Q1: How would you describe the current state of IoT?
A1: The state of IoT makes me think about the Gartner hype cycle, which is odd to say as someone who has been in IoT for 15 years. We are seeing great progress, but there is still some way to go before truly ubiquitous, reliable, business case driven IoT.
Q2: Multitech is traditionally a connectivity hardware company. How do you see your role evolving in IoT?
A2: Multitech will continue to evolve around the core strength of IoT connectivity hardware. I see the business growing with the marketplace in industrial IoT hardware, with the products being more tightly integrated with partner software that provides additional value to our customers.
Q3: What is the most common thing that you are asked from companies trying to participate in IoT?
A3: We do not know where to start. It is heard across the value chain regardless of starting position. IoT is still far more complex that it needs to be. We have not done a good job as an industry offering deployable solutions that you can simply buy off the shelf. It takes quite a while to get from concept to something that you can consume in your business.
Another challenge is that every part of the value chain is trying to be partner agnostic and that leads to loose rather than deep integrations. A smaller number of deeper relationships and focus would serve everyone better. We spend way too much time talking about technology instead of business problems.
Q4: What is the dumbest thing you have seen in the market lately?
A4: The worst thing lately is the concept of network readiness. Much of this is around marketing and clear communications. Technical reality and marketing are diverging, and this situation adds to customer confusion.
Q5: What excites you most about the industry over the next year or two?
A5: I am really excited about some adjacent technologies that add value to IoT. Things like biodegradable materials and energy harvesting are getting closer to deployment. Edge intelligence that can deliver true machine learning and AI will change the game and drive lots of value that we currently cannot achieve. As a community in the industrial internet of things, we should keep in mind the bigger picture of the positive impact of IoT on the world. IoT has the capacity to save lives and to make the world a much better place. The impact on health care, safety and quality of life will be massive.