Implementing IoT should be simple: connect the thing, gain insight, take action, Microsoft believes.
Such moves to ease deployment will trigger a business revolution by enabling a digital feedback loop where connected IoT leads directly to action. However, Rashmi Misra, the company’s GM of IoT and AI solutions, readily accepts IoT is not at this level today and is a complex environment involving many diverse players along with significant challenges.
“There is a need for simplification and consistency within the IoT chain,” the Microsoft executive said during the Delivering the IoT Ecosystem session at Mobile World Congress.
“We need IoT to have access to edge and cloud-based intelligence along with the ability to maintain cohesive security throughout its managed life.”
“With some analysts forecasting 1 million IoT devices being connected every hour by 2020 there is a clear opportunity – and accompanying challenges. There will be a need for very large ecosystems, and we believe Microsoft will help simplify deployments by managing the provision of devices, provide secure systems that scale, and then enable rapid analytical insight.”
Andres Escribano, director of Telefonica’s IoT connectivity business, echoed some of what Misra had said: “While I might call IoT the Infinity of Things, it should be approached step-by-step: connect, collect, process, analyse. This last phase is the most important and where IoT adds most value to a business.”
He also emphasised the need to embed IoT security at the design phase, and that standardisation and certification were key to the IoT ecosystem become a global solution.
“But I caution all the involved players not to oversell IoT, and focus on reducing the overall price of the solution.”
T-Mobile US gave some indication of what its connection costs might be for IoT. “We’re looking to charge $6 a year per connection over our NB-IoT network,” VP of network technology development and strategy, Karri Kuoppamaki, said.
“We went live late last year with this service, and we believe IoT presents a very serious opportunity and that the network is a key component in its success.”