IoT.nxt joins Fujitsu to showcase RunMyProcess integration at Hannover Messe

IoT.nxt joins Fujitsu to showcase RunMyProcess integration at Hannover Messe

MEDIA STATEMENT 28 March 2019

Munich, March 28, 2019 – Fujitsu RunMyProcess is enabling enterprises to extract more value than ever before from data captured by their IoT devices through a new partnership with IoT.nxt.

The Fujitsu RunMyProcess high-productivity application Platform-as-a-Service (hpaPaaS) integrates IoT data, captured and filtered by the IoT.nxt cloud, into a wide range of enterprise applications. This valuable data, gathered even from analog devices or those with non-standard protocols, is instantly available to deliver insights to users worldwide, and to unlock sustainable efficiencies by streamlining and automating new processes.

For enterprises looking to leverage IoT information collected from a range of devices – from CCTV cameras to machinery sensors – filtering vast amounts of data to find truly meaningful elements is a major challenge. IoT.nxt Raptor software-enabled gateway and edge solutions address this challenge by acquiring raw data from diverse IoT and edge devices, normalizing and aggregating this before sending to the cloud for visualization and using it to build a digital overview of an entire organization, its technologies, equipment and processes. Businesses can drill down to generate insights, for example by searching by department or process, and can automate processes to respond immediately when triggered by defined changes in machines or operational behaviors.

The RunMyProcess/IoT.nxt integration will be showcased at Hannover Messe Industrie (BITKOM Digital Factory area in Hall 6, Booth 30), taking place from April 1-5. Visitors can witness large amounts of manufacturing sensor data being captured by the IoT.nxt Raptor™ and sent to the cloud, converted into visual representations and dashboards, then shared seamlessly with a preventative maintenance application via RunMyProcess. Any signs that a machine is not functioning at optimal levels will trigger a service request via ServiceNow, in addition to raising a stock availability enquiry via an SAP system.

Fujitsu RunMyProcess is a native cloud platform that allows organizations to quickly and securely build, test, deploy and scale device-independent applications that connect digital business processes across cloud, on-premises and mobile environments. With RunMyProcess, organizations can model and streamline even the most complex business processes while also integrating existing systems and services – whether cloud services like Office 365 or on-premises solutions such as SAP – with smartphones, tablets, PCs, wearable technology and other mobile devices. As a result, users enjoy a seamless experience – anywhere, anytime. The platform’s pre-built connectors allow customers to develop connected applications faster, deploying them within days rather than months, as well as quickly scaling to thousands of users.

Vic Herring, Head of Global Sales and Marketing at Fujitsu RunMyProcess comments: “Fujitsu RunMyProcess makes it possible to quickly and securely build connected applications that extend enterprise systems to all the people, clouds and devices of the digital world. Through our partnership with IoT.nxt, we are able to help recruit the army of IoT devices that every business owns, to be seamlessly connected to any enterprise workflow. The potential value that this technology partnership can bring by unlocking businesses’ IoT is huge.”

Nico Steyn, CEO of IoT.nxt adds: “IoT.nxt’s edge, core and cloud services take outputs from the typical legacy IoT equipment and their latest smart sensors that most enterprises deploy in combination, and use these to deliver a clear overview of what’s happening in every part of the business, without disrupting operations. Through our partnership with Fujitsu RunMyProcess, companies are able to take these insights to a whole new level – by seamlessly connecting them to any other business function and making them available to everyone in the organization. We’re essentially delivering new business value by transforming smart businesses into intelligent businesses.”

Contact: Daleen van Wyk E-mail: [email protected]

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu EMEIA

Fujitsu promotes a Human Centric Intelligent Society, in which innovation is driven by the integration of people, information and infrastructure. In the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa region (EMEIA), our 27,000-strong workforce is committed to Digital Co-creation, blending business expertise with digital technology and creating new value with ecosystem partners and customers. We enable our customers to digitally transform with connected technology services, focused on Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Cloud – all underpinned by Security. For more information, please visit http://www.fujitsu.com/fts/about/

About IoT.nxt

IoT.nxt’s IoT platform is a digital transformation enabler making the Internet of Things a reality. IoT.nxt unlocks exponential business value by harnessing the power of system and device interoperability. Their unique technology stack bridges the gap between all protocols in the industrial ecosystem, creating a single integration/translation point. Its patented RaptorTM gateway allows organisations to retrofit all existing legacy systems with no rip and replace. A powerful data abstraction model further translates anything and everything from the edge, supporting a true subscription based big data model. IoT.nxt opened its European office in The Hague in 2017 and set operations in the USA in Dallas, Texas in 2018.

