A new report released Tuesday by Verizon paints a compelling case for the carriers’ channel partners to jump into IoT: a projected 25.6 billion connected devices in 2019, up from 9.7 billion in 2014 and on track for 30 billion in 2020; dramatic underutilization of IoT data; and VC investments in enterprise-focused IoT startups outpacing consumer buy-ins to the tune of 75 percent.
The State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016 report combines Verizon usage data, including new IoT connections, with Oxford Economics research commissioned by Verizon, interviews with customers working on IoT projects in the private and public sectors, case studies, and insights from Verizon subject matter experts and third-party research firms.
It’s not surprising that Verizon and other connectivity providers are working to sell their partner communities on IoT: The company estimated 2015 revenue from IoT and telematics offerings at more than $495 million and has invested heavily in its ThingSpace IoT platform and a range of open APIs exposing everything from maps to security. But none of that matters without wired or, increasingly, wireless links.
"Connectivity is our foot in the door," said Mary Beth Hall, director, connected solutions, M2M product marketing for Verizon, in a briefing. "We're going to grow from there."
Hall cited a range of real-world use cases, including property management software maker BuildingLink.com working with a luxury high-rise to notify tenants when there’s open equipment in the onsite gym or laundry area. The app was built on the ThingSpace platform using APIs and sensors placed on washers and dryers and treadmills.
"We are really simplifying the ability to create IoT applications for our partners and customers," said Hall, adding that there are now 5,000 developers and 2,000 partners in the ecosystem. On the horizon are a ThingSpace Market, where coders and Verizon can sell IoT solutions, and a ThingSpace Portal for over-the-air software releases to IoT devices where manual upgrades aren't practical.
“The ability to manage your devices once you’re a customer, with reports and alerts, will also be in this platform," said Hall. “We're going to launch that by the second quarter."
"Verizon’s expansion into IoT positions it to sustain long-term wireless revenue growth in a saturating smartphone market," noted TBR research analyst Steve Vachon. "Verizon is developing solutions for industries with high demand for IoT connectivity including energy and transportation."
Data, Standards, Security
One missing piece in many current IoT deployments is analytics.
The report estimates that only 8 percent of businesses currently use more than 25 percent of their IoT data, and that usage rate will top out at 48 percent of data being analyzed over the next two to three years. Best-case, more than half of collected data is ...