2015 – An M2M & IoT Year in Review

2015 – An M2M & IoT Year in Review

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)

IoT Definition

“ABC – Always be changing the definition of IoT” – Glengarry Glen Ross © New Line Cinema

  1. 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.

    Fallout IoT

    Do you know what your smart toaster is planning? – Fallout New Vegas © Bethesda Softworks

  2. 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)

    IoT Champion

    Best in the World or Best in Country, the choice is yours – Image © WWE

  3. 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), Netcomm Wireless strengthen their work with Kanematsu in Japan (Read Here) and expand their global reach with Arrow (Read here)

    M2M Interoperability

    Maybe if you hit hard enough it will fit?

  4. 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.

    I couldn't think of anything funny for LTE... It's really fast though.

    I couldn’t think of anything funny for LTE… It’s really fast though.

  5. 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

IoT Name Badge

One day this could be you!

  • 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.

    Sigfox Logo

    Sigfox provide wireless connectivity using unlicensed spectrum

  • 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.

    IBM Watson

    Elementary my dear…

  • $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.

    Toami M2M

    NTT Docomo’s Thingworx Integration

  • 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 Predix

    GE Predicts big things for Predix

  • 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.

James Mack

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.

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.

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