Does Ingenu’s CEO Search Portend Problems for Proprietary IoT LPWANs?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• LPWAN provider Ingenu announced that CEO John Horn was leaving the company and that it has a new strategic direction with an emphasis on partnering with leading ecosystem vendors to offer turnkey solutions

• This may portend difficulty for all the proprietary LPWAN vendors, who face imminent, highly significant competition from Tier 1 mobile operators launching LTE-M and NB-IoT networks

The sudden departure of Ingenu CEO John Horn, who was also the former head of T-Mobile USA’s IoT division, may be a signal of things to come. The flurry of network launches and service expansions from proprietary LPWAN providers Ingenu, SigFox, and the LoRA Alliance over the last two to three years have given way to more recent and frequent news about LTE-M and NB-IoT build-outs and service trials from mobile operators. 2017 has already seen the majority of global mobile operators promising or delivering on their network promises with national LPWAN networks ready to take on customers. All of these networks have a common message, to lower the price of IoT deployments for lower bandwidth use cases such as non-real-time sensor data collection, while extending device battery life – an ideal combination for long-term deployments where devices may be out in the field without much action or human intervention. A surprisingly large percent of IoT deployments today are in this usage category (often estimated at 60-80%). These are the kinds of applications that used to take advantage of lower cost 2G networks, but the LPWAN providers expect huge growth in the number of connections on their networks over the next five to ten years. Read more of this post

Salesforce DX Democratizes Coding via Heroku Tools and Einstein AI-Powered CRM Apps

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • The Trailhead training program continues to play a big part infiltrating AI into app development.
  • Salesforce DX represents a leveraging of Heroku tools to a broader audience of developers to achieve continuous integration.

At its recent TrailheaDX conference, Salesforce provided further insight into its efforts to train more developers on its high-value services, including AI-powered CRM apps, and increase the competitive threat it poses to software platform rivals Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon. Read more of this post

Chinese Operators Ally with U.S. and European Operators and Technology Vendors to Expand Their IoT Reach

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • China already dominates the world in numbers of cellular IoT connections; Chinese operators are set to plumb the LPWAN opportunity as well.
  • Recent announcements highlight the importance of U.S. and European IoT alliances to Chinese operators, with opportunities on both sides of the globe.

Over the last several weeks (which included the MWC Shanghai trade show), there have been a sizeable number of announcements relating to IoT initiatives and alliances by the three main telecom operators in China: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom. The announcements were focused on LPWAN rollouts, alliances with other operators for reciprocal footprint expansion, and technology enhancements/vendor alliances for connectivity and subscription management. China is already a powerhouse in IoT, at least in terms of the number of connections already in use. For example, China Mobile has about 120 million connections, while China Unicom had about 20 million a year ago (and China Telecom hasn’t disclosed numbers). In comparison, Vodafone has about 50 million, while AT&T and Verizon have about 65 million connections jointly. All three Chinese operators are also actively deploying LPWAN networks, focusing on the standardized 3GPP technology, NB-IoT. Read more of this post

Sprint & T-Mobile Merger Looking Real: What Does It Mean for the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Industry ‘chatter’ is intensifying as a Sprint and T-Mobile merger attempt seems increasingly likely.
  • Given each company’s relatively weak position in enterprise services, a combination will not result in a superior enterprise mobility portfolio, at least at first.

Sprint and T-Mobile merger rumors have been circulating for many years, as the number two and three mobile operators are in many ways a likely pairing to go after Verizon and AT&T, possibly expanding business focus, lowering prices and improving customer responsiveness. Read more of this post

OSS Technologies Which Are Key to Container, Microservices Adoption

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• Vendors are supplementing platform services via OSS tools and frameworks
• OSS drastically improves time-to-market for next-generation architectures and technologies

I’ve just wrapped up a spring tour of app platform vendor conferences. Despite the fact that innovative technology rollouts promise Netflix-like continuous delivery of modern apps, I’ve got some concerns. Inevitably while attending smaller technology sessions during said conferences, I’d encounter parties from both sides of the DevOps equation expressing frustration and confusion around how to implement modern hybrid cloud app development solutions. Read more of this post

To Which Partners Do Businesses Look for Help with IoT Projects?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Businesses looking for help with IoT deployments want companies with experience, in-house resources, and complete solutions.
  • When asked what they look for from suppliers for advisory, professional services, and other IoT requirements, the responses were diverse. Telecom service providers and IoT platform vendors appear to have unseated ITSPs and others for some key tasks.

