2017: A pivotal year in the IoT.nxt story.
It’s hard to believe that the end of 2017 is upon us. Weren’t we all just sitting around a table, bright eyed and imagining what this year would have in store for us? We could never have anticipated how amazing this year would be, nor how it would set us up for what we believe will be a pivotal year in the IoT.nxt story.
We’ve put together a list of some of the big moments, and we’ll get on to them in just a second. Wekick this off with some big data, as we like to do here at IoT.nxt. Not to be confused with the technology we so love, this is just data that we believe will illustrate how big the year was for us.
500% – that’s the increase in revenue. Let that sink in for a second…
200% – that’s the increase in local talent we’ve employed.
5000% growth , that’s the number of growth in endpoints we’ve connected. That number, however, is nothing if we don’t look at the vast improvements we’ve made in negating legacy latency issues, network overload and slow decision making.
Now, before we look back, let’s look ahead a bit.
This incredible place in our story that we find ourselves in is 24 months in the making. Reiterated by industry, we’re more confident than ever in the role that the edge is going to play in the future of IoT technology and deployment and guess what? We’ve been at the edge for the last 3 years already.
Now, with added machine learning, AI and cognitive analytical capabilities being woven into our product suite, we believe that transactional capability at the edge will be key to this technology purely because the proliferation and amount of devices and the type of operation, requires that we bring more and more intelligence to the edge to build more intelligent, dynamic IoT-enabled environments and really unlock the potential of the industries in which we operate.
With our strategic partners like Microsoft, Intel, SAP and IBM on board, we believe we’re going to be able to incorporate specific components of technology into our framework to bring even greater value to our clients in the form of IoT-as-a Service!
Having successfully kicked off our global expansion plan with an office in the Netherlands focusing on externalizing our IP, our London office gaining momentum, being on the cusp of expansion into the EU and been able to sign up some impressive global SIs, the future looks bright.
Come the third quarter of 2018, we believe we will be firmly planted in the US, set to tackle an advanced market that we feel is lacking what we have – and what we have is currently leading the global race.
Our office, which holds a now doubled staff compliment, is brimming with the brightest minds and we hold each of them dear.
Armed with all of this, I think it’s safe to say this:
Watch out, 2018, we’re stepping up the pace, setting our sights on delivering leading-edge R&D and software, and coming for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from 2017
In no particular order, these are some of the highlights of the year that was.
R100 million – we’re in the club!
The juggernaut moment that catapulted 2017 into the history books is also the one that keeps humbling us. The day our R100 million investment was confirmed was the day we realised our dreams were becoming a reality and that being from South Africa wasn’t going to stop us from taking on the globe.
The backing came via Talent 10 Holdings, a Midrand-based asset management company that has been – and continues to be – critical to our success.
What we found out: When paired with the right people, great things can happen. These guys stuck their necks out for us and we delivered, so they did, too. 100 million times over.
And the winner is…
The MTN M2M awards is a much anticipated event. This year, nominated in a few categories, two of our founding members COO Terje Moen and CTO Bertus Jacobs were invited to receive the awards for Best Commercial IoT Solution, and Overall IoT Winner. Having developed what was dubbed a world-leading framework that makes the efficiencies, cost savings and increased revenue from IoT a reality for businesses.
MTN M2M Overall IoT winner
MTN M2M Best Commercial IoT Solution
What we found out: There are few things as rewarding as hearing an audience of your peers and competitors cheer as you are given an honour as high as this!
In good company: Collision – and boy did we collide.
By invitation, our CEO and VP of Partnerships popped over to New Orleans to attend America’s fastest growing tech conference.
Joining a global line up of rapidly expanding startups and the world’s largest companies and media publications, the two scouted out the best of what the world has to offer and witnessed a star-studded list of speakers highlight industry issues. Just ask them about Walter Isaacson, Suzy Deering, Wyclef Jean, Lauren Crampsie; Geoff Snyder, or Mike Curtis next time you see them.
What we found out: Our product offering is on a different level and ahead of the global incumbents.
IT Personality Finalist
It’s no secret that our CEO, Nico, has a big personality. Although the IoT.nxt product offering usually takes centre stage, the industry sat up and took notice of the fearless leader who inspires us all on a daily basis and has pushed every single trooper in our office to new heights.
Amongst several of the brightest minds in the tech industry in South Africa, our Chief was nominated for the award of IT Personality of the Year by the Information Technology Professionals of South Africa (IITPSA).
What we found out: The industry appreciates, and needs, Mr Steyn as much as we do to drive us all forward.
