Any industry. Any system. Any process.

Top brains to watch in 2019

December 2018 By Leslie Stones

Technology never stands still – which is a good job considering that our problems never stand still either.

Issues like poverty, hunger, disease, the quest for knowledge and connectivity or even our ceaseless desire to be entertained are burning challenges that the smartest brains are working to resolve.

Here are some of the people who Brainstorm believes are poised to make a difference.

Nico Steyn, CEO of IoT.nxt

Everyone talks about the Internet of Things (IoT), but Nico Steyn is such a believer that he named his company after the concept.

Steyn is the CEO of IoT.nxt, which has grown from a startup in 2015 to employ more than 100 people, with offices in The Netherlands and the US. That global expansion was made possible with R100m from its investment partner Talent10 Holdings. Steyn aims to grow IoT.nxt into an internationally relevant, but still proudly African business, creating jobs for Africans, and solutions for the world.

The company develops innovative software based on its patented Raptor gateway, which is technology-agnostic and lets companies rapidly digitise any industry, system or process to create an interconnected, interoperable ecosystem without disrupting the business. It’s been described as a world-leading framework that makes efficiencies, cost savings and increased revenue from IoT a reality, according to Nedbank, which chose IoT.nxt to participate in its Disruption Agenda matchmaking programme.

One project is seeing the Raptor gateway being rolled out in Florida and Dallas to optimise the amount of energy used by schools. Three people from IoT.nxt went to the US to manage the operation and to train local partners to take it forward.

Steyn and IoT.nxt have won several awards already, including being named by Gartner as African Aspiring Innovators to Watch, being a finalist in the Da Vinci TT100 innovation index for Emerging Enterprises, and being the overall winner of the MTN Business IoT Awards.

The company has achieved Level 1 B-BBEE status and is a Microsoft Gold Partner. It’s also become a silver partner of The Linux Foundation, a status that excited Steyn as he sees great opportunities to use open source software in IoT applications.

Michael Jordaan, Founder of Montegray Capital

During his decade as the CEO of First National Bank, Michael Jordaan was dubbed South Africa’s coolest CEO and Africa’s most innovative banker.

He’s still being cool and innovative despite ‘retiring’ in 2014, since he’s put his skills and his money to good use by forming Montegray Capital, a one-man-band venture capital company.

The modus operandi for Montegray Capital is to find highly differentiated businesses with a minimum two-year trading history, proven customer traction and the potential for rapid growth. In exchange for a meaningful minority stake, it provides those companies with growth capital of R2 million to R5 million, strategic advice and access to business networks.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2F5D9jH


IoT.nxt adds Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform status

microsoft gold partner


13 December 2018

South African innovators in Internet of Things technology, IoT.nxt, added Microsoft Gold Partner status for Cloud Platform to its competencies this month, its second such competency after it was recognised as a Gold Partner for Data Platform in 2017.

“According to Gartner the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3% in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner for Data Platform is testament to the commitment of our team as they are required to pass stringent assessments,” says CEO, Nico Steyn.

“Gold Certified Partners represent the highest level of competence and expertise with Microsoft technologies, and have a close working relationship with Microsoft. Achieving this status recognizes our success in the marketplace,” Steyn added.

“Being ranked as a Gold Partner provides us with access to a range of support services and a knowledge base at Microsoft as well as exceptional training opportunities, which will ultimately be to the benefit of our customers. Furthermore, as our company has expanded beyond South Africa this further Gold Partner status achieved will help us drive our global growth plans,” Steyn says.

“Three additional team members have added cloud-based qualifications and became Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs), enhancing our knowledge of MS Azure cloud. IoT.nxt now has twelve MCPs in the team and we will continue to build our Microsoft knowledge base,” Steyn says.

“Technology, and IoT technology and strategies specifically, are advancing at a rapid pace. This partnership will assist us in staying up to date with technology capabilities required from us by customers. We believe IoT is not about technology but about business strategy and approach all our customer relationships from this point of view. Being a Microsoft Gold Partner gives companies we engage with assurance that we are committed to the highest level of excellence and professionalism, with the backing of Microsoft,” he added.

IoT.nxt opened its first international office in The Hague in The Netherlands last year and set up operations in the USA for a multi-million-dollar project at public schools in September.

For further information please contact:
Daleen van Wyk
Media Liaison
Tel: 083 302 0827
Email: [email protected]

IoT.nxt project in USA schools progressing

10 December 2018

Energy cost savings are already being realised at several of 50 schools in Florida, USA, that chose IoT.nxt’s solution to deliver energy optimisation and reduce consumption. Since installation started in September some schools where the technology is fully activated and running have reported savings of up to 15%.

