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Evolutionary IoT: Starting small and controlling costs

Data must earn its keep

Internet of Things (IoT) projects range from small to huge, and the small end of the spectrum is where we find growth. TBR believes that organizations that successfully exploit the enormous transformative potential of IoT do it through widespread and continual execution of IoT projects, and through ongoing generation of insights from integration of IoT-generated data. While some of the projects are large, most are small, usually focusing on reducing costs. For these projects to succeed, and for IoT to proliferate, they must generate positive ROIs and costs must be contained. All parts of an IoT project generate costs, but stored data generates increasing costs throughout the life of the project. For this reason, managing data-driven costs is key to IoT success. Join Ezra Gottheil and Dan Callahan as they discuss evolutionary IoT and data cost containment.

Don’t miss:

  • The transformative power of evolutionary IoT
  • Vendor messaging in the age of evolutionary IoT
  • Edge computing and cost-effective IoT

 

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Distributors and VARs: The unsung heroes of the IoT market

The background

Commercial IoT has received substantial press over the last three years. It started in 2015 with hyped claims of IoT’s ability to deliver total transformation, but expectations around the technology have matured and IoT is now viewed as a reasonable technique for solving business problems. However, one thing has not changed: When it comes to IoT market participants, the focus of the discussion remains on larger IT vendors, SIs and customers. The missing story is the involvement of the distributors, VARs and smaller SIs, and the current needs of the small to midsize customers.

What are distributors?

Distributors sit between IT vendors and VARs or SIs, procuring equipment or software from the former and distributing it to the latter two. Because distributors generally have a very large customer base, they can help vendors reach more customers or provide a channel for vendors that cannot afford to build their own, such as smaller ISVs. Because distributors procure equipment from vendors and stock it themselves, they are incentivized to educate VARs or SIs about vendor products and help market them as well as to deliver sales training, demos and exhibitions. Distributors are masters of the supply chain, bundling and contract negotiations.

What are VARs?

VARs, along with SIs, serve on the frontline of IT and offer a more tailored storefront to customers than a larger vendor. VARs will seek to build and deliver turnkey solutions by mixing and matching technology and software, as well as layering on services of their own, such as integration, customization, consulting, training and implementation. VARs are often organized by customer type, from those offering general IT services to those specializing in education, the public sector, heavy industry and other niche areas. VARs, along with SIs, often have the keenest grasp on customer challenges, making them well positioned to package IoT components, build applications or offer services.

The IoT market has begun sorting itself out in 2019 — a vast improvement from its disorganized past

It has been a wild and chaotic ride for Internet of Things (IoT) vendors, with many placing big bets on IoT in the past and entering 2018 largely disappointed by the results. While IoT will likely never meet the expectations placed on it in 2015 and 2016 — the peak of hype — IoT’s contribution to IT vendor revenue will increase, with IoT ultimately becoming a core revenue driver. IoT, as a technique to solve business challenges through the assembly of technology to drive results, such as predictive maintenance, resource efficiency, value-added services or generally, increase insight, is not going anywhere.

The good news for vendors is IoT is getting a lot easier as the ecosystem sorts itself out. The increase in portfolio focus and partnering is making the market easier to navigate for vendors and customers. Offerings are becoming easier to implement and integrate as vendors begin to converge on architectures and standards, as well as orient go-to-market strategies toward coopetition rather than “winner takes all.” Customers are coming to market with a greater understanding of what they are looking for thanks to efforts by vendors and early adopters educating the market and cutting through the hype pays off. TBR believes 2019 marks the emergence of “go-to-market 2.0” as an evolved strategy for both IT and OT vendors seeking to better profit from IoT.

 

The 1Q19 Commercial IoT Market Landscape looks at technologies and trends of the commercial IoT market. Additionally, TBR catalogs and analyzes by vertical more than 450 customer deals, uncovering use trends, identifying opportunities, examining maturity, and discussing drivers and inhibitors.

AI chips: Explosive growth of deep learning is leading to rapid evolution of diverse, dedicated processors

Artificial intelligence (AI) utilization has been accelerating rapidly for more than 10 years, as decreases in memory, storage and computation cost have made an increasing number of applications cost-effective. The technique of deep learning has emerged as the most useful. Large public websites such as Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) and Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), with enormous stores of data on user behavior and a clear benefit from influencing user behavior, were among the earliest adopters and continue to expand such techniques. Publicly visible applications include speech recognition, natural language processing and image recognition. Other high-value applications include network threat detection, credit fraud detection and pharmaceutical research.

