XLink partners with IoT.nxt

XLink has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with IoT innovator IoT.nxt, with the aim of enabling businesses to digitalise their operations and take advantage of the Internet of Things.

IoT.nxt is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Data Platforms and winner of several innovation and IoT awards. The company opened an office in The Hague in September last year, and is currently expanding into the US, having concluded partnership agreements with key industry players, including Dell.

With over fourteen years as a secure machine-to-machine connectivity expert, XLink intends to leverage its core capabilities and grow a best-of-breed partner ecosystem to bring new value propositions to the market.

“We believe IoT.nxt offers a premium solution that will strengthen our offering as the orchestration partner of choice for digital transformation,” says XLink MD, Roy van Vuuren. “Furthermore, we foresee that our collaboration will unlock opportunity and value creation for both our businesses, customers and our ecosystems.”

Connectivity is in XLink’s DNA and it is an expert in developing Industry 4.0 solutions, using the best products and practices. It ensures that the mission-critical devices and connectivity networks upon which the digital solution relies can be installed, monitored and maintained for optimum uptime.

“We are delighted that XLink invested in our technology,” says IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn. “It is IoT.nxt’s strategy to build innovative software that we can take to market through channel and strategic partnerships. Our technology stack is designed to be a toolset for partners to utilise as part of their technology ecosystems, which enables digital transformation. XLink is a dynamic company in the local market with a clear view of how it wants to transform its company. Through the agreement with IoT.nxt, it can now offer innovative new solutions for its customers.

Read more, here.

Smart Cities: How IoT Is Putting Africa On The Map

Africa, along with the rest of the world, is currently charging through the fourth industrial revolution. Society is beginning to be reshaped by the smart use of information and technology. One of the most apparent examples of this change is the acceleration of the implementation of the Internet of Things. Smart, connected devices are not only being deployed in industries but cities globally. This is to gather and glean contextual insights used to achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity. As well as better use of scarce and natural resources.

In no place is the struggle to manage basic utilities and runoffs such as water, electricity and wastage more pressing than right here in Africa. Nico Steyn, co-founder and CEO of IoT.nxt, recently noted that ‘the reach of IoT is staggering. The implementation we’ve seen using our technology in the agricultural sector alone has showcased the possibilities for truly sustainable agriculture, Africa-wide. The future of industry in our country is bright.”

As the demand for food and the effects of climate change on production force agricultural operations to make more, better and faster smart agricultural practices are needed more than ever. Practices IoT can not only highlight, but help deliver.

If these are the possibilities in agriculture, imagine IoT being applied to the ecosystem of a city.

Much like each part of a farm needs to be connected to the whole to ensure it can be optimised without creating black holes in the overall picture, so do cities.

It’s crucial that the necessary infrastructure is built in order to allow businesses, residents and tourists to seamlessly and securely connect with what they need when they need it. And, although much of the current IoT infrastructure development is about preparing for the future and adapting to a digital world, some of it can have a more immediate effect.

So, what is a smart city, anyway?

Essentially, smart cities use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and working in the city. It also means that the city has a smart energy infrastructure. Smart cities are very people-centric in that they are all about improving people’s experiences in that city so it better meets their needs.

IoT is allowing for everyday processes such as traffic control, utilities and city infrastructure, to be connected to networks. Its capabilities reach every aspect of the way a city is run. This renders the opportunities for smart agriculture as endless.

Many countries in Africa are still in the early stages of the urbanisation process. However, they are very quickly catching up to the rest of the world. And, even though Africa was the least urbanised region in the world in 2015, it is now the second fastest urbanising region behind Asia, which it is expected to surpass by 2020.

Smart city challenges in Africa

Although Africa is still a developing continent, it has come a long way during the fourth industrial revolution. However, there are still many challenges and constraints that lie in the way of full digitalisation. These challenges include things like inadequate physical infrastructure, widespread populations, unemployment, a large density of rural and remote areas, poor quality social services and vulnerability to disasters and climate change.

With a population of 1.216 billion people, a landmass of 30.37 million km squared, and a population density of 113 people per mile squared, Africa is the second largest continent in the world. As African cities evolve, the challenges of electricity and water shortages, wastage and other resources will continue to grow. These issues have become significant drivers of conversations focusing on smart cities.

However, the development of smart cities in Africa is not without constraints. As well as the challenges mentioned above, the availability of certain resources, such as finance, skills, technology, and energy, has caused for Africa to slightly lag behind in the process of smartening their cities.

Despite the obvious constraints, the implementation of smart technology in African cities would offer huge opportunities. Especially in terms of increasing quality of life for residents, improving the efficiency of the city services by eliminating redundancies, finding ways to save money and streamlining workers’ responsibilities.

