1. The telecom industry’s new reality: a world built on robust ecosystem collaboration

The telecom industry’s new reality: a world built on robust ecosystem collaboration

The impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) is being felt through almost all sectors as enterprises prepare their digital transformation plans. However, despite its name, does a true internet of things exist? The amount of connected things we have is constantly increasing, but these things are not communicating widely with each other and essentially, the collaborative spirit of the internet is not there yet. In my journey of change and with Ericsson’s recent presence at the IoT World event, I am exploring how we get there through strong partnerships, co-developing ecosystems, and turning solutions into specifics.

The four steps to the true Internet of Things

Building an ecosystem linking devices, applications, service providers and enterprises — but primarily one that includes partners and customers — is key to IoT development. These are some crucial pain points to address before we find an effective collaborative spirit:

  1. Connectivity
    Don’t connect to just anything. Connectivity is the foundation of IoT and the connectivity you choose matters. Once products are connected, the connectivity experience becomes part of the user experience, impacting customer perceived value. Connectivity choices need to be made early on, and the product should make data-driven choices about which network and which commands to execute at any given point. But connecting is just the first step.
  2. Manage
    To reach that goal of a collaborative internet, we need a way to manage connectivity, devices and data on a global basis, with consistent service levels. Platforms are needed which manage networks, SIMs and devices effectively.
  3. Secure
    To achieve an efficient collaboration, there needs to be a binding trust between all parties within the IoT ecosystem – can we be sure that the device is who it says it is? Can we be sure of the data integrity? Industries everywhere are digitizing, which is creating a multitude of new security requirements for IoT and creating greater demands to ensure privacy and confidentiality.
  4. Monetize
    For the collaborative spirit of the internet to materialize, everyone in the ecosystem needs to be able to make money. If value cannot be delivered to all the parties in the ecosystem, IoT is simply not going to work. In the non-linear value chain of IoT, a monetization system must be able to bill and settle multiple parties at the same time, with different pricing such as reseller models.

The challenges that come with IoT

The challenge today is that IoT deployments miss the scale that we see in the smartphone and web environments. There is a high level of fragmentation that cellular standards can help with here.

Making IoT development easier

At Ericsson, we make it easy to bring solutions to market with the IoT Accelerator. Ericsson IoT Accelerator is a cloud based horizontal cross-industry offering that provides a set of functionalities to enable agile creation and deployment of solutions for IoT, offered as a service. The IoT Accelerator platform enables telecom service providers to control and track all of their IoT devices and networked assets locally, regionally and globally. Moreover, customers are able to customize the ecosystem exactly to their needs and build trusting relationships using our IoT services.

The importance of collaboration

Collaborating with competent and efficient partners has a number of benefits – from helping businesses accelerate the creation and launch of IoT applications and services, to providing more choices to control connected IoT devices. Products are becoming connected, and that connectivity enables us to bring content and services from other partners into the offering.

I was recently at IoT World in London where the focus was on “Developing a Strategy for Industrial IoT – Creating a Culture that Fosters Innovation”. Find out more information about this and how we are helping businesses collaborate easier.

Written by Jeff Travers

Drawing on 30 years of experience in telecommunications and IT, Jeff Travers is Head of Internet of Things for Ericsson. Based in Stockholm, he has held management and sales positions in global markets, most recently with Ericsson Russia based in Moscow. Jeff holds an MBA from IMD Lausanne, and a BSc Economics from the London School of Economics.

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