Global Expansion: UK, Netherlands, USA
In a blog post earlier this year we called ourselves the local underdog. The South African startup taking on global giants. We were, but we’re not anymore.
We successfully kicked off our global expansion plan, with our office in the Netherlands, being in full swing and our London office gaining momentum daily. Come the third quarter of 2018, we believe we will be firmly planted in the USA, ready to tackle an advanced market that we feel is lacking what we have – an edge-intelligence IoT solution which is currently leading the global race.
It’s not just the borders we’re knocking down – it’s the industry siloes, too.
We’ve deployed into 13 different verticals and been able to engage with some of the top tier clients in our territory. Whilst they will each continue to get the attention and personalised service they deserve, we look forward to rolling out some exciting projects as our technology is adopted.
Here are just a few of our partnerships:
- Microsoft GOLD Partners
- IBM Business Partner
- SAP strategic partner
- Intel Strategic partner
- Dell Strategic partner
What we know: We have the right people, platforms and products on board to complement our offering and help us reach even greater heights.
The edge ate the cloud
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.
The current IoT model is constrained by networks and will not work because it’s not sustainable. If you consider the trillions of sensors being deployed in a truly digitalised environment, you would be unsurprised to learn how much data is flowing up to the cloud on a minute-by-minute basis, let alone the resultant latency.
In some cases 99% of the data doesn’t need to come into the cloud because it’s benign. It’s just data that’s being generated that’s not telling us anything other than that the ‘thing’ is within threshold. The forklift is standing still or going along its regular route, the power supply is stable, etc. Pushing all sensor data to the cloud for it to be assimilated and processed and then pushing it into the edge device to change the behaviour of the machine is the long way around.
What we have been saying: We started 2017 out by saying that IoT intelligence is migrating to the edge, but in closing the year we’re confident enough to say that it’s not migrating – we’ve moved it.
This year, we formally announced a project team whose focus was to aid in the packaging of our product to formalise our Product as a Service (PaaS) offering. Through this, the extendibility of platform, our growing product base and successful extraction of raptor IP – allowing us to run on multiple gateway platforms – we can confidently say that we have grown in all the right places. We set out to do a few great things with our technology and by engineering and developing our software to amp up ease of use to ensure seamless deployment we managed to knock all expectations out the park.
Machine learning and AI
Data is just data unless you harness it’s true potential. Being comfortable and resting on your laurels for just a moment will lead to you being overtaken. It’s for these reasons that we decided to start extracting the true power of what our technology has to offer – and it’s nothing without a little bit of artificial intelligence.
Data is great, but it’s what you do with it that really matters. Pushing all data into a cloud or on-premise database can lead to a phenomenon of looking for a needle in a haystack. Once you start running your numbers through some BI and AI applications, and setting thresholds for real-time shifts in deployment you’ll start to see the true potential of IoT. Data filtration and orchestration at the edge are driving the organizational change by shifting the focus from ‘sensor to cloud’ to edge intelligence.
What we discovered: The way we’re treating data abnormalities lowers network constraints. The way we’re incorporating machine learning is making the deployment of our technology more effective, daily.
Top ranking on IoT leaderboard
It’s one thing when the local industry sits up and takes notice of your hard work. It’s another thing altogether when a global industry watchdog does. We saw ourselves shoot up from a meager number – 734 – to the top 50 global IoT leaders to watch.
What we learned: Our small strides have not gone unnoticed. The internet is always watching!
Making waves, and jobs.
We believe in creating the kind of environments in which talented creatives can thrive. This year, as we moved into a home created with our people in mind and designed to suit their every need as they build and support our business, we doubled our staff complement. You read that right, we managed to double our team. They’re all local, highly intelligent individuals who add to both our culture and help keep us at the cutting edge of technology. We’re proud of our people – can you tell?
“I believe that from a South African perspective, we often sell ourselves short and don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve,” Nico Steyn says. “We have unbelievable people at IoT.nxt, and that’s what makes our business – it’s the calibre of people we have. I’m a firm believer in investing in people and following our own way of thinking.”
With this incredible talent on board, and a management team that continues to bring out the very best in each of us, it’s not surprising that 2017 saw a 500% increase in revenue to IoT.nxt.
Why this is important: Without our people, we’re nothing. We need every soul, every nordic soldier and yoda-esque brainiac wandering our halls to make this finely tuned machine function.
That’s a wrap
It’s been a massive year and, while many would be getting ready to put their feet up and enjoy the festive season with their nearest and dearest, we’re just wrapping up our warm up.
In short, 2018, watch out. IoT.nxt is coming for you.
Year in review, the movie: http://vimeo.com/248435300
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