The state of Africa today

African cities continue to be hampered with underdevelopment and weak standards of living, partially due to rapid and massive urbanisation. These have brought about further issues of proper waste management, traffic congestion and flow, various health concerns due to overcrowding, air pollution, lack of regular and sufficient electricity generation and its distribution and billing, poor water resource management, water availability and its distribution, deteriorating state of infrastructure, insufficient housing and schooling, and the list goes on.

Steyn added that “anyone would think that the odds are completely stacked against Africa when it comes to developing and digitalising its cities. However, it just so happens that Africa is the perfect blank canvas for a smart city. The technological capabilities of IoT can help lead a new generation of thinking whilst demonstrating tangible benefits to Africa’s citizens and to the world.”

Why IoT is the answer

IoT infrastructure opens the door to technological innovation from the private sector. Whether it’s in the private sector with smart cabs and smart parking. Or in public infrastructure with traffic and waste management. There’s a big push to embrace smart city connectivity and the innovation it can enable.

A recent article on MyBroadband notes that “IoT is essential to the success of a smart city. It enables the bridging of the physical world with the digital one. This allows a metropolitan area to gather real-time data from millions of objects. For example, water meters, electricity meters, waste bins, traffic lights and street lights. This then forms the basis upon which contextual data can be collected, analysed and used to manage the city in a smarter, predictive and proactive way.”

IoT is playing a pivotal role in the development of critical infrastructure in smart cities in Africa. IoT can be used to manage multi-trillions of data points making smart cities a benefactor of connected solutions. The application of these new technologies with the urban context allows the implementation of an interconnected strategy for the whole city combining and using data from buildings, as well as from public and private transport.

Steyn added “It’s no secret that there are limitations to infrastructure rollouts in Africa. As the population grows denser, it becomes vital that more viable solutions be looked at.” From environmental monitoring to urban planning, energy management to events and festivals. IoT technology is what’s going to aid in bringing sustainability and interconnectivity to African cities. Propelling them to new heights.

The future of African agriculture

Africa continues to face dramatic demographic development. Therefore, it’s vital for its technological advances to meet the surging demands of new migrants. Africa has several constraints when it comes to digitalising its cities. However, this surging demand almost forces policymakers to adopt these technological breakthroughs with the growth of smart cities. Instead of moving into more curative processes that are very expensive, it’s necessary to change those resources into building better facilities to reduce the number of diseases, to improve sanitation, traffic, housing and other challenges the continent faces.

An example of this is the product use of sensor data in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city is filled with thousands of sensors that capture data ranging from street water levels to developing traffic jams. That data is then streamed to a central nerve centre and city officials there use the same data captured to make real-time decisions on pending emergencies or events that occur.

Building smart cities is a viable way for Africa to cope with its booming urban populations. With smart cities already being implemented around Africa, many of the continent’s urban problems are turning into endless opportunities for technological development. From Vision City in Rwanda, which is the largest residential housing project in the country to date. This smart city is conceived as a fully self-sustaining neighbourhood with easy access to amenities like first-rate asphalt roads and pedestrian walkways, secure open parking, street lamps, a pre-installed fibre-optic network, and safe public spaces that are ideal for children and communal activities.

Vision City is just one of many smart city initiatives that are planned for Africa’s future. And with IoT technology constantly advancing beyond anything we’ve ever imagined, the possibilities for Africa’s smart future are endless.

Anyone would think that the odds are completely stacked against Africa when it comes to developing smart cities. However, with the help of IoT, Africa’s smart future is just a stone’s throw away. IoT technology is what’s going to aid in bringing sustainability and interconnectivity to African cities, propelling them to new heights.

Multiple role-players needed within intelligent mine

Multiple role-players needed within intelligent mine

17 August 2018

By: Jessica Oosthuizen
Creamer Media Reporter

Mining companies need to establish ecosystems of suppliers and partners to establish, operate, manage and integrate an intelligent mine, says Internet of Things (IoT) solution developer IoT.nxt mining partnerships director Eric Croeser.

“Mining companies, whether small or global, cannot solve the problems they have on their own. They need to establish ecosystems to harvest innovation from different parties,” reiterates enterprise integration solutions provider MineRP marketing VP Empie Strydom. He emphasises that these ecosystems can solve intricate problems that individual companies “simply cannot”.

When mining companies and, for example, technology companies, come together in an integrated way, complementary solutions are found, adds global professional services firm Deloitte associate director Jan-Adriaan du Plessis.
IoT.nxt, Deloitte and MineRP are in a partnership to follow what they call an ‘ecosystem approach’ to the intelligent mine.

The problems of data in mining are extremely complex, and a mining operation is a dynamic system, says Croeser. “Because of this additional complexity, no mine is the same and, therefore, no solution is the same. That is why an ecosystem is needed, where each partner can leverage the other’s deep technical capability to bring the solution to the client,” he adds.

Further, an ecosystem approach accelerates innovation, as each partner learns from the other, Du Plessis notes. Croeser points out that the value offerings to mining companies are “that much better”, with Du Plessis highlighting that “the ecosystem wins and the clients win”.