All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Eyes on the stars as Talent10 scripts its way forward

Eyes on the stars as Talent10 scripts its way forward

12 March 2019 by Ruan Jooste

If it was a script, it would be a tough sell in Hollywood: from coal mining to the silver screen. But former coal mogul Sipho Nkosi has set his sights on creating, among other things, a movie production group as part of his new venture, Talent10.

In an interview with Daily Maverick, Chairman Sipho Nkosi and CEO Wayne Fitzjohn (Chairman of IoT.nxt) discussed the new ventures for investment holding company Talent10 which is chaired by Nkosi. The company is focusing on a mixed bag of businesses; promoting the global movie business while leveraging South Africa in the process, industrial air conditioning and investing in innovative technologies as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Nkosi, better known for his dealings in the energy industry since stepping down as CEO of the JSE-listed coal conglomerate Exarro in 2016, acknowledges that he has now stepped a tad outside his comfort zone to realise another passion of his – to do good – for good – and for the long haul. His dream of making a significant broader societal impact is being realised by growing this local investment outfit with a diversified and integrated portfolio of companies to attract foreign investment and create jobs locally.

Established in October 2012 Talent10 is the brainchild of Nkosi, Fitzjohn and a small group of like-minded investors who crossed paths when Fitzjohn co-founded private equity and advisory initiative at wealth manager Citadel. “I was a senior partner at a prominent wealth manager at the time and was tasked with building an entrepreneurial client base. I chose to focus on helping SA’s new black industrialists that were rich on paper but in most instances because of the nature of most BBEEE transactions, realising real wealth was still some way off.

The proactive implementation of sound financial planning principles not only resulted in greater upside over time but also allowed for meaningful relationships to be formed long before opportunistic advisers came knocking,” says Fitzjohn. “It was during this time that I contacted Sipho and his fellow founders of Eyesizwe Holdings and that was the beginning of a beautiful partnership. Not long thereafter the idea was born for leveraging our collective balance sheets to invest in enterprises that could positively contribute to the country’s economy as opposed to conventional philanthropic pursuits. It was this thinking that led to Talent10’s formation.”

Fitzjohn’s aim was a collaboration to explore disruptive opportunities within South Africa, while Nkosi’s goal was to give back to the community in a significant yet sustainable way, for the long term. The greater meeting of minds came in focusing on taking two respective multipliers of ideas and establishing a business that would employ more people more of the time, thereby contributing to the economy as a whole.

“The SA film industry has experienced incredible growth in the last decade, has earned a global reputation for quality projects and incredible local talent – actors, directors and producers and exceptional technical crews,” says Fitzjohn. “It is a dynamic industry that we believe we can positively impact through our focused investment approach. We aim to make quality productions showcasing local talent that can hopefully follow in the footsteps of the many award-winning projects developed and produced in SA so far,” he says.

A study conducted by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) showed that during the 2016/17 financial year, the film industry in SA made a R5.4-billion contribution to the GDP, compared to R3.5-billion in 2013. According to the study, the operations of the country’s film industry raised the level of production by approximately R12.2-billion. Talent10 announced the formation of a film company, Nthibah Pictures, late last year with its first feature film currently in post-production. It is a crime thriller, directed by local director Donovan Marsh, whose last project, Hunter Killer, released worldwide late last year and stars Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman.

The aim is to release the Nthibah Pictures film at the Toronto film festival in September this year. “SA has made a ton of world-class movies, but there still isn’t any local distribution partner that can guarantee US theatrical release. With the US box office still the biggest determinant in a film’s success, addressing this represents a massive opportunity for the local film industry,” says Fitzjohn. “It is no secret that content is the next big thing. People are consuming it way faster than what is being produced and the gap in the market is there for the taking. Our strategy is not just about making great films but a crystal-clear strategy to market. We want to help producers unlock the distribution value chain with a guaranteed theatrical release in the US,” he says.

