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Following a very successful IoTSWC 2018, Marketing Manager, Marc Irwin shares Thingstream’s learnings and his view on the past, present and future of the IoT Solutions World Congress.
In 2017, Thingstream was invited to join a partner at IoTSWC (IoT Solutions World Congress) with a demonstration of its low-power, low-bandwidth, MQTT Anywhere IoT connectivity network. This was achieved by creating a Thingstream IoT enabled train set. The demonstration train set became quite a draw and introduced Thingstream to the European and worldwide IoT marketplace.
The demo wasn’t much to look at but it powerfully illustrated the simplicity, flexibility and sturdiness of the Thingstream software combined with seamless access to the GSM network, proving without a doubt that Thingstream had a place in the IoT world.
Simply, it was a toy train with a Raspberry Pi, modem and battery attached. One of our reference design buttons sent a message via the GSM network using MQTT-SN to the to the Pi which controlled the train’s movement. To ensure that the train was always on time, a motion sensor counted the number of rotations per minute, working out an average. Intelligent programming was added to the mix by the Data Flow Manager – a visual programming interface within the Thingstream platform – which would cause an alarm to sound, should the average speed of the train fall outside preset parameters.
From a mechanical point of view, it may have been a bit Heath Robinson, but it was very successful in showing visitors what was achievable with the uncomplicated application of the Thingstream SDK, a SIM card and readily available hardware.
One year later and Thingstream has matured to become a serious player in the IoT connectivity marketplace. Today, Thingstream came to the show with an increasing partner ecosystem and real life, live application success stories from customers that illustrate the benefits and competitive advantages Thingstream offers compared to its rivals.
Thingstream’s MQTT-based, global, low-power connectivity network and Data Flow Manager is answering some complex issues raised by users of other IoT connectivity providers, especially in the cost of infrastructure, coverage, data throughput, interactivity and the bottomless pit of roaming charges.
MQTT is the de-facto IoT messaging protocol. Using the Thingstream carrier-grade MQTT Broker, Data Flow Manager, and most importantly the fast prototype project timeline (see below image), makes initiating an IoT strategy simpler, faster, easier to maintain and scale up. Add in the low-cost-of-ownership this gives Thingstream several distinct advantages in the IoT space.
Situated directly opposite the massive Microsoft stand, Thingstream firmly marked its place in the exhibition with a bold booth towered over by an impressive monolithic totem, making sure that visitors could see where we were from all around the vast hall.
Thingstream welcomed visitors, keynote speakers, fellow exhibitors, potential partners, press and analysts from around the world. Thingstream’s team of system architects, engineers, sales and marketing staff took them through the Thingstream offering.
Reactions to the presentations and demonstrations were always the same. No matter where the visitor came into the conversation, an understanding of the creative use of existing communication tech, our powerful software offering and access to the global GSM network proved to be so compelling that in some instances, companies with already mature projects were now re-evaluating a large part of their software and connectivity platform plans.
Other major players who were exhibiting such as Deloitte and Microsoft were sending potential project owners to our stand, demonstrating that they had every confidence in the Thingstream product. Many ad-hoc meetings ended with the exchange of reference design hardware, SDK’s and technical software support offered with a view to speeding up POC’s or improving existing IoT applications.
Technicians and business owners from Hardware manufacturers and IoT platforms also joined us to discuss becoming partners and take away information, SIM cards and access to software to make sure their devices and platforms were ‘Thingstream Ready’ giving their customers and users a more complete IoT offering.
Thingstream partners joining the team on the stand also enjoyed the buzzy atmosphere and conversations that lead to real business and useful connections being made. Pylot and Pathfindr also joined us in the analyst briefings giving first-hand accounts of successful applications of Thingstream ready devices. Perhaps the most notable of these were the farming applications highlighted by South African partner, Pylot and UK partner Pathfindr’s Rolls Royce diesel engine tracking and monitoring devices. The briefings were well accepted by the analyst community and there is already evidence of the positive reactions in online content and reports:
Thingstream CEO, Philipp Bolliger presented a keynote speech on the topic of low-cost, low-power, global asset tracking which was very well received and judging by the number of photographs taken of the slides being projected, was reported way beyond the event for some time. A lively debate started after the presentation with some very complex questions being succinctly answered by Thingstream team members.
Evidence of how well the keynote was received was soon felt by the team working the Thingstream stand. For the next few hours, the stand became even more busy with requests for practical demonstrations. At one point, people were standing shoulder to shoulder like tinned sardines!
All of the Thingstream team enjoyed the experience and came away with a positive feeling about the event. New friendships were made and older ones reinforced. At the time of writing, it is our intention to visit IoTSWC in 2019. Our offer will have developed even further, as will the supporting marketing and our ability to put across that message. Our partner network will have grown and the number of ‘Thingstream Ready’ devices and platforms available will give visitors the opportunity to build an entire IoT strategy off the back of a visit to the show.
Here’s to IoTSWC2019. Hope to see you there!
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Thingstream Marketing Manager
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