It’s easy to see why the IoT is seen by many as a realm largely occupied by startups. Highly visible consumer products like Nest and Fitbit originated at startups. Tesla, a startup car company, is leading the way in IoT connected vehicles. Gartner even released a report recently stating that by 2017, 50 percent of IoT solutions will originate in startups that are less than three years old.
This may well hold true, but there’s a key word that we are glazing over a little bit here—“originates.” Cut through the startup hype and you’ll see that many long-established companies are providing support services and platforms that make these startups possible.
Enterprise IoT innovation comes from within, but it’s also being added from a record-breaking number of mergers and acquisitions. In 2015, there were approximately 80 major IoT acquisitions, and projections are showing that 2016 will be even hotter.
Stalwarts won’t stand by idle while startups rule the IoT. Acquisitions by NETGEAR, Cisco, Microsoft, and Hitachi and major developments like IBM’s continued investment in Watson handily prove the point.
Let’s take a look at four venerable enterprise companies that are making a big impact in IoT.
Big Blue is making significant investments in Watson, its Internet of Things platform that is capable of that using natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. IBM is well aware that machine learning and cognitive computing is going to be a vital part of making use of the massive amount of data produced by IoT products and services. To fuel the research and development in this area, IBM has announced that it is investing $200 million in the new global headquarters in Munich. This investment, one of the company’s largest ever in Europe, will enable research in the areas of artificial intelligence, IoT, Blockchain, and security.
Bill Gates and company were not about to sit back and watch Microsoft fade into obscurity as the PC market contracted over the last 10 years. The company has massively diversified with heavy investment in enterprise services, aka XaaS. Microsoft’s involvement in the IoT is huge, providing Platforms as a Service (PaaS) for IoT, particularly for connected vehicles.
The Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform is a set of services built on the Microsoft Azure cloud designed to empower auto manufacturers to create custom connected driving experiences. It’s not a glorified infotainment system, it’s a living, agile platform that starts with the cloud as the foundation and aims to address five core scenarios that our partners have told us are key priorities: predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights, and help in building autonomous driving capabilities.
If you know what a router is, you know about NETGEAR. The company has been a leading networking hardware provider for 20 years and its products will be a vital part of IoT communications infrastructure. However, it also made its first foray into providing smart home IoT services when it acquired VueZone in 2014 to leverage its wireless security camera technology. Soon after, NETGEAR launched the Arlo Smart Home security system with the world’s first completely wireless cameras. The system is complimented by a freemium subscription service to store video in the cloud, which can be upgraded to a pay subscription that offers additional storage. NETGEAR just launched the Arlo Pro line, with cameras that can last up to six months on a single charge, and additional connected home services will likely be added to Arlo in the future.
Read More at arlo.com
If something is connected to a network, it’s likely that Cisco has something to do with it. This includes the IoT, and in a big way. The company hosts the annual Internet of Things World Forum, has provided a wealth of case studies, and in a 2015 ZK Research study, Cisco ranked No. 1 when asked “Which technology vendor do you associate most with Internet of Things?” That, and Cisco laid out $1.4 billion for IoT platform vendor Jasper Technologies in February 2016. Jasper — which Cisco SVP of Enterprise Infrastructure and Solutions Jeff Reed called “an absolute home run for Cisco,” supplies the cloud-based software-as-a-service control centre that sits between mobile providers and enterprise customers wanting IoT solutions.Cisco is making huge investments in IoT, and you can bet that its name will become synonymous with the category.
Industrial giant Hitachi is involved in a bevy of segments ranging from automotive systems to telecommunications. There is not much that Hitachi does not have its hands in, and that includes the IoT. The company announced this May that it is creating the Hitachi Insight Group, encompassing its IoT solutions and services, which will be headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
Like other major industrial companies, Hitachi is embedding sensors in and connecting many of the industrial products it builds, including trains, elevators, and manufacturing equipment. It has also been aggressively building out software and services for collecting and analyzing data from those products. Hitachi reported that its 33 IoT-specific solutions generated $5.4 billion in revenues in 2015—that’s enough to fund a couple dozen IoT startups right. In this rapidly expanding market, they will have plenty of room to grow, too.
You might recognize Qualcomm as a chipmaker for mobile devices. True, they are the leading provider of silicon for handsets, but they also provide massive support for everything IoT. From connected vehicles to smart homes to wearables, Qualcomm provides some sort of service or XaaS solution. And of course, it’s chipsets are also used in a wide variety of IoT devices.