Welcome to my first post @ www.thisisiot.com. My intent is to journal my past and present thoughts, experiences and travel for those of you interested in the development of the cool and exciting Internet of Things business, which was born out of the boring old Machine to Machine (M2M) communications industry (not!) over the past 5 years, and both my personal and professional development as the CEO of Wyless while I happily carpet-bag the world building this fabulous business and meeting lots of cool people and companies along the way. After all, IoT promises to create trillions of dollars of value in the next ten years and my company Wyless is right in the middle of it, which is beyond exciting.
So what is the Internet of Things? Well, IoT is many things, but in general terms it represents the “Things” rather than the “People” that are or will be connected to the Internet, though it includes “Things” that inform “People” or “Corporations” about other “Things” or themselves. Sound confusing? It’s not, it’s actually really simple (think “FitBit”), but it can get really complicated (think of a sensor that sits in the water cooling system of a nuclear power plant and reports back temperature and pressure to a manufacturer 3 continents away).
So that’s what this blog/journal is about, besides examining the fun aspect of the mundane thousands of hours and millions of miles of travel that I am obligated to perform as the CEO of one of the leading and fastest growing Managed Services Providers in this space, Wyless – the Company that literally saved my life – and the brilliant and wonderful people that I work with worldwide to make this all happen. It will be a mixture of business and travel journal, with many real life examples of how IoT is transforming people’s lives and companies’ futures and making the world a greener place. And hopefully it will demonstrate what an honor it is to be a small but growing part of such an exciting industry.
Why Mobile World Congress in Barcelona? Because this year’s MWC show was officially the coming out party for IoT as the convergence of these technologies with the mobile industry became palpable, and the mainstream hype all of a sudden turned our niche business of Machine to Machine Communications into the incredibly sexy Internet of Things. After all, IoT and M2M are either about Mobility or Access (or both) and the Cellular networks are one of the main mediums for that (not to leave out Satellite, WiFi and Low Powered radio, but since my company is primarily focused on Cellular Managed Connectivity, I’m partial to it).
And Mobile World Congress is the place to be for anyone in the global Cellular industry, more so than any other trade show worldwide. All the “who’s who” are there, from the giant mobile operators to the handset manufacturers, all the core equipment suppliers, and all the big App and Software companies. (Interestingly, Google and Apple, perhaps the biggest mobile companies in the world, are strangely not present, at least not as far as I know).
It’s the trade show of 10 million Euro booths, lots of flash and hype and circa a hundred thousand people flooding Barcelona for four days. This year the keynote was from Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, fresh off the heels of his eye popping WhatsApp acquisition, and therefore the scene was even more abuzz than usual. Because this is the place where billions are made.
Also, Barcelona has to be about the coolest city ever, closely tied with a bunch of other places that I will profile as time goes on! I had the good fortune to be able to spend a few extra days here and I really appreciate this wonderful city as much or more than any other place I’ve visited, which has been many.
And so for myself and Wyless this was the third year in a row attending Mobile World Congress and this time I was lucky to have my wife Ann along for the ride and we stayed at the amazing Hotel d’Arts right on the beach.
I preceded her by a few days and had some great team events with my colleagues as well as many meetings with partners, vendors, mobile operators and industry analysts. We ourselves were fresh off the heels of completing our own acquisition, that of TM Data in Brazil and had just made a big splash announcement around acquiring a company called Aspider M2M in Holland, which we’ve since closed on. This was all coming down at the same time that IoT was trending at the MWC show. These deals were not nearly as lofty as WhatsApp, of course, not even by a hundredth, but it felt like our own coming out party for Wyless and our industry together, and I must admit that it was really magical feeling… realizing that we had built this company into a player, admittedly a small fish in a giant pond, but a disruptive standout nonetheless.
So perhaps Mobile World Congress 2014 was an inflection point for both Wyless and my career with the company, and that’s why I decided to open my blog with it. There have been other milestones, and perhaps I’ll have time to write about them in later posts.
And so for some highlights of MWC:
Connected Cars were everywhere, including a really cool connected Tesla at the Telefonica booth, a hint of what was to come one month later (Telefonica announcing that they will connect Teslas to their broadband networks across Europe).
Samsung showed off their new line of Wearables that pair with their Galaxy Phone line.
And without even knowing it people were already using Internet of Things / M2M technology all the time, all across Barcelona, which they do every day, because most of the taxis there do have Mobile POS Terminals. And that’s what IoT is: connecting Things to the Internet, e.g. a Taxi Cab to a Bank over the Cellular networks for credit card clearing so that people can make card payments instead of cash. It’s one of the most popular applications in our everyday lives that people just take for granted, but it’s powered by companies such as Wyless, providing secure private mobile networks over many of the hundreds of mobile operators around the world.
This is IoT!
As for Barcelona, words cannot describe its cool vibe, its beauty and its culture, so here are some photos from my few days there.
Until Next time….