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

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

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

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.”

ADTRAN and IoT.nxt Collaborate to Bring Exciting Internet of Things (IoT) Synergies to Worldwide Enterprise and Carrier Markets

February 27, 2019

Innovation spurs collaboration to aggregate and optimize IoT data for new over-the-top services and cloud-centered solutions

BARCELONA, Spain–(BUSINESS WIRE)- (NASDAQ:ADTN), the leading provider of next-generation open networking and subscriber experience solutions, today announced its collaboration with IoT.nxt—a leading internet of things (IoT) technology company—to help carriers and enterprises around the world design new services and solutions by bringing together various streams of IoT device data into a single, easy-to-use platform.

“This exciting collaboration allows us to create cloud-based innovations that will bring a host of new revenue opportunities and operational savings to our customers around the world”

This exciting collaboration allows us to create cloud-based innovations that will bring a host of new revenue opportunities and operational savings to our customers around the world,” ADTRAN Sr. Vice President of Sales John Neville said. “ADTRAN and IoT.nxt are joining forces to create the energy and synergy needed to capture and commercialize the growing volume of IoT data generated in any number of vertical markets across diverse systems and processes. We can’t wait to see where this takes our customers in Europe and throughout the world.”

The IoT industry operates on multiple protocols that control many different types of devices. IoT.nxt aggregates those protocols into a single cloud-based system that turns the data into usable information for decision-makers looking to optimize revenue opportunities and minimize operating expense. ADTRAN’s broad portfolio of software and hardware platforms support a variety of technologies deployed today and provide speed and flexibility for new deployments needed to take advantage of these new IoT.nxt applications.

Based on OpenWrt, the ADTRAN SmartOS Operating System is fully chipset-agnostic, enabling quick and seamless support for any technology or vendor hardware implementation, while also supporting third-party software applications to enhance solution integrations. SmartOS operates on top of five different, leading hardware vendor chipsets and numerous network technologies. With its open data plane and application framework, SmartOS unlocks the potential for streamlined application development and integration of exciting new services.

Additionally, the ADTRAN ProCloud suite of subscription-based business services enables enterprises to create improved workflows, based on data collected, and present these in a usable format that can manage devices locally or from the cloud. Combining SmartOS, ProCloud CPaaS and IoT.nxt’s leading application, ADTRAN now offers a compelling solution with immediate effect and spanning a virtually unlimited number of both industrial and residential IoT use cases.

ADTRAN will now be able to provide enterprise and carrier customers with smart, streamlined management of IoT data that will help drive better, more informed business decisions. Carriers will also be able to better manage their physical and virtualized networks, as well as offer enhanced home and business services on one platform that manages all devices for a subscriber.

IoT.nxt solutions have been deployed at a variety of companies in diverse industries. A recent U.S. example is a project rolled out across schools in Tampa, Fla. IoT.nxt technology retrofits onto existing systems and equipment. That, combined with new sensor data or instance occupancy and ambient external temperature, delivers dynamic energy management while increasing comfort levels and purifying the air. Consumption is optimized, which delivers significant cost savings. IoT.nxt also has large projects running in telecommunication companies, mines, ports, food processing manufacturing plants and in the agricultural sector.

The IoT.nxt solution is technology agnostic, which allows companies to leverage existing infrastructure and create immediate impact on business processes.

About ADTRAN

At ADTRAN, Inc., we believe amazing things happen when people connect. From the cloud edge to the subscriber edge, we help communications service providers around the world manage and scale services that connect people, places and things to advance human progress. Whether rural or urban, domestic or international, telco or cable, enterprise or residential—ADTRAN solutions optimize existing technology infrastructures and create new, multi-gigabit platforms that leverage cloud economics, data analytics, machine learning and open ecosystems—the future of global networking. Find more at ADTRAN, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About IoT.nxt

IoT.nxt’s 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 etrofit 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 is the enterprise solution category winner and overall winner of the MTN Business IoT Award 2017 in South Africa. IoT.nxt opened its European office in The Hague, The Netherlands in 2017 and set up US operations in October 2018. Find out more about IoT.nxt at IoT.nxt, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Contacts:

Ashley Schulte
Witz Communications for ADTRAN
919-435-9112
[email protected]

Daleen van Wyk
Corporate Communication IoT.nxt
+27-83-302-0827
[email protected]

IoT on the cusp of becoming mainstream

Kirsten Doyle 30 January 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) is having a profound effect on all industries and many businesses in South Africa. The reality is that consumers are looking for cheaper products, faster, and as a result, the landscape has become extremely competitive. The change agent is the age of digitalisation that we’re moving into, and a key foundation to all of that is IoT.

