Building an Internet of Things Ecosystem
One of the geographic regions asserting itself as an epicenter of technology innovation focused on the rapidly evolving Internet of Things is the Boston area. To bring greater attention to the widening array of area companies pursuing new business opportunities in the IoT market, the region recently hosted a series of IoT events, anchored by Axeda's annual Connexion conference.
The Bay State has been the home of an assortment of machine-to-machine technology and software companies for many years. Because their products and services generally were focused on sensors and other devices often hidden from view, the Boston area M2M companies didn't generate much buzz in the past.
However, as the M2M business has morphed into a broader set of IoT consumer and commercial opportunities, these companies are moving quickly to capitalize on the spotlight aimed in their direction.
Massachusetts' Governor Deval Patrick declared May 2-9 "Internet of Things Week" in the Bay State to recognize the importance of the various conferences and expos hosted by local universities, industry associations, professional service firms and trade publications, in addition to area companies like Axeda.
The Internet of Things Week kicked off with a two-day IoT Olympiad at the Cambridge Innovation Center, one of the oldest start-up incubators in the U.S. The competition gave developers an opportunity to demonstrate new IoT applications for a variety of consumer and business needs.
During the week, the Security of Things Forum examined the security and privacy issues created by deploying billions of connected devices and the Big Data being generated by these devices.
The Bay State's long history of technological innovation in sensors and networking also was highlighted at the 5th Annual Auto-ID & Sensing Solutions Expo (RFIDexpo) at the MIT Media Lab.
NFC Bootcamp focused on near field communication, mobile payments and social networking. Gennari Aronson, a local law firm, hosted a breakfast session to discuss the business and legal implications of the IoT phenomenon.
Bay State Climate Change
The centerpiece of all the activity was Axeda's Connexion 2014 conference, which brought together the largest audience in the history of the annual event. Axeda has made the leap from the quiet M2M world to the blossoming IoT environment by continuously improving its solutions, and expanding its partner ecosystem.
On the technology side, Axeda has embraced the cloud as a key component in its application and service delivery platform. It also has become an important ally of major industry players such as AT&T, Broadcom, Deutsche Telecom, EMC, Emerson, Intel, Oracle, Salesforce.com and Wipro.
All these companies, and others, participated in Axeda's Connexion conference to showcase their latest solutions and share their perspectives with a cross-section of IT and business decision-makers from a variety of industries.
I've spent the past dozen years flying from Boston to the San Francisco Bay Area on a regular basis to participate in industry events focused on Software as a Service and cloud computing. I've often lamented that the Bay State couldn't match the Bay Area when it comes to gathering together to share ideas and showcase new innovations.
I'm excited to see the Boston climate change, sparked by a surge of new start-ups, accelerators, incubators and organizations determined to foster greater interaction and collaboration across the local tech industry, universities and government agencies. IoT has become a timely topic to encourage the local ecosystem to grow.