Magazine

Column: Marco Giegerich – IoT drives market covergence

The stories around IoT may seem like hype, but there is no denying connectivity is rapidly changing our world of living and working. In the past, innovations have typically been confined to clearly defined vertical market segments like transportation, industry, or building and home automation. A survey of the combination of the latest technologies across markets and a look beyond the garden gate reveal tremendous opportunities for new business models. Smart interconnection enables not only end-to-end solutions within a vertical but also helps to grow the segments together.

Smart cities are forcing new approaches to urban mobility. Connectivity enables not only guiding your car to a parking space reserved for you, but it also takes you to a spot conveniently located next to your shopping destination, thus saving you time and soothing your nerves. On your way, you receive information via your dashboard about the battery status of your car. With green energy available in your area, you get a special offer from the local energy provider. Your car charges directly at the parking lot while you’re shopping via wireless charging. Billing is generated automatically via an app. The participating shops provide not just a voucher for your parking charges and maybe subsidize the energy cost, but also inform you about the newest offers related to your desired shopping activities. While you are driving, smart traffic management systems inform you about the average speed, which supports a rapid traffic flow and generates a wave of green traffic signals. But what’s going on at home? You manage the alarm system or provide access to the garage because your package is now being delivered.

We need a clear focus on end-to-end solutions.

Marco Giegerich
Director Vertical Markets & 3rd Party Management EMEA at Avnet Silica

Marco Giegerich Avnet Silica

 

Dreams of a distant future? Hardly: a tremendous amount of data is already available, and more will be generated by the growing number of sensors in cars, around cities, and at home. Smart analysis and combining the data will be driven by artifcial intelligence and the results will inspire many new business models. At the same time, the price of IoT is falling rapidly due to lower tariffs from the cellular providers, but also due to other methods of connecting like LoRa, Sigfox, or NB IoT. More standardized cloud solutions, for example from Microsoft, as well as easy ways of connecting devices, make it even more convenient to assemble comprehensive solutions.

In the past, our customers have usually focused on hardware to drive their business models and to generate clear differentiators in their specific markets. As hardware is becoming more and more commoditized, adapted or new business models supported by the newest technologies open opportunities to enter new value creation stages. Here, the focus is clearly on end-to-end solutions. In the beginning, new business models often lead to major innovations, but more strategic steps will be required in the overall approach in order to maximize benefits and find solutions to the subsequent challenges. This calls for a new mindset to distinguish between the core competencies and the related parts of the development. Companies will need to decide whether to manage change on its own or to bring in external expertise. Cost targets and schedules have to be met. But in addition, new levels of security, service requirements, and maintenance need to be considered.

There is a fantastic array of new technology out there – but how to choose the right ones? What connectivity solutions will work if subterranean parking is needed? Is the system available globally? What security levels are required? What is already in place and what needs to be developed afresh, and by whom?

At Avnet Silica, we reduce complexity by driving and supporting the use case approach, meaning we have a clear focus on end-to-end solutions. Market knowledge on the commercial as well as the technical side, software engineering, and a strong network of market and technology leaders are key elements. To support the entire ecosystem, we work closely with a strong network of internal and external R&D partners. The Internet of Things is changing our world as we speak. It will bring exciting new opportunities within individual markets, but it will also drive market convergence. Reducing complexity will continue to be a major requirement to kick-start innovation.

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