So says Nico Steyn, CEO of IoT.nxt, adding that IoT is bringing new insights into business and is disrupting the different sectors. As a result, most businesses are now looking towards digitisation, specifically IoT, to start driving productivity and efficiency.

Roger Hislop, executive head of IoT at Internet Solutions, says: “If you think of IoT as a natural evolution of machine-to-machine or telematics, then think of it in the same light as having impacted South African businesses for 40 years, and enormously so. If you only consider IoT in the sense of the recent technology developments of low-cost devices connected to the hyperscale cloud via lowcost wireless sensor networks, then the impact is not a lot, yet. Despite the enormous hype around this technology, most South African companies are still in a wait-and-see state or doing cautious proofs-of-concept.”

“Locally, IoT is in the early hype cycle where businesses know they have to consider it and are busy shaping their strategies,” adds Craig Freer, executive head: Cloud at Vox.

In terms of the IoT ecosystem, it’s in the formative stage from a network, device and platform perspective. Freer believes IoT is on the cusp of becoming mainstream, and is currently where cloud was a few years ago. “Businesses have their own definition of it, they’re uncertain and confused, but they’re learning as the technology is evolving and starting to make sense of how it can be used to solve real-world business challenges.”

Better insights

While IoT may still be an emerging technology in South Africa, major telecommunications and IT players, as well as a host of new tech providers, are investing in new IoT networks and solutions, comments Colin Thornton, MD of Dial a Nerd and Turrito Networks. “According to Africa Analysis, there were more than seven million devices connected to IoT networks in South Africa in 2017, and the firm estimates that this number will double by 2022.”

From cars, to TVs and phones, to unmanned IP-enabled devices such as sensors, monitors and control devices, these ‘things’ are providing more information and better insights that can lead to operational efficiencies and remote controllability of processes and operations, adds Eyad Shihabi, vice president, Africa and Middle East at BT. “IoT enables businesses to use big data in smarter ways, to define new digital possibilities and move towards a new cognitive and connected world.”

Even so, there are shortcomings with IoT as with many new technologies. Take, for example, the fact that very few of these connected devices are interoperable. The primary problem is that there are too many players in the market. Technology companies are developing solutions independently of each other, using different platforms and frameworks and, as a result, many different devices can’t integrate with one another. Overcoming the interoperability challenges of IoT is an important step in reaching its wide-scale adoption and commercialisation potential.

Shihabi says that IoT adoption is a global issue, but more so in Africa than compared to front-runner environments. “Digital transformation is creeping up on the business agenda locally, with many decision-makers realising the need to transform. However, considering the dearth of local IT skills, many companies may not possess the right skills needed to leverage digital technologies effectively.

Another issue, Shihabi says, is technical perspective. “By virtue of IoT being new and made up of so many other new technologies and concepts, many companies don’t know what to expect with the lack of successful projects to ‘look up to’ or use as a benchmark.”

Creating balance

Steyn believes that one of the main issues facing IoT is the disparate nature of devices and protocols. “One of the biggest challenges, obviously, is that each industry is different, so the nature of the device, the way that it sends and formulates data is fundamentally different.”

There’s a lack of standardisation across multiple sectors and that remains a major challenge, adds Steyn. “The other challenge is obviously the fact that industries and companies have made sizeable investments in legacy technologies, equipment and enterprise systems.

“From that perspective, it’s being able to create a balance between moving into the new age, but also preserving the investments that have been made and optimising those,” he says.

Most people view security as a major challenge to IoT, but they’re wrong, says Hislop. “Security in IoT isn’t exceptionally complex or difficult. It’s a key element, but there are a number of security methods that can be applied to make IoT safe from the ground up.”

Read more:  https://bit.ly/2Ww6HMU

 

Tech Trends To Watch This Year

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution well under way, our team is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in the tech landscape. 2019 promises to be a year of prominent change, particularly in how we connect, communicate and share data.

Edge Computing.

Edge computing technology is growing in power and capability, so in 2019 we can suspect to see real-time data transfer become more efficient and streamlined, saving businesses time and generating quality data in real-time.