Deep learning techniques are based on neural networks, inspired by animal brain structure. Neural networks perform successive computations on large amounts of data. Each iteration operates on the results of the prior computation, which is why the process is called “deep.” Deep learning relies on large amounts computation. In fact, deep learning techniques are well known; the recent growth is driven by decreasing costs of data acquisition, data transmission, data storage and computation. The new processors all aim to lower the cost of computation.

The new chips are less costly than CPUs for running deep learning workloads

Each computation is limited and tends to require relatively low precision, necessitating fewer bits than found in typical CPU operations. Deep learning computations are mostly tensor operations — predominantly matrix multiplication — and parallel tensor processing is the heart of many specialized AI chips. Traditional CPUs are relatively inefficient in carrying out this kind of processing. They cannot process many operations at the same time, and they deliver precision and capacity for complex computations that are not needed.

Nvidia (Nasdaq: NVDA) GPUs led the wave of new processors. In 2012, Google announced that its Google Brain deep learning project to recognize images of cats was powered by Nvidia GPUs, resulting in a hundredfold improvement in performance over conventional CPUs. With this kind of endorsement and with the widespread acceptance of the importance of deep learning, many companies, large and small, are following the money and investing in new types of processors. It is not certain that the GPU will be a long-term winner; successful applications of FPGAs and TPUs are plentiful.

Inside the evolving IoT strategy of Dell Technologies

For Dell Technologies, an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy has emerged over the last year, addressing the challenges faced by horizontally focused companies when approaching a fragmented market.

The tech giant shared its approach during a recent analyst summit, revealing a multi-faceted strategy that Technology Business Research (TBR) believes is thoughtful, sophisticated and likely to help the company grow.

The strategy includes a strong partnership network, specific IoT solutions and a growing set of relevant infrastructure components.

In short, IoT is important to Dell Technologies because it generates data at the edge of the network.

— Ezra Gottheil, Principal Analyst

Dell Technologies’ IoT strategy evolves

IoT is strategic

Internet of Things (IoT) is important to Dell Technologies because it generates data at the edge of the network. CEO Michael Dell reiterated that, “AI [artificial intelligence] is your rocket ship and data is the fuel,” but one might just as well say that data is Dell Technologies’ fuel. Dell Technologies’ business is built on customers’ need to obtain and extract value from data. The fact that IoT is edge-based helps with Dell Technologies’ need to maintain and grow its on-premises infrastructure business. While Dell Technologies is a vendor to public cloud providers, its on-premises business is more profitable. Data generated at the edge increases the need for edge storage and processing and makes other on-premises storage and processing more attractive.

Dell Technologies is starting with partners, bundles, and appliances

While other digital transformation technologies such as machine learning and blockchain are not as edge-centric as IoT, they are often used in IoT solutions and they present Dell Technologies with the same problem: Their applications are so diverse and specific to businesses and business processes that Dell Technologies cannot acquire or develop the domain knowledge necessary to create and sell enough specific solutions to address the breadth of the market or the majority of the revenue. For this reason, Dell Technologies prioritized the development of a strong partner ecosystem. Different ecosystem partners bring to the table domain expertise, other desirable technology, or the services necessary to integrate, deploy, and run specific solutions.

 

Dell Technologies Analyst Summit 2018: Dell Technologies’ (NYSE: DVMT) Internet of Things (IoT) strategy has emerged over the last year, addressing the challenges faced by horizontally focused companies when approaching a fragmented market. The company shared its approach with analysts in half-day interactive session, revealing a multifaceted strategy that TBR believes is thoughtful, sophisticated and likely to help the company grow. The strategy includes a strong partnership network, specific IoT solutions and a growing set of relevant infrastructure components.

 

Technology Business Research, Inc. announces 1Q19 webinar schedule

Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR) announces the schedule for its 1Q19 webinar series.

Jan. 9            Virtualization flips the axis on technology monetization and adoption

Jan. 23         IoT is getting a lot easier

Feb. 6           The pendulum swings: Customer demands reshape how infrastructure vendors do business

Feb. 13         5G will be an evolution, not a revolution

Feb. 20         Customers care less, vendors buy more, and both sides become more intelligent

Feb. 27         Consulting’s robot army: How RPA changes the consulting business model

Mar. 20        Enabling stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem to navigate the path to value-based care

TBR webinars are held typically each Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

 

ABOUT TBR

Technology Business Research, Inc. is a leading independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, and telecom vendors and operators. Serving a global clientele, TBR provides timely and actionable market research and business intelligence in a format that is uniquely tailored to clients’ needs. Our analysts are available to address client-specific issues further or information needs on an inquiry or proprietary consulting basis.

