M2M World News: Can you tell us where we are today in terms of standardization for the Internet of Things?
Alexander Damisch: The Internet of Things is not about just inventing or developing new standards. A lot of technology and standards are existing as of today and have to be leveraged. Standardization will be mainly driven by the key requirements, openness, safety, security and integration readiness into the existing landscape.
Examples would be the MQTT connectivity protocol that nicely fits the event driven requirement of IoT, but also is easy to integrate over existing IP infrastructure.
When looking at determinism, safety and security, the upcoming IEEE 802.1 TSN (time-sensitive networking) standard shows how using the OSI networking layers different requirements can be integrated.
M2M World News: How much is Wind River involved in this standardization process?
Alexander: Wind River is participating in the Industrial Internet Consortium and Open Interconnect Consortium to jointly drive relevant standards, or reuse established and applicable standards into the market and live deployments. Wind River is very customer focused, to make sure we are providing an open standard based platform that meets their needs.
M2M World News: Can you explain why you consider that the equipment manufacturers are the best ambassadors of IoT and M2M?
Alexander: From a market disruption and business transformation need point of view equipment manufacturers are in the sweet spot today. Device and equipment monetization is under intense pressure, and people are moving toward new revenue streams. This means that the old model of selling a device/box paid upfront is now competing with the full service solution approach to sell an asset as a service. Prominent example would be Rolls Royce who is selling their jet engines as a service, and rarely as a machine like in the past.
M2M World News: How strategic has IoT become in the markets/industries addressed by Wind River?
Alexander: IoT is happening today and has become an integrated part of the Wind River DNA.
We also see strong evidence for this in our core markets such as energy, process automation, discrete manufacturing, all kind of industrial mobile asset tracking and industrial logistics applications. Our dialogs with our customer have become much more strategic and aligned with their business than ever before. This shows that we are right on track with what the market needs.
M2M World News: What will be the main driver for your customers to invest in IoT projects this year?
Alexander: Initially it’s about reducing costs in the Operations Technology space (OT): embedded/device/edge nodes. The biggest opportunity is reducing OPEX by managing and running processes more efficiently and avoiding unscheduled services downtime (predictive maintenance). Next we see that adaptive analytics using the same information is feeding back into the process, and with this offering, new recurring services and revenue streams are becoming reality. This represents an opportunity nobody wants to miss in this market.
The next step will be to transform the business from asset selling to selling as a service, which will drive significant investments into the IaaS and PaaS infrastructure.
M2M World News: In what way 2015 will be really pivotal for the Big Data?
Alexander: I don’t see 2015 yet being that pivotal for big data, as the industries just start to realize the business transformation nature of IoT. So the big pivotal turnpoint will be that the domain experts start to map their vision to applications that in future will leverage big data as a technology.
M2M World News: Can you tell us why you believe that safety and integration will be the key subjects around IoT in 2015?
Alexander: Connecting means exposing existing assets to new threat vectors, which in turn impacts function safety with critical infrastructure out there. This means safety and security are key to allow connectivity. As connecting is the first step to IoT, this will be key to manage this aspect properly.
Furthermore, with IoT being a huge eco system, making sure that disparate systems not yet designed for cooperation will jointly interact for IoT applications, enabling them to work together well without again being exposed to safety and security, is a key integration challenge.
ERP system providers went through this path many years ago when they connected business systems at IT level together, the same challenge is now extended to the OT layer.
Alexander Damisch is senior director for Wind River’s IoT market segments which include control automation, energy, process automation, and transportation. He brings two decades of expertise with critical software projects. He has held various senior business and technical management positions in his career. Prior to Wind River, he directed and managed the Software Business Unit at Bernecker & Rainer.