IoT for Business: Five Key Trends for 2018

IoT for Business: Five Key Trends for 2018
(Summary of Wendy Schuchart’s Channel Partners Report)

Recent estimates put the number of IoT connected devices at between 8 and 15 billion – more than human beings on the planet. We’re talking everything from sensors, voting machines and pacemakers to voice-activated cars, personal assistants in the home (like Alexa) and personal health trackers (like FitBit and Leaf), along with toys, security devices, and even toothbrushes and pillows. The good news for you, they’re mostly mobile, and they all need to be connected. But how do you sell customers on the idea that IoT is past trend stage?

We decided to get you the “customer-eye IoT view” with an emphasis on mobility and connectivity. We spoke with industry leaders and changemakers about the biggest sea changes on the horizon that IT exec customers must be on top of.

1. Interconnectivity Is Your Best Friend
Kevin Cooke, product director at Stratusphere Solutions for Liquidware says the most underrated IoT application is automation. Not a specific IoT device, but the interaction of multiple IoT devices in concert with other outside information. Interconnection is the way data is exchanged – machine to machine communication really can’t be kept in silos. It’s not just a data latency issue – it literally needs to flow between devices in real time. Reliable bidirectional signals are the bloodstream for the system – going back and forth between devices to collect data and talk to each other.

Action Plan: 
Interconnectivity needs to be part of the implementation strategy, not something fixed after deployment. Figure out how much interconnectivity you think your IoT applications will need and then build an architecture that can handle about 10 times that amount out of the gate with the ability to scale to 100 times that amount.

2. Got IoT? Get Security
Cybersecurity will also undermine a lot of connected devices in the near-term future, with hackable devices and data leakage becoming very real concerns. People are upset about the Equifax leak (and rightfully so!), but IoT devices have the potential to leak information that’s just as sensitive and valuable. just because an IoT device is secure doesn’t mean IoT data is secure and vice versa. Case in point, the Mirai attack allowed hackers to get to connected “things” and then from there, they went into a DDoS attack which sent so much data to websites like Twitter, Spotify and Netflix, that everything froze up. The physical weakness translated to a data weakness.

Action Plan: 
Security ain’t sexy, but it’s job one. Build in context awareness for anything you wouldn’t want the world to have access to and make sure it’s shipshape against things that go bump in the night.

3. Voice Applications for Rich Integration
In 2018, voice-controlled devices like Alexa are going to be a driving force, all powered through the magic of IoT. The most underrated IoT application in business is seamless voice control of IoT devices. Adam Fingerman, chief experience officer and co-founder of ArcTouch, says he’s “bullish” on voice applications, particularly those built for voice platforms like Alexa, Google Home, Siri and Cortana.

Action Plan: 
Voice control and natural language processing could be a way to innovate internal processes which can lead to employee satisfaction — and if you have external customers, they’re going to expect this from your service or look to your competitor to answer back.

4. IoT Data Analytics Is a Game Changer
When it comes to IoT, the linchpin is all in how you deal with the millions of new data points. With this data, teams can now see how their products are being used. “They can use this information to create the next version of product with better quality, better user interfaces, and better features all targeted to specific markets,” Chalgren says. “The dataflow (i.e., the telemetrics) coming from these devices will enable the product, quality and engineering teams of IoT companies to quickly correctly evolve their products much faster.”

Action Plan: 
Put some serious energy into your IoT data feed and analysis capability and make sure you’re arming the engineering team with that data and a data wrangler who can explain it to them.

5. Moving Fast in the IoT Landscape
The biggest trend in IoT for 2018 and beyond, however, is speed. Regulatory hurdles and adoption rates can vary widely across industries and the one challenge that impacts every IoT company is the critical need to move fast. “To ensure first mover advantage in a highly competitive industry, more and more IoT consumer electronics companies rely on a cloud-based product life cycle management (PLM) solution to innovate while accelerating time to market,” says Chalgren.“

Action Plan: 
Don’t allow analysis paralysis to set in – expect this space to heat up in the next several years and move even faster than it already has. The pump is primed – we’re going to see a huge tidal change in the next three to five years and the organizations who are positioned to take advantage of this shift will be the dominant force in the coming decade.


