Is This the Year of Augmented Reality?

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• At PTC LiveWorks 2019, augmented reality (AR) in the business segment (especially the manufacturing vertical) was a big theme, supported by customers on panels, and featured with compelling demos, in partner exhibits.

• While the outlook is optimistic, there are some limitations to uptake, including price of devices, corporate cultures that appreciate old-fashioned in-person training, and lack of manufacturers that are ready for digital transformation.

At PTC’s annual LiveWorks show, held from June 10th through 13th in Boston, the use of AR by businesses was a major theme. The technology is positioned by PTC as a way to bridge the physical and digital worlds. AR can digitally replicate an object such as a machine used in a manufacturing environment, or a complicated subsystem used in a complex field environment such as an oil rig. It essentially makes either a 3D model that can be viewed with a HoloLens or other smart glasses technology (easy to do with PTC’s CAD system, CREO) or a digital twin – essentially 3D in two dimensions – for viewing on a phone or tablet, which accurately represents all components of the machine, with all of its parts easy to discern. The model can have annotations added, including step-by-step training instructions, or ways to identify a part through colors or other effects. The AR model can provide simulations for operations such as seeing both the inside and outside of a machine or any component, or simulating operations such as refilling a fuel tank, or opening and closing a valve, etc. In 2015 PTC acquired Vuforia, which was a leading provider of AR software, picking up solutions to create content with 3D overlays, author and publish content quickly as needed, allow developers to create branded solutions, and mark-up views to highlight details or guide multi-step solutions. Continue reading “Is This the Year of Augmented Reality?”

Geopolitical Issues Roil IT Sector

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Cost sharing between vendors/SPs and customers can strengthen relationships in a difficult time.

• Calm and deliberate planning by vendors/SPs and customers is key to minimizing impacts to business.

The new tariffs on imported goods in China and the U.S. will have a significant impact on pending and future deals, both for service providers, vendors, and customers. The technology industry has a complex and deeply international supply chain, with U.S. and Chinese companies both utilizing components and intellectual property. Component price increases will lead to sharp increases in product costs. These increases will slow or stall deals as customers may wait and see if the issues can be resolved in a short time frame.
Continue reading “Geopolitical Issues Roil IT Sector”

Apple Still Courting the Enterprise with New Alliances

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• An agreement between Apple and AT&T allows the operator to simplify customer enrollment, device configuration, activation, and MDM software integration

• An expanded agreement with Apple and SAP uses on-device machine learning to help customers create custom, intelligent iOS apps that use augmented reality (AR), and enhance business tasks

While Apple has been successfully courting enterprise buyers for many years with the iPhone and iPad, recent alliances suggest new ways for it to penetrate business accounts. Many businesses already appreciate Apple’s built-in security, while Android devices and laptops provide more variety and less of a vendor lock-in. MDM software for first-line device management and security is about the same on either platform today. So what are the kinds of agreements that Apple is making lately to fortify its position? Continue reading “Apple Still Courting the Enterprise with New Alliances”

Huawei Analyst Day 2019: Addressing the 5G Challenge for Middle East CSPs

D. Kehoe

Summary Bullets:

  • Middle East telcos are taking a proactive approach in their 5G deployments, and Huawei is an active player in the region.
  • While standards are shaping up and roadmaps evolving, partner selection is happening now.

5G is an emerging technology that transforms underlying architecture in core networks and promotes virtualization, AI and automation. It changes the possibilities of networks, applications and underlying IT systems. It introduces several new technologies that are different from any previous technology, some of which include:

  • Ultra-low latency – opens up new possibilities to converge the performance of network and apps, as well as entirely new use cases for cloud-based AR/VR. The health sector, for example, highlights possibilities in areas such as remote surgery.
  • Network slicing – allows users to set their own QoS/CoS parameters around virtual networks; advances SD-WAN; addresses security differently and opens new possibilities in IT/OT security.
  • Massive bandwidth – an ability to support 10 Gbps potentially, offering a lot of capacity to the last mile and resolving many bottlenecks we have today.

Continue reading “Huawei Analyst Day 2019: Addressing the 5G Challenge for Middle East CSPs”

IoT Connection Forecasts Point to a Need for New Operator Strategies

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • According to new forecasts from GlobalData, the global number of Internet of Things (IoT) connections will reach 4.5 billion by 2023, dominated by short-range and cellular connections and with a five-year CAGR of 28%.
  • This is only moderately good news for mobile operators, which will see cellular connections grow by only a CAGR of 16% over five years. More importantly, connectivity is only expected to generate 5-10% of total IoT revenues predicted by GlobalData at $317 billion by 2023.

It has been clear for a long time that operators need to move beyond connectivity to make any serious money in IoT. According to new forecasts from GlobalData, the global number of Internet of Things connections will reach 4.5 billion by 2023, dominated by short-range and cellular connections but with especially strong growth from LPWANs. The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for all IoT connectivity types is moderate, at 28%. Continue reading “IoT Connection Forecasts Point to a Need for New Operator Strategies”

WiFi 6 and Its Benefits to Enterprises

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • WiFi 6 is entering the market and will offer higher capacity, better security, and more efficient resource/device management.
  • As a successor to the current WiFi standard, it will be widely adopted in the mass market. There are also several benefits to enterprises.

