PAC RADAR IoT Platforms in Europe 2018: Vertical IoT platforms are shaking up the market

Today market research and strategic consulting company PAC has published the PAC RADAR IoT Platforms in Europe 2018. It is the biggest market analysis of the vendor landscape around all kinds of IoT platforms. PAC screened more than 120 platforms, evaluated 43 of them in seven different segments and through this approach identified the best-in-class providers in different areas. Across all seven segments only 12 players achieved a “Best in Class” ranking: AWS, Bosch Software Innovations, FIWARE, GE Digital, Harman, IBM, Itron, Microsoft, PTC, SAP, Siemens and Software AG.

For this RADAR, PAC segments the market of horizontal IoT platforms in four different areas, based on different capabilities they provide for specific use cases. One message upfront: no vendor is perfect! Depending on the perspective you take on the market and which different sets of use cases you are looking for there are completely different market leaders.

IoT platforms for rapid application deployment allow simple and fast device connectivity, data visualization via drag & drop dashboards, and event processing. This use case often serves as an easy starting point for clients in their journey towards IoT and is therefore frequently applied in the context of rapid prototyping. Leading providers in this space are Microsoft, PTC, SAP and Software AG.

IoT platforms for device management support the critical management of various device fleets on a large scale. From a functional perspective, besides device provisioning, these platforms mainly focus on centrally managed software updates at the device level, but also remote configuration and control of devices. Leading providers in this space are Bosch Software Innovations, Microsoft, Siemens, and Software AG.

IoT platforms for analytics applications enable the development of more complex IoT applications, such as predictive maintenance. For this purpose, an IoT platform has to provide dedicated capabilities around data analytics, artificial intelligence, application integration, and application development. Leading providers in this space are GE Digital, IBM, Microsoft and SAP.

IoT platforms for device development are a newly emerging topic; IoT platforms and IoT operating systems on embedded devices will increasingly communicate directly with each other. This market will particularly be driven by the advent of a new range of lightweight IoT devices that communicate directly with an IoT platform via LPWAN technology (LoRA, Sigfox, NB-IoT), enabling security updates over the air on a large scale for many small devices out in the field. Leading providers in this space are AWS and Microsoft.

“The market of IoT platforms is highly complex and dynamic. We see new market segments emerging as well as some providers changing their positioning. While we see some market segments starting to consolidate, the number of providers in other areas is literally exploding”, says Arnold Vogt, Principal Consultant and IoT Analyst at the CXP Group.

Vertical IoT platforms are newly emerging 
PAC sees vertical IoT platforms as a new category of IoT platforms emerging in the market. They cannot be found in all market segments yet, but they are starting to appear in some areas, e.g. the industrial space, around connected vehicles and smart cities. The differences to a horizontal IoT platform are mainly related to the application side, and, to some degree, also to the aspect of connected devices. Horizontal IoT platforms mainly focus on application enablement, while vertical IoT platforms go deeper and also provide pre-developed vertical applications for use cases in specific contexts.

The purpose of an industrial IoT platform is to have full transparency of shop-floor operations in real time, and to increase operational efficiency both at a micro level (individual assets and workers) and at a macro level (processes). Leading providers in this space are GE Digital, PTC and Siemens.

IoT platforms for connected vehicles are designed to link vehicles to the external world for three main purposes: enabling connected services for the driver as well as vehicle-related services and providing vehicle data to the back end for further processing in other services. Leading providers in this space are Bosch, Harman, IBM and Microsoft.

IoT platforms for smart cities are designed to cover all kinds of use case around the efficient use of existing city infrastructures and the delivery of the collected data to many different users across the city. Leading providers in this space are FIWARE and Itron, but the Urban Software Institute, too, has a very high competence here.

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