Security will remain a key focus.

Both Michiel Du Toit, Chief of Innovation, and Bertus Jacobs, CTO here at IoT.nxt believe that in 2019 security will take centre stage, making it a race to develop even more secure solutions for IoT and data sharing applications.

Machine learning protecting devices.

In 2019, the race for security will heat up, and machine learning will lead the fight to protect vulnerable devices against attack.

Blockchain: Beyond Cryptocurrency

This year, blockchain is due for a makeover. Aside from underpinning cryptocurrencies, blockchain can help industries improve supply chain transparency, ownership tracking and of course, security in data transfer, and customer trust.

Quantum Computing: Magic of physics or necessary technology?

The industry as a whole should keep their eye on rising technology trends, such as quantum computing that would eventually be able to crack even banking-grade SSL keys with ease.

Keep an eye on programming languages

Tracking prominent program languages is essential to help keep track of how to process data effectively.

Managing complex devices

André Jacobs, Director of Product Development, predicts as more and more devices and sensors are connected, the challenge will be to simplify system management across the diversity of sensors and devices.

Cost-Effective IoT Solutions for All

Du Toit predicts that the cloud bubble is beginning to burst, and the overpriced infrastructure costs we currently see in cloud infrastructure will drop as competition increases in the global market.

Protecting valuable workplaces

Sensors should also play a role in detecting dangerous chemicals and conditions in the workplace, improving overall workplace health and safety. The applications for environmental sensors are endless, particularly when it comes to protecting health technicians.

Monitoring air quality to stimulate effective action

With the aid of specialised sensors, we can record a change in air quality in real-time, particularly when it concerns asthma suffers or people with pre-existing breathing issues.

“The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It lives only at that moment…”- Walter Benjamin.

It seems radical, but the turn of the century German Philosopher, Walter Benjamin, had a point about data sharing in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

2018 was a year to connect, share, optimise and most importantly, collect data, and IoT companies certainly facilitated the charge, connecting billions of devices, allowing data to be shared simultaneously. In its infancy, IoT may have been seen to be a solution reserved for tech-related companies. However, it has quickly become one of the building blocks of the modern business, connecting an estimated 23 billion devices, and paving the way for the future of any effectively-run enterprise ecosystem.

We need to leave the last industrial revolution in the dust

2019 is the year to embrace the sharing economy of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin:

“If your businesses are still plugged into a 2nd Industrial Revolution infrastructure you can’t get above the ceiling of 20% aggregate efficiency anywhere in the world.”

In 2019, look forward to increased mentions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, incorporating digitised communication and a new connected communication community of energy and transportation. IoT is about distribution and collaboration, not centralisation. What’s more, it’s about equal access, real-time data and then, evidently, real-world solutions.

Edge Computing

For businesses and industries without an effective (or variable) connection to a central cloud, edge computing is the key to real-time data analysis in 2019. Of course, Edge computing and IoT walk hand in hand and they are a perfect match. With both technologies growing in power and capability we can suspect to see real-time data transfer become more efficient and streamlined, saving businesses time and generating quality data in real-time.

In the months to come, edge computing has the capacity to profoundly reduce the need for sole-cloud dependencies, providing greater flexibility for small to medium businesses.

Edge computing is also making headway in telecommunications in 2019. With 5G cellular networks on the rise and destined to become the next stage in data storage, the need for more power, faster speed and new applications are greater than ever. With edge computing opening a gateway to efficient data processing, the harmonious partnership between IoT and edge is vital for any business wanting to effectivity process data in real-time.

IoT.nxt is already at the forefront of edge computing optimisation, and 5G will set up a new era for IoT to thrive. Industrial businesses have lots of data coming from all angles, transferring from devices straight to the cloud. There’s where IoT.nxt edge software comes in. At the edge, we capture anomalies before they head to the cloud, and send them directly to the relevant parties, cutting down on steps and connecting you to the data you need.

Security will remain a key focus

Michiel Du Toit, Chief of Innovation here at IoT.nxt believes in 2019 security will take centre stage, making it a race to develop even more secure solutions for IoT and data sharing applications. We’ll see top-notch security tech on IoT devices that could treat the vulnerability issues facing these devices.