“We appointed a seasoned studio executive as our CEO based in the US and we are on the cusp of unlocking significant funding for our projects,” he adds. “Further to that, if we could push for local production and global distribution it will create an avenue for South Africans to earn dollars and with rand overheads. And we make sure all the revenue is bound for SA as opposed to it ordinarily settling elsewhere. Most importantly, we don’t have any of the expensive legacy infrastructure issues faced by many production studios in the states. “The industry in the US directly employs over 2.1-million people and pays wages of $139-billion. If we displace just 1% of this, a $1.4-billion or R20 billion wage bill can come our way. The money then stays here, in our economy and Sipho, the team and I can start changing lives big-time.”

Since its formation, Talent10 has been focused on their Internet of Things investment in successful local company IoT.nxt. The company is expanding fast, winning international contracts, particularly with its patented Raptor gateway solution. Most recently it won a use contract to roll out the product in a multimillion-dollar project designed to optimise energy usage at schools in Florida and Dallas.

Talent10’s investment in IoT.nxt has exceeded R100-million which has paved the way for IoT.nxt’s expansion to Europe with an office set up in The Hague, The Netherlands in 2017 and the establishment of a US operation in Dallas in September last year. IoT.nxt has also partnered with tech giant Dell to develop a so-called IoT-in-a-box solution using IoT.nxt’s Raptor Device. “We love this industry,” says Fitzjohn. “It is a total leveller of playing fields.

IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn sold this idea to me while I was trying to book Mumford and Sons tickets for my daughter, and when he tested whether I had been paying attention I responded with ‘it’s like Skynet from the Terminator movie but for doing good’,” he jokes. “Two years later we were in Silicon Valley laughing about that moment over a beer, and no joke the Mumford and Sons concert recorded at the Voortrekker monument starts playing on the bar radio.”

The company has also invested in Two Oceans Air Conditioning (TOAC), at the time one of the oldest, HVAC family-held businesses in Cape Town. “We didn’t have the balance sheet to afford large tracts of land. We did, however, see a direct correlation in big heating and cooling systems to property upliftment,” says Fitzjohn.

“Despite some teething problems, a slowdown in property development and some big players going bankrupt, we have managed to build up a significant pipeline of opportunities for the future.” Amazon, for example, is planning to build three data centres in the country that will need cooling systems to function and TOAC has been successfully appointed on two of these.

Traditional sectors like mining do not form part of Talent10’s mantra. Mining houses are closing shop in SA, and the unions are resistant to change. It is at a stalemate and will not be the way to take SA forward, says Nkosi.

“We have an abundance mentality and we collaborate widely with partners that help to ensure success. We challenge set paradigms and tackle ‘holy cows’ with courage and speed, without arrogance but confident that we can make a difference. We are patient and craft best solutions avoiding short cuts that only have short-term impact,” Nkosi concludes. DM

The South African IoT company making it big in the USA

IoT.nxt project in USA schools progressing

Kevin Lancaster 5 March 2019

IoT.nxt – a South African Internet of Things company based in Centurion – is making big inroads in the US market, months after launching services in the country.

The company specialises in providing “digital overviews” of organisations and their technology – and then allows them to take action based on the information presented.

“Our technology allows all systems, processes, machinery, and things to communicate with each other, and you to have a clear overview of what’s happening in every part of your business, without disrupting business operations,” states the company’s website.

Success in US

IoT.nxt COO Jason Bradlee told MyBroadband that the company only officially launched services in the US at the end of October 2018, and has already secured a contract to provide IoT solutions to schools in Hillsborough County, Florida.

The county includes the city of Tampa, and the project sees IoT.nxt installing LED lighting in schools and IoT solutions which monitor and control heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems.

While the LED lights provide improved lighting for learners and costs savings on electricity bills, the real savings come from the automated systems and their associated sensors which control the HVAC systems.

Improved temperature controls and automation mean the IoT solutions save the school money and help the building to become more “green” – thanks to its lowered power consumption.

The reason for a company from Centurion securing a contract in the US soon after launching there is thanks to its agnostic platform.

“From a horizontal layer, nobody has a fabric like IoT.nxt does,” said Bradlee.

It is agnostic from a technology and protocol perspective, and is also agnostic from a communications perspective – so anything that has a heartbeat can be picked up, he said.

For the school project, Bradlee said they provide the hardware, too, following partnering with Dell. Hardware from Cisco and Intel has also been implemented.

