The past few months have been extremely busy, but in a great way because of the awareness and momentum that both IIC testbeds and OMG standards have generated.
After keynoting the YU-INFO 2015 and ICIST 2015 conferences in Kapaonik, Serbia in March, I spent a couple days vacationing in Belgrade. Kapaonik has a ski resort. which was lovely but I found myself in a four-hour traffic jam caused by snow. At least I felt like I was home!
Boston's winter was rough this year. Fortunately I spent some of it in Chile's sunny summer.
My next destination was the OMG, CSCC, IIC & CISQ meetings in Reston in March. We set a record in attendance, culminating with the largest IIC meeting ever. Unfortunately, we lost Ken Berk, our Vice President of Business Development, which was sobering for all of us https://www.omg.org/Ken/. I want to thank you for your thoughts and prayers for him and his family -- an extension of OUR family, the OMG family.
April started off with a simple 44-hour, 40-minute door-to-door trip from Coyhaique, Aysén, Chile to Singapore where I spoke at the IoT Asia 2015 show. It was quite a well-produced show, with about 2000 attendees from all over Asia. There was intense interest in IIC and OMG IIoT standards.
My next stop included 14 hours of flying and 13 hours of sitting around in London (I enjoyed the flying more) before arriving in Hannover, Niedersachsen in Germany, the largest IT trade fair in the world (6,500 exhibit booths, 250,000 attendees). The scale of the venue was so large that there is a bus system to navigate through the fairgrounds, though I walked for the exercise and fresh air. The fair is the size of a small city, with 20 major exhibition halls. Look at the map (https://www.hannovermesse.de/dynmaps_hm15/map?lang=EN) and keep in mind that hall #9, in the bottom right-hand corner, is roughly the size of the Moscone Center in San Francisco!
It was an incredible event. "Industrie 4.0" was a major theme, which was displayed all over the fairgrounds - "Industrial Internet" less so, but still evident. I can't even count the number of times I showed my card, got no glint of recognition, but then pointed out the acronym "IIC" -- and was immediately recognized. My schedule on Monday also included a lot of very interesting meetings, including one with the Economics Minister of Slovenia (guarded by private security with microphones in their sleeves) to talk specifically about the IIC and the future of the Industrial Internet, as well as how standards are created.
Tuesday started out bright and early with the launch of the "Plattform Industrie 4.0 Konsortium", which is meant to bring together all the threads of what's going on in Germany around Industrie 4.0 (I4.0). A deputy cabinet minister invited me to attend and send the message that I4.0 and IIC are cooperative and complimentary initiatives. In fact, the announcement featured at least six mentions of IIC. I then participated in the PwC-sponsored Global Industry Summit, where I gave a brief talk about the Industrial Internet and standards, which was very well received (and generated quite high-level interest).
That evening, I was privileged to be invited to the conference's Gala Dinner, where I was seated with the head of Deutsche Messe AG (parent company of Hannover Fairs USA and one of the world’s largest trade show producers) and the head of international relations of the company as well as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce of the United States. The Gala was quite something -- 1,000 people feasting on topnotch cuisine, the Hannover Philharmonic Orchestra playing, local opera stars singing Mozart arias, and fireworks blazing. Quite an impressive event.
I learned that while this year's "country partner" for Hannover Fair was India, next year's venue will be the United States and I was invited to help plan it!
Wednesday wasn't any quieter. I spent a long time with the top executives of HARTING, an old-line firm (the second exhibitor ever at Hannover Fair in fact, which always gets a visit from the Chancellor when the Fair opens). The company builds connectors and smart devices. The company is joining IIC and is interested to talk to all testbed developers about being the "bottom of their stack". This is very important to them (one of the executives that attended was a Mr. Harting -- grandson of the founder).
Next I met with Vogel, the publisher that has printed many articles about OMG and IIC over the years. I then spent a couple hours with Rainer Glatz, head of VDMA (a major industry association and the people that started I4.0). I then presented at Accenture's in-booth event. Their support for IIC and OMG is unwavering.
Lastly, I was scheduled to speak to two mid-level Microsoft executives - instead, six high-level executives crowded into the meeting room to talk about both OMG and IIC. Microsoft's commitment to the future of the Industrial Internet and standards to smooth change is clear.
At the end of the week, I used up the last bits of my round-the-world ticket to go to an event we co-sponsored with the Club de Investigación<https://www.clubdeinvestigacion.com/> in San José, Costa Rica on IoT. This was definitely one of the best events we've ever done with them, over more than twenty years of joint events! There was talk given by a dairy farmer on IoT-enabled dairy farming. His cows produce up to 40% more milk than the other cows at other dairies in the area. This from a MIT-trained fellow whose previous job was Editor-in-Chief of the nation's biggest newspaper. You never know where you’ll meet another MIT alumnus. It's an interesting world!(agenda & videos for above at https://www.clubdeinvestigacion.com/usuarios/articles/seminario-ejecutivo-aplicaciones-retos-y-oportunidades-de-internet-de-las-cosas.html )
My next stop was Stockholm, where I met my friend of more than thirty years, Agneta Jacobson, who arranged a very full day for me. The day started with breakfast at THINGS Stockholm, a startup incubator focused on supporting Swedish startups that build software for the Internet of Things. I then spoke with the Board of the Swedish National IoT program (SIP-IOT), which also ran the Spring 2015 IoT event in the afternoon (I was the keynote).
I also met with key influencers in the IoT space and with press & analysts. If you know Swedish, you can read my interview with Marlène Sellebråten, the editor-in-chief of mobilbusiness - https://www.mobil.se/mobilbusiness/internet-of-everything/stora-sociala-f-r-ndringar-v-ntar-med-iot#.VT1KPEJ7gUU[AM1]
I returned to OMG headquarters at the end of April to congratulate out staff for their outstanding work in Reston. Berlin, Germany is the next destination for our quarterly TC meeting which is right around the corner in June. Germany is the European epicenter of IIoT, smart manufacturing and automotive systems, so the meeting looks to be our largest European gathering yet.
I’ll have more updates on my travels for this month in the next blog post.