How 2017 will look like for us!

Navigating a bizarre, bazaar of platforms

600 – that, is the number of IOT platforms in the world right now. We’ve snowballed towards a connected economy and as we gather momentum, the tech industry and its major players are increasingly diving in to the IOT party. Just last week, I was talking to an analyst who reports a massive 600 platforms in the market currently. Through time now, a lot of companies have hurried to take their piece of IOT, most specifically through models of platforms. We’ve seen about a dozen IOT-related M&As in 2016 alone, including giants like Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and Google quickly wanting ‘in’ on the bandwagon. And, to add to the fuzziness, there are quite a few platform types, which at a closer look, are distinctly contrasting – eventually leading IOT platforms to lose its meaning by effect of overlapping definitions of the same.

What can businesses do with this technology?

The platform burst has in a way deterred and delayed the number of consumers, placing many businesses in a quandary of implementing IOT initiatives. For example, a business owner who looks to adopt IOT to solve a business challenge will find it difficult to understand if an IOT platform, in its true meaning and direction, is a complete and mature platform that addresses the issue end-to-end, or, if it describes only an element of the platform that answers just a layer of the problem (say a connectivity platform or a hardware/device management software or an analytics platform or an infrastructure provider). The most referred to IOT platform is however, an AEP (application enablement platform) that comprises deep functionalities of scale, reliability and openness to support multiple industry applications. But, how purposeful in its true sense can a platform deliver complete benefits and help business achieve ROI, using IOT.

How we evolved to combine the best of horizontal + vertical approach.

No doubt that a platform continues to act as an enabler – as a means to acquire, process and analyze diverse data streams. For a IOT solution to work to its depth, its absolutely essential the platform drives interoperability across existing legacy and proprietary systems. At first, that’s where we invested our efforts at – on building Symphony AEP, a platform that facilitated data acquisition across the last mile and enabled functional capabilities and analytics in areas of energy management, remote site control and fleet management – inclining towards a horizontal perspective. And through our efforts, we realized (fairly quickly), that in order to achieve success, we had to focus and refine the platform to incorporate multi and cross-vertical applications to solve industry-specific, domain-specific use cases for a critical mass of consumers. The benefit of this unified approach – platform + pre-built apps + add-ons – is that of a concrete ROI, which makes it feasible for businesses to adopt and implement IOT to achieve specific objectives.

IOT will be deep-rooted within your IT systems to automate operations.

Besides, the biggest gap we find largely, is the divide between information and operations technology. Companies need to be on top of their business chain in this period of disruption tech and can not afford to waste efforts on untangling a web of siloed and proprietary systems. We speculate that IOT, by itself, will not act as separate entity but will be closely tied in depth with enterprise IT systems that will unlock its true value. For example, a fire-safety equipment that automatically raises a tickets to your organization’s helpdesk software on reduced water levels, or, a damaged air conditioning unit that automatically notifies your ERP for replacement.

Ultimately, by way of working IOT as small yet specialized cloud applications (that run on a reliable, multi-tenant platform architecture), businesses soon start to realize a true plug-and-play IOT environment.

This is how IOT will help businesses achieve a successful, integrated environment across verticals of an enterprise, which is stabilized by a platform to achieve uniformity and scale, across their distributed infrastructure.

Come 2017, at WebNMS, we are starting to exclusively pursue and invest heavily in strategy and development of our platform to focus and support more vertical IOT applications that solve industry-specific, realizable, edge-to-cloud use cases. We’ve partnered with a bunch of leading hardware vendors to build and provide a true plug-and-play IOT environment like Connected Buildings, Connected Transport, Connected Products and Remote Site Automation and Management. This year presents a huge opportunity and pipeline for Zoho Symphony and we are thrilled to continue delivering tech-driven efficiency to enterprises across their business operations and geography, all in real-time.

We’re hoping 2017 de-fogs the IOT windshield and I wish you all a very happy new year!


This blog was originally posted on Linkedin by Prabhu Ramachandran, Director – WebNMS IOT.