The past few months have been hectic but exciting because of the interest and response to collaboration and standardization across the IT industry, so I’ve been a little behind updating my blog, but I’m now back on track.
In April, I attended the launch workshop for the International Institute for Innovation Aysén-Patagonia, a new institute in southern Chile dedicated to IoT applications for the environment. This is a quite broad topic, including issues like agriculture (both crops & animals), environmental pollution, fisheries, even tourism. The first two days were held in the magnificent original Congress building in Chile's capitol, Santiago, with the final day among the community in the south, in the town of Coyhaique. There was tremendous interest from universities and companies big and small, including mining companies CODELCO and BHP Billiton, telecommunications vendors like Entel, agriculture players like John Deere, and established technology players like EMC and CISCO. There will be more on this later, but it has absolutely increased our visibility in a growing market, South America.
Last month, I participated in the annual MIT CIO Symposium. This excellent event, held on the MIT campus, features hundreds of Chief Information Officers learning and sharing information about the art & science of information technology, and is always worth a visit. I had to leave early to fly to Chicago for the joint meeting with Plattform Industrie 4.0 but I still managed to squeeze in a few useful meetings with some new people (as well as some people I'd spoken to over the past year but never met), including Frank Gillett of Forrester Research. He’s a very knowledgeable and interesting fellow.
Late May featured the beginning of another round-the-world trip: Boston to Dallas to Astana to Istanbul to Tokyo to Beijing to Shenzhen to San Francisco to Orlando to Munich to Boston. (Well, mostly around-the-world.)
First stop was Dallas (actually Allen, TX) to keynote the annual No Magic World Symposium for the Object Management Group® (OMG®) and Industrial Internet Consortium® member No Magic. This year, I delivered a keynote speech about the value of standards subtitled, "Standards are Boring" (video). It was great to see so many people focusing on the importance of model-driven and model-based systems, not only for Internet of Things implementation but all sorts of systems. I also met with representatives of INCOSE, the International Council on Systems Engineering. We have a long history of successful collaboration with INCOSE (including of course the development of the SysML® standard itself) and I'm excited to be opening an entirely new chapter with them.
The next stop on my journey was to the Astana Economic Forum in Astana, the capital of the central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan. On the request of OMG and Industrial Internet Consortium member EMC, I participated in a technology development panel to talk about standardization and the Industrial Internet; other panelists talked about open government data (which intersects with my Advisory Board role at the Data Coalition and is an area in need of standardization as well). This fascinating conference featured several thousand attendees including world leaders and thought leaders like Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and the first woman to hold that position; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan. Astana (which means "capital" in the Kazakh language) is the astonishingly modern capital of the huge country of Kazakhstan. Built only 17 years ago beside the old city of Tselinograd (itself actually the much older city of Akmolinsk), it features broad boulevards, planned neighborhoods and spectacular, interesting architecture in the National Library, the Presidential Palace, the Palace of Independence (where the Forum was held), and the seemingly out-of-place but lovely Greco-Roman style Opera House. This city of some two million inhabitants sprang out of the northern steppe of the country less than a decade after independence for Kazakhstan, once a republic of the Soviet Union and is still a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
During a discussion with government and quasi-government development experts, I realized that the country has much in common with Chile -- a similar-sized population, a leading natural resources economy (in Kazakhstan's case, not only mining but oil & gas), and a strong focus on education to move the country to a knowledge-based economy. I'm glad I mentioned it, as it quickly developed that they had noticed the same thing and already initiated a dialog with Chilean leaders and have many of the same contacts as I, a mere 16,000km away.
It was an honor and a pleasure to visit this young capital and young country, where the native tongues of Russian and Kazakh clearly share pride of place with English and other languages (especially Turkish). And I left with a commitment from at least one company (Tech Garden) to join the Industrial Internet Consortium, and with lots of interest in OMG standards as well.
From Astana, I made my way to Istanbul, a magnificent city and the cultural and commercial (but not governmental) capital of Turkey, spanning the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia. The smartcon conference, held in a modern hotel away from the old city, was exceptional, with over 1,000 attendees learning about the Internet of Things and Big Data, and listening to some 40 local startups explain all sorts of interesting ideas. My keynote on the Industrial Internet, collaboration and standards was very well received, and private meetings with local companies (as well as the local branches of international players) revealed pent-up interest in our groups. I expect growth in this area over the next year.
The beginning of June featured the IIC quarterly meeting in Tokyo as well as meetings with major Japanese companies and key Japanese national ministries (including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). As I write this, I'm off to a week in Shenzhen and Beijing to meet with government ministries and companies there. I’ll be back in the States next week in Orlando, Florida, the location of the next OMG TC meeting. If you’re in the area, feel free to attend the complimentary IIoT Challenges and Opportunities event in the afternoon of June 22nd. Details at http://www.omg.org/iiot.
Hope to see you there!