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Field services operations bullish on emerging technologies, finds Red Hat global survey

By Zenobia Hegde

For many industries, from transportation to utilities, manufacturing and more, field workers are pivotal to the success of business operations, the satisfaction of customers, and the growth of the bottom line.

Field workers are now at the forefront of digital transformation where artificial intelligence (AI), smart mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and business process management (BPM) technologies have created new opportunities to better streamline and transform traditional workflows and workforce management practices.

To better understand how these technologies are being applied and the impact they are having in the enterprise, Red Hat commissioned research firm Vanson Bourne to survey 300 IT decision makers from organisations in the U.S., Europe and Asia that employ a significant field workforce. The survey examined investment trends, current and future adoption patterns, use cases and implementation challenges.

According to the results, strong technology investment is expected by respondents with an average increase of 25% through November 2018, reflecting the importance of technology in transforming field service operations. Top business factors identified as influencing this investment include increasing field worker productivity (46%), streamlining or optimising field operations and processes (40%), and improving customer service (37%).

When we consider the current trends that are broadly driving conversations in the tech industry, AI is one of the leading topics. While still an emerging category—currently implemented by only 24% of respondents—we believe the technology has great potential across a variety of industries and use cases. It comes as little surprise that an additional 30% of respondents plan to implement AI in 2018, aligning with an average anticipated increase in investment of 26% for certain respondents over the same period.

The AI umbrella encompasses a number of specific technologies for those respondents that have either implemented already or plan to implement to address more specialised uses cases, including:

Predictive analytics (55%)
Machine learning (46%)
Chatbots or virtual digital assistance (45%)
Robotic Process Automation (44%)

Despite being more established technologies, mobile, BPM and IoT seem to defy their relative maturity in the market with respondents indicating double-digit growth across the board in both investment and implementations through November 2018. While 67% of respondents have already implemented mobile apps for field service operations, an additional 19% plan to implement new mobile apps, supported by a 20% average expected increase in investment by certain respondents.

The outlook for BPM and IoT is similar. Respondents expect implementations to grow from 61 to 81% for BPM and from 53 to 73% for IoT, fueled by 20 and 24% average expected increase in investment by certain respondents, respectively.

However, along with the appetite for technology investment and implementation growth, respondents are keenly aware of the technical challenges their organisations face in developing and implementing applications for field workforce management. Access to timely and relevant data is critical for field workers in remote locations, harsh environments, or areas of low network connectivity, as is the ability to protect that data as it flows between the field and back-end systems.

As a result, securing data access was the top challenge identified in the survey at 34%, followed by:

The pace […]

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Europe falls behind US in adoption of AI-led security, as half of firms surveyed say IoT is making it harder to stay secure

By Zenobia Hegde

IoT (Internet of Things) strategies are hampering security management, with almost half (47%) of executives in a new survey saying it has become more difficult to stay secure in the last year. This is one of the key findings of the 2017-2018 Global Application and Network Security Report, just released by Radware®, a provider of cyber security and application delivery solutions.

Adding to the problem is the complex issue as to who is responsible for IoT security. When asked who needs to take responsibility, there was no clear consensus among security executives. Responses pinned responsibility on the organisations managing the network through to the manufacturers, but the majority said it was down to consumers using these devices (56%).

Andrew Foxcroft, regional director for Radware UK, Ireland and Nordics, says that its time companies closed the debate and assume responsibility themselves: “Everything that is attached to the network is a threat to security. The longer we debate who is responsible the more advantage we hand to the hackers who will do everything that can to exploit weaknesses.

“Governments of the world are taking more and more interest in IoT and if companies fail to be decisive, take responsibility and collaborate on security, legislation will make the decision for them – look at Germany’s decision to ban smart toys.

Lazy assumption

“It’s lazy to assume consumers will think about security. We already know people find it challenging to keep up with software updates and are unlikely to think through the risks regardless of the terms and conditions they sign up to. The network is only as strong as its weakest link and the sooner companies realise IoT devices are the weakest link, and that the buck will always stop with them, the better.”