Machine Learning Protecting Devices

Everyone agrees that security is an ever-pressing issue, and a cure-all solution seems light years away. There will always be vulnerabilities, but it’s all about minimising those vulnerabilities and hiring the strongest guard to keep watch.

In 2019, the race for security will heat up, and machine learning will lead the fight to protect vulnerable devices against attack.

With AI/machine learning on our side, we can expect to see:

  • Improved response time on attacks
  • Cost-effective solutions
  • Increased edge computing integration

IoT devices are certainly vulnerable and with more connectivity, that vulnerability spreads. As part of the solution, companies could embrace edge computing as a way to combat attacks and increase privacy.

Blockchain: Beyond Cryptocurrency

Blockchain is another contender for security protection in 2019. The past year blockchain has certainly been stuck in a poor PR cycle, with the crash of cryptocurrencies that the technology underpins. However, blockchain has other uses aside from cryptocurrency. The technology can help industries improve supply chain transparency, ownership tracking and of course, security in data transfer, and customer trust.

IoT needs to be ready to face security challenges that will evidently come with record-breaking device connectivity. It’s certainly a tech trend to watch closely in 2019.

According to Bertus Jacobs, CTO of IoT.nxt, more emphasis should be placed on the best practices to ensure tight security including but not limited to

  • Use open standards and best practices in both encryption and authentication;
  • Use and enforce strong passwords with best practices. “Last year’s” passwords will become largely outdated and weak quickly. Computing power gets exponentially better, especially when employing staggeringly high cloud-computing power to break weak passwords with brute force in seconds;
  • Avoid same or default passwords across different platforms, devices and systems.

One way that is always suggested and obvious – but is not implemented by a large population of development houses – is to protect sensitive client IP by storing passwords as non-reversible techniques, so that even developers can’t access client data.

When API integration between systems is developed, security should be at the forefront of every business. Open standard security tokens and other security features should be employed – not as an afterthought, but as an integral part of the project.

Quantum Computing: Magic of physics or necessary technology?

The industry as a whole should keep their eye on rising technology trends, such as quantum computing that would eventually be able to crack even banking-grade SSL keys with ease. Algorithms already exist to do this, but the hardware is still lacking. Although quantum hardware technology is incredibly hard to manufacture – a lot of R&D is dedicated to this by tech giants such as Google and IBM. One recent breakthrough was the unveiling of IBM’s latest quantum computer that can be accessed as a cloud service by third-party users. This latest development could translate to further research and discovery in more effective security in the foreseeable future.

On the embedded electronics side, IoT.nxt is busy developing a major advancement for Edge to Cloud security involving chipsets with baked-in security – which could be used by third parties. Although we can’t reveal too much information on this yet – we believe this will bring significantly more sophisticated security advances to the IoT market in general, offering more bulletproof firmware upgrade and malicious code execution.

On the embedded electronics side, IoT.nxt is busy developing a major advancement for Edge to Cloud security involving chipsets with baked-in security – which could be used by third parties. Although we can’t reveal too much information on this yet – we believe this will bring significantly more sophisticated security advances to the IoT market in general, offering more bulletproof firmware upgrade and malicious code execution.

It’s for issues like this that we’ve seen an increase in the ‘bounties’ offered by companies like Zerodium for the identification of high-risk vulnerabilities on operating systems, Whatsapp and much more. With payouts reaching well into the millions, we see more companies investing in triple-layer protection, much like camera manufacturer Axis have, by combining security and vulnerability management with learning and collaboration to ensure that their platform is continuously evolving.

Keep an eye on programming languages

As the year progresses, we think it’s important to keep a check on the most prominent program languages. Tracking prominent program languages is essential to help keep track of how to process data effectively.

Last year, we saw Python retained its’ influence as a dominant programming language, due in part to its versatility. Python is also being increasingly employed in web development, through prominent frameworks like Flask and Django. The language is at the forefront of the data science and AI industry with well-established libraries like NumPy and Pandas.

Following closely behind Python is Go, and JavaScript – with the addition of Typescript technology. Program languages we think you should keep your eye on in 2019 are Javascript and Python due, in part, to the ongoing growth and interest in serverless architecture, with most frameworks heading towards this relatively new type of architecture.

Rouan van der Ende, Software Developer at IoT.nxt says we aim to support most modern programming languages and protocols to make sure our software stack is diversified. We do, however, build infrastructure and edge devices on .Net Core and C# which is now available on Linux and Microsoft platforms. The bottom line is that language aside, we can plug into any system, either by industry standard integration or by allowing third-party plugins to be imported into our Edge technology (Raptor). Such plugins could be developed in any programming language as long as it can implement our generic Edge plugin interfaces.

