Our key takeaways from Smart City World Expo and Enlit 2021 

This past month has seen two big events on the Internet of Things calendar take place, and in-person too! Our solutions team in the last few weeks have been to Smart City World Congress in Barcelona and Enlit 2021 in Milan, providing us with the opportunity to meet with partners, discover new innovations and take some learnings back to our wider team and customers. 

It was great to see so many faces that we’ve spoken to on teams and not only look at what’s happening in the market for Smart Cities but also across Buildings, Health, Utilties and Energy, as well as scoping and deploying new innovations for SMEs to bring the value of IoT to more of the market too. 

Our focus on partnerships allows us to ensure that we provide holistic value to our customers – ultimately, we want to place the right solution, in the right place and that means we need to be engaging with the IoT space at events like these to ensure we continue to do that going forward. 

So, what have we learnt? Here are some of the key takeaways from the last month: 

 

Growing use cases across the European market 

Across the IoT ecosystem there are lots of different use cases across the market in Europe and even further afield in the likes of Brazil and Australia. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is becoming more apparent with solution providers open to sharing results and work from proofs of concepts all around the world to help pave the way for the market in other countries. 

From working closely with partners across lots of different verticals, taking learnings from different deployments enables us to identify proven use cases across different network technologies and take already proven solutions to the market so that customers can deliver on their outcomes both faster and more efficiently. 

 

Growing maturity and innovation within the LoRaWAN ecosystem 

These events were a great chance to expand our LoRaWAN eco-system, especially as our recent focus has been on developing partnerships around cellular connectivity. 

We’re beginning to see more sensor and device manufacturers integrating LoRaWAN radios into devices and the growing demand for LoRaWAN networks across Europe. As an open protocol this is allowing the variety of hardware suppliers to grow, especially in a time of hardware shortages giving some advatanges against proprietary IoT protocols. The work of the LoRa Alliance in helping provide the LoRaWAN certification program is also a key pillar to adding credibility to the device ecosystem. 

As we continue to build national LoRaWAN infrastructure in the UK, seeing gorwing maturity and innovation from the entire ecosystem opens up amazing opportunities for organisations in the UK to start adopting IoT solutions on a wider scale and at a more competitive price point. 

 

New innovations for the SME market 

Over the past few years it’s been clear that the IoT market has been focussed on delivering solutions aimed at enterprises or the public sector to establish broader use cases and also build on proven concepts within the market. 

It’s clear that more solutions aimed at SMEs and lowering the barrier to entry for industrial IoT solutions to the wider B2B market are starting to emerge and we expect to see more organisations taking their first real commercial steps into the Internet of Things in the coming year. 

Even this week we were scoping and deploying some new innovation with a new partner to demonstrate a much more cost-effective building management system for SMEs (more on that in the New Year!). SMEs are often forgotten when it comes to IoT because the market is obsessed with delivering astronomical propositions into Enterprises. We’re determined to break that curve and deliver cost effective, agile solutions to SME partners. 

 

Focus on the problem, not the technology 

Being clear on what it is you want to achieve through the Internet of Things will help you get results faster; don’t talk about technology, talk about the problem you need to solve. It’s clear that the successful IoT projects across Europe are focussed on the outcome rather than the technology used. 

As a provider that is connectivity agnostic, it’s important that we match the technology to the outcome, ensuring that the right data is captured and that the solutions in place are best suited to that. It’s clear that it can’t always be a one size fits all approach and that for different use cases, in different environments, with varying external and internal factors, solutions will flex and change with the customer. 

If you’re looking to carbon copy existing solutions and expect the exact same outcomes you may be in for a bit of a shock! That’s why we also recommend running proofs to allow you to mitigate significant upfront investment and to help ensure you’re delivering proof points with the solutions you look to deploy. 

 

Moving into 2022 

As we move into a new year it’s clear that the IoT ecosystem is beginning to thrive and we’re excited to continue to work with our own ecosystem of partners to continue to bring value to customers both new and old. 

If you have challenges and use cases that you feel IoT can help solve reach out to our team and we’d be delighted to help you in leveraging IoT to support your organisations goals.