To be blunt, we don’t think enterprises need standalone IoT platforms. At least not one of the hundreds of application enablement and data visualization cloud platforms that are clamoring for market share today.
This isn’t a new opinion. We said the same thing when we emerged from stealth mode in 2014.
That doesn’t mean enterprises and OEMs don’t need to be able to consume data from devices and take action based on that data. But this is also nothing new and we’re not sure why hundreds of companies believe otherwise. Enterprise and consumer applications consume petabytes of data everyday and take action based on data and events they consume and analyze. So of course as more devices and their data come online - organizations want to consume, analyze and act upon this. But do you really need a standalone cloud platform sitting next to your ERP system, CRM or BPM platform or Logistics and Supply Chain systems?
We will go into this topic more deeply at a later date, but we take the position that what enterprise applications and platforms really need is a simple way to interact with edge devices, data and networks via an edge-centric platform. At MachineShop we are sticking to the basics - edge device management, edge data management and orchestration (integration and workflow) management. We are happy to cede the cloud aggregation and analysis to larger infrastructure companies that have entered the space - namely AWS IoT, Microsoft IoT, IBM Watson, SAP and perhaps Oracle. GE, Bosch, Honeywell, ABB and many others are taking a more vertical approach to the challenges of industrial IoT and for good reason. The fact is that a small number (maybe 3 or 4) of companies can really serve the horizontal requirements of IoT data aggregation and event management in the cloud. Once you rise above a certain level in the business logic stack, you must have domain expertise, e.g. utilities, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain, etc. Otherwise, what value are you really adding?
It’s increasingly difficult to define the IoT domain and we honestly believe that a better way to divide the world is into simple legacy categories of vertical market segments, horizontal platforms (ERP, CRM, BPM, SCM…) and then a line between cloud computing and edge computing. At MachineShop, we are happy to subordinate ourselves to the higher level cloud platforms, vertical market applications and myriad of other enterprise business platforms. With a few simple API calls, we can turn any platform or application into an IoT platform - at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of time. It’s not really magic, it’s MachineShop.