What’s New

WiFi 6, which is based on the IEEE802.11ax standard, is a logical progression of the current WiFi technology (IEEE802.11ac). It comes with various new features and updated technologies to offer higher network capacity and security as well as better device management. WiFi 6 has a theoretical peak speed of 9.6 Gbps, almost triple that of its predecessor (WiFi 5). This is achieved through updated wireless technologies such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) antenna systems. However, the gain in capacity is not just about offering a higher speed, but also about addressing the larger number of WiFi devices served by an access point (AP). Continue reading “WiFi 6 and Its Benefits to Enterprises”

Singtel Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance Its IoT Portfolio

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Singtel is strengthening its IoT portfolio through a partnership with Microsoft by integrating a range of Azure capabilities into its network.
  • Its service coverage is still limited in Singapore, China and Australia (Optus) compared to the global IoT networks offered by competitors.

Singtel announced its partnership with Microsoft in February 2019 to launch an AI-powered IoT network over Microsoft Azure. This is achieved through integration of Singtel’s IoT network into Microsoft Azure cloud capabilities, including IoT Hub, IoT Edge, and other machine learning and cognitive services. Singtel has a comprehensive IoT portfolio with software-defined network capabilities, a range of technologies including LPWAN standards, a private IoT network for added security (‘IoTConnect+’), competitive pricing (as low as SGD1 per month for 10 MB on NB-IoT) and various solutions across industry verticals. The additional capability gained from the partnership with Microsoft complements the carrier’s IoT portfolio. The AI capabilities enable the carrier to deliver more efficient services, especially in the orchestration and automation of applications and workloads across IoT stacks (e.g., devices, network and clouds), thus accelerating enterprises’ business outcomes and the ROI. The cloud services offer scalable deployments, addressing the high upfront investments required by enterprises to implement IoT use cases. It also enables Singtel to retain its IoT leadership in Singapore and address the increasing demand in the key Asian hub. GlobalData research shows that 62% of 1,664 global enterprises interviewed (including 65% of 57 in Singapore) are making major or large investments in IoT in the next three years. The access to Microsoft’s vast range of development tools, developers and other packaged solutions enables the carrier to further strengthen its own IoT platform capabilities, while IoT Hub offers an additional platform option to its customers in addressing diverse market demands. Continue reading “Singtel Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance Its IoT Portfolio”

IoT Security is Still a Major Barrier to Adoption

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• IoT security still comes up as the number one deterrent to IoT adoption, year after year (after year!).

• While point solutions abound, the complex supplier ecosystem coupled with the diversity of IoT use cases and device types makes this a hard nut to crack.

Considering the fact that every survey ever conducted among enterprises over the last five years about IoT has shown that the number one barrier to adoption is lack of security, we would have expected the supplier ecosystem to finally “fix” this problem once and for all. But instead, with the advent of massive proliferation of IoT devices upon us, coupled with an occasional high-profile breach, enterprises are more cautious than ever and rightly so. Continue reading “IoT Security is Still a Major Barrier to Adoption”

Are Private 4G/5G Networks a New Battleground for Operators?

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

ary Bullets:

• Mobile operators are hoping to generate substantial revenues from in-building 4G/5G networks; 5G in particular provides an opportunity to replace legacy WiFi and DAS systems and support both fixed and mobile use cases.

• However, private network initiatives from infrastructure vendors, coupled with a scramble for CBRS licenses, as well as DIY plans from companies and commercial landlords imply fierce competition for the operators. Can they win the battle?

Nearly every mobile operator touting future 5G use cases has discussed support for private “in-building” networks as a substantial opportunity, especially in industrial environments in which every machine and environmental parameter sensor will be connected and transmitting data in real-time. While some operators already offer private networks using 4G LTE, many are scoping out future 5G offerings which focus on IoT use cases in industrial environments. Continue reading “Are Private 4G/5G Networks a New Battleground for Operators?”

Will Maxis’ New Enterprise Strategy Work?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Maxis redefined its enterprise strategy to grow its business in the managed services market.
  • The provider needs to tackle the real needs of enterprises instead of just replicating best practices.

The practice of consumer telcos entering the enterprise managed service market is not uncommon, especially for telcos playing in a mature market. Telcos are looking to expand their revenue streams, as business from the traditional services (e.g., data, broadband, voice) is no longer growing. Maxis, a leading consumer mobile provider in Malaysia, started this journey as early as 2010, although the consumer mobile market was still growing at that time and there was no critical need for the service provider to look for new business areas. The move was mainly driven by technology leadership, following ‘best practice’ from other global leaders at that time. Today, while the provider is still playing in the enterprise managed service market, the driver has shifted from technology leadership/innovation to a real need to grow revenue in the segment and hence the overall business. Without much success in the past (with only 1.4% growth in 2017 and 3.1% decline in 2018), Maxis recently shared its new strategy to grow its enterprise service (managed services, cloud and IoT) by threefold in five years, focusing on leveraging connectivity assets and replicating industry best practice. While the strategy looks promising, will it work for Maxis in the Malaysia market? Continue reading “Will Maxis’ New Enterprise Strategy Work?”