North Carolina, at one point, had a large concentration of cellular technology companies. Today, some of that talent has come together around IoT.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
Bob Witter: I was born in Springville, New York. It’s in the western part of New York. I grew up in central New York. I went to school at State University of New York and graduated in 1981 with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. I started my career in Rochester with Eastman Kodak company in the medical products division that was brand new at that time. I learned a great deal about how to do medical products that has certainly served me well even today at Device Solutions. >>>
There’s a ton of data being generated through vehicle telematics that need apps to make sense of. Entrepreneurs looking for problems to solve – please read on!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to you as well as to Geotab.
Colin Sutherland: I’m the Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and one of the Founders of Geotab. This is our 15th year of being involved in what’s called the telematics industry, which is a technology that essentially moves the data from a vehicle’s location over a wireless method, and into the cloud, to enable fleets to better understand how their assets are being used in order to improve.
Sramana Mitra: What are the trends of the telematics space as it pertains to vehicles at this point?
Colin Sutherland: The industry reached a major milestone six years ago when, as a total collective, the industry became a billion dollar industry. That was a big milestone. Industry researchers have projected tremendous growth for the business. Overall, the industry has been growing 15% per year, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. >>>
CloudOne focuses on IoT applications as they pertain to the industrial engineering sector, primarily. Based in Indianapolis, in the heart of the manufacturing industry hub of the United States, the company caters to over 50 customers, and in this interview, John shares some examples and trends from the sector.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to CloudOne.
John McDonald: I’m the CEO of the company called CloudOne, which is based in Indiana. CloudOne was started in early 2010 and I was privileged to be one of the early leaders of the company. I did that after a long career at IBM – almost 20 years – where I led different entrepreneurial projects within the organization, mostly in the software space. I had the opportunity to get to know some of the early founders of CloudOne while I was still at IBM and was privileged to join them in 2010.
Sramana Mitra: What do you do in the company? >>>
Sramana Mitra: I have a specific question on what is the state of the union that you are seeing in your customer base with SAP. Are there large customers who are connecting up through these RFID/sensor devices with huge numbers of assets? If so, then which industry sectors are they in and, if you are authorized to give some names of customers who are going for big deployment, who are they?
I’ll give you the context of where I’m coming from. The main push back that I hear in the industry is, exposing so many assets to network devices means that there are surface areas that are being opened up to cyber security problems and breaches. If you look at retail for instance, if every item has an RFID device, then the surface area that is exposed to cyber threats is much higher. Based on my earlier conversations, there’s actually quite a bit of resistance in large customers to roll out Internet of Things. My question to you is what are you seeing from SAP’s vantage point?
David discussed IoT in the context of SAP customers, and also points out open problems that entrepreneurs can work on. Very interesting discussion on the nuances of the industry.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce you to our audience. What is your role at SAP? Where do you come from? What kind of background and perspective do we have here?
David Parker: I’m a Global Senior Executive at SAP responsible for Big Data and Internet of Things go-to-market, which revolves around supporting customer interactions, deciding our partner ecosystem and strategy, and more importantly, helping customers transform and re-imagine their business to come up with new business models. In terms of my background, I’ve been in the industry for the better part of 35 plus years. I started out in financial services. In more recent times, I’ve been in other industries such as oil and gas, mining, utilities, pharma, retail, etc. As you know, we focus on over 24 different industries. My role is to work with executives, understand their current state, and advise them on what the future state looks like, both from an industry perspective and more importantly, how they can leverage their SAP footprint or non-SAP footprint to build out new business outcomes and decisions. >>>
If you think large enterprises are readily rolling out IoT solutions, think again. They are not, they should not. Find out why.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as to the company.
Michael Martin: I’m the CTO and CIO at nfrastructure. nfrastructure is a technolgy services and solutions company. We help customers design, build, and operate infrastructure and application solutions from the core of their enterprise all the way out to the edge. We do a lot of technology services to support that mission— everything from networking, collaboration services, cloud, edge device services, IT service management, and a variety of services that are aligned with helping an organization connect their technology to their users in support of their business.
Sramana Mitra: So this discussion is about Internet of Things. What do you do within that space?
Daniel enlightens us on the identity side of IoT and discusses use cases in automobiles and transportation in this interview.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with some introduction about yourself as well as ForgeRock.
Daniel Raskin: I’m the VP of Strategy at ForgeRock. I have a long history in the identity and access management space, stemming from Sun Microsystems, which was one of the largest commercial open source identity and access management businesses. I was their Chief Identity Strategist and ran their identity portfolio. I’m continuing to do all kinds of great things in identity here at ForgeRock.
ForgeRock has very strong ties to Sun Microsystems. Many know that Sun was this phenomenal company in research and development around software and hardware. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Sun had one of the largest commercial identity and access management businesses in the world. >>>
This is a discussion with Luke Schneider, the former CTO of Zipcar, on the future of transportation, and how IoT will be playing into that universe.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with some introduction about Silvercar as well as yourself.
Luke Schneider: I’m the CEO of Silvercar. Silvercar is about three years old now. We were founded in 2012 with a pretty straightforward mission. The mission statement was to change the way the world hits the road. We are, in the way customers experience us, an airport car rental company. We are not traditional or conventional in any way in that the concept was born of one too many frustrations at the airline car rental counter. You just never seem to know what you’re going to get. There are very long lines and inconsistencies in the process. There are redundancies and a constant upsell of everything from GPS devices to different kinds of cars. >>>
Internet of Things has actually been around for a while, especially in the industrial automation space. Kepware Technologies has been catering to the needs of that industry for 20 years. Let’s discuss why things are accelerating now and where the gaps are.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as Kepware.
Tony Paine: I’m the CEO of Kepware Technologies. Kepware is a software company focused on communications software for the industrial automation market. We’ve been around since 1995. We started Kepware in order to fulfil the need in the market for a low-cost human machine interface product for the industrial space. Such a product would allow you to visualize what’s going on within a plant. When we started the company, standards to exchange information between applications from different vendors >>>
Sramana Mitra: So all the selling that you do around the world is done through your Spanish operation. You sell on the phone and web.
Alicia Asin: Yes, most of the sales are direct sales due to inquiries through our websites. This year, we started opening distribution channels. Now, we have existing distributors covering most of the European territory, Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, India, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, and US as well. This list is growing every month.
Sramana Mitra: Excellent. I think I’ve got your story. Is there anything else you want to share?