One-On-One on IoT
One-On-One on IoT
With more data, there is more opportunity to add value and save money.
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I had the opportunity to speak with Mathieu Baissac, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software.
- What type of IoT projects have you worked/are you working on?
- We have helped many device manufacturers across various industries drive top-line growth and recurring revenue by allowing them to monetize their software intellectual property and support an array of monetization models. In addition to generating revenue, we help reduce costs by helping control and provision device capabilities and capacity electronically which decreases manufacturing and fulfillment costs. We also deliver excellent customer experiences through 24x7 customer access to software products and licenses through a self-service portal. We have worked on some interesting projects, including telemetry, where we gather information about what is happening and send data to a central location for analysis.
- How do you define the “Internet of Things?”
- I have a broad definition of the Internet of Things. As hardware is becoming more like software, anything that connects to the Internet could be part of the IoT.
- What real-world problems are solved by IoT technology?
- One real-world example is a $40B hardware vendor making circuit breakers for industrial applications. We capture usage with our licensing toolkit to report how much electricity is being used inside the circuit breaker, and then send that information to the cloud for analysis to help manage electricity costs. It is a hybrid solution with hardware, software and data.
- Where do you think the biggest opportunities are for growth in IoT technology?
- With more data, there is more opportunity to add value and save money in industrial settings like building, manufacturing and transportation industries.
- What are the pain points and blockers that may make IoT development of adoption difficult?
- You have to think about security. We recommend applying security in layers and obfuscation of the code. Depending on the sophistication of the hardware, we can provide DLL signing and debugging. Producers need to get mechanisms for continuous and automated updates in place to keep their software up-to-date and secure. Also, many device/IoT manufacturers do not think about monetization and the need to move to a recurring revenue model. Devices must be connected and working together with time stamps, capacity counting and use models. This requires manufacturers to think like software vendors.
- What do you think are the most widely used IoT technologies?
- Some of the most widely used IoT technologies can actually be found in industrial environments, where machine-to-machine (M2M) was already in place.
- Is there a current application of the IoT that you’re particularly interested in and why?
- There are a lot of interesting potential IoT applications in the networking and telecommunications industry. Medical devices are also interesting. One of our customers is using our software to enable their clients – hospitals – to turn devices on and off when not in use. In the oil and gas industry, the IoT can be used for fracking pumps, by providing mechanisms to control multiple pumps with a single device.
- What skills are necessary to develop IoT systems and applications?
- It is important to keep up with where the IoT is going. Developers need to understand internal management – for example, how to keep track of what customers are entitled to – and the backend component to give customers the ability to configure and manage these things. It is also important to have a good understanding of software licensing to be able to monetize the IoT.
- What have I failed to ask you that you think we need to consider with regard to the IoT?
- The hardest thing to figure out is how to get hardware vendors to “get it” with regards to changing to a software model. They are no longer selling hardware, and they need to adopt a software and services strategy if they are to succeed.
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