When people ask what we do at MachineShop, I give any number of answers depending on who is asking the question. Lately, I’ve been using the phrase, “API-fication of IoT.” Translated, that simply means we convert the ugly, proprietary interfaces of connected devices into REST APIs. It’s only part of what we do, but it’s both magic and pretty darn fun.
On Wednesday, Cisco announced that John Oberon joined as Vice President, IoT Software Platforms. John was once Vice President, Chief Architect and even General Manager at Mashery, now part of Intel. Intel’s acquisition of Mashery was one of the happiest days in my (professional) life. It was resounding validation that APIs were going to be a key component in the IoT stack and reference architecture. At least according the world’s largest supplier of chips for the connected world.
MachineShop has been saying this since early 2012, and we’ve built a whole company around that vision. Eh, but who listens to us?
Fast-forward to this week and the world’s largest supplier of networking technology, Cisco, hires an API maestro to help navigate their Internet of Things strategy and offerings. One has to believe this will take a turn toward a real service-enablement of network infrastructure, connected devices, data, events and more. When you combine Cisco’s powerful networking legacy with APIs, you finally see a rationale for the ‘Internet of Everything’. I always liked that term even though it was often criticized. After all, when you say you are ‘everything’ that often means ‘nothing’.
But imagine a world of applications and solutions where devices, networks, data, events, business processes, environmental conditions, traffic and even the time of day can all be treated as services with APIs. How powerful a proposition this is because of its very simplicity. Developers won’t need black box IoT platforms. They will want and demand to interact with devices and data sources as services. Software-defined networks will become API-managed networks and we will consume Silicon as a Service, all because of APIs.
Sometimes we still feel like the lonely profit evangelizing to jeers and chuckles, but maybe we won’t be alone anymore talking about the API-fication of IoT with the likes of Cisco and Intel joining the chorus.
Congrats to John and Cisco, and may the API-fication of the Internet of Everything really begin.
For a little more information on these ideas, see our white paper, API-fication of the Internet of Things.