Thoughts on Connect Expo 2015 and the Internet of Things Summit

Thoughts on Connect Expo 2015 and the Internet of Things Summit

Last week saw the sophomore year of Connect Expo a new tradeshow in Melbourne. For those of you not familiar here is a blurb form their website complete with their not so subtle jab at a certain show in Sydney that might be happening next week… real smooth guys.

“ CONNECT™ is a large annual trade show organised in partnership with the Victorian Government, which runs together with ten business summits – designed for business people to understand how the convergence of a number of technology megatrends are creating a perfect storm of disruption which will impact the way we live and do business in the future.

CONNECT™ offers a contemporary alternative to Australia’s more traditional, large-scale exhibition/s held in Sydney. “ – http://www.con-nect.com.au/about.html

 

Almost double the number of exhibitors from 2014

Almost double the number of exhibitors from 2014

In a lot of ways Connect was a vast improvement from the 2014 show, it felt bigger and more impactful with nearly double the exhibitors and a lot more content. Overall I thought the show was a good one, I’d have liked more focus on M2M/IoT but hey I’m biased…

Saying that; even with its improvements the show still feels like its not quite found its identity yet especially with the Summits – it felt like the organizers threw a collection of 2014s tech buzz words in the air and caught the first 10. As a marketing exercise I can completely understand where they are coming from, but as a participant I thought it felt a little disjointed.

The Expo

I thought on the whole the show floor had a better layout than last year, and the organizers managed to effectively group companies in a similar space together into “Zones”.

A running joke with the other companies in the “IoT Zone” was that we guess the term M2M is officially dead, as probably 80% of the companies identified as “M2M Companies” rather than IoT but hey, you’ve gotta move with the times!

I caught a couple of the presentations on the show floor in-between manning our booth, the highlight of these was Chris Boek from Metropolis who is always an engaging speaker at these events.

As an exhibitor my biggest concern is always the flow of traffic from the conferences to the show floor, and while there were a few quiet periods I thought the organizers managed to give conference attendees and delegates enough reason to walk through the show to make it feel busy enough.

The IoT Summit

The IoT Summit at Connect Expo

The IoT Summit at Connect Expo

On the second day of the show I took some time away from the booth to visit the IoT Summit and see what new and exciting things were going on in our industry.

Note: Unfortunately I missed the panel session and round tables as I was back at the stand but from all accounts it sounded like the content was very good.

The Summit was chaired by good friend and Australian M2M industry veteran Shane Murphy, now working as an independent IoT/M2M commentator and consultant. (You can follow him at @stcmurphy) – Shane kept the summit moving at a good pace and threw in some good insights and questions in the quiet moments.

50 billions IoT Devices... Why Maciej why?

50 billions IoT Devices… Why Maciej why?

Having seen presentations from Industry giants Cisco, Huawei and Microsoft before I had a pretty good idea of what to expect – I made an offhanded comment early on about how long it would take to see that infamous Ericsson prediction of 50 billion devices, Maciej Kranz from Cisco had the dubious honor of pulling that old chestnut out 10 minutes into the summit.

I completely understand why these companies are always invited to speak at M2M/IoT events, and they certainly do a good job of sticking to the party line and saying all the right things to make Enterprises salivate but I can’t help but think a lot of the hype and diatribes do more harm than good sometimes.

I thought Greg Stone from Microsoft delivered the better of the presentations from the “big 3” and I’m genuinely interested in what Microsoft are doing with Azure and their new IoT suite of tools. I could do without the Internet of Your Things nonsense though; I know for the enterprise players, branding is probably 80% of the battle but please try and let things happen naturally occasionally.

The afternoon case studies were really the gem of the Summit with three excellent examples of practical uses for IoT applications.

Ozzie to Oyster - Sense-T using sensors to improve marine agriculture.

Ozzie to Oyster – Sense-T using sensors to improve marine agriculture.

Amanda Castray from Sense-T showcased how their unique sensor network in Tasmania is bringing huge potential gains to the agriculture and farming industries.

Wattcost's stick on sensors can read most meters

Wattcost’s stick on sensors can read most meters

David Soutar from Wattcost showed how they are putting a more practical and user friendly spin on smart home appliance monitoring and usage, with their simple “stick-on” beacon.

 

Buzz Products using IoT to disrupt marketing and engage customers with branded products.

Buzz Products using IoT to disrupt marketing and engage customers with branded products.

Slade Sherman from Buzz Products let us experience the lighter side of the IoT by showing a range of their branded consumer IoT products used in a variety of marketing campaigns and the #buzzbolt which responds to positive tweets with a green light and negative ones with a red light, making the whole presentation more interactive.

1% Savings in Rail can equal up to $600 Million in savings!

