Internet of Africa

Internet of Africa

Africa is in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, and IoT is key to this process.

Tom Jackson 27 September 2017

“Africa is perfectly poised for the disruption that IoT offers. Just as Africa skipped the `copper era’ in telecoms, we believe it will embrace the IoT revolution.” That’s according to Eric Croeser, and he should know. He is director of partnerships for mining at Pretoria-based company IoT.nxt. The company has developed a framework that moves various types of businesses beyond islands of automation and towards a seamless horizontally and vertically integrated digital enterprise. In February, IoT.nxt raised $7.7 million in funding, and has already expanded to the UK and the Netherlands.

It is back home in Africa, however, where major firms like Huawei, China Telecom and ZTE are working in the IoT space, and where Croeser sees the biggest opportunities.

“We at IoT.nxt see Africa, and South Africa specifically, as the fundamental cornerstone of our business. Africa is especially well suited for IoT solutions as the cost of entry barrier is relatively low, when the correct platform is chosen,” he says.

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SA executives: IoT is a business strategy

Born and bred in Africa, challenging the globe.

Business leaders and senior executives in South Africa see the Internet of Things (IoT) as forming part of their business strategy.

IoT.nxt conducted an Internet of Things (IoT) survey on ITWeb and the results have validated the company’s experience in where businesses stand with regards to their digital transformation road map. 62.7% of respondents in the survey said IoT is a business strategy, compared to only 27.5% who said they think it is a set of applications. The small remainder said they were not sure.

At the time of launching the survey, IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn said South African enterprises are ready for the IoT revolution. A revolution happens whether you are ready or not, and South African businesses – by all indications – want to be ready the fourth industrial revolution. This survey outcome is yet another validation of the pressing fact that the time has arrived, with local business leaders becoming more and more in tune with both awareness and adoption of IoT strategies.

IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn. Picture: IoT.nxt


This was echoed by Chief Sales Officer Andre Strauss earlier this month when he said:

“The market has significantly matured over the past year and it is generally accepted that IoT is a key underpin to unlocking the value of digital transformation.”

Photography in January 2017 by Jeremy Glyn.

It is therefore little surprise that the majority of respondents in the IoT survey answered that IoT strategy implementation is driven from the CEO down.

In yet another validation of IoT.nxt’s approach to Industrial IoT (IIoT), the vast majority of respondents in the survey, 68.8% to be exact, said that the ability to connect to existing equipment was a driving factor in implementing IoT.

Ahead of the survey, Steyn said:

“We have made great inroads with our innovative solutions that require no immediate replacement of legacy systems. Because our solution is technology-agnostic, the process of implementation happens quickly. Then, moving intelligence to the edge helps us circumvent traditional data transfer issues.”


IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn says the edge is eating the cloud. Picture: IoT.nxt

Almost two thirds of all respondents in the survey said that intelligence at the edge is very important to their company. It is by utilising this intelligence at the edge that IoT.nxt’s platform is able to unlock true business value and demonstrable return on investment, leading to increased competitiveness, relevance and profitability. That is ultimately engine behind every business strategy.



SA’s IoT.nxt Approved as IBM Business Partner for Channel Value Rewards

South African innovator in Internet of Things Technology, IoT.nxt, announced that it has been approved as an IBM Business Partner for Channel Rewards.

“Our partnership with IBM is very important. It allows us to access the IBM software catalogue for us to get technical validation on our products to ensure compatibility with IBM offerings such as Watson, which is a market-leading cognitive computing system, and which is key to IoT,” says Terje Moen, IoT.nxt Chief Operating Officer.

IoT.nxt has been selected as partner in the software open distribution products category and now joins the select company of several companies around the world active in this programme. This follows only a few weeks after the company achieved Microsoft Gold Partner status for data platform.

“Being approved as an IBM Business Partner is testament to the strong reputation of IoT.nxt and the value it is providing for its clients,” Moen says.

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The IoT.nxt big thing

Terje Moen Photo

By Steven Meyer, editor, SA Instrumentation and Control October 2017, IT in Manufacturing

Better, cheaper, faster. The digital technologies of the fourth industrial revolution have disrupted markets around the world, but many companies cannot afford just to rip and replace their existing systems in an effort to stay competitive. Luckily, they do not have to. Local technology innovator IoT.nxt is one step ahead of the game and has set itself up to partner with any enterprise wishing to take advantage of the efficiency of digitisation. All without having to discard any existing legacy systems or the valued operational know-how accumulated over decades.

