Verizon relaunches IoT marketplace, lands digital transformation deal with Bayer
Verizon has launched (relaunched?) an IoT marketplace on its ThingSpace platform for customers to purchase, activate and manage customised IoT solutions.It has also announced a five-year contract with German pharmaceutical firm Bayer to build a cloud-based “next-generation global network infrastructure”.
ThingSpace was introduced back in 2015 as a three-tier service for the IoT market, with sections for IoT development (Develop), management (Manage), and sales (Market). It has since introduced a Ready alliance to help IoT module makers to build, certify and manage IoT devices more easily and cheaply, and a development toolkit to go alongside.
This week, the US carrier said customers can “now seamlessly access a variety of tools” on its ThingSpace platform to “quickly launch an IoT deployment”. What’s new, precisely, is unclear; but the company trumpeted the offer as a “DIY digital playground” for developers to get started with bespoke IoT projects.
The homepage currently lists a variety of IoT SIM cards, data subscriptions, and hardware modules, including from Digi International, Nordic Semiconductor, and Sequans. The company described a “massive customer ecosystem” in its press release.
In particular, Verizon has sought to highlight products and solutions integrating its NB-IoT, LTE-M, and 5G networks in the US, plus its availability of mobile / multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies. It called the new IoT Marketplace, as it is branded, a “catalyst for creativity and innovation in the development of cutting-edge IoT”.
Steve Szabo, vice president of IoT at Verizon Business, commented: “ThingSpace IoT Marketplace was developed to make it easy for customers of all sizes to turn their IoT vision into reality. The Marketplace makes it easy for customers to get projects up and running – I think of this as a true DIY digital playground where they can quickly make innovation come to life.”
Meanwhile, and perhaps more concretely, German pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer has outsourced its global IT real estate to Verizon, in a five-year deal. The carrier, which worked previously with Bayer’s in-house IT team, has been commissioned to build a cloud-based “next-generation global network infrastructure”.
The arrangement includes software-defined networking, it said, to improve resilience, flexibility and scalability. Verizon will deliver managed network services to over 700 sites in 91 countries around the world. This includes a managed global private IP network, a managed software-defined wide-area network, and professional services support and governance.
Bayer wants to free up IT resources to focus on its core crop science, pharmaceutical and consumer health business activities, and otherwise support ongoing digital business transformation.
Bijoy Sagar, chief information technology and digital transformation officer at Bayer, said: “Our network is foundational to our future business success, and Verizon has the technology and innovation capabilities and expertise to support us as we continue to digitally transform our company. With network management safe in Verizon’s hands, we are able to focus our internal IT competencies on generating value for our core life science businesses.”