The study also found that the percentage of companies reporting financially motivated cyber-attacks has doubled over the past two years, with 50% of surveyed companies experiencing a cyber-attack motivated by ransom in the past year. As the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – often the preferred form of payment among hackers – has appreciated, ransom attacks provide an opportunity for hackers to cash out for lucrative gains months later.

Cryptocurrencies help hackers

“The rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies and their subsequent rise in price has presented hackers with a clear upside that goes beyond cryptocurrencies’ anonymity,” adds Foxcroft. “Paying a hacker in these situations not only incentivises further attacks, but it provides criminals with the vital funds they need to continue their operations.”

Andrew Foxcroft

The number of companies that reported ransom attacks in which hackers use malware to encrypt data, systems, and networks until a ransom is paid – surged in the past year, increasing 40% from the 2016 survey. Companies don’t expect this threat to go away in 2018 either. One in four executives (26%) see ransom as the largest threat to their business sector in the coming year.

“Criminals used various exploits and hacks this year to encrypt vital systems, steal intellectual property, and shut down business operations, all with ransom demands attached to these actions,” Foxcroft said. […]

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PodM2M connects TAHMO IoT weather monitoring systems to remedy chronic hunger in Africa

By Zenobia Hegde

PodM2M (a division of Pod Group), a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) specialising in global, mission critical connectivity solutions for the M2M/IoT market, has announced that it is providing its resilient “Best Signal” IoT connectivity solution to the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO), a socially driven network of 20,000 connected weather monitoring stations every 30km across the African continent, to accurately measure previously undocumented weather systems.

One in four people in sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished. A lack of climatic information across this vast continent makes it difficult to plan a cropping strategy which would go some way to remedying the chronic hunger. Using a combination of weather pattern data and predictive computer models gathered by TAHMO, farmers in Africa can more efficiently plan their crop cycles, improve water productivity by up to 26% and plant more crops, with the risk of failure due to drought or flooding severely diminished.

TAHMO’s requirements for transmitting climate data across a huge distance, from different countries and in an extremely patchy coverage environment made choosing a sufficiently resilient IoT connectivity solution difficult, as many multi-network solutions are not able to transmit data efficiently across borders, and many operators are simply not present in the areas of Africa that benefit from TAHMO’s system.

Pod’s Best Signal Multi-Network SIMs connect to the best available signal on device start-up, and automatically switch networks in case of signal loss. This provides the TAHMO team with the resilient connectivity they need to measure weather systems across multiple countries without risk of losing valuable data. Thanks to Pod’s coverage in 185+ countries and over 600 networks, TAHMO has no problem collecting results from all the countries their devices are present in, and is assured of receiving the best possible coverage in Africa, as well as in US and European partner bases.

Charles Towers-Clark

Rebecca Hochreutener, TAHMO operations manager, immediately recognised the advantages of PodM2M’s specialist remote and mission-critical IoT SIM cards; “Although connectivity in Africa is not always simple, PodM2M has been able to provide reliable services and a very good and responsive support team,” she commented.

Charles Towers-Clark, managing director of Pod Group added, “TAHMO´s application is an excellent example of how the IoT can vastly improve standards of living and help to resolve some of the world´s most complex problems. We are extremely excited that our specialist mission critical connectivity is helping to make this project possible.”

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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Parks Associates: U.S. Households Will Buy More Than 10 Million Smart Home Controllers in 2021

By IoT – Internet of Things

Parks Associates announced new smart home research showing 26% of smart home owners purchased their devices from brick-and-mortar retail stores such as Best Buy, Home Depot, or Walmart, making this channel the most commonly used among U.S. consumers. By 2021, more than 10 million smart home controllers will be sold in the U.S., and more […]

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GSMA mobile IoT initiative helping operators target european connected energy market worth US$26 bn

By Zenobia Hedge

The GSMA announced that mobile operators deploying new Mobile IoT networks will be able to benefit from the European connected energy market estimated to be worth US$26 billion(€21.99 billion) by 2026. Data shared by analyst house Machina Research highlights the huge growth opportunity in the emerging connected energy market that could connect approximately 158 million new smart meters on LPWA networks across Europe. The total number of connections in Europe could be further increased if the 60 million cellular connections are also included with LPWA.