“We see ourselves in the business of digitalisation, rather than as system integrators,” explains IoT.nxt’s chief operations officer, Terje Moen. “Our speciality is incorporating all the different moving parts and components of an organisation into a single integrated view designed to give managers the support they need to make better business decisions in real-time. Working in isolated silos is simply no longer economical.”

Early days

IoT.nxt evolved out of a company that was contracted to work on a project which required the integration of multiple complex subsystems – 16 in total. The team found it tough going. They needed to engineer one common user interface across all of the platforms, but everything had to be developed from scratch. On completion, the power of what they had accomplished dawned on them, along with the understanding that there simply had to be a better way to do things.

Shortly thereafter, the seed company was sold to the firm of consulting engineers that had managed the original project. “This gave us the opportunity to refine our solution,” explains Moen. “We realised that what we had just done could easily be replicated across almost any organisation, but we had to have a common reusable infrastructure before we could offer this as a service to industry.”

In December 2015, IoT.nxt was founded to do exactly that. The solution – Raptor – looks unremarkable from the outside. It’s a deception. The modestly sized enclosure is jam-packed with all the functionality required to implement a successful Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) project. Moen describes Raptor as a combination intelligent field gateway, able to handle all device connections; a data manager that regulates the load as it is transmitted across the network; plus a translation platform, which incorporates all common industry standard protocols.

Raptor is an edge device that amalgamates the data from any number of disparate systems and orchestrates this data into the IoT.nxt platform and upstream systems, all the way up to the cloud.

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Thought Leadership: weighing in on digital transformation in Africa

Eric Croeser

As South Africa approaches Heritage Day on Sunday, 24 September, it is perhaps fitting that IoT.nxt’s Director of Partnerships: Mining, Eric Croeser, speaks at the Hogan Lovells: Africa Forum on the topic of digital transformation in Africa.

IoT.nxt, while rapidly expanding into other markets including Europe, the Far East and the US, was born in South Africa – often regarded as the innovation tip of Africa. Doing business in Africa presents massive opportunities, but also comes with unique challenges, and often these challenges force companies to think creatively and develop highly competitive solutions that are world-leading. On this front, IoT.nxt is indeed leading the global charge in the Internet of Things (IoT) with its edge capabilities.

The Hogan Lovells panel, of which Eric is an expert member, will discuss digital innovation and transformation on the African continent. The preamble to the panel discussion reads:

“The world is changing and there are new drivers for change that offer transformation of business models and delivery through digital disruption, transparency and accountability. But with progress comes risks – can accessibility can be controlled, and will the rich become richer while the poor simply lose their jobs to AI and computers?

“Is it a private or public sector play, or is it true to say there can be no success without clearly driven public sector policy? How important is partnership with the private sector to deliver to the widest community possible? And can growth really be delivered without a fundamental change in healthcare, education and infrastructure? This is an all-embracing story and our panel of industry game-changers will look across sectors to identify some key areas for change, including digital healthcare, blockchain, fintech and digital media.”

IoT.nxt’s IoT platform speaks to transforming businesses at the most fundamental level. As we surge into Industry 4.0, the inter-connectivity of smart devices, unintelligent “things” and biological organisms (think: humans) in a seamless multi-directional ecosystem is becoming more of an imperative “when do we deploy” with each passing day, as opposed to a nice-to-have luxury. Business executives the world over have IoT strategies in their digital transformation road maps. Eric will discuss digital innovation, how the various elements of disruption come into play, and how businesses can overcome challenges, both globally and unique to the continent.

The panel will be made up of heavyweight industry players, each bringing their own expert insight into innovation and digital transformation.

Who makes up the panel?

Eric Croeser

Director pf Partnerships: Mining  – IoT.nxt

Eric heads up the IoT.nxt Mining Solutions division.  A qualified Mining Engineer with a Mine Managers Certificate of Competency, and an MBA, Eric has 11 years’ production and digital mining solution developments experience. Eric  is passionate about the South African mining industry. He is an avid reader of anything written by Malcolm Gladwell, Peter Diamandis, Michael Lewis and Steven Kotler. He is a closet tech junky and die-hard Apple fan. Eric believes that the 4th Industrial Revolution and specifically digital disruption, will be the key enabler to unlocking the true value across various sectors in Africa.