“The roll-out is progressing well and we expect to have most schools running the IoT solution by the end of the year. We are very encouraged by the results already achieved and on the back of that have been approached by four more states in the USA to introduce similar projects around energy management,” says Jason Bradlee, COO of IoT.nxt Americas.

“Many building management operations use pre-set systems to switch energy facilities on and off at particular, fixed times in order to reduce consumption. Using IoT strategies allow building managers to dynamically effect optimal usage inside a building. The IoT technology makes it possible to take various factors, for instance occupancy and ambient external temperature, into account to intelligently adjust energy used to change the temperature in a building or to purify the air. This way consumption is optimized, which delivers significant cost savings,” says IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn.

“The potential for expansion in the USA is very big and in addition to the school’s energy efficiency projects we are exploring 35 other opportunities in the SA across all sectors. These include opportunities with communication companies – large and small, systems integrators, platform providers and product companies as well as partnerships with the likes of Deloitte and Dell,” Bradlee says.

“IoT is a multi-trillion dollar global industry. It really is the next revolution. If you look at the areas of digitisation in the future, IoT will play a huge role. Some statistics and trend reports have indicated that companies are likely to spend 50% of their entire IT budgets on IoT solutions in the next five years,” Bradlee added.

Bradlee expects strong growth for IoT.nxt in the USA as the company’s offering is unlike the majority of IoT solution providers currently rolling out projects. “IoT.nxt has real distinction around IoT technology. There are many point-to-point IoT offerings, but no other company can leverage existing infrastructure, which means no new capital investment is required. This is a significant differentiator.”

According to Bradlee the company will use a partnership strategy to drive its growth in the Americas. “We cannot employ the number of people we will need to make progress on the projects currently in development.”

IoT.nxt operates its head office from Centurion in South Africa, opened its European operations with an office in The Hague in 2017 and now has an office in Dallas, Texas and a satellite operation in Tampa, Florida in the USA. Team members from South Africa are currently in the US to support the schools roll-out process but in addition to Bradlee are supported by a US based project manager in Tampa.

For further information please contact:
Daleen van Wyk
Media Liaison
Tel: +27 83 302 0827
Email: [email protected]

From startup to international expansion

CEO, Nico Steyn, shared more about the establishment if IoT.nxt and what the company has achieved; in an interview with Classic1027FM Business Breakfast. Listen here:  

SA’s IoT.nxt Taps Top Fujitsu’s Exec As COO For USA Operation

8 November 2018

IoT.nxt USA has already successfully secured a multimillion-dollar energy management project in Florida state, which uses the IoT.nxt platform technology and strategies to deliver energy optimisation and reduce consumption.

A South African innovator in the Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm IoT.nxt is hoping the appointment the appointment of a COO for its Americas operation will give impetus to its US expansion and firmly establish its US operation.

Jason Bradlee, who has served as executive VP and head of security for Fujitsu Americas and before that he acted as VP at Ericsson, will be based in Dallas, Texas, which is the IoT.nxt USA office. IoT.nxt’s European office is based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

“This appointment will give impetus to our US expansion and firmly establish our US operation,” says IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn.

Steyn added that Bradlee’s client service experience and vast knowledge of the latest digital technology and security trends will help and guide customers to understand and navigate evolving IoT and security challenges.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2yVr3Vu


IoT.nxt USA appoints COO for Americas as operation grows

8 November 2018

Jason Bradlee
IoT.nxt COO Jason Bradlee

Award-winning South African based Internet of Things (IoT) technology company subsidiary IoT.nxt USA has appointed Jason Bradlee as its Chief Operating Officer for the Americas. Prior to joining IoT.nxt, Jason served as Executive Vice President and Head of Security for Fujitsu Americas and before that he acted as Vice President at Ericsson, where he led the consulting and systems integration networks and cloud business for North America. He has also served as an Industry Sales Leader at HP.

“Jason’s client service experience and vast knowledge of the latest digital technology and security trends will help and guide customers to understand and navigate evolving IoT and security challenges. Companies face many challenges and Jason’s expertise will enable our customers to harness digital transformation as a critical driver of success. This appointment will give impetus to our US expansion and firmly establish our US operation,” says IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn.

IoT.nxt USA has already successfully secured a multimillion-dollar energy management project in Florida state, which uses the IoT.nxt platform technology and strategies to deliver energy optimisation and reduce consumption. Jason will spearhead the American arm of the company, managing operations, strategy, direction and the offering portfolio. Jason and the US team will also support go-to-market alignment with key partners across the US IoT industry.

