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Vendor assessment programme for IoT

Would-be buyers receive a mapping of relative strengths and weakness of each platform as well as anonymous user references

The explosion in IoT platforms has led to confusion on the part of purchasers
The explosion in IoT platforms has led to confusion on the part of purchasers

An Internet of Things (IoT) trade group is helping potential purchasers to assess IoT software platforms. The UK-based IoT M2M Council (IMC) has created a template request for proposal (RFP) document for sourcing IoT software platforms and is now assessing software for compliance with the RFPs as a service to its membership.


The IoT M2M Council comprises of 25,000 enterprise users and OEMs that buy solutions for connecting remote devices. Board-member companies include Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Ingenu, Inmarsat, Intel, Semtech, Sigfox, Vodafone, Verizon and Wind River.


It developed its RFP in a wiki-based, open-source process, with input from numerous vendors and more than 100 IoT buyers.


HPE and Wind River (an Intel subsidiary) are among the programme’s initial sponsors, and the group is inviting other platform providers to join the programme.


"The number of IoT platforms has exploded, and it’s easy to get confused. We have excellent, quantitative data that tells us this kind of ’hands-on’ buying tool will be very important in procuring software," says Volkhard Bregulla, VP of global manufacturing & distribution industries with HPE, and a representative on the IMC board.


He added: "We surveyed over 100 rank-and-file members, and 100 per cent of buyers said they would find the template useful. We’ll prove the concept, and then move on to RFPs for connectivity services and hardware."


The RFP and assessment reports provide detailed coverage of device management, connectivity management, data analytics, security and more. Would-be buyers receive a mapping of relative strengths and weakness of each platform, as well as anonymous references from users and the results of a trial run by a third-party consultancy.


Participating vendors will pay a fee to cover assessment costs, and then get the benefit of a two-year lead-generation programme that includes quarterly educational webinars to help IoT buyers.


Keith Shea, VP & GM of Wind River Helix IoT Solutions Group commented: "The IMC programme creates a win-win for IoT technology adoption by helping buyers find the right technology solution and accelerating the long and arduous traditional RFP process."


Other board member-companies include Aeris, Avnet, Digi International, KORE, Laird Corp, ORBCOMM, MultiTech, PTC, Re-Teck, Telit and u-blox.


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