A recent GlobalData survey of 1,000 global businesses deploying IoT projects included questions on the use of outside consultants and vendors to meet various requirements. The kinds of partners that were considered included equipment vendors (e.g., Cisco, Huawei), platform vendors (e.g., Ericsson, Cisco Jasper, GE, PTC), telecom services providers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone), IT services companies (e.g., Accenture, HPE, IBM), and software providers (e.g., Microsoft, Jive Software). The partner capabilities under consideration were technical consulting, systems integration, device and connectivity management, application development, proof of concept and testing, business consulting, and data analytics. The charts below show the full set of responses to these questions. Read more of this post

Live from LiveWorx: PTC Boosts IoT Morale and Momentum

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • LiveWorx brings together a meaningful slice of the IoT ecosystem and boosts momentum for PTC’s role in empowering the market.
  • Cisco’s stats from Monday on the high percentage of IoT project failures splashed cold water on the industry, but PTC is not letting this impact momentum.

PTC’s LiveWorx, still in progress, is an annual lovefest for the IoT industry, with the additional benefit (to PTC) of boosting/cementing its already strong presence within the industrial IoT sector. The company’s ThingWorx platform competes with other IoT application enablement platforms, but is strongly differentiated. It is a purpose-built offer for manufacturing and a comprehensive platform that appeals to a growing number of PTC’s installed base which use its other offerings, including its CAD (Creo) tool and its Product Lifecycle Manufacturing and Service Management software. This year, the event was fortified by a major new release of the platform, ThingWorx 8, which adds enhanced platform capabilities and role-specific applications for engineering and manufacturing, along with new partners, more expansive educational programs, and a new collection of service offerings for customers and partners. Read more of this post

Cost Conundrum as Companies Quit IoT Shows Need for a New Business Model

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

• Cost and higher priorities have led some firms to abandon their IoT plans

• IoT generates a small fraction of operators’ income

New research by GlobalData shows that the companies that give up on their IoT projects do so because they are too expensive to implement (41%), and because their priorities shift (23%). Another 21% found they are too costly to maintain.

GlobalData asked more than 1,000 users worldwide, mostly industrial firms, about their IoT investment intentions. Replies show that getting budget is less of an issue this year than last, suggesting firms are more willing to try out the technology. However, this also led to more projects being abandoned later in the project lifecycle. While most firms kill their IoT projects in the investigation phase, all firms in GlobalData’s 2016 survey pulled the plug at the latest during the pilot stage. This year, 6% abandoned their projects in each of the deployment and post-deployment phases, citing implementation and maintenance costs reasons. Read more of this post

AT&T, Verizon Stake Out U.S. Microwave Spectrum Licenses Ahead of Big 5G Broadband Expectations

B. Washburn

B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • 5G’s high-frequency component holds the promise of very high-performance/low-latency millimeter wave mass-market communications. AT&T and Verizon are aiming for companies with large bundles of spectrum licenses.
  • Millimeter wave license holders struggled to monetize the business. The 5G spec makes mass-market promises, but the technology has to break cost and power usage barriers.

The latest U.S. spectrum auction wound down in April, raising US$19.8 billion – less than half of what the U.S. government expected – for 70 MHz of spectrum sold for cellular communications in the desirable sub-1 GHz band. Comcast, T-Mobile and Dish Networks bid heavily. But, incumbent mobile operators AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, usually starved for spectrum and willing to spend big, barely made a showing. Read more of this post

The Detail Devils of the IoT

I. Grant

Summary Bullets:

  • The John Deere copyright clause is a stark warning to scrutinize IoT EULAs.
  • Inaction could kill recurring revenue business models for thousands of manufacturers.

Companies looking to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) need to scrutinize their end-user license agreements (EULAs). This follows an attempt by tractor manufacturer John Deere to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), US legislation designed to prevent theft of intellectual property such as videos and music, to force customers to use licensed channels to repair their machines. Read more of this post