MWC Los Angeles: 9 Companies to Watch

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Illustration: © IoT For All

IoT For All made the pilgrimage to sunny Los Angeles to attend MWC Los Angeles last week and we came away excited to see momentum growing within the IoT sector. The continued maturity of cellular IoT technologies such as LTE-M and NB-IoT and the launch of private LTE networks such as OnGo/CBRS within the United States and Multefire in Japan has the industry buzzing.

We believe 2020 will finally be the year that large-scale IoT deployments become more commonplace as the tailwinds of decreasing communications and infrastructure costs coupled with technical advances across the board bode well for the entire industry.

Polte

Polte provides a location services platform that makes use of ubiquitous cellular LTE networks to create a cost-effective alternative to traditional GPS technology for both indoor and outdoor applications. IoT For All met with Ed Chao (CEO), Trent Waterhouse (CMO), and JC Elliott (Director of Marketing) to talk about their recent $12.5M funding round and the momentum they’re seeing within the market for their innovative technology.

Polte supplies their firmware to baseband chipmakers such as Altair and Sequans to enable carrier-agnostic location services via patented multi-lateration techniques based on cell tower locations and cell site reference signals. Their location service can provide 30-80 meter positional resolution indoors and outdoors without using GPS–reducing component costs and increasing battery life in the process. Customers and partners simply subscribe to their cloud service to gain access to positional information and are charged on a consumption basis. Polte technology is already powering location services for several device makers that use LTE-M connectivity and the company plans to offer NB-IoT support next year. Learn more about this exciting alternative to GPS at https://polte.com

Geotab

We sat down with Colin Sutherland, Geotab’s EVP of Sales & Marketing, to learn more about the company’s GPS fleet management solutions and their data strategy. Geotab is the world’s leading connected vehicle company, helping businesses leverage the power of data and analytics to better manage and track fleet performance. The nearly 2 million vehicles within their growing network collectively drive 83 million miles daily and generate over 3 billion data points per day.

Geotab is very active in advocating for data and interface standards across car manufacturers and OEMs to help combat climate change and promote worker safety. They have nearly 50 data scientists that slice and dice their massive data sets stored in Google’s BigQuery database and provide anonymous aggregated data for free to enable better decisions on behalf of their customers and the fleet industry at large.

Geotab views the vehicle as an extension of the workplace and is committed to improving the safety and working conditions of drivers. With autonomous electric vehicles on the horizon and cars increasingly being viewed as a subscription service given the success of companies such as Uber and Lyft, they are very bullish about their position in the market and we agree with them. For more information, please visit https://www.geotab.com/

SAP

We spoke with Rohit Tripathi, SVP and Head of Products, and Meenal Prasad, Head of Product Management, at the show and learned about how they are bringing people and things together into a cohesive next-generation enterprise offering called SAP IoT Connect 365. SAP Digital Interconnect enterprise services simplify object connectivity, roaming and subscription management and data security across multiple regions and networks through a single connection and contract.

From their vantage point, the next generation of IoT services will need to do more than simply connect physical objects; they will need to overlay human-centric data from other sources such as weather, natural disasters, social networks and geopolitical events to provide business continuity and prescriptive adjustments to system performance. Adoption of IoT Connect 365 continues to grow and they are finding that customers are starting to embrace their transaction-based, pay-as-you-go model. They believe that as IoT becomes critical to business operations, risk management and simplified global reach will become more important to customers. Learn more about their offerings at https://www.sap.com/products/enterprise-iot-connect.why-sap.html#why-sap

Synchronoss

Synchronoss provides platforms that help customers create new experiences, engagement models and revenue streams and they recently launched an IoT platform in the smart building space with AT&T. Mary Clark, Chief Product Officer and CMO, told us that their Smart Buildings Platform, which is typically sold through operators such as AT&T, has been very successful and gives their customers new tools to monitor and control utilities and security systems–helping them to optimize energy consumption and reduce costs.

