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
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:
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
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
31 July 2018
“IoT creates value for business and also in many other applications like the management of cities. It was exciting to see many developments in this field, a year since we won this prestigious award.” – Co-founder and CEO Nico Steyn in conversation with Powerfm987 after the award ceremony for the 2018 MTN Business IoT Award, presented in Johannesburg.
IoT.xt CTO Bertus Jacobs served on the judging panel to select the winners for this year’s award.
Listen to the interview here: https://bit.ly/2OAJyos
The 2018 winner is the MineRP and @FlowCentricNews team, propelling mining into the future.
30 July 2018
Almost a year ago, South African company IoT.nxt expanded its operations to The Hague to shape its international ambitions. We spoke to Joe Bester, Marketing Director at IoT.nxt in The Netherlands, about IoT.nxt and his experience of doing business in The Hague in the past year.
What is IoT.nxt?
“IoT.nxt was established in South Africa late in 2015 by a small group of tech entrepreneurs who discovered an opportunity to innovate in Internet of Things technology and strategy. From start-up beginnings, the company experienced explosive growth and demand for its solutions. The demand and interest from Europe following participation at various expos and conferences on the continent led to the establishment of IoT.nxt’s first international office in The Hague in September 2017.
The company has taken a different view to that of many other companies and has developed various sets of innovative technology. IoT.nxt has taken a bottom-up approach as opposed to the bulk of other companies taking a down from the cloud approach. The company has now identified a convergence of the cloud and the edge, which is fundamentally changing what is taking place in the industry. IoT.nxt is therefore perfectly positioned to take advantage of IoT technology becoming real across several industries. IoT.nxt is now at point where companies are implementing its strategies and technology and seeing value. For example, we recently launched a so-called ‘IoT in a box’ solution with global tech giant Dell, combining the company’s intelligent edge IoT gateway – the Raptor™ – with Dell Gateway technology and through this enabling rapid digital transformation.”
Choosing for The Hague
“Dutch legislation is very business-friendly and especially favourable towards technology start-ups. The Netherlands has an established global reputation for its support of innovation in technology, which made it the logical choice for IoT.nxt. The Hague has been a fantastic base to co-ordinate all of our activities in Europe. The city has a business friendly environment and we had an excellent experience in all dealings with all of the Dutch authorities.”
First year of doing business in The Hague
“We have been here for ¾ of the year and it has been most encouraging. Our commercial model is to distribute our solution through value adding partners like System Integrators and consultancy firms that are active in setting up strategies and implementations for enterprises to digitise. We have formalised partnership agreements with a number of significant players in the Netherlands and other Benelux countries and are actively engaging with clients. Globally we are currently involved in 30 different projects and projects in Europe are an exciting part of this.
Eyes on the horizon
‘We see our pipeline in Europe getting stronger and stronger, and for the year ahead we expect to add a number of projects to an exciting pipeline. The US is offering many exciting opportunities and we believe, due to the attitude of early adoption that prevails, that this will be a significant revenue generator for us”, says Bester.
30 July 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced the addition of 17 Silver members and 5 Associate members. Linux Foundation members help support development of the shared technology resources, while accelerating their own innovation through open source leadership and participation. Linux Foundation member contributions help provide the infrastructure and resources that enable the world’s largest open collaboration communities.
“We are thrilled to see so many organizations continue to reinforce their commitment to open source with investments in the community and a wide variety of important projects,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. “The variety of industries growing their participation in open source, from automotive companies to universities, is truly inspiring.”
In addition to joining the Foundation, many of the new members have joined Linux Foundation projects like Automotive Grade Linux, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Hyperledger, JS Foundation, and LF Networking. For a full list of members, visit https://www.linuxfoundation.org/membership/members/.
Linux Foundation Silver members are organizations that contribute to or otherwise support open source communities and projects. The new Linux Foundation Silver members who joined in the month of June are:
Anaconda, Inc. is an AI/ML enablement platform that empowers organizations to develop, govern, and automate AI/ML and data science.
Bose Corporation designs, develops, and sells audio equipment.
Circulor is transforming the electric vehicle supply chain using blockchain technology.
ComponentSoft offers a comprehensive intelligent systems deployment and development platform.
DefineSys, based in Shanghai, is an enterprise-level cloud computing service leader.
Estateably, Inc. uses distributed ledger technology to optimize the estate settlement process.
IoT.nxt BV allows rapid deployment and businesses to action an Internet of Things strategy with little or no disruption to current operations.
Kinetica transforms data into instant insight.
KR8OS creates ways to track advertising events using marketing analytics on blockchain.
Linode is a leading cloud hosting provider.
Nutanix, Inc. enables IT teams to build and operate powerful multi-cloud architecture.
Nuvoloso is a multi-cloud container data management system.
PlanetScale Data runs highly scalable database clusters with Vitess.
QingYuan Technology is committed to enterprise containerized platform as service through delivering sophisticated containerized solutions across industry and government scenarios, with capabilities of orchestration, monitor, DevOps, and microservices governance, to empower IT revolution within the cloud native ecosystem.
Tierion creates technology and products that reduce the cost and complexity of trust.