“Whilst take up of our technology in the American market has already surpassed our expectations, we knew that to scale effectively and retain traction we needed someone local on the ground with the necessary domain expertise,” says Steyn.

“Jason brings a wealth of experience and has extensive knowledge of IoT, security, consulting, system integration and outsourcing. We see great potential for expanding our company in the USA and he is the ideal person to lead that drive,” Steyn added.

Jason earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, a MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and completed an executive program in global business sponsored by AT&T with Penn State University.

The IoT.nxt USA office is based in Dallas, Texas. IoT.nxt’s European office is based in The Hague, The Netherlands.

For further information please contact:
Daleen van Wyk
Media Liaison
Tel: +27 83 302 0827
Email: [email protected]

The finalists in the IITPSA President’s Awards 2018

By Brendyn Lotz 24 October 2018

The Institute of Information Technology Professionals SA (IITPSA) has named the finalists in its annual President’s Awards.

The awards seek to recognise people and solutions that support, grow or contribute to the IT sector in a meaningful way.

This year the ceremony will be giving away two additional awards.

These are the Technology Excellence Award for the person or team who has made exception or innovative use of technology for an organisation or has exhibited technological excellence that has delivered measurable benefit for the business or economy at large.

The second award is the Social Responsibility / Community award which will be presented to the person, team or project that delivers the benefits of IT on a not-for-profit basis.

The IT Personality Award finalists

Brett St Clair – CEO and co-owner of Siatik, Google’s largest cloud partner in Africa. St Clair was previously Managing Director of Admob and ran Google’s mobile business and African Cloud Business as well as serving as Head of Digital at Youtube. He has lived and worked in 32 countries and is a well-known keynote speaker on digital business.
Nico Steyn – CEO and co-founder of IoT.nxt. Steyn’s 30-year career in IT has included founding a number of technology companies, including one now listed on the JSE. IoT.nxt, established in 2016, now has over 100 staff and offices in South Africa and The Netherlands and the U.S.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2Sjs8yG 


Nedbank announces the Top 10 Innovators

7 September 2018

JOHANNESBURG – Nedbank recently announced the expansion of their US partnership with Plug and Play, the world’s largest innovation platform, to include South Africa for the first time.

Together, the entities will connect 10 visionary entrepreneurs from around the world to business leaders at The Disruption Agenda to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September.

“We’re incredibly excited for the ten startups that are going to be part of The Disruption Agenda. The most important thing for Nedbank is to get pilots and experiments underway and push straight through to commercialisation where possible,” states Stuart van der Veen, Head of Disruption and Innovation at Nedbank CIB. “We’ve engaged with our most forward-thinking clients and they will be participating in both the deal-flow sessions and be present at the actual pitches of the startups.”

Nedbank initiated their relationship with Plug and Play, described as the ultimate matchmaking machine between startups and corporates, two years ago as a sponsor of the global FinTech programme. Startups selected to engage at The Disruption Agenda represent both African and global startups from across industry sectors.

Startups selected for The Disruption Agenda:

Koniku: Starts with the premise that biology is the most advanced technology on earth. Their belief is that Bio is Tech™. Koniku builds living machines with synthetic biology. Machines which can detect fake food, design taste, detect explosives, infectious diseases, cancers and more. Nature is our open source library. Currently the company grafts custom proteins which act sensors on living cells – neurons – and encapsulate them within a silicon chip. The chips – Koniku Kore’s – will one day power the next generation of cognitive robots – synthetic cognition.

Airware: Airware is the leading enterprise drone analytics company helping enterprises leverage today’s rapidly advancing technologies (such as drones, cloud computing, machine learning and more) to safely see and sense their sites and structures to improve productivity, mitigate risks, and take workers out of harm’s way. Airware enables enterprises to harness aerial data and turn it into valuable business insights that can be shared and acted on across sites, teams, and geographies. Their solutions enable enterprises to reinvent their organizations for the digital era by translating aerial data into business impact.

IoT.nxt: IoT.nxt has developed a world-leading framework that makes efficiencies, cost savings and increased revenue from IoT (Internet of Things) a reality for businesses. The IoT.nxt platform allows rapid deployment and businesses to action an Internet of Things strategy with little disruption to current operations.

The major strength of the IoT.nxt framework is that the solution is technology-agnostic. They can help digitise any industry, any system and any process. IoT.nxt lays the foundation for rapid digitisation, creating agile, efficient, future-proofed businesses. They’ll help you create an interconnected, interoperable ecosystem without disrupting your business.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2O4CAr5

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

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