A Gamble That Paid Off
by Tim Taberner
When B+B SmartWorx went to Las Vegas to attend IBM InterConnect 2015, we weren’t sure what to expect. We knew that the show would attract a lot of visitors. And we knew that they’d be interested in cloud and mobile networking, as the show was built around those topics. What we didn’t know was whether there would also be a lot of interest in our Wzzard Sensing Platform.
As it turned out, there was a great deal of interest indeed. We got to meet a lot of people who are investigating the new services and the new M2M capabilities that are enabled by IoT sensing applications. They engaged us in some highly relevant discussions, and many of these discussions have turned into ongoing conversations. Some of these relationships will turn directly into sales opportunities, and some will turn into technology partnerships. We couldn’t be more pleased.
Sales, of course, are important to any business. But in the IoT world, technology partnerships are just as crucial. No single entity can provide a complete IoT solution. There are too many pieces in the puzzle. Our Wzzard Sensor Platform, for example, serves as the connectivity piece that connects edge devices to applications on networks or in the cloud. We don’t design or build the sensors. Instead, Wzzard is designed to connect to virtually any industry standard sensor that we could ever expect to encounter. We don’t develop software services and platforms like SeeControl or IBM Bluemix, either. Instead, Wzzard uses IoT tech and protocols to carry data to those platforms. Working within an ecosystem of technology partners leverages the expertise of all of the entities involved. Each partner contributes a piece of the puzzle, and the end result is a complete IoT solution.
Designing the Wzzard platform was the next logical step for B+B SmartWorx. We’ve spent more than 30 years designing and building the connectivity pieces that make disparate data networking technologies work in tandem, like protocol and media converters. But IoT tech leads data networking in a new direction. Older questions, like connecting legacy serial devices to Ethernet networks, have largely been resolved. IoT presents us with new questions. How do you manage bandwidth when networks are expanding exponentially, both in the numbers of connected devices and in the kinds of devices that can be monitored by network nodes? How do you move more intelligence to the network edge, so as to reduce latency on the network? How do you minimize the amount of power that will be used by nodes out at the network edge, so that they can run on batteries for years at a time with no need for human intervention? IoT technologies like the Wzzard Sensor Platform answer these kinds of questions.
Discussing Wzzard with our booth visitors in Las Vegas was very productive. We had already envisioned many of the ways that IoT technology will be transformative in industrial M2M, and our visitors suggested even more. We had already partnered with numerous technology companies, and our trip to Las Vegas introduced us to additional IoT innovators. Industrial IoT is a fast-moving and challenging environment, and it’s exciting to be in the thick of things.
If you’re working in the IoT environment yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Share your comments below.
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