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EMEA: Startup innovation drives tech giants in IoT

The “Internet of Things” is such a broad-reaching topic; it’s really what you make of it – cars, things, people, sensors, animals, tractors, highways, etc. With so much room to innovate and limited only by the imagination of the tech industry; how does one actually begin to determine which things should be a part of the overall IoT portfolio in a network operator or tech giant?

Following are two examples of how this might all play out.

Recently I covered Deutsche Telekom’s machine-to-machine portfolio and made brief reference to a program to identify innovative IoT projects via a contest called the Business Wall of Fame. The contest was open to IoT solutions developers, entrepreneurs and users of IoT solutions from eight European countries (Austria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia). A jury selected 15 solutions based on the number of votes. All winners will become “heroes” of the DT marketing campaign worth $32,700 (30,000 euros) and can become partners of Deutsche Telekom with the ability to reach its more than 10 million business customers with their offers. The contest was finalized in June.

The categories crossed 12 topics, including big data analytics; energy; environmental monitoring; health care/e-health; industrial automation/manufacturing; intelligent buildings; public sector/smart cities; retail and commerce; security; smart agriculture; transportation and logistics/vehicle telematics; and an other category for those topics which didn’t fit. It’s interesting to see the cross section of winners by location:

  • Austria – Linemetrics’ sensor-based automation for small and medium enterprises.
  • Croatia – Mobilisis’ parking management solution.
  • Germany – Kiwi’s sensor-based door opening for buildings/homes.
  • Greece – Tourismart’s app for hotel management and guest services – book hotel services, track guest activities, create special offers.
  • Hungary – Accessium’s GPRS cloud-based access control system. This solution was also the overall winner of the contest.
  • Macedonia – BCON’s wireless wall socket, which you to place your wall socket wherever you want via an Internet connection.
  • Romania – ParkingPlus’ parking management solution.
  • Slovakia – ProfitUp’s business intelligence analytics for retail.

There’s a great deal more information about each of these solutions that can be found via the links above. The contest was a great idea to support startup companies and quickly expand the operator’s IoT solution portfolio.

Let’s also consider how tech giant Cisco might approach this topic.

Cisco announced the results of its IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge earlier this week. The challenge was a global competition open to young women between the ages of 13-18. The task at hand was to suggest new IoT solutions and technologies to connect devices and objects to address challenges in education, health care, manufacturing, energy, retail, transportation, smart cities or other industries. The winner received $20,000 in cash to invest in her education or respective innovative ideas.

There were 1,500 young women from across 171 countries who participated. The winners, two young ladies who developed an IoT-based global container management system, are from the U.S.

The program is also aimed at getting more young girls interested in STEM-focused educational programs. The video below helps highlight the challenges at hand. My personal favorite part of the video is the interview with a company that has more engineers named Dan than female engineers. Helps to really visualize how big this issue is; something to think about.

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Claudia Bacco, Managing Director – EMEA for RCR Wireless News, has spent her entire career in telecom, IT and security. Having experience as an operator, software and hardware vendor and as a well-known industry analyst, she has many opinions on the market. She’ll be sharing those opinions along with ongoing trend analysis for RCR Wireless News.

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