“The Internet of Things is fundamentally disrupting the smart utility market by providing ubiquitous connectivity and real-time, actionable data. Mobile IoT networks will take this further by offering energy providers a cost-effective solution to connect millions of smart meters,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer, GSMA.

“There is a real sense of momentum behind the roll-out of Mobile IoT networks with multiple global launches, however, there is still a huge runway for growth. We encourage operators to act now to capitalise on this clear market opportunity and further accelerate the development of the IoT.”

The current connected energy market, which includes applications related to the generation and transportation of energy, microgeneration, smart grid and distribution monitoring and smart metering, is worth an estimated US$11.7 billion(€9.90 billion). The European connected energy market represents approximately 21% of all global revenues, with APAC claiming 54% and the Americas 21%.

The European Commission recently published a proposal indicating that approximately 200 million electricity smart meters and 45 million gas meters will be rolled out by 2020. The Commission also estimates that by 2020, approximately 72% of Europeans customers will have a smart meter for electricity and about 40% for gas.

“In the coming years we will see an important change in the way natural gas networks operate. The need for more efficient operations, improved safety and better quality of service will be paramount and we can do this through the roll-out of smart gas metering systems. We are moving towards the digitalisation of gas networks, a transformation from “pipe-centric” systems to “data-centric” systems.

To make this happen, reliable communication means are a must and the arrival of NB-IoT and LTE-M represents an acceleration of this evolution. These new technologies offer everything necessary, such as long battery life, penetration and data security, as well as licensed spectrum,” commented Gianfranco De Feo, executive director, Shanghai Fiorentini Ltd.

Mobile IoT networks supporting growth of connected energy

Mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market IoT applications across a wide variety of use cases including connected energy solutions such as water and gas metering, smart grids, electricity and energy monitoring. They support IoT applications that are low-cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote and hard to reach locations making them ideal for the connected energy sector.

Mobile networks are already supporting the smart electric metering market, but now other sectors such as water and gas metering are turning their attention to the benefits of adopting NB-IoT and LTE-M networks due to low power and better […]

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GSMA mobile IoT initiative helping operators target european connected energy market worth US$26 bn

By News Aggregator

By Zenobia Hedge

The GSMA announced that mobile operators deploying new Mobile IoT networks will be able to benefit from the European connected energy market estimated to be worth US$26 billion(€21.99 billion) by 2026. Data shared by analyst house Machina Research highlights the huge growth opportunity in the emerging connected energy market that could connect approximately 158 million new smart meters on LPWA networks across Europe. The total number of connections in Europe could be further increased if the 60 million cellular connections are also included with LPWA.

“The Internet of Things is fundamentally disrupting the smart utility market by providing ubiquitous connectivity and real-time, actionable data. Mobile IoT networks will take this further by offering energy providers a cost-effective solution to connect millions of smart meters,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer, GSMA.

“There is a real sense of momentum behind the roll-out of Mobile IoT networks with multiple global launches, however, there is still a huge runway for growth. We encourage operators to act now to capitalise on this clear market opportunity and further accelerate the development of the IoT.”

The current connected energy market, which includes applications related to the generation and transportation of energy, microgeneration, smart grid and distribution monitoring and smart metering, is worth an estimated US$11.7 billion(€9.90 billion). The European connected energy market represents approximately 21% of all global revenues, with APAC claiming 54% and the Americas 21%.

The European Commission recently published a proposal indicating that approximately 200 million electricity smart meters and 45 million gas meters will be rolled out by 2020. The Commission also estimates that by 2020, approximately 72% of Europeans customers will have a smart meter for electricity and about 40% for gas.

“In the coming years we will see an important change in the way natural gas networks operate. The need for more efficient operations, improved safety and better quality of service will be paramount and we can do this through the roll-out of smart gas metering systems. We are moving towards the digitalisation of gas networks, a transformation from “pipe-centric” systems to “data-centric” systems.