UTRUST offers a cryptocurrency payment solution with instant transactions, buyer protection and crypto-to-cash settlements.
Zhejiang Blockchain Technology is a blockchain technology development and promotion company.
With the support of its members, The Linux Foundation hosts open source projects across technologies including networking, security, cloud, blockchain, and more. This collaborative development model is helping technology advance at a rapid pace in a way that benefits individuals and organizations around the world.
Read more: https://read.bi/2vpr2qg
Larry Claasen 29 June 2018
For years, there has been talk of the wonders of the Internet of Things (IoT). Enabling machines to send and receive data has long been touted as the next big thing, but although it has held a lot of promise, IoT never really seemed to get out of the starting blocks. This seems to be changing. As devices are becoming ‘smarter’ and cheaper, networks are being configured to handle large quantities of data.
Has the moment arrived for the IoT? Or does the ecosystem still need to be developed?
Brian Sangudi, principal strategy consultant, Ericsson Middle East & Africa: The ecosystem still has to evolve, but having said that, I definitely think the moment has arrived. Those who want to take advantage can already do so. The building blocks, the infrastructure, is already there.
Alain du Toit, Intelligent Cloud Business Group lead, Microsoft SA: One of the underlying challenges the IoT still has to face is uptake of IPv6 from an enterprise perspective. We are running out of IP addresses. As millions of devices come online, they are going to gobble up an already depleted IPv4 addressing scheme, and if enterprises don’t deal with this, they are going to run out of IP addresses in terms of building this ecosystem.
Vishal Barapatre, CTO, In2IT Technologies: The statistics don’t lie. We are sitting with 22 billion devices now, and by 2025, it will be three times this number. There’s not only more connectivity, but the falling prices of sensors are also playing a role.
Dr Mark Nasila, head of advanced analytics for consumer and retail, FNB: From what I’ve seen, the IoT is already ‘the business’ for a lot of organisations. This is especially true in the financial sector, where many firms have already invested a lot in their data strategies. As they now understand their customers a lot better, they are also better at being proactive in providing them with services and goods. This has seen a lot of organisations move from providing a single service, to being a multi-service provider.
Greg Vercellotti, executive director, Dariel: Our research has shown that the layers of the IoT have matured sufficiently, and you can go right from a sensor to artificial intelligence. Because of this, we are seeing uptake in the business world. We are starting to see IoT becoming part of the business processes, the decision-making and the transactions. With the weaving of IoT into these processes, we are seeing its arrival into the business world.
Steve Mallaby, COO, Argility Technology Group: It has undoubtedly arrived. It’s been around for many years, the concept of devices being connected to each other. If you look at the rapid growth that’s taken place, you are even starting to see fragmentation across the industry. The key development will be how the mature players in the sector start working together. But this is something that’s still a work in progress.
Warren Green, governance, risk and compliance expert, CURA Software Solutions: I think the moment has arrived. But I do think the ecosystem will continue to develop. For me, this will be from a governance, risk and compliance perspective.
Phathizwe Malinga, CEO, SqwidNet: We view the IoT ecosystem as a symphony in four parts. Locally, we have about ten device makers, there are also two connectivity providers, as well as several application providers. The last part is industry, which is starting to realise that IoT is not a fringe thing or a complementary thing; it’s a core part of their operations. Industry needs to make its assets sweat, but in order to do so, it needs to know where they are, which is what IoT allows it to do.
Read more: https://bit.ly/2Kp4NeD
By Marilyn de Villiers 14 June 2018
One of the fastest-growing trends in the ICT sector, and one that is generating considerable hype and attention is the Internet of things (IOT). Analyst firm Gartner predicts that there will be 26 billion connected devices by 2020.
Nico Steyn, CEO of IOT technology innovator, Centurion-based IOT.nxt reckons there are more than 450 IOT commercially available “platforms” that have been set up to enable this still futuristic technology.
However, Steyn believes that despite the fact that the technology has started to gain mainstream traction, the IOT industry could be heading for a crash, the likes of which have not been seen since the “dot.bomb” era almost two decades ago.
“During the .com bomb era, people ran around with amazing ideas that they thought would take over the world once mass adoption took place. This was followed by an implosion which saw a huge number of concepts, ideas and investments disappear. A similar trend is developing in the adoption of IOT and in digitalisation in general,” he says.
Although this is unlikely to be on the scale of the dot.bomb fallout, it will result in the weeding out of many “irrelevant” IOT solutions. These are solutions that he believes are trying to address the complex problem of the interconnectivity required for a true Internet of things from the top down, often using outmoded or inappropriate technologies.
The problem, Steyn maintains, is that many of those involved in the IOT space do not yet understand where the true value of IOT lies. Those that are focused exclusively on the cloud and Big Data, to the exclusion of what is happening within the edge, the layer where all the interconnected “things” lie, will find it all but impossible to unlock the value IOT can deliver.
According to Steyn, they need to recognise that “the edge is eating the cloud”.
Full story: https://bit.ly/2M9eo5F
25 May 2018
How do our businesses evolve? Gareth Rees, head of Global Partnerships at IoT.nxt, talks to Moneyweb journalist Prinesha Naidoo about this in more detail.
Full interview here: https://bit.ly/2KVvvXJ