He emphasises that clients are also included in the ecosystem: “We are open to learning from clients – we want to make sure that what we are investing in and the way we are collaborating makes sense to them.”

Value Offerings
MineRP has deep knowledge of mining technical systems supporting disciplines, such as geological modelling, mine planning and design, and survey. Its core focus is on a spatial integration platform that extends the expert tools used in these domains into the enterprise, allowing for the seamless integration of the technical mining data that represents a digital twin of the physical mine’s major asset – the orebody.

Strydom explains that MineRP’s value proposition is twofold. While it amalgamates the disparate mining technical systems and all the data from the mining technical disciplines into one spatial platform, it also allows for platform-to-platform communications with other domains, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, real-time IoT platforms and even predictive and cognitive platforms.

MineRP essentially unifies “the mining technical world that we refer to as the science of mining, with the ERP world that we refer to as the business of mining”. He adds that the company then works with its partners, such as Deloitte, to integrate mining transactions with financial transactions.

This ecosystem of partners brings together the real-time, planning, geological and ERP data for the mining enterprise to take a wholistic view of its operation, he notes.

Meanwhile, IoT.nxt’s Raptor Edge Technology has developed a method for clients to connect into legacy systems easily and affordably. This retrofit capability makes the efficiencies, cost savings and increased revenue from IoT a reality for operations. The key to this technology is the ability to offer interoperability between different existing offerings. This enables clients to deploy best-of-breed technologies while achieving interoperability and interconnectivity among all the deployed systems and devices from the edge to the cloud.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2vXKcEZ

Watch the interview: https://youtu.be/Azq65BQNbF0


IoT: The Next Big Thing

Inside the MTN IoT Awards

August 2018

It is quite evident that the Internet of Things (IoT) is developing and growing at an ascending rate. RFID sensors, Wearable gadgets, Vehicles and software are evolving past the rudimentary functions and the network is accelerating to include additional advancements every day.

One can likely say that the number of connected gadgets at their home is more than what it used to be in the last year. This rapid growth is likely to hasten in the years to come including the place of our business and public surroundings.

The future of IoT is on the rise. According to IT Pro, approximately 3.6 billion gadgets are connected to the Internet which are used for our everyday tasks in the year 2018 alone. One can safely say that the total number of devices connected to the Internet is larger than that. This means more traffic & more data are on an already jammed connected internet. In the following year, there will be a harder push for 5G connectivity which will add a lane to the already jammed and congested web highway to handgrip the increase in devices.

With keeping this in mind, Insights Success Magazine has shortlisted, The 10 Most Innovative IoT Startups to Watch, 2018 who are raising the bar with their innovative IoT solutions.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2AIZAJX



Inside the MTN IoT Awards

2 August 2018

The third annual MTN Internet of Things Awards celebrated the best of South Africa’s market-ready IoT solutions, applications and developers on Tuesday, July 31 at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.

The conference saw discussions on smart cities, fleet management, automotive, and insurance and how IoT is influencing these industries and concluded with the announcement of the winner of the 2018 MTN Business IoT Solution of the Year Award.

The inaugural IoT Awards in 2015 set the benchmark for IoT creation and innovation in South Africa.

Said Wanda Matandela, MTN Business’ Chief Enterprise Officer: “We are proud to see the IoT at Conference & Awards growing in stature, as this perfectly aligns with our commitment to provide enabling platforms for innovators. This is done with the aim of connecting small business, big business and the private sector. It is also about bringing home-grown innovations closer to the rest of the world.”

The conference featured a number of reputable speakers and covered a broad range of topics on IoT and its impact across key sectors of the economy.

One of the major draw cards was a presentation delivered by Pepper, the humanoid robot. Pepper is fitted with neuromorphic chips that mimic a human’s neurological brain processes. This enables Pepper to process auditory and visual sensory information.

Another highlight was MTN’s announcement that it has been added to the IoT World Alliance, a global collaboration of telecommunication providers dedicated to providing customers with seamless machine-to-machine connectivity.

The Digital Twin Mine Management solution took top honours. This will see its developers, Mine RP and FlowCentric, travelling to Silicon Valley later this year – the grand prize is valued at R200 000.

The Industrial IoT system, with connectivity that extends down to the mine face, incorporates sensors to monitor factors like air flow, temperature, gas and smoke levels, giving data and context to build a complete picture of the mining environment. It allows for virtual reality walk-throughs of a mine’s digital twin for a complete view of an area.

Mine RP and FlowCentric will join an elite club of previous winners, most notably IoT.nxt. This business has made huge strides in the Internet of Things (IoT) space since taking top honours last year. IoT.nxt, a Pretoria-based company that developed a technology-agnostic platform that allows companies to integrate their IT platforms with IoT devices seamlessly, went on to secure $7.7 million (about R100 million) in funding for business expansion.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2n82le8