As carriers look to the Internet of Things to provide a business model that goes beyond connectivity, Verizon Enterprise Solutions tipped its hand how it might see IoT playing out. The company released a research report that shows enterprises are embracing IoT but also are facing challenges both in getting started and in integrating IoT into their broader technology deployments. (See Verizon Report Touts Enterprise IoT Usage.)
The report, "State of the Market: The Internet of Things (IoT) 2015: Discover How IoT is Transforming Business Results," offers insight into case studies that show how technology can be implemented for small and large companies in both the public and private sectors, says Mary Beth Hall, director of marketing for Connected Solutions at Verizon Enterprise Solutions . Based on a variety of sources, including Verizon network data, commissioned research by ABI Research, and customer interviews, it is intended for distribution to a wide range of business customers.
Verizon already saw a 45% jump in IoT revenue growth in 2014, mostly based on its 4G LTE network, and the company today is already managing 15 million IoT-enabled connections. But where Verizon Enterprise Solutions wants to make its mark is in providing more than connections -- including cloud services for storage of data and analytics as well as integration and security around IoT. (See Verizon's IoT State of the Market.)
"We are taking a holistic look at this segment," Hall tells Light Reading. "We are seeing a lot of similarities in the space where companies are solving for the same issues but that information isn't being shared."
Of course, Verizon is not the only firm hoping to capitalize on the many ways enterprises will use IoT -- a host of systems integrators and other hardware and software companies are clamoring for attention here as well. Where Verizon is hoping to stand out is in its ability to combine its wireless connections with its existing relationships, trusted partner status, cloud services and other capabilities.
Many of the solutions being implemented have relevance to businesses of different sizes and to both the public and private sectors, Hall notes. As the cost of sensors and the cost of compute power via cloud services continue to drop, more companies are taking an interest in what they can do in the IoT space. Where Verizon intends to be engaged is in packaging the applications -- many provided by partners or third parties -- with connections, cloud storage and compute of data, integration and professional services and managed security.
"There is a lot of fragmentation in this segment," Hall says. "That makes it harder for enterprises to know how to get started. We intend to make it simpler for them."
Rather than ask them to assemble the piece parts themselves and build the business case, Verizon Enterprise Solutions is offering an end-to-end approach that makes it simpler for a company to figure out what IoT can do for them and implement it.
Connected cars present an opportunity for Verizon Enterprise Solutions to team with Verizon-owned Hughes Telematics in offering a combination of network services and an app that can be used in the transportation sector for a variety of tracking services and more.
In the northeast US, Verizon is teaming with a company that developed solar-powered trash compactors that can be distributed to businesses by local municipalities. The devices carry ads, which is how Verizon's partner, BigBelly Solar, makes its money, but they also provide data to the municipality on the status of the trash can capacity so that trash collection is only done on an as-needed basis. Cities save and can also potentially get a cut of the ad revenue, Hall says.
The ABI Research component shows that manufacturing companies have been embracing IoT first, showing a whopping 204% increase in usage between 2013 and 2014. Much of that relates to monitoring systems for safety and efficiency, notes Hall.
"Downtime in an industrial plant is a huge expense," she notes. "The ability to do temperature control, lighting and facilities control and being able to turn on or off machines within an industrial plant can help them avoid downtime."
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading