2017: A pivotal year in the IoT.nxt story.

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.

Innovation

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

IoT & Ice Cream: The Future of Inventory Management Solutions

Last updated: 09 December 2019

Ice cream is temperamental. One negligent moment of leaving a fridge open can spoil a lot of stock, leading to a double down of losses, goods and reputational damage. Yet with display fridges spread across the globe in fuel stations, supermarkets and cafes, it is impossible to control the ecosystem sufficiently. Compounding this are the traditional fridges, which, though apt at cooling, are not sophisticated enough to lend a hand. Worse still, replacing them all with modern equivalents presents a huge and often debilitating cost.

Enter, the Internet of Things (IoT).

Although perhaps envisioned as an unlikely pairing, the advent of well-crafted IoT technologies make it possible to modernise existing display fridges at a fraction of the cost and in very little time. That same improvement opens the doors to intuitive analytics that start delivering even more value beyond simply avoiding freezer burn.

Revolutionising inventory management

The benefits of IoT on inventory supply chains are arguably some of the most exciting physical manifestations of the technology today. At its most basic, IoT allows for the interconnectivity of all types of devices to engineer operational efficiencies. Ultimately, the better the speed, accuracy and scale of the data shared within supply chains, the stronger the networks can become.

In terms of international ice cream retailers and manufacturers, this offers something invaluable to ensuring the quality of stock. Managing ice cream and avoiding fridge theft once seemed like insurmountable problems that only a massive replacement initiative could have addressed. Yet, thanks to IoT.nxt, that no longer need be the case.

No more melted ice cream

IoT.nxt has developed a platform that addresses many of the issues faced by the average international ice cream company of today. Utilising its Raptor gateway devices and Commander cloud platform, IoT.nxt has crafted a solution that brings stoic display fridges into the 21st century. A simple retrofitting operation transforms a fridge into an active data sentry, reporting the nuances of its operations. So, what are the benefits exactly?

Comprehensive asset monitoring

It may not be a surprise that fridges are attractive targets for criminals, because they are well-designed and convenient appliances. But by leveraging IoT technologies, they can be geo-fenced. Sensors can be added if needed, monitoring metrics such as the interior temperature, ambient temperature, door usage and status, power usage, and even location.

Ice cream operators can now enjoy a full view of their entire fridge territory, from a top-down overview right up to the individual fridges. By utilising GSM networks, all the monitoring is in real-time, while the data is collected and presented intuitively through the Commander dashboards. This data is then analysed to extract real insights, enabling companies to build a long-term strategy around fridge behaviours, perhaps even predicting when stock levels will run low.

Getting ahead of the problem

As an even more fundamental advantage, with IoT.nxt’s solution, each fridge can trigger alarms if they encounter problems. This means a fridge door left open can be flagged through the dashboards, as well as via email and SMS messages. Events can even be escalated if corrective action has not been taken. The true advantage here is that the workflow for these events can be set and adjusted by the fridge operator. By utilising a drag-and-drop interface, IoT.nxt’s system makes sense with the smallest amount of introduction. So, those who own the platform can adjust and expand it as they see fit.

Made to withstand the heat

Although IoT.nxt has rapidly expanded into other global markets such as Europe and the US, it was born in South Africa. Doing business in the ‘innovation tip’ of the African continent has come with its fair share of unique opportunities and challenges. Originating from one of the hottest places on earth, international ice cream companies can rest assured knowing that our solution has been tried-and-tested against the continent’s hot summers.

Ultimately, with its comprehensive edge capabilities, our platform is capable of withstanding some of the harshest environments. No matter how remote or rugged the landscape, the IoT.nxt solution can be overlayed onto any ecosystem to harness insights and improve operational efficiencies.

Any ecosystem, in any environment

Adaptable to any industrial environment, the durability of IoT.nxt’s technology stack ensures competitiveness and relevance for years to come. In the past, ice cream operators could only hold their thumbs and hope for the best when it came to managing the quality of their stock. Now, they can enjoy actual insights and exercise true control both in real-time as well as in the future. This is the power of IoT, created by IoT.nxt.

If you’re interested in leveraging your data, speak with our expert team today to find out more about IoT.nxt’s platform.

Yesterday’s solutions will not solve today’s problems

Daleen van Wyk, Corporate Communication, 8 December 2017

Businesses face rapidly increasing challenges as advances in technology demand changes to future strategies. Too many are looking at outdated solutions to face the challenges. This has to change.

This was the key message by IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn, at the company’s first ever executive event hosted at its ultra-modern headquarters in Centurion.

“When we engage with our customers we talk strategy, not technology. Once we know what the strategic goals are that a company wants to achieve – whether it is improved productivity and efficiency, or cost-saving, or modernisation of its manufacturing to become more competitive – we find the best solution suited to that,” Steyn said to a packed auditorium of leading IT and business decision makers.

IoT.nxt experienced phenomenal growth in the past year as its innovative approach and combination of hardware and software development gained traction in the market place, locally and internationally.