Andrew Skipper – Panel chairperson

Partner – Hogan Lovells International LLP

Having headed up the Hogan Lovells’ global corporate practice for over 10 years, Andrew now leads Hogan Lovells Africa Practice, overseeing one of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial groups within the firm.  With his roots in commercial law, Andrew has and continues to act for a wide range of businesses, from sports to consumer, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals.  Most recently, this has involved him advising on complicated and sophisticated contracts across various countries in Africa, in addition to assisting multinational corporates all over the world.

Grant Marais

CEO – VAST Networks

Grant Marais joined VAST Networks as its CEO in May 2015. Grant’s exposure to different businesses in the telecommunications value chain contributes to his in-depth and diversified global, telecommunications knowledge. He has a proven track record of leading cross-functional teams in various countries in both turnaround and high growth environments. He is also on the board of Mindset Network, a non-profit educational broadcaster. Grant is an alumnus of the Wharton Business School where he graduated with a Degree in Management & Leadership.


Emmanuel Sinclair

COO – i-Pay Secure Payment (Pty) Ltd

 Emmanuel started his working career with the South African Revenue Services over 20 years ago. After eight years and rapid progression through various roles at SARS, he decided to explore the business world from the “other side of the table” and joined a small business as tax manager. Driven by ambition, passion and focus, Emmanuel’s experience and skills were recognised by the CEO of i-Pay (Thomas Pays), who brought him on board as COO, to support i-Pay’s need for structure and to strategise and execute i-Pay’s Global Expansion Plans. Emmanuel has been with i-Pay since January 2017.


Toyosi Alabi

Partner – Olaniwun Ajayi LP

Toyosi Alabi, LLB (London School of Economics, London) BL, MA (Kings College, London), is a partner in the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP in Nigeria. Toyosi engages in the negotiation and documentation of transactions in relation to the acquisition of IP rights. Toyosi has extensive experience and proficiency in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. She has actively engaged in prosecuting and defending a number of high-profile suits involving copyright, trademark, design and patent infringement, and revocation of trademarks. She also provides thought leadership on entertainment and IP law in various forums.


IoT platform market set to soar to $1,6-billion by 2020

IoT platform market set to soar to $1,6-billion by 2020

According to Verizon’s report, State of the Market: Internet of things 2017, the global internet of things (IoT) platform market is set to explode by 35% per year, reaching an impressive $1,6-billion by 2020. IoT.nxt has spoken of the exponential growth curve ahead for industrial applications of IoT, and has noted that enterprises the world over are fast including IoT in their company strategies.

The Economic Times quoted Mark Bartolomeo, VP of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon, as saying that businesses across sectors are deploying IoT in their organisations as they seek to drive value in their enterprises, and that what we have seen so far is just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms “driving economic value across the board”. (Click here to read the full Economic Times story.)

According to the report, up to 73% of executives are either researching or deploying IoT technology. The article goes on to state: “With 8.4-billion connected ‘things’ in use in 2017, up 31% from 2016, and network technology, cost reductions and regulatory pressures driving adoption, business leaders are not only paying attention, they’re getting in the game.”

This ties in perfectly with IoT.nxt’s industry experience, both in South Africa and abroad.

IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn says:
“Business leaders know that using IoT strategies will unlock greater efficiencies and cost-savings, and provide decision-makers with real-time information about all aspects of their businesses. Not including IoT in a strategy denies companies these benefits and will, over time, diminish their competitiveness in the industries in which they operate.”
The best gauge as to understand business decision-makers and their readiness for IoT deployment, is in actual interactions with executives across all industries.Chief Sales Officer of IoT.nxt Andre Strauss said earlier this week that big business has accepted that IoT needs to be part of their digital transformation roadmap. And it has happened fast.

 “The market has significantly matured over the past year and it is generally accepted that IoT is a key underpin to unlocking the value of digital transformation,”

“From our engagement with C-level executives in big business over the past couple of months, we see a definite step change in terms of digital transformation.”

Chief Sales Officer Andre Strauss. PICTURE: Jeremy Glyn, IoT.nxt

Of course, there have been obstacles to mass deployment. According to the Verizon report, standards, security and interoperability make up at least 50% of business concerns around IoT deployment. This certainly speaks to the same obstacle Jim Fletcher, of IBM Watson, highlighted about legacy systems and a difficulty with true interoperability. This has seen many executives lean toward simple use cases within particular segments of their enterprises, to track data and send status alerts.