To make this happen, reliable communication means are a must and the arrival of NB-IoT and LTE-M represents an acceleration of this evolution. These new technologies offer everything necessary, such as long battery life, penetration and data security, as well as licensed spectrum,” commented Gianfranco De Feo, executive director, Shanghai Fiorentini Ltd.

Mobile IoT networks supporting growth of connected energy

Mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market IoT applications across a wide variety of use cases including connected energy solutions such as water and gas metering, smart grids, electricity and energy monitoring. They support IoT applications that are low-cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote and hard to reach locations making them ideal for the connected energy sector.

Mobile networks are already supporting the smart electric metering market, but now other sectors such as water and gas metering are turning their attention to the benefits of adopting NB-IoT and LTE-M networks due to low power and better […]

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oneM2M deployments accelerating IoT to be showcased at ETSI IoT Week

By News Aggregator

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Real-world deployments using oneM2M specifications will be demonstrated as part of ETSI IoT Week, giving attendees first-hand insight into how oneM2M is helping grow mass adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The event will be held at ETSI’s headquarters, in Sophia Antipolis, France, from Monday, October 23 to Thursday, October 26.

oneM2M will lead the first day of the event with its oneM2M Developers Tutorial, which will provide expertise on common architecture and the development of IoT applications using specifications. oneM2M will also take the spotlight in the following days of the event, with leading IoT-focused organisations taking part in oneM2M showcases to provide live demonstrations of proven IoT applications.

“The event is a great opportunity for IoT app developers, product managers and solution architects to see first-hand oneM2M’s work and progress in advancing adoption of the IoT via real-world deployments using the standard,” said oneM2M’s Technical Plenary chair Dr. Omar Elloumi, of Nokia.

“We hope attendees will leave the event feeling much more knowledgeable about how interoperable and secure IoT deployments can be implemented through a standards-based approach and the practicalities of that.”

The full list of oneM2M showcases which will take place during the ETSI IoT Week, and companies participating, includes:

oneM2M Testing Solutions in Practice – Spirent
IoT Security Testing & Benchmarking – Easy Global Market, FOKUS, ODINS
Plug-In your Smart Cities with SemanticInteroperability –Sejong University, University of Cantabria, Easy Global Market, NEC Europe Ltd., KETI, FHNW, KAIST
A oneM2M-based Medical Monitoring System of Hemodialysis Centre– III, NEXCOM
Services for Smart Connected Vehicles in a Smart City – ATOS, eDevice, M3 Systems, LAAS/CNRS
Accessing Home Appliances through Standard oneM2M Platforms – Orange Labs, T-Labs
Standards in Action in Smart Energy & Smart Appliances – ESMIG
Showcasing oneM2M Dynamic Authorisation in Management of oneM2M Applications using oneM2M Platforms – FOKUS
oneM2M AppIDRegistry –Securing Remote Patent Monitoring Devices – iconectiv, Sensinov
Open Source IoT – Simplified, Interoperable, Development for IoT Devices – ATIS

The four-day event is an extension of ETSI’s M2M workshop series, which is open to those involved in IoT solutions or standards management and IoT followers or users, who are interested in promoting and adopting standard-enabled technologies.

For more information on the event and oneM2M’s involvement, please visit the ETSI IoT Week website.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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oneM2M deployments accelerating IoT to be showcased at ETSI IoT Week

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Real-world deployments using oneM2M specifications will be demonstrated as part of ETSI IoT Week, giving attendees first-hand insight into how oneM2M is helping grow mass adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The event will be held at ETSI’s headquarters, in Sophia Antipolis, France, from Monday, October 23 to Thursday, October 26.

oneM2M will lead the first day of the event with its oneM2M Developers Tutorial, which will provide expertise on common architecture and the development of IoT applications using specifications. oneM2M will also take the spotlight in the following days of the event, with leading IoT-focused organisations taking part in oneM2M showcases to provide live demonstrations of proven IoT applications.

