IoT Platforms and Software – 6th Edition

IoT Platforms and Software – 6th Edition

  • November 2021 •
  • 180 pages •
  • Report ID: 5993652 •
  • Format: PDF
IoT platforms provide developers with tools to connect and manage devices and integrate collected data into various applications and services. These platforms are intended to reduce the cost and development time for IoT solutions by providing standardised components that enterprises can build upon. Broadly speaking, most IoT platforms fall into one of the following three categories: connectivity management platforms, device management platforms and application enablement platforms.

Connectivity management platforms (CMPs) allow mobile operators to support their enterprise customers by providing functionality for provisioning, subscription management, cost monitoring and event management. About 67 percent of the global installed base of 1.74 billion IoT SIMs were managed using commercial connectivity management platforms (CMPs) at the end of 2020. Huawei is the leading IoT CMP vendor in terms of volume with close ties to the domestic operators China Mobile and China Telecom and managed over 900 million IoT SIMs in Q2-2021. Whale Cloud, formerly known as ZTEsoft and partly owned by Alibaba Group since 2018, is the runner up on the Chinese market. Cisco is the dominant IoT CMP vendor outside of China with about 180 million connections in mid-2021, followed by Vodafone and Ericsson.

Several players have entered the IoT CMP market in recent years. Mavoco delivers the IoT CMP of Nokia’s WING offering, a managed service leveraging a global core network. Similarly, EMnify’s and floLIVE’s product concepts encompass IoT CMPs and distributed core networks deployed in key countries and regions. 1NCE provides an IoT CMP offering since mid-2019 for third-party service providers that want to address high-volume, low bandwidth use cases. Addressing enterprise pain points related to multi-platform SIM deployments, IoTM provides a bring-your-own MNO platform, enabling management of large-scale SIM deployments through integrations with third-party CMPs. IoT CMPs are also a key component in the value proposition from IoT managed service providers such as Aeris, KORE, Wireless Logic, Cubic Telecom and Sierra Wireless.

The market for IoT device management and application enablement platforms is in a stage of transformation, driven by investments from the major cloud service providers Microsoft, AWS, Google and Alibaba. While IoT platform vendors have always had strengths and weaknesses, recent developments have led many vendors to re-align their solutions with a renewed focus on core capabilities. In many cases, vendors that have built IoT platforms on public cloud infrastructure are transitioning to provide higher-level building blocks that can be used as a starting point when building solutions and even end-to-end solutions for specific use cases. The trend has accelerated in 2020–2021 as a number of major industrial software vendors exited the IoT platforms market.

IoT platform providers span from start-ups to major technology companies, device makers and industrial software vendors. In the industrial sector, PTC continues to expand, leveraging its strategic alliances with Rockwell Automation and Microsoft. Both Microsoft and AWS have recently put efforts into providing more capabilities for edge devices, while extending their reach into the industrial markets. Asset-heavy companies like Hitachi leverage their expertise in both the operational technology and information technology domains to help customers increase asset performance and process efficiency. Important IoT platform providers with high involvement in the industrial sector further include the vendors Altair Engineering, Davra, Device Insight, Eurotech, Exosite, Losant, Relayr, Software AG and Waylay.

A varying degree of system integration is however still required to build and deploy an IoT solution. While large customers typically have the capabilities to integrate devices into their system architecture in-house, small and medium-sized firms turn to system integrators when investing in IoT solutions. To address this gap in the market, a group of vendors have developed full-stack IoT platforms, spanning hardware, embedded operating systems, platform services and applications. These solutions are designed to provide an integrated set of customisable building blocks to shorten the journey from prototyping to deployment. Tuya has emerged as the most prominent full-stack IoT platform vendor with a strong presence in the consumer electronics market. Other vendors with similar product concepts are Twilio that acquired Electric Imp in mid-2020, as well as Particle, Ayla Networks, Pycom and Taoglas. Berg Insight estimates that the market for commercial device management and application enablement platforms amounted to US$ 2.6 billion in 2020. Growing at a CAGR of 28 percent, the market value is expected to reach US$ 9.0 billion in 2025.