Showing posts with label PTC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PTC. Show all posts

Jan 6, 2019

2018 in Review: IoT puzzle-pieces falling into place

Compared to previous years, the pace of corporate activity in the IoT arena has settled down. This is to be expected in a maturing market cycle. This impression may be at variance with wider industry sentiment where the use of AI/Blockchain/IoT/Machine Learning labelling continues to sensationalize.

As a sign of IoT market reality, the opening event of 2018 dealt with the commercial reality. It took the form of Telefonica O2 withdrawing from the smart home market through the closure of O2 Smart Home. The year ended with a couple of more promising events for the mobile and IoT industries. I’ll touch on these later.

Most activity was concentrated among three groups: technology vendors; network operators (mobile, low-power and virtual); and, platform providers.

Jul 31, 2018

A change in perspective reveals new IoT strategies

My last post examined the direction that several MNOs are taking with their IoT strategies [1]. Applying these trends at an industry level, I questioned whether MNOs are approaching the commercial opportunity with a broad enough strategic perspective. Think about it from the perspective that traditional mobile connections will supposedly account for roughly 10% of all IoT connections. That proportion should rise now that low power cellular technologies (NB-IoT family) are firmly on the deployment roadmap. Since this raises the credibility of a vibrant supplier eco-system, more adopters should gravitate to mobile connectivity to take advantage of more compelling economies of scale.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that mobile connectivity will coexist as one of several IoT access technologies. However, unless MNOs find ways to stake an economic role in activities higher up the value chain they will lose out on promising commercial prospects. They will also find themselves dis-intermediated from end customers and their needs. How might this play out?

Jan 3, 2018

2017 in Review: Making the IoT work

Looking back over notable, M2M/IoT corporate initiatives in 2017, mobile network operators (MNOs) and technology vendors were the two most active groups in the industry eco-system.

The main feature amongst MNOs was market expansion into new geographies. Sometimes, this happened individually; more often, it took the form of partnering with other network operators. This is a classic growth model for the mobile operator community.

In the technology vendor community, leading initiatives took the form of: acquisitions/investments; partnering (with MNOs, platform providers and system integrators); and, product innovation.

In comparative terms, activity among platform organizations was subdued. And, end-users barely featured among 2017 initiatives. It is likely that these last two data points mask a higher level of internal activity targeting operational scaling and in-house developments as firms solidify their foundations in the IoT market. As an example, Altair, a provider of engineering software to enterprise customers, acquired the Carriots IoT platform. This initiative illustrates the trend to internalize IoT capabilities and has parallels with the earlier acquisition of ThingWorx by PTC [1].

Jan 11, 2016

2015 in Review: The strategic balance between IoT scale and value

Corporate activity in the M2M/IoT market continues to grow in line with the roughly 30% growth rate that many market analysts forecast for connected devices. Acquisition and investment activity grew at a much faster rate over the past few years and reflects a positive corporate attitude to this important market.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) were very active especially in the low-power, wide-area networking (LPWAN) arena which is positive in terms of driving industry scale. Companies in the platform services segment were even more active highlighting the scope for value creation higher up the industry value chain. The industry dynamics between MNOs and platform service providers will set up an interesting strategic challenge – that of scale vs. value – which will affect all market participants over the coming years.

Mar 23, 2014

PTC-ThingWorx dual-aggregation business model

I was recently in discussion with an executive from an M2M service provider who was marveling at the sizable sum - $112m plus a possible earn-out of $18m - for which ThingWorx was acquired by PTC.

By way of context, PTC supplies software and service solutions to discrete manufacturing organizations to help them create and service their products; example products include heavy machinery, medical devices, air-handling and fire-protection systems. While PTC has been in business for over 25 years, ThingWorx was established as recently as 2010. Its aim was to create a platform to speed up the process of developing applications for smart, connected services involving people, systems and devices.

The acquisition should not come as a surprise to readers of this site. The pattern of corporate initiatives in the connected devices market and the rising role of end-user companies were anticipated at the end of 2012.