“The event is a great opportunity for IoT app developers, product managers and solution architects to see first-hand oneM2M’s work and progress in advancing adoption of the IoT via real-world deployments using the standard,” said oneM2M’s Technical Plenary chair Dr. Omar Elloumi, of Nokia.

“We hope attendees will leave the event feeling much more knowledgeable about how interoperable and secure IoT deployments can be implemented through a standards-based approach and the practicalities of that.”

The full list of oneM2M showcases which will take place during the ETSI IoT Week, and companies participating, includes:

oneM2M Testing Solutions in Practice – Spirent
IoT Security Testing & Benchmarking – Easy Global Market, FOKUS, ODINS
Plug-In your Smart Cities with SemanticInteroperability –Sejong University, University of Cantabria, Easy Global Market, NEC Europe Ltd., KETI, FHNW, KAIST
A oneM2M-based Medical Monitoring System of Hemodialysis Centre– III, NEXCOM
Services for Smart Connected Vehicles in a Smart City – ATOS, eDevice, M3 Systems, LAAS/CNRS
Accessing Home Appliances through Standard oneM2M Platforms – Orange Labs, T-Labs
Standards in Action in Smart Energy & Smart Appliances – ESMIG
Showcasing oneM2M Dynamic Authorisation in Management of oneM2M Applications using oneM2M Platforms – FOKUS
oneM2M AppIDRegistry –Securing Remote Patent Monitoring Devices – iconectiv, Sensinov
Open Source IoT – Simplified, Interoperable, Development for IoT Devices – ATIS

The four-day event is an extension of ETSI’s M2M workshop series, which is open to those involved in IoT solutions or standards management and IoT followers or users, who are interested in promoting and adopting standard-enabled technologies.

For more information on the event and oneM2M’s involvement, please visit the ETSI IoT Week website.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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Apple & GE partner to bring Predix industrial apps to iPhone & iPad

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Apple® and GE announced a partnership to deliver powerful industrial apps designed to bring predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, to iPhone® and iPad®. The two companies unveiled a new Predix software development kit (SDK) for iOS, which gives developers the tools to make their own powerful industrial IoT apps.

“GE is an ideal partner with a rich history of innovation across the industrial world in areas like aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and energy,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad.”

“The partnership between Apple and GE is providing developers with the tools to make their own powerful industrial IoT apps,” said John Flannery, chairman and CEO, GE. “Our customers increasingly need to arm their workforces through mobility. Working together, GE and Apple are giving industrial companies access to powerful apps that help them tap into the predictive data and analytics of Predix right on their iPhone or iPad.”

John Flannery

The new Predix SDK for iOS will be available to download on Thursday, October 26. The SDK gives developers the ability to make powerful, native apps that take full advantage of the industrial analytics from Predix and tap into the power and ease of use of iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system.

These apps will give industrial operators more insight and visibility into the performance of their equipment and operations right from their iPhone or iPad. For example, a Predix app can notify a worker on their iPhone of a potential issue with equipment such as a wind turbine and allow them to collaborate with remote teams when performing inspections and repairs, collecting relevant data instantly.

These industrial apps will close the information loop faster, ultimately increasing cost savings and minimising unplanned downtime.

In collaboration with Apple, GE is also developing apps for both internal use and its customers, giving workers powerful tools to enhance their jobs and help operations run more efficiently. GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) Cases app, which is available in the App Store®, helps industrial businesses increase machine reliability and availability while reducing maintenance costs and managing operations risks. Customers including Exelon Corp. are already putting APM to work and seeing improved equipment uptime and overall productivity.

Brian Hoff

“Apple is known for setting the standard on hardware and simple software interfaces,” said Brian Hoff, director of corporate innovation at Exelon. “When you combine this with the power of Predix and all of the data Exelon is aggregating and analysing, the possibilities for game-changing solutions are endless.”

GE will standardise on iPhone and iPad for mobile devices and also promote Mac® as a choice for its global workforce of more than 330,000 employees. Apple will promote GE’s Predix as the industrial IoT analytics platform of choice to its customers and developers.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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