The IoT industry is inhibited by an inability to create interconnectivity

According to Steyn, correctly designed and engineered edge technology enables edge interoperability and, more importantly, the ability to retrofit into legacy systems. This forms the core of IoT.nxt’s solution to the problems many others in the IIoT industry are grappling with.

“Legacy systems, to a large extent, were disregarded, with current players relying on the ‘rip and replace’ mentality. This mentality of winner-takes-all is not congruent with the idea of a connected world and certainly does not embrace the concept of true scalability.”

“Our solution is technology-agnostic and is quick to implement as it is overlaid onto existing infrastructure. It is able to be retrofitted onto both new and existing equipment immediately, and as organisations grow. The result is complete interconnectivity and intelligence at the edge, something other players are grappling with.”

IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn. PICTURE: Jeremy Glyn, IoT.nxt

Click here to read more about Verizon’s State of the Market: Internet of things 2017 report.

IoT.nxt approved as IBM Business Partner for Channel Value Rewards

Terje Moen Photo

IoT.nxt is proud to announce that it has been approved as an IBM Business Partner for Channel Rewards.

IoT.nxt has been given the green light in the category: Software open distribution products. It is no mean feat to be approved as business partner by the international giant IBM, and is testament to the strong reputation of IoT.nxt and the value it is providing for its clients.

The IBM PartnerWorld program is an initiative to empower business partners with tools and resources to help transform clients into industry leaders.

IoT.nxt Chief Operating Officer Terje Moen is understandably ecstatic at the the company becoming a business partner in the IBM Channel Value Rewards program.

“Our partnership with IBM is very important. It allows us to access the IBM software catalog for us to get technical validation on our products to ensure compatibility with IBM offerings such as Watson, which is a market-leading cognitive computing system, and which is key to IoT.”

Moen says the partnership will have a positive impact on IoT.nxt’s platform reach.

“It gives us access to promote our our platform solution to IBM’s clients, their business partners and the IBM sales team globally.”

Ultimately, a company such as IoT.nxt is built on the premise of unlocking true value for its clients, and Moen says this partnership will add another weapon to the company’s impressive arsenal.

“It benefits our clients in that we can integrate cognitive solutions within our agile IoT.nxt platform.”




In the news: IoT strategies unlock true business value

Nico Steyn


The Internet of things (IoT) is a burning discussion for industrial and commercial businesses across all sectors wanting to digitalise and remain competitive.

Industrial IoT (IIoT) is a sector with a massive growth curve, and this is not confined to markets such as the US, Europe and the Far East. South African business leaders traditionally demonstrate incredible foresight in ensuring their enterprises remain on the cutting edge of strategy, both locally and internationally.

ITWeb, in partnership with pioneering IIoT pioneer IoT.nxt, is conducting an online IoT survey during September to find out exactly how South African businesses are approaching their IoT plans as they plot to keep pace with the world and future-proof their businesses.

“The main objective of the survey is to ascertain at what level business leaders are aware of the benefits of IoT technology, and to what extent companies view this as a critical technology to be employed for business strategies,” says Nico Steyn, CEO at IoT.nxt.

According to Steyn, South African enterprises are ready for the IoT revolution. South African business leaders, with their strategic insight, are becoming more and more in tune with both awareness and adoption of IoT strategies, he says. “With this survey, we hope to find out how local companies see IoT strategies and what their immediate plans are for implementation.”

To read the full ITWeb story, click here: IoT strategies unlock true value

To go straight to the survey, click here: IoT survey

Digital transformation: IoT is the key

Digital transformation: IoT is the key

In the not-so-distant past conferences were all abuzz with the fourth industrial revolution, and how the next revolution would build on the rise of digital. We can all remember it. Delegates would sit and listen to futurists speak of a time when technology would fuse the digital, physical and biological worlds, and we would be in a hyper-efficient world.


Of course, in the space of the Internet of Things, companies such as IoT.nxt have always been riding the cusp of the innovation wave, surfing well ahead of the breakers. They knew that the applications would be endless and that before long big business would have digital transformation firmly planted in its strategy.


Need convincing? No thanks, sign me up


Every brand-new industry needs an education phase, where going into businesses to sell a solution or product requires a fair amount of convincing. The sales team has to educate executives about the concept, the technology and the solution. The pressing need for implementation needs to be demonstrated. Those days are over. The futurists have moved on and the realists have settled in. Businesses have realised that not including IoT in their strategy will diminish their competitiveness in the industries in which they operate. It is a given.


