Earlier this month, Boston was once more the location for a conference focused on Internet of Things (IoT) in industry, as Xively by LogMeIn hosted its inaugural executive IoT innovation forum, Xperience.
The event brought together more than 280 business and IT leaders currently engaged with or contemplating how to incorporate IoT into their businesses. The focus was on transforming connected products into successful connected businesses, a topic that is front and center for many manufacturing companies today, as the hype around IoT continues to grow and early innovators are publicizing significant business results. At IDC Manufacturing Insights, every IoT conversation we have with companies lately turns to the topic of business model transformation and how manufacturers can identify the connected products and services that will deliver the best results for their customers and their company.
The host of Xperience was Xively by LogMeIn, a Boston-based technology provider whose core belief is that "possibilities increase with connectivity." LogMeIn got its start in 2003 as a cloud-based service provider of tools for remote access and management of PCs and servers as well as remote support web applications for contact centers and helpdesks to diagnose and troubleshoot computers, smartphones, and tablets. To date, LogMeIn has connected over 400 million devices globally. In 2011 the company acquired Xively and its IoT platform-as-a-service technology for building and managing Internet of Things devices and related services. With this acquisition, LogMeIn created a strategic objective to focus on IoT, and Xively is the company's branded initiative around IoT.
According to Xively, anyone who has a product with an ON/OFF switch should make IoT their strategic objective as well. And so, the company launched the inaugural Xperience Event to address some of the hype around IoT and seek to identify next steps for manufacturers and other IoT adopters. Of particular interest to attendees was the demonstration hall, which was compact but included a showcase of four customers that are using the Xively IoT platform for connected products and services. A few of these had spent time recently out at Dreamforce '15 in the Salesforce Developer Zone. Among them was Symmons Industries, a provider of commercial and residential plumbing products, whose Inflow Shower product leverages LogMeIn's Xively IoT platform to connect shower sensors to the Salesforce backend. This enables hotels, for example, to monitor water temperature, flow rate, and shower duration to inform usage, service and maintenance of the shower fixtures. Symmons is a shining example of "how" traditional manufacturers can use IoT to pivot their business and find new revenue and service opportunities. This type of example is instrumental in the continued adoption of IoT in industry, providing a tangible path forward.
Xively IoT platform joins a number of other IoT platforms that are part of the growing ecosystem of connectivity, security and services for manufacturers looking to launch, manage, and monetize connect products. Once manufacturers identify their strategic path with regards to connected products and services, there is no shortage of technology to apply to the vision. Manufacturers should pay close attention to the particular characteristics of the IoT platform, including the functionality it offers and capabilities such as security. Because the landscape for IoT is evolving rapidly, it will be important for a given platform to have an ecosystem approach, rather than trying to lock a company into a proprietary offering. Also, the standards bodies are moving to establish some basic standards around IoT, including the Industrial Internet Consortium, whose test beds we referenced in a recent blog. At least for now, the spirit of collaboration is prevailing with regards to IoT platforms and technologies, which will benefit connected products and their manufacturers.