SOLUS is focused on IoT and fiber security, if you’d like to learn more please give us a call.


AT&T adds Raleigh, N.C., to its 1 Gbps FTTP deployment target list

ATT (NYSE: T) has reached an agreement with the city of Raleigh, N.C., to be the next market where it will provide its 1 Gbps U-verse with GigaPower fiber to the premises (FTTP) service.

The plan outlines potential fiber deployments to deliver ultra-fast broadband to parts of Raleigh. Earlier this month ATT also garnered similar agreements to install its service in fellow North Carolina cities Winston-Salem and Durham.

Besides building out the FTTP-based network, the telco is looking to expand its U-verse footprint to more areas of North Carolina. Today, U-verse is available in Raleigh, Cary, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Asheville and surrounding areas.

This agreement follows advanced discussions ATT had with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN), a regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation networks to North Carolina.

ATT began discussions with the NCNGN about bringing its U-verse GigaPower offering to six communities, including Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, in April.

Outside of North Carolina, the telco began offering its U-verse with GigaPower with initial speeds of up to 300 Mbps in Austin, Texas, and surrounding communities in December 2013. Based on the initial service uptake, the telco later announced plans in January to double the households that would get the higher speed service. In addition to Austin, the service provider plans to extend service to Dallas this summer.

Complementing its efforts in North Carolina and Texas, ATT announced in April it would consider expanding its fiber network to up to 100 of what it calls candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas.

Further FTTP expansion will be driven by its ability to get permitting approval from local communities and getting access to necessary rights of way to lay fiber and install related network electronics.

TDS extends broadband around Medford and Stetsonville, Wis., serving 1,400 residents

TDS Telecom has put the final touches on a broadband stimulus project around Medford and Stetsonville, Wis., extending service to area businesses and nearly 1,400 residents.

The telco previously completed a portion of this project in mid-November.

For this network build, TDS installed nearly 84 miles of fiber cabling and 18 Remote Terminal (RT) cabinets, which protect the broadband loop carrier and related network electronics, throughout its Midway Telephone Company footprint.

TDS projected the cost of this project to be about $6.2 million. The rural utilities services (RUS) grant covered 75 percent of the cost and TDS invested the remaining 25 percent (about $1.6 million) to expand broadband to more area businesses and residents.

This is one of 11 broadband projects TDS Telecom received RUS grant for in its home state of Wisconsin. In May, the service provider completed a broadband stimulus project serving six counties in central Wisconsin, a buildout that will extend broadband services to about 1,900 area households.

Through the aid American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), TDS said it has already expanded access to high-speed Internet service to almost 30,000 households across the territories it serves in the United States.

Cincinnati Bell to cut its stake in CyrusOne

Cincinnati Bell is reducing its ownership of CyrusOne by selling 12.5 million of its units in CyrusOne’s operating partnership, CyrusOne LP.

CyrusOne began a public offering of 12.5 million new shares yesterday.

Participating underwriters have an option to purchase up to 1.875 million additional shares at the same price, if demand warrants.

When this offer is completed, Cincinnati Bell expects to own 49.0 percent (or 46.1 percent if the over-allotment option is exercised) of CyrusOne through its interests in shares of CyrusOne and common units of CyrusOne LP. As of the end of the first quarter of 2014, Cincinnati Bell said it owned 68 percent of CyrusOne.

Driven by the demand for cloud and colocation services, CyrusOne reported $78 million in first-quarter 2014 revenues, up 29 percent year-over-year. Likewise, CyrusOne’s first quarter of 2014 adjusted EBITDA totaled $42 million, up 32 percent compared to the same period a year ago.