The platform, which is essentially the building’s operating system, can be easily integrated into structures less than 25 years old, and provides facilities managers with a single cohesive view of the entire building. Although Synchronoss is heavily focused on their smart building product right now, they see emerging opportunities in curb management in the future given the proliferation of alternative forms of transportation such as scooters and bikes. For more information, visit https://synchronoss.com/products/iot/

Illustration: © IoT For All

CalAmp

CalAmp is a telematics pioneer with over 10 million customers worldwide and a vast portfolio of carrier-agnostic devices that provide asset visibility and control for numerous industries such as commercial fleets, public safety, insurance and construction. Michael Burdiek, CEO, and Kim Haneke, Director of Marketing Communications, told us that they’re aggressively expanding their portfolio of solutions through a hub-and-spoke strategy. They are moving downstream and creating a layered vehicle area network that enables customers to not only track their vehicles but also gain insights about cargo and shipments through low-cost BLE devices that can be easily configured to communicate through the installed hub. For instance, a trucking company can view detailed telematics information about the driver and cab as well as perform cold-chain monitoring of the contents in the trailer through the multi-modal vehicle area network. The company’s focus on IoT solutions should unlock further growth and help solidify their leadership position within the telematics industry. For more information, visit https://www.calamp.com/

Mobilogix

Mobilogix is a California-based startup that specializes in the technology convergence space of IoT and M2M communications. They utilize their core competency in telemetry and systems integration expertise to create intelligent end-to-end solutions that connect people to machines. Mathi Gurusamy, CEO, and Charlie Williams, VP of Sales and Business Development, met with IoT For All to talk about their recent work in the micro-mobility sector.

Micro-mobility addresses the connectivity needs of the millions of rentable electric scooters and bikes offered by companies such as Bird and Lime. Mobilogix provides the GPS-enabled device installed on many scooters plus the software solution used for remote management and control over a LTE-M connection. They have seen tremendous growth in this product line and hope to augment the solution with better data analytics, edge processing and machine learning in the future. If you’re looking for a turnkey tracking solution with the option for customized elements, visit https://mobilogix.com/

Vodafone

Vodafone is an established leader in the IoT connectivity space and their recently announced partnership with AT&T to enable NB-IoT roaming between North America and Europe underscores their commitment to simplifying deployments for the entire industry. IoT For All met with Phil Skipper, Head of Business Development M2M, to learn more about their App-Invent application enablement platform and how they engage customers.

App-Invent was launched in June 2019 and is an application-as-a-service platform targeted at the mid-market that specializes in asset tracking and remote monitoring. Vodafone combines a robust application platform with highly trained local teams capable of autonomously scoping, customizing and integrating applications in direct collaboration with customers. It has flexible pricing that optimally blends CapEx and OpEx business models to match customer needs. They are starting to scale with their customers and view 5G technologies such as low-cost cellular IoT and private LTE as accelerants for the industry. For more information, visit https://www.vodafone.com/business/iot/managed-iot-connectivity/iot-platform/app-invent

Comcast

Comcast has been making great progress over the past few years in breaking down the silo between mobile and fixed connectivity. With over 20 million Xfinity hotspots and 1.5 million Comcast Mobile subscribers using their Verizon-powered MVNO network, they are quickly evolving from a traditional cable operator into a connectivity-agnostic communications powerhouse. Their MachineQ division continues to lead the way with LoRa network offerings and the company’s focus on security across the board increases peace of mind for anyone connecting their things to the Internet–whether that be smart home devices or businesses increasing productivity through remote monitoring. Patty Loyack, VP Xfi, Multifamily, and Digital Security, told IoT For All that providing seamless connectivity not only enables magical experiences for customers but it is lowering customer churn and driving growth for the business. Check them out at https://www.xfinity.com

Accenture

We met with Jefferson Wang, Managing Director, Strategy, Communications, Media, and Technology, to get Accenture’s insights on the state of the IoT market. From their perspective, the IoT industry is going through a reboot of sorts and large enterprise customers are taking a step back to focus on data governance, access policies and privacy ahead of large-scale rollouts.

Accenture still believes the IoT market is fragmented with many custom implementations but they are seeing an increased commitment to IoT projects due to customer awareness of the power of data. They think 5G will be a big catalyst for growth next year with cellular IoT protocols such as LTE-M and NB-IoT leading the way. If you’re a large enterprise just getting started with an IoT project, check them out at https://www.accenture.com/us-en