 billion by 2024, for a CAGR of 15%.

• These numbers are only moderately good news for mobile operators which will see their cellular connections grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of only 12% over five years, while their licensed spectrum low power wide area networks (LPWANs; including NB-IoT and LTE-M) will grow more significantly by 19% and 51% respectively.

According to new forecasts from GlobalData, the global number of Enterprise-related Internet of Things connections will reach 11.2 billion by 2024, dominated by short-range and cellular connections, but with strong growth (starting from a much smaller base) for LPWANs. The CAGR for the six-year period for all IoT connectivity types is moderate, at 15%. The 2020 forecast was tamped down slightly to account for the effect of COVID-19 on technology spending; however, from 2021 onwards, growth is expected to continue at a higher rate. In addition, many operators note that new offerings that help with COVID-19 detection and mitigation, such as room/building occupancy monitoring and management, and remote thermal temperature scanning, have actually had a positive effect on new deployments. Continue reading “GlobalData’s Enterprise IoT Connection Forecasts Show Moderate Growth, But Connections are Only Part of the Story”

Private 5G Spectrum Applications in Germany Offer Clues on Enterprise Demand – or Do They?

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Private 5G networks using unlicensed spectrum could play a major role in the digital transformation of business operations, especially within industrial sectors. Having opened up the market, German regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has already received 78 applications, all but four of which have been assigned.
  • A published list of private spectrum buyers is intended to let enterprises know who else has been approved, in order to avoid interference from overlapping use of radio frequencies in local deployments. So far, it is mostly network consulting and engineering specialists along with research and educational institutions that have gone public with their private spectrum applications.

In Who’s Winning the Wireless Private Network Race?,” Kathryn Weldon took a look at the various ecosystem stakeholders in private 4G and 5G networks and their various strengths, incentives, and abilities to capitalize on the market opportunity (particularly in the U.S., where private CBRS spectrum was recently auctioned). In this blog, we take a look at Germany, a regional market where global network infrastructure vendors expect early demand and where a list of entities assigned unlicensed 5G spectrum in the 3.7-to-3.8 GHz frequency band has just been published. Continue reading “Private 5G Spectrum Applications in Germany Offer Clues on Enterprise Demand – or Do They?”