By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. June 15, 2016
The IT industry has been in high gear about the potential and commercial opportunities related to the Internet of Things (IoT) for a couple of years now, and for good reason. Why so?
- First and foremost, IoT supports numerous new applications and intriguing use cases valuable to business which translates into good news for both vendors and their customers.
- Second, rather than being something entirely new, IoT represents logical, next evolutionary steps forward for IT solutions ranging from the data center to wired and wireless networks, to cloud to business intelligence and analytics, to sensor and machine data to endpoint technologies, including microprocessors and related components.
- Finally, by their nature, complex IoT problems virtually demand collaborative solutions. That means that no single vendor or platform is likely to dominate, making it possible for vendors of nearly every sort to find a way into the market, and increasing the variety and vitality of potential solutions.
That makes the first year anniversary of Dell’s IoT dedicated team worth a closer look.
Dell IoT’s innovative Edge
Prior to forming its IoT division a year ago, Dell had years of experience in helping business customers collect, manage and gain value from sensor and machine data. The company’s solutions, including those created by partners via the Dell OEM group, occupied workplace scenarios, including factory floors, supply chains and transportation fleets, acquiring and analyzing data across numerous instrumented business and industrial processes.
Dell’s first purpose-built IoT solution, the Edge Gateway 5000 Series, stands as an important progress point. Developed with insights gained by Dell’s networking, embedded PC and rugged solutions organizations, the Edge Gateway 5000 Series is a robust Intel-based offering that defines intelligence at the far end of the network. From that point, Dell’s solution connects varied wired and wireless devices and systems, aggregates and analyzes the input data, and sends it on to primary data centers for additional analysis.
The Edge Gateway 5000 Series is no be all/end all for Dell but rather the first of a growing family of offerings the company envisions to support burgeoning IoT use cases and applications, including solutions developed by the nearly 50 member companies in Dell’s IoT Partner Program.
Connect what matters
Some of those innovative solutions were spotlighted by Dell’s Connect What Matters IoT contest, with results announced at the IoT division’s anniversary celebration.
The platinum winner was V5 Systems, whose solar-powered, portable intelligent security platform is examined in depth by Laurie McCabe in this issue of the Review, and at her SMB Group blog. Gold winners included Eigen Innovations (video analytics for real time process and quality control), Iamus (smart streetlamp solutions), n.io (precision agriculture) and RiptideIO (packaged SaaS for small retail building spaces).
There were also ten Silver award winners (AZLOGICA, Blue Pillar, Calibr8 Systems Inc, Daliworks, ELM Energy, Independent Automation, Onstream, PixController, Inc,, PV Hardware and We Monitor Concrete).
The sheer variety of these offerings underscores the importance of collaboration during the IoT development process. That’s largely due to the need for granular insights into industry-specific requirements and endpoint functionality, issues that Dell’s OEM group which has partners in over 40 verticals for annual sales in excess of $1B, understands intimately.
By patiently evolving this approach, Dell has also achieved significant success without overly exposing itself or its partners to risk. Freeing collaborating partners to focus on their core strengths results in offerings closely tailored to the specific needs of end users and customers. That also increases the sustainability of Dell’s and its partners’ IoT solutions, an important point given the still evolving state of these markets.
Overall, there is much to celebrate on the first anniversary of Dell’s IoT organization. The event obviously emphasizes the company’s progress, but by spotlighting the innovations achieved by members of its IoT Partner Program, the company is also underscoring the value of creative collaboration. Connect What Matters is more than a simple title for an IoT contest. It fundamentally defines Dell’s approach to and strategy for the Internet of Things.
© 2016 Pund-IT, Inc. All rights reserved.