Proudly SA

With the company’s schools project going well, Bradlee said IoT.nxt is looking to expand across the Americas – and they are confident they can compete on an international level.

“I would put this team up against anyone on the globe,” he said. “This team is hungry and smart – and always focuses on the client.”

With many big international companies getting caught up in corporate politics and other bureaucracies – which make them less agile – IoT.nxt maintains its “can-do” attitude and keeps its eye on the client while developing new advancements, he stated.

International success will not change the company’s base of operation, however, and South Africa will remain its home, added Bradlee.

“This company has a lot of pride in South Africa and its roots, so it is all about how can we bring jobs back,” he said.

“Our goal is to rely on the South African office as our centre of excellence.”

How Secure Connectivity Is Key To Driving The Future Of Retail

How Secure Connectivity Is Key To Driving

1 March 2019

Transformation. It might be an overused term, but no other word appropriately describes what the retail industry is constantly undergoing.

Technology has revolutionised the way the industry operates, switching the power from retailers to customers and driving businesses to move from a place of stagnation into progress by adopting new technologies.

Local and international retail decision makers recently came together to discuss what the next wave of tech innovation and disruption would look like across the industry at the 2019 Digital Retail Forum.

One of the key focus points by speakers at the forum was the fact that retailers risked losing ground if they were not able to keep up with the rapid pace that technology was driving the industry forward.

“Customer expectations have evolved to match the ever-connected society in which we now live, and so too must businesses adapt. The most important factor in optimising the use of new technologies is to improve operations and customer relations,” says Hymie Marnewick, managing director of XLink Communications.

Here are four ways that secure connectivity is likely to propel the retail industry forward in its bid to evolve along with the technological landscape:

1. Improve customer experience

A customer’s experience is defined by their perception and interaction with a business, and better relationships with customers are important for retailers as consumer experiences are now overshadowing products in terms of value. Surprisingly though, there isn’t much understanding as to how secure connectivity is crucial to the customer experience – one of the most important differentiators and drivers for growth. Not only does it instil trust in the retailer by its customers, but also helps to build new, personalised relationships and strengthen existing ones through the collection of better records on customer trends, customised loyalty programs and supply chain integration.

2. Frictionless Payments

Advancements in secure payment connectivity have already allowed for more businesses to offer card transactions, enabling them to offer what customers want – speed, convenience and ease.

Developments in secure payment methods include the move from dial-up to the cheaper GSM payment system as well as emerging technologies such as biometric and contactless payments, with the biggest impact currently being made by mobile wallet which allows individuals to store card payment information on an app and pay using their mobile devices.

Further improvements in payment connectivity will only make the least enjoyable part of the shopping experience simpler, straightforward and effortless.

3. Seamless omnichannel

Omnichannel is a multi-channel approach to servicing customers which integrates distribution, promotion and communication channels. This means that customers are able to, for example, check the inventory of a store on their PC, order products from their tablet and speak to customer care via their mobile phone and pick the product up at the desired location.

For this to operate smoothly, each moving part needs to be integrated into a single system and they need to communicate with one another.

Therefore, the inventory a customer sees online should correspond with what is in the physical store, customer care operators should be able to see where a customer’s products are and what was ordered, and the physical store should immediately know what a customer ordered online so they can set it aside for pickup.

Connectivity solutions providers offer integrated payment solutions, which include infrastructure and services for secure data processing and failover and asset infrastructure monitoring, that make a seamless omnichannel experience possible.

4. Mitigate risks

When systems are down, businesses lose money. Customers aren’t able to make payments by card and they can’t make use of various services offered by stores, such as loyalty reward programs. Reliable secure connectivity solutions providers help to reduce the possibility of downtime, while also ensuring that all connectivity solutions implemented are compliant with information and communications technology regulations.

This all goes to show that without secure connectivity, retailers would, at the least, face challenges when trying to optimise their operations, meet customer expectations and differentiate their establishments while keeping up with the ever-changing retail and technology environment.

As such, XLink has, as a leading provider of connectivity solutions for the retail sector, expanded its service offerings to offer our customers a wide choice of connectivity solutions, suited to each unique individual need, against a dynamic technology landscape. “By leveraging our expertise in data security, information and communications technology, IoT and integrated payment solutions, XLink will continue to cater to the retail sector to ensure compliance while driving growth and innovation.”