A day in Beantown as Microsoft’s guest

Augmate was invited to join a group of prestigious companies and spend a day charting a roadmap toward a smarter world where Augmented Reality and various other IoT devices will lead the intelligent interplay of things data .. and us, humans.

Titled “IoT in Action”, the event was hosted by Microsoft’s Tom O’Reilly GM | Global Channel Sales, Global Marketing – IoT Device Experience and Rodney Clark, Vice President | IoT & Mixed Reality Sales the purpose was to prepare collectively for how IoT will transform the industries like manufacturing, healthcare, energy, security, ACE (architecture, construction, and engineering) or retail over the next five years.

Tom O’Reilly GM | Global Channel Sales, Global Marketing – IoT Device Experience

The day began with an overview of what is coming: 21 billion connected devices and a $1.3 trillion market by 2020, a reminder that IoT is as much a business transformation as a technical evolution. The Redmond giant took this opportunity to showcase capabilities of its Azure platform and services including Connected Factory, IoT Edge, and Solution Accelerators.

Later the conversation focused on the new business models IoT will allow led by Andrew Smith, Senior Director, Strategy & Operations, IoT Device Experience at Microsoft and some of us have geeked out on comparing and contrasting SaaS & PaaS. Specific case studies from Christian Morel, VP Cloud Services, Genetech and Jonathan Wise, Rockwell Automation brought many of the concepts (and challenges!) to life.

SaaS vs. Paas

As you would expect, Artificial Intelligence will have an outsized role, as the amount of data generated, latency and required speed of decision making will demand a paradigm shift. This is why one of the most interesting and inspiring subject was when Rashmi Misra GM I0T & AI Solutions, PD spoke about how DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology – the underpinning of “blockchain”) and “Smart Contracts” will create a wholly new architecture delivering new standards in security, insights generation and decentralized facilitation of interactions and transactions.

Rashmi Misra GM IoT & AI Solutions, Microsoft

There was an update on Microsoft IoT Accelerator Program from Cameron Carr, Director of IoT Partner Solutions, Strategy, and Scale that showcased the ways in which the ecosystem can be supported. The industry panel featured representatives of Advantech, Arrow, Avnet, and Techdata and the discussion ranged from sales cycles to distribution channels to the role of VARs.

The day ended with a matchmaking and networking reception bringing together current and future Microsoft partners.

Notable Insights:

  • IoT solutions easily cross into other verticals as the basic premise is similar: “things” – quantifying the previously unquantifiable – deliver new insights which lead to new “actions”. Unfortunately, the ease of crossing over is also true for vulnerabilities – most current and future users will have to pay particular attention to security.
  • One of IoT’s greatest potential impact is in inventing new business models. Just as airlines now rent thrust by the hour instead of leasing jet engines, consumers could well be renting (or subscribing to) cooling capacity by the hour instead of buying a fridge.
  • The “blockchain” paradigm shift represented by the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is here. IoT platforms will immensely benefit from their transparency, security, governance and trust-free transactional environments but “traditional” blockchains don’t meet the needs of IoT. Future DLT based platforms will be multi-modal and open — not just “blocked-in”