Happy New Year everyone!
At the start of 2015 I offered up a list of 5 predictions for the future of M2M & IoT, as they say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back at them now I think I might have been a little too hasty/optimistic with some… 2015 turned out to be a less progressive year than expected, but bullish in terms of funding and overall dollars going in to the IoT ecosystem.
We saw lots of businesses sticking to their guns and focusing on laying strong foundations rather than pushing the envelope innovation wise (not a bad thing).
Let’s take a quick look back at my predictions and see how they panned out… (View the original 2015 M2M & IoT prediction post here)
- Definition – I expected more companies to stop being IoT/M2M companies and focus on providing specific verticals.
I may have been a bit too optimistic with this one, instead we got a lot of major corporates deciding to throw their names in to the mix and offer M2M/IoT services.
Amazon investing in 2lemetry to create it’s IoT offering and Googles announcement of Weave added more noise to the IoT solution space without any clearer definition of what specific need they are trying to fill.
- Security – I expected to see solution providers putting more focus on the security of their solution in their sales & marketing, this was not really the case…
In 2015 we saw a huge rise in DDoS activity on public networks, we saw lots of customers hosting services with a public IPv4 address getting hit over and over again.
As well as some of the more widely publicized breaches we also saw hackers getting more ‘playful’ with hackers on a crusade to reduce the UKs obesity numbers hacking smart kitchens (IoT Security Breach Forces Kitchen Devices to Reject Junkfood)
- Global Market, Local Champions – I predicted a rise of partnerships and channel sales rather than branch offices.
I’m going to call this a 50/50 while we did see some of the bigger players in the space extending their presences overseas, particularly in APAC, we also saw more channel activity with solution providers opting to sell the distribution rights to particular regions rather than setting up shop themselves.
Locally we saw M2M Connectivity become distributors for the Cradlepoint product line (Read the M2M Connectivity and Cradlepoint Release here), Netcomm Wireless strengthen their work with Kanematsu in Japan (Read Here) and expand their global reach with Arrow (Read here)
- Interoperability – I was hoping that 2015 would see us get through the standards talk and on to practical solutions for interoperability but we seemed to take a few steps back.
In December we saw Philips manages to universally irritate everyone interested in smart lighting by removing support for third party light bulbs (Read the full story on Tech Crunch here)
For an industry as young as IoT creating a closed model ecosystem is a bad move right now, we still need time to develop and play and see what shakes out.
Locally we’ve seen some really exciting movements from companies trying to open up their IoT/M2M platforms and become device agnostic, check out Helian Systems, Reekoh & Higgins by TwoBulls.
- LTE for M2M – Better late than never M2M One got full access to Telstra’s LTE network in June (Read about our LTE Service here) and we’ve already seen a huge uptake in customers using LTE for digital signage, remote access and redundant networking.
While LTE seems to be making leaps and bounds it’s still not quite had the mainstream impact I was expecting it to have in 2015, this is partly due to chipsets with the correct bands not being fully integrated yet and also due to alternative communication networks looking like a viable option.
2015 was a year of uncertainty and research for a lot of solution providers, many of them faced with the looming reality of a 2G shutdown, the decision to jump from 3G waivered when LTE became a viable option and now companies are evaluating LoRA & Sigfox as another pathway to connectivity.
Some highlights in the M2M/IoT space in 2015
- Corporate uptake – While M2M as a business term seems to be rapidly disappearing IoT has become fully ingrained in the lexicon of most CIOs at major corporations around the world. Forrester research showed nearly 50% of large organizations will be looking at some kind of investment in IoT in the near future (More info here) – LinkedIn users will also notice the avalanche of users with IoT related titles and taglines popping up.
- Investment in LPWAN – Spoiler alert this will probably be one of my predictions for 2016… 2015 saw some big investment in LPWAN networks like LoRA Alliance but the big winner was French Sigfox who raised over $100 Million in funding and deployed networks across Europe and are eyeing expansion in the US & Australia.
- $3 Billion for IoT from IBM – That’s right $3 Billion dollars of budget from IBM is going in to IoT initiatives, acquisitions and IoT Watson.
- Networks enabling solution development – AT&T announcing their M2X development platform in January (Forbes Article), Germany’s Cumulocity working with EE, Deutsche Telekom & Telstra and the growth of NTT Docomo’s Thingworx implementation Toami all point towards Network Operators taking a more hands on approach to IoT & M2M.
With Telstra successfully running an Internet of Things Challenge in Melbourne in December, you can expect to see more network sponsored developer and maker events next year.
- GE Predicts big money from Predix – If IBMs $3bn budget didn’t quite get your jaw all the way to the floor, let GE assist with their $6bn predictions for their Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform Predix finish the job. (Tech Crunch Article) With a high profile arrangement with SoftBank in Japan and some hefty figures from Rail Optimization projects in India GE could well be on track to meet these predictions.
These are just a selection of some of the noteworthy developments in the IoT space in 2015. There are plenty more out there and 2016 looks like it’s going to be a big year with lots of decisions that were delayed in 2015 coming to fruition.
Did you find this information useful? Do you have some questions on the Australian Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things market we can answer for you? Let us know on Twitter @M2MOneAU, on LinkedIn at M2M One or visit our website at www.m2mone.com.au.
General Manager – M2M One
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of M2M One or M2M Group.