“We are not afraid of constraints. An issue noted by many companies as a reason not to advance their business. For us, that drove our innovation,” says Steyn.

Although Internet of Things technology and strategy is exploding globally, many decision-makers are not certain what it actually means to introduce IoT tech and strategy at their businesses. Following the introduction by Steyn and a short presentation about the company’s divisions and how they work together to deliver results for customers, attendees were able to view the various elements needed for implementation of the technology and strategies. Teams elaborated on what the possibilities are for different industries.

“Seeing a company dashboard – with information about all connected devices and processes available in real-time – brought the reality of IoT solutions and technology to life. Guests could see how what we do can be implemented at their companies, whatever industry they are in,” Steyn said.

Taking a macro view of the current situation in South Africa, Steyn said the founders and investors of IoT.nxt are exceptionally proud of the company’s South African roots. “We are acutely aware of the challenges facing the country and the impact a sluggish economy. Despite that we remain positive as we have seen first-hand what can be achieved with a positive attitude and entrepreneurial, positive approach. There are exceptionally talented people in SA, everything possible must be done to retain those skills,” Steyn concluded.

A series of executive events will be hosted in 2018. As the company’s world-leading solution progresses corporate SA will have the opportunity to learn more about how this can transform any company in any industry.

 

Top 10 African Internet of Things startups to watch

Born and bred in Africa, challenging the globe.

7 December 2017

IoT is growing and will continue to grow beyond 2017. IHS Technology predicts that there will be 75 billion connected devices by 2020.

IoT is about connecting exponentially more devices to the internet. This trend promises to make our global society more efficient and productive than we ever imagined possible.

The Internet of Things is disrupting every aspect of business and industry. It is transforming the way industries function and interact with the world. IoT is also impacting the way people live, work, entertain, and travel. According to Gartner, there will be 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide this year. On the back of this trend, a number of startups have come up with innovative IoT solutions to our most difficult challenges in energy, safety and security, healthcare and food security. Here’s a list of 10 African IoT startups to watch.

1. UjuziKilimo
Kenya-based UjuziKilimo has developed a soil analysis platform that measures soil characteristics for assessing quality in farming use cases. Hardware elements of the solution include an electronic sensor placed in the ground, which alerts and gives farmers guidance, via SMS, on real-time soil conditions. The startup uses Big Data analytics to provide useful insights on farming trends and productivity based on the accurate data that is generated. UjuziKilimo uses the data to further customise farmer recommendations and make the advice more actionable.

2. Vula Telematix
Vula Telematix has partnered with San Diego-based Ingenu to develop “The Machine Network SA,” a network providing IoT and M2M solutions with further reach, a global range, and longer lasting battery life than any existing network. The company’s Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) technology connects machines wirelessly for lowering development costs and enabling a faster time-to-market. Vula Telematix is enabling the Internet of Things in South Africa.

www.itnewsafrica.com

Is SA enterprise ready for the IOT revolution?

By Suzanne Franco, Surveys Editorial Project Manager at ITWeb
Johannesburg, 7 Dec 2017

CEOs have the final say when it comes to implementing IOT solutions, said over 50% of businesses polled in a recent survey.

ITWeb, in partnership with IoT.nxt, conducted an online IOT survey in September to examine the state of IOT adoption by SA organisations and where they stand with regards to their digital transformation road map.

Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said they believe IOT is a business strategy, compared to 27% who thought it to be a set of applications.

When it comes to the ownership of the IT function, the results show an equal split between IT department and the CEO, with 30% each. A further 23% said it’s the responsibility of business operations, and 16% of business have allocated IOT ownership to the BI team.

Nico Steyn, CEO at IoT.nxt, believes that 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 for 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,” he says.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2iDrj2U

SA startups IoT.nxt, NuvaLaw open offices in The Hague

IoT.nxt to open Dutch office for Europe

By Tom Jackson, 4 December 2017

South African startups IoT.nxt and NuvaLaw have opened offices in The Hague region of the Netherlands as they look to expand in Europe.

The two startups, along with South African shopping centre fund Hystead Limited, took part in an official signing ceremony last week at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Cape Town.

The Pretoria-based IoT.nxt has developed a framework that moves business beyond islands of automation and towards a seamless horizontally and vertically integrated digital enterprise, and is expanding in Europe after securing ZAR100 million (US$7.7 million) in funding earlier this year.

NuvaLaw is a legal-tech startup that designs and implements digital platforms that transform the way the legal information exchange is managed and how disputes are settled. The company is an alumnus of the Startupbootcamp accelerator in London and is also engaging with The Hague Institute for Innovation in Law.

“We are looking forward to Hystead, IoT.nxt, and NuvaLaw joining professional and creative forces with other Dutch and international businesses in The Hague, and nearby cities such as Leiden. They are a great addition to our innovative and fast-growing ecosystem in this region”, said The Hague’s deputy mayor Karsten Klein.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2kmDLbh

www.disrupt-africa.com