SA is in the mix


Chief Sales Officer of IoT.nxt Andre Strauss says that big business in South Africa has accepted that IoT needs to be part of their digital transformation roadmap. And it has happened fast.


“The market has significantly matured over the past year and it is generally accepted that IoT is a key underpin to unlocking the value of digital transformation,” he says.


“From our engagement with C-level executives in big business over the past couple of months, we see a definite step change in terms of digital transformation.”


How does South Africa fit into the big picture? Where do South African companies see themselves, and to what extent do they see the value in transforming their businesses? Strauss says it is clear that in a difficult economy, where efficiency and competitiveness is non-negotiable, businesses are ready to digitise in order to unlock value they may not have even considered yet.


“It is clear that South African big business has accepted that digital transformation will drive exponential opportunities, especially in driving efficiency and reduced risk.”


In the words of Buzz Lightyear, to infinity and beyond!


WATCH: IoT.nxt CEO speaks to SABC News at Leaderex

WATCH: IoT.nxt CEO speaks to SABC News at Leadere

IoT.nxt is no stranger to being in the news. After an oversubscribed presentation at Leaderex 2017, Iot.nxt CEO Nico Steyn was interviewed by SABC News for their live cross-over to the event in Sandton on Tuesday, September 5.

IoT as a concept and industry is exploding with interest from all quarters. Steyn’s presentation titled Eminence at the Edge was informative and intriguing, but mostly it was exciting. Industrial applications of IoT is a market with infinite possibilities and a steep growth curve, and so it is no surprise at the popularity of the topic. The audience was engaged from start to end, and the question and answer session was a massive hit.

Steyn was then escorted to the SABC, who were waiting to interview him for their viewers.

Watch the interview Steyn did with SABC News below:


Conquering the world with IoT

Conquering the world with IoT

IoT.nxt has enjoyed meteoric growth since it was launched at the end of 2015. While the rest of the industry scrambles to figure out how to showcase the exponential value of the Internet of Things, IoT.nxt is taking the IoT rule book and throwing it out of the window.

This has led to massive demand internationally, with a presence in Europe, the Far East and the US adding to the solid reputation the company enjoys in South Africa. IoT.nxt’s global CMO Joe Bester was featured recently in the press of Dutch consultancy Flynth.


South African IT company poised to conquer the world with Dutch accountant Flynth

South African IT company IoT.nxt is about to conquer the world with a revolutionary new application framework solution that will make the Internet of Things (IoT) truly accessible for industrial organisations. This solution is generating global interest for the company, which will be headquartered in The Hague. Flynth is helping the company make the transition to the Netherlands and the rest of the world. It promises to be a real kick-start!

Global Chief Marketing Officer Joe Bester is moving to the Netherlands to run the new headquarters starting in September. Flynth is currently busy launching the Dutch activities and setting up the Dutch structure. IoT.nxt has full trust in Flynth’s international knowledge, experience, and network. Flynth provides the company with financial, accounting, tax, and legal support.

Unlocking the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has huge potential. Research agency McKinsey estimates the total economic impact in 2025 to be $3.9 to $11.1 trillion per year. But this would require the current software systems to be properly linked. Only then can the available data be fully utilised. The challenge is to connect these different systems. ‘IoT.nxt is the solution to this challenge,’ says Bester. ‘The failure of many IoT and big data platforms is their inability to independently and completely connect all facets of an organisation.’

Click here for the full story

Joe Bester

To read the original story in Dutch, click here.

5 South African IoT Executives You Should Know

5 South African IoT Executives You Should Know

The Internet of Things (IoT) industry is growing fast in South Africa. Who are the executives behind IoT you should know?

GooGoo Lourie, 5 September 2017

The IoT ecosystem is expected to experience the largest growth in the history of humankind.

With a current market valuation of over $900 billion, both manufacturers and those looking to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are aware of the potential of IoT.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), also known as the Industrial Internet, brings together brilliant machines, advanced analytics, and people at work. It’s the network of a multitude of devices connected by communications technologies that results in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and deliver valuable new insights like never.

South Africa is not left behind in the rush to create networks and solutions for IoT.

Here’s a look at five inspirational IoT executives working smart to bring us the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution in South Africa.

Full story: