Platforms, Partnerships and Wide-Area Networks Dominate Industry Event

At IoT World, in Santa Clara, Calif., platforms and partnerships proliferated, while low-power wide-area network providers highlighted new capabilities and network expansions.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
May 12, 2016

Internet of Things vendors preached the importance of partnerships and working across industries, while the fire hose of new IoT platforms showed no signs of abating, with new ones from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Hitachi and SAP announced at the Internet of Things World conference, held this week in Santa Clara, Calif. Now in its third year, the event hosted more than 10,000 registered attendees and 200 exhibitors.

Enterprise software giant SAP unveiled its SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things, which Nayaki Nayyar, SAP's general manager and global head of IoT and innovation go-to-market (GTM), describes as a solution designed to help companies realize the outcomes they seek from deploying IoT technology. "There is a things layer and an outcome layer," she says. "We address our customers' concerns in terms of outcomes."

IoT World attendees mill around the exhibit floor, as seen from a smart-city demo presented by the Buddy IoT platform.
By the things layer, Nayyar references the process of integrating sensors into machines, processes or discrete products, and this work is in the domain of the types of companies with which SAP partners to collect IoT-related data. But the outcomes include the integration of IoT data with other enterprise software products that SAP also offers on its HANA platform, such as the Customer Engagement and Commerce (CEC) Suite for customer relationship management and its Ariba software for tracking procurement and sourcing. "This integration is a key requirement for our customers," she says.

Hitachi announced its own platform, called Lumada, at the event. Driven by Hitachi's Insight Group, its new business arm addressing smart-city, industrial and manufacturing IoT applications—which it says generated $5.4 billion in revenue last year through 33 deployments—Lumada is pegged as the glue that companies in those verticals can use to bridge operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) within an organization—which, in SAP's parlance, would be the things and the outcomes.

The Lumada platform supports Hitachi's various data collection and analytics software technologies, and is designed to help customers more quickly and easily enable their business objectives, such as using IoT technologies to improve their predictive maintenance, increase efficiencies or optimize business processes. Hitachi says Lumada will serve as the core foundation on which its customers' IoT solutions are built.

But wait, there's more. HP Enterprise, announced its Universal Internet of Things Platform. Its role in an IoT deployment is cast in a slightly different frame than SAP's or Hitachi's platforms, in that the Universal IoT Platform describes not just a unifying layer within a larger IoT deployment, but the sum of every discreet part, from connecting to gateways (which HP manufacturers) that collect sensor data to data analytics that process the information before sending it up to specific applications running on the platform.

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