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January 27, 2016updated 30 Aug 2016 3:16pm

Taming the IoT wild west with gateways, partners & standards

Analysis: How Dell’s Andy Rhodes, executive director for commercial IoT solutions, is planning 2016 to be the year of the use case.

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2016 is the year which many hope IoT is going to mature and abandon the hype cycle to become a common ‘thing’ amongst most mortals and businesses.

As the UK private sector could potentially bag $926 billion by adopting digital technology, Dell is working around companies based in Britain and into mainland Europe to help digital and IoT come to reality.

Andy Rhodes, executive director for commercial IoT solutions at Dell said: "IoT is this big word in our portfolio across the company," Rhodes. The company,last year launched its IoT Edge Gateway 5000 series.

"If companies are doing building management or energy management, incrementing factories, supply chain, logistics, and so on, we found that when they really get into these projects, most customers do not want to ship all the data to the cloud, and have it processed in the cloud or in a data centre.

"We looked at that space and said ‘why do we not create the ability to some of the process of a bunch of that data, very close to the source of that data, so it is not shipped around the world?’. My first role is to create the portfolio of what we call IoT gateways. There will be more to follow, but it is not just one product, it is lots of different things."

UK at heart of IoT plans as governments are urged to pay more attention to IoT

Rhodes visit to the UK at the beginning of January happened already in accordance with Dell’s plans to work on its partner channel.

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"We are still building out that strategy in Europe. That is one of the reasons why I am here right now. There will be UK ones. Some of them can be very small, and they are very regional and specific. These regional firms bring the operational expertise.

"Around the world, we see pockets of places and governments and industries that are accelerating their investment quicker than others. Some of the western governments, in the UK, Germany and France, are slightly lagging behind in the investments and the approach to the overall IoT market and they need to step up."

"I do not know what it is, if it is a lack of understanding or will to invest or prioritisation. They will start to fall behind if they really do not go off and look at what investments need to happen across the countries."

Rhodes said governments need to do more. "I am not saying they are a barrier, but they need to do more to promote this concept of IoT because it is going to have big impacts in their economies.

"If they do a lot, they should do more. If they do not do a lot, they should do more."

Where is IoT going?

He said: "The standards bodies are all in place. However, there is a lot of work to do in there to pick fewer standards but more robust ones.

"Make sure they represent the different solutions that need to be deployed. Standards bodies have a lot more to do over the next couple of years in driving those standards and ensuring that more and more of the ecosystem players adopt the right standards so it is easy for customers to connect all of this stuff. It is still the wild west."

As 2015 got people excited about the concepts, between 2016 to 2018 it will be "about real deployments with real business value, proving out the business value to the board".

"We will probably see a lot of case studies coming out in the next couple of years proving out the ROI of IoT for different cases.

"2016 is the year you move from hype to ‘let’s prove this stuff out; show me there is value in the hype; show me it works outside the lab."

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