HCLT builds its IoT practice on experience, expertise and IP

TBR perspective

While HCL Technologies (HCLT) initially used its intellectual property (IP) to create complete solutions for its customers, it is now making available other third-party solution packages, white-labelled components and solutions for end customers, other systems integrators, and value-added resellers. The company’s partnerships with PTC and edge hardware vendors Dell Technologies and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) facilitate the delivery of integrated software and hardware solutions for engineering- and manufacturing-centric OEMs. These edge-to-cloud solutions integrate IT and operational technology (OT) data sources and are highly scalable; HCLT’s representatives estimated that they are now approximately 50% to 60% preconfigured and can be rolled out to multiple plants and locations in a pre-built factory model. Irrespective of HCLT’s decisions regarding routes to market, the company continues to create reusable IoT building blocks.

Reuse is at the heart of IoT maturity

The continual development of reusable solutions and components has always been the key to growth of information technology. In the wave of interest in IoT, starting about five years ago, the relative lack of reusable solutions and components demonstrated the immaturity of this segment. While growth has been substantial, it has not been explosive, similarly reflecting this immaturity. Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR) estimates the current size of the IT portion of IoT at $565 billion, growing at a slightly accelerating 24.6% annual rate, and we do not anticipate growth to slow for at least five years. One driver of this acceleration is the accumulation of experience, expertise and intellectual property by vendors and customers.

Leveraging common technology and business processes across vertical divisions

Some of HCLT’s solutions, outlined here, require integration typically performed by HCLT:

  • Manufacturing: Remote Services Management, Inventory Management, Predictive Operations Monitoring, and Real-time Manufacturing Insights
  • Healthcare: Remote Patient Monitoring, Smart Clinical Trial, Medical Devices – Remote Monitoring and Servicing
  • Travel, Transportation, Logistics: Remote Asset Monitoring, Warehouse Automation, Building Automation
  • Energy and Utilities: Remote Asset Monitoring and Predictive Operations, Intelligent Linear Asset Monitoring, Active Grid Management, ADMS and AMI Testing, Distributed Grid Operations – Resilience at the Edge
  • Retail: Real-time In-store Insights, Warehouse Optimization, Cold-Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Insights

There is overlap of solutions across verticals, which reflects overlap in both business processes and relevant technologies. In keeping with IoTWorks’ orientation toward reuse, common pieces of solutions are joined to additional components to create new solutions. In the case of Real-time In-store Insights, HCLT added radar-based customer tracking hardware to keep track of customers with lower data-related costs, while improving customer privacy. HCLT Engineering designed the radar modules. An RFID-based asset tracker for end-user devices was adapted to help make sure airplanes have the full tool kit accounted for before takeoff. A similar solution applies to surgical kit tracking and compliance monitoring in hospitals.

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