TBR has been empowering corporate decision makers since 1996. For more information please visit www.tbri.com.

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2019 Devices & Internet of Things Predictions: The mists are clearing as IoT becomes more realistic and better organized

IoT is getting a lot easier

While it is too early to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) market is fully mature, it is maturing. The first three years of the IoT era were filled with extravagant claims, inadequate products and services, and a chaotic partner ecosystem. Starting in 2018 and accelerating throughout 2019 and 2020, more customers will come to the market with an understanding of what they are looking for, offerings will be easier to implement and integrate, and the partnership ecosystem will be more navigable for both vendors and customers.

Increasingly, IoT will be delivered in complete solutions, typically including components from several vendors. As IoT matures, more specific use cases with sufficiently broad applicability will be implemented as solutions, addressing common problems both within and across verticals. Solutions will vary in customizability and integrability.

The economics of data collection, transmission, processing and storage will play an increasing role in the design of IoT solutions. Data-related costs dictate the feasibility of many IoT projects and have driven the adoption of edge solutions.

2019 predictions

  • The IoT ecosystem will sort itself out; vendors will find their niches
  • Packaged and bundled IoT solutions will proliferate
  • Not all data is valuable: Data economics will drive design

 

Register for TBR’s webinar IoT is getting easier, Jan. 23, 2019.

IoT is getting a lot easier

While it is too early to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) market is fully mature, it is maturing. The first three years of the IoT era were filled with extravagant claims, inadequate products and services, and a chaotic partner ecosystem. Starting in 2018 and accelerating throughout 2019 and 2020, more customers will come to the market with an understanding of what they are looking for, offerings will be easier to implement and integrate, and the partnership ecosystem will be more navigable for both vendors and customers.

Join Ezra Gottheil and Daniel Callahan as they discuss their 2019 commercial IoT predictions and reveal what vendors need to know to compete effectively for IoT-related opportunities in the fast-evolving digital transformation space.

Don’t miss:

  • How the IoT ecosystem will evolve and how vendors will find their niches
  • How packaged and bundled IoT solutions will proliferate
  • Not all data is valuable: data economics will drive design

 

 

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed at anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Maturing offerings, vendors and customers prompt long-term IoT vendor growth

The continued interweaving of the technology component market with Internet of Things (IoT) techniques delivers a well-defined path to long-term sustained growth for many IT and operational technology (OT) vendors, especially those vendors that are best able to differentiate their portfolio and position themselves as critical partners for a wide set of IoT solutions.

The hype surrounding IoT has only served to confuse and overwhelm customers and vendors, but efforts by both parties to cut through the hype is driving the growth of installed IoT solutions. As the hype fades, vendors are better able to rationalize their go-to-market strategies and messaging, particularly around how to assemble IoT solutions, leading customers to better understand how to apply IoT.

However, while it is becoming easier to assemble an IoT solution, it is still challenging to design and implement the IoT technique. We don’t expect a huge explosion of revenue; IoT itself isn’t a “killer app,” but it will enable moderate and slowly accelerating revenue growth for the various components involved in an IoT solution.

In our 3Q18 reports and thought leadership, TBR will focus on three topics that we believe are currently the most impactful on the wider IoT ecosystem: the increasing maturity of the IoT technique, the growing consolidation of generic platforms, and how increasing commoditization around IoT is working in favor of economies of scale and enabling the growth of installed solutions.

IoT is growing up: Increased ecosystem maturity will lead to increased customer adoption

TBR, through discussions with vendors and customers as well as our use case databasing, is noticing growth in installed IoT solutions, whether from net-new deployments or expansions of existing IoT deployments, signaling improved maturity. IoT maturation is not so much about the components of IoT as it is about businesses developing their ability to leverage technologies and techniques that are increasingly applicable to a growing number of business problems.

A major driver of this maturity is greater clarity around IoT techniques, led largely by go-to-market realignment and improved messaging by vendors, organization around IoT by customers, shifts from competition to coopetition by vendors, and general improvements in the construction of the technology that facilitate advanced usage of the IoT technique.