Creating a global ecosystem for the internet of everything
DALLAS–Craig Bachmann, senior director of open digital/IoE at TM Forum, opened up the internet of everything track of TM Forum Innovation InFocus this week with a talk titled “Forum InFocus: Enabling an open digital ecosystem.” TM Forum is finding that enterprises are questioning what their roles are in IoT, and asking ‘How can I connect all types of products, services and features in a way and at a scale never done before.’
“This is a significant change, very few people have been trained to do this,” Bachmann said. “Very few people know how to put together ecosystems.”
According to Bachman, there are four main ways to build an ecosystem for the internet of everything (EoT):
- Connect people, processes and systems in a massively scalable way to solve a long tail of problems
- By optimizing ability to participate in an ecosystem of partnerships that can scale predictably and drive innovation and monetization
- Evolving partner relationships to form repeatable and consistent processes and approaches to on-boarding new partners and sharing information
- Developing best practices for partnership toolsets and guidebooks for digital services and IoE applications.
This allows enterprises to effectively and efficiently monetize and manage IoE ecosystems to grow revenue, lower costs and provide better transparency into risks as the market evolves.
The IoT and IoE markets are expected to grow $23.97 trillion by 2020, with person to person, machine to machine, and person to machine connections.
We are currently moving across from the machine-to-machine (M2M) world to an IoT world, where connected sensors are being put together for services, to an internet of everything world where it is the people, process, data and things to encompass all interactions, according to Bachman.
“As you can see from various analyst groups, everyone is taking wild shots at how big this [IoT] is,” Bachmann said. “So this is tough, it is still early days as far as the devices go. Some people say we are already at 200 billion for IoT revenue, but that is because they count the pieces that have already been established. There is wild variation in the revenue. One of the challenges is that very few companies know their role in this, because it is very hard to forecast these things about the future. So everyone is feeling their way along the wall.”
He went on to say that IoT and IoE have many opportunities that are mashups across industries, but at the same time exist a few challenges, particularly security.
TM Forum uses its catalyst program and working groups to figure out best practices, and what makes sense for everyone in terms of the uncertainty in the marketplace.
“What we found is that folks who manage IoT, IoT services, need to think across what used to be very clear siloes in order to make that service work.”
TM Forum currently has more than 600 companies in its program, around a third from AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa), a third from the United States and a third from Asia.
The non-profit has taken a unique approach to establishing an IoT ecosystem by developing a roadmap of challenges, instead of a roadmap to an end-goal. This is because of the variability and constant changes within IoT. The group’s main goals are to develop and evolve repeatable and consistent processes and approaches to setting up arrangements, on-board new partners, share information about products used between partners and evolve partner relationships.