Managing complex devices

André Jacobs, Director of Product Development, predicts as more and more devices and sensors are connected, the challenge will be to simplify system management across the diversity of sensors and devices.

IoT.nxt works across several industries to help implement complex devices effectively and creates the opportunity for data-driven results in their business.

Making sense of data

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. We are collecting and sharing more data than ever before. Globally, devices are sending more and more data to servers. The global business world is lit up with data exchange and we’re collecting that data at a record rate.

To make sense of data, businesses need to focus efforts on driving better and smarter results to convert the collected data into a cost-effective management system. Currently, 64% of business across all industries have discovered that big data breaks down traditional boundaries and allows non-traditional providers and products to enhance their industry. Jacobs believes that helping businesses understand the data they collect through IoT devices is the challenge in 2019.

Cost-Effective IoT Solutions for All

Du Toit predicts that the cloud bubble is beginning to burst, and the overpriced infrastructure costs we currently see in cloud infrastructure will drop as competition increases in the global market. As IoT infrastructure relies on cloud resources, we should see a drop in the cost of installing and maintaining effective IoT solutions with a positive effect on project ROI’s.

Smart Technology for Environmental Benefit

Smart technology has infinite applications for environmental benefit in both the workplace and environment we all share. 2019 will gift us more powerful devices and sensors that will work to fight an increasing amount of environmental disasters and threats.

With smarter and more effective sensors, we can collect a more accurate measure on the environmental impact across an organisation or even industry. Environmental sensors can effectively measure environmental impact, in a way that no human could. The environmental benefit of deploying sensors to analyse variables like air and water quality, radiation is a gamechanger.

Protecting valuable workplaces

Sensors should also play a role in detecting dangerous chemicals in the workplace, improving overall workplace health and safety. The applications for environmental sensors are endless, particularly when it comes to protecting health technicians.

Polluted or uninhabitable landscapes can be analysed, and a solution can be founded, without risking anyone entering the site. Optimised sensors could also be implemented in the workplace to protect valuable workers, for example miners or any workplace exposed to radiation.

Monitoring air quality to stimulate effective action

Managing air quality is another application for environmental sensors. We can look at the management of air quality either inside buildings or in the external environment. Unfortunately, clean air is becoming a sought after commodity that is difficult to acquire in some parts of the world, causing a massive strain on the health of the populations and the costs that come with it.

With the aid of specialised sensors, we can record a change in air quality in real-time, particularly when it concerns asthma suffers or people with pre-existing breathing issues. In industrial settings, being able to detect the presence of hazardous chemicals and pollution without having to send in workers offers a massive real-time health and safety benefit.

Smart Cities to protect the future

IoT has fuelled the rise of smart cities for environmental benefit. Data-driven insights can help pinpoint the most effective areas for energy efficiency and 2019 will be no different.

Creating and perfecting smart cities is another IoT hotspot to help combat climate change and preserve the environment for generations to come. Traditional cities suffer numerous urban challenges and are becoming inefficient and detrimental to maintaining ecological integrity. To achieve environmental sustainability, cities need to implement smart technology. This year will see an increase in developing and implementing that smart technology, including IoT platforms.

2019 in a Nutshell

IoT.nxt is ready to help connect businesses that are looking to manage and collect data effectively. We don’t believe in tearing down what is already built, so we overlay IoT.nxt solutions onto existing infrastructure without inconvenient downtime.

2019 stands to be a year of innovation and global productivity, truly ushering in the foundations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which IoT will play a critical role. With more powerful devices and sensors, edge computing and IoT is the crucial glue holding together effective communication and data together to produce real-world solutions for businesses.

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

www.brainstormmag.co.za

The IoT.nxt Barometer For 2019

2019

Unbelievable projects, growth and a brilliant team – our success in 2018 was a testament to our incredible people. Here’s to 2019: Glorious partnerships and client relationships, big changes, bigger disruption and goals that we know are going to make a massive difference to industries across the globe.
“One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor, and the sky really is the limit.” ~ CEO of IoT.nxt, Nico Steyn

IoT.nxt adds Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform status

MEDIA STATEMENT

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.

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