What We Learned at IoT Evolution Expo, Las Vegas


It was a warm week in Las Vegas with temperatures hitting 100 degrees. Luckily for the Globetouch team, we were working in the cool, air conditioned heart of Caesars Palace, eagerly waiting to learn where IoT is heading. IoT is growing quickly with multiple platforms and ecosystems coming together. Iot growth is inspiring many organizations to make shifts in their strategies. We attended IoT Evolution Expo to learn how other corporations are working to create products that leverage IoT and hear from thought leaders about what the market should bring to bear in the coming months.

The first panel discussion I attended was Analyze This. The panel discussion covered the inhibitors and regulations that affect the IoT industry. Panelist Wes Sylvester (CISCO Systems) pointed out that most industries are afraid to deploy their IoT solutions. The market buzzes about 5G, which will introduce low latency and faster internet speeds, which is “the thing that industries want. However, Wes said that these murmurs are drawbacks that make solutions difficult to deploy. Everyone is waiting for 5G and forgetting about how great 4G still is. While the standards of 5G haven’t been set, deploying a solution and wondering if that solution is backward compatible with 4G, prevents companies from pushing their solution out into the market. The issue of platform integration comes into play with the variety of IoT platforms that have entered the market. It remains to be seen how businesses will incorporate them into their operations.

Partnerships will help drive the standard of IoT and the development of Smart Cities. Daniel Obodovski spoke about creating stories before partnerships in his panel discussion The Global Market: World Wide Channel Strategies. How can business create their solution to a story? First, you start with a problem. Then develop use cases that discuss problems. The third step is to estimate much money is going to be involved. Finally, develop technology that would impact those issues. Once your story has been developed, looking for the right partnership is key to strengthening your future. Your story will grasp potential partners from understanding and identifying if integrating their systems will be viable.  Although these developments were covered heavily by many of the other speakers, Mary Beth Hall Director of Marketing showed us how Verizon is driving the IoT standard.

Verizon has been strategically making partnerships and building a portfolio through acquisitions to drive the IoT standards by way of connectivity, open API’s, Thingspace, and partnership. Connectivity is important to the development of IoT. Without a partner that can connect devices to a mobile operator, those devices cannot communicate and share data. Our strategy at Globetouch is to provide a global mobile solution to connectivity as well as a management platform to enable that connection. Mary Beth Hall has expressed the urgency to keep an open source to evolve with the market. We must share API’s to make it more efficient and easy to use for the consumer while sharing the data and committing to stringent security. That is where Thingspace comes into play. Verizon created a platform called Thingspace for connecting devices and managing those services. With every application working together, there must be one platform that controls and manages them all, while decreasing development cost. Businesses must, in the end, partner with OEM’s to reach the end of their story or acquire business to create a solution. Verizon acquired Fleetmatics and Telogis to not only be a pipeline for cellular communication but into other products like IoT and telematics.

T-Mobile is partnering with Las Vegas to install SyncUp Drive, their newestconnected car product, in rental cars. When a vehicle approaches a parking garage, SyncUp Drive enables the vehicle to pay for the parking spot without the user having to pull out their wallet. Verizon came out with big news on how they have partnered with the city of Sacramento. They have invested millions to connect kiosks with WiFi for students. They have also collected data in the city of Boston to help figure out better ways to decrease traffic flow in cities. IoT is driving the new economic revolution. The industry needs to turn its attention to creating partnerships and evolving business models. No organization can do it alone to drive the standards.