1% Savings in Rail can equal up to $600 Million in savings!

The Summit was closed by an excellent presentation from Mark Sheppard from GE Australia/NZ who talked about the “Industrial Internet of Things” (I think we used to call that M2M…) and how a large scale manufacturer of products like GE can get huge returns on investment by using sensors and remote control and automation to improve efficiency by just 1%.

All in all I thought Connect was a success and certainly a step in the right direction for Australia to stake its claim in the IoT & M2M Space. We’re looking forward to coming back next year and seeing how the organizers have responded to feedback from exhibitors and delegates.

Did you attend Connect? Do you have some thoughts on how shows in Australia can better showcase the Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things space? Let us know on Twitter @M2MOneAU or on LinkedIn at M2M One

James Mack

General Manager – M2M One

The views and opinions expressed in this blog site are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of M2M One or M2M Group.

M2M One – March 2015 Newsletter

The closing of Telstra’s 2G network and the expansion of 3G and 4G/LTE technology has spurred companies to look at upgrading their 2G applications and devices. This is a good time to start planning the migration of 2G to 3G/4G devices and M2M One is working behind the scenes to make sure our customers are supported during this transition. Our Voice Plans & International Roaming SIMs will be available in May and and we are happy to talk to you about these new services, our soon to be available 4G/LTE service or anything else in our range of services at Connect Expo next month. We look forward to seeing you there.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – Voice Plans
  2. Notification – International Roaming Services
  3. Reminder – 2G Shut Down
  4. Blog – The Business of the Internet of Things – Smart Questions for Smart Devices
  5. Invitation – Connect Expo

1. Notification – Voice Plans

We bring you an update on M2M One’s Voice Plans. Offering affordable packages to fit your M2M communication needs, our Voice Plans will be commercially available in May. The PAYG and bundles rates are listed below.

The Voice plans support M2M applications where voice calls, machine call back, DTMF, and emergency dialing are required. If you would like more information on our Voice Plans, please contact M2M One.

 Pay Per Use  1 Minute Bundle  10 Minute Bundle
$1.20 per minute Monthly Fee – $1.10 per month Monthly Fee – $4.40 per month
$0.02 per second Excess usage – $0.018 per second Excess usage – $0.018 per second

2. Notification – International Roaming Services

As mentioned in our January newsletter M2M One are engaging an alternative SIM provider for global roaming services to allow us to better service our customers.

I’m pleased to announce that this relationship is now in place and we will be able to offer roaming SIMs for a selection of countries with group plan options from 500KBs – 30MB – Full commercial pricing and available countries will be made available at the end of April.

For customers wishing to activate roaming on their existing M2M One SIM cards, this option is available at a pay per use rate of $4.00 per MB and only on the APNs “telstra.m2m” & “m2mone.com.au”

As always we advise customers with large scale international deployments to contact us directly for custom pricing and logistics.

3. Reminder – Telstra 900MHz 2G Shut Down

We would like to remind our customers that Telstra will discontinue their 2G/GSM network on the 1st of December 2016. This has implications for M2M One customers using 2G 900MHz GSM/GPRS modems.

M2M One customers with 2G devices have the opportunity to utilize 3G and soon 4G LTE. All M2M One SIM cards are compatible with the Telstra 2G, 3G and soon 4G network so you will not need to physically change any SIM cards from M2M One.

M2M One customers affected by the shut down of Telstra’s 2G/GSM network who are looking for solutions/alternatives for their 2G/GSM devices are advised to contact a 3G/4G LTE device vendor. Please read M2M One’s notification of the shutdown if you haven’t already.

4. Blog – The Business of the Internet of Things – Smart Questions for Smart Devices

M2M One’s blog navigates the hype of the Internet of Things. As IoT becomes ubiquitous, James Mack suggests questions customers should ask themselves in order to arrive at measured ways of climbing aboard the IoT juggernaut.

“The IoT is a powerful movement that will change the way we interact with the world around us…but like any tool the more you use it the more proficient you get with it, experiment, make mistakes but make sure you have a set goal in mind.”

Read the full blog.

5. Invitation – Visit M2M One at Connect

CONNECT is a showcase of the technologies transforming business, government and society. Visit Connect to explore the latest in cloud, data analytics, mobility and collaboration solutions to wearable tech, cybersecurity, devices, IoT, drones and network infrastructure,

M2M One invites you to the Connect Expo where we will be exhibiting our services on stand no. 24.

Date:          21 & 22 April 2015
Time:          10am to 4pm daily
Place:         Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

You can register for the expo free of charge, and we’re please to offer our customers 10% off conference registration fees by using the code “M2M” before the 10th of April.

Drop in and say hello.  We will be happy to help you with comms for your M2M/IoT project.

 

 

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