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IoT Partnerships ‘Needed’ To Drive Tech Evolution

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Microsoft, IBM and SAP champion the creation of cross-industry Internet of Things ecosystems

The evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) will require cross-industry partnership to see th creation of an ecosystem to bring about its true potential to transform businesses.

That is the view of experts from major technology companies showcasing at the IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) in Barcelona.

Taking to the keynote stages, IoT division leaders from Microsoft, SAP and IBM championed the need to bring technology and the business worlds together so that the IoT systems produce today and in the future have tangible benefits to enterprises rather than just present another technology trend to blindly adopt.

Partner up

sap-iot-worldMicrosoft’s partner director at its Azure IoT division, Sam George, said there is a need to establish these partnerships so that technology providers can gain an insight into the operations of their customers and create service and product that fit their needs, rather than force an enterprise to try and adopt a more general IoT platform.

“Most importantly, partnering with other companies on insights into your assets. When IoT get going and we get good at connecting, keeping things secure, and driving real-time insights from IoT, what we’re finding it there’s going to be an insights economy where insights from one company are gonna be useful in partnership with another company,” George said.

“Partners and a partner ecosystem are really important for that last mile and that vertical specialisation.”

Nicola Villa, executive partner and Europe leader of IoT at IBM Global Business Services, shares the same view as George.

“We see many of clients actually becoming partners and vice versa,” he said, noting IoT vendors need to create a platform approach to their IoT services which can be tailored to fit various sectors.

“It is about an open innovation ecosystem; IBM is bringing together a number of its capabilities which are very broad indeed with a number of partners, traditional IT and infrastructure partners, within an ecosystem environment,” he explained.

IBMIBM’s Bluemix is an example of this allowing developers to create data driven, IoT and IBM Watson-powered services on top of Big Blue development-focussed cloud platform. The company is also establishing a global IoT headquarters in Munich to create a place where its developers can rub shoulders with clients and partners to work on services and IoT use cases together.

Stephan Brand senior vice president, noted that the German software giant fully embraces the ide of partnerships, touting them as a means to help customers create IoT-based digital services that actually make or save money.

“We do this with partners, like MSG Global is building usage-based insurance on our Vehicle Insights platform, because we want to use the network and domain expertise to contribute and then build specific [products and services] on top,” he said.

Another example of SAP’s partnership prowess can be seen with its joint efforts with Bosch to push IoT and cloud systems for the so-called Industry 4.0.

Microsoft has a similar partnership with GE to create work on industrial IoT platforms, and IBM joined forces with Cisco earlier this year to work on analysing data on the edges of IoT networks. In short, these partnerships are well on the way and are likely to usher in the next wave of IoT services and platforms in both the industrial and enterprise world.

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