Those of you who know me know I love travel; not only the opportunity to meet new people and see new places, interacting with the smartest people in the world, but even the travel itself. I am not with the legion of travelers who complain bitterly; last year's 350,000 miles on the road was invigorating. About half of my travel is to share OMG's vision of open, implemented standards to support interoperability in many IT vertical markets, as well as IIC's vision of testbeds to discover and prove disruptive new products and services. The CSCC's vision of transition to cloud computing, and CISQ's new vision of software quality metrics are central to much of my travel too.
In May, I keynoted two events - Wavefront IoT Summit in Ottawa, Canada's beautiful capital, and LiveWorX 2015, near home in Boston. The Canadian conference focused on the integration of device and sensor data with Big Data, analytics and other enterprise applications data with most of the content geared toward wireless IoT devices. Five hundred attendees registered and the people I met expressed lots of interest in the IIC and in OMG IIoT standards. Interoperability and security are high on the agenda, as they are everywhere. The idea of testbeds as a pointer to interoperability was well-received.
LiveWorX 2015 is a joint venture between PTC and ThingWorx (a PTC business); the event bills itself as “the world’s largest gathering of companies, partners, implementers and visionaries dedicated to building and shaping the new IoT world.” Massachusetts' new Governor Charlie Baker; PTC President, CEO Jim Heppelmann; and Steve "the Woz" Wozniak of Apple fame were some of the featured headliners. My panel concentrated on the business side of the Industrial Internet which is one of the event’s central themes. Enough talk - where is the return on investment (ROI)? The panelists (Wayne Adams of EMC, Allan Alter of Accenture, Tim Butler of Tego and Syed Hoda of ParStream) all pointed to IoT projects that have already returned value.
Mid May was a busy one that took me out west, where the Internet of Things World San Francisco, was held - a great show with about 4,200 attendees. I was on stage in a panel about IoT standards, and then again on stage alongside Jayraj Nair, Head of the IoT Practice and Associate Vice President of Infosys, to help him announce Infosys' participation in IIC and testbed plans.
I then flew out to spend one day at The Automation Conference 2015 in Chicago. About 250 people, mostly quite senior automation people in the manufacturing business, attended. I keynoted about IIC, but there was also significant interest in standards (especially Business Process Management) because they help manufacturing enter new markets, improve efficiency and make it easier to comply with regulations. I always appreciate a trip exposing interest in all of OMG's brands, from testbeds to software quality.
The next day found me in Cambridge where I participated in the annual MIT CIO Symposium. There was a great turnout this year, with more than 1,000 CIOs (and others with similar titles) attending. I participated in an IoT standards panel moderated by the editor of The Wall Street Journal CIO Report, Steven Rosenbush, which drew about half the total audience or so (versus the parallel sessions).
At the end of May, I arrived at ConnectedAfrica, one of OMG's first forays into South Africa. This is a dynamic economy, though it faces challenges. My favorite innovation in the conference were between-talks viewings of 30- and 40-year old videos about computing, featuring such notables as Arthur C. Clarke. It's surprising how many times Clarke "nailed it" when he forecast the future of computing. The event drew 300 attendees, and was well-run and generated interest, especially in software standards, most notably Business Process Management, Internet of Things and space systems as well as IIC testbed projects.
Back in April, while in Singapore, I was interviewed by the radio station BFM:89.9-The Business Radio Station, located in Malaysia, which is now a podcast about the beginnings of the IIC and recent developments including the latest advances in its testbed strategies. The podcast was uploaded in June. You can listen to the podcast at https://www.bfm.my/tech-talk-industrial-internet-consortium-dr-richard-soley.html.
Early June marked the start of a 2+ week journey through several cities: Dallas, St. Petersburg (Russia, not the one in Florida), Dublin, Berlin, Brussels & Munich.
The first stop, Dallas (actually Allen, Texas) was to keynote and attend No Magic World Symposium 2015, an excellent conference put on by OMG Board member and IIC member No Magic. I also kicked off a full-day Industrial Internet workshop with an introduction to the topic and to the IIC (you can watch the video here on the OMG YouTube channel). I've had the honor to participate in most of the last six years of No Magic events, and it's terrific to partake in the annual conference of a company that is so committed to the aims of both OMG and IIC.
Then I set off to St. Petersburg, Russia, to keynote the White Nights Summit 2015 organized by OMG and IIC member First Line Software.
From there, I then flew through London to Dublin to announce the INFINITE Testbed. I truly enjoy changing planes at Heathrow -- the people are so delightful and the airport so well-designed. NOT!
The announcement was an extravaganza. Not only did the Irish Management Institute host a lovely dinner at The Merrion the night before (and IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for industrial development in Ireland, hosted a luncheon afterwards), but the event itself had some 200 people and has already been extensively covered on television, online and in newspapers. The level of visibility in Ireland was very high, well reflecting pride from a small country hosting a major international testbed (with EMC in the lead, and Vodafone, the Cork Institute of Technology and County Cork in supporting roles). I also made time to meet with senior EMC contacts, including a very senior executive from its Herzliya office with an amazing background ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orna_Berry).
By the way, Teachta Dála Collins (Teachta Dála, or TD, means member of the Dáil, or Irish Parliament) gave a marvelous tour of the Dáil and government buildings between the announcement and the luncheon.
While in Dublin, I also visited State Street's European headquarters, on the docks in downtown Dublin. The company is extremely supportive of both the Cloud Standards Customer Council, OMG standards programs as well as the IIC. For such a huge company (custodians for some US$28 trillion), it is quite innovative.
My next stop was the OMG quarterly meeting in Berlin (there will be more about those highlights in my next blog). I participated in The Industrial Internet: A Catalyst for Economic Growth event, IIoT Information Day, Manufacturing Information Day and the Essence Information Day. I also met with an officer from the Chilean embassy to Germany about the Chilean government's continued interest in the Industrial Internet. In the middle of that, I squeezed in two press interviews, one with editors from Elektronik and from Computer & Automation (both published by WEKA). If you can read German, you’re welcome to take a look at this Computer & Automation article. I also met with Robert Weber, an editor I've briefed a few times already and his group publisher from Vogel Business Media GmbH & Co which has published magazines and books since 1952.
A highlight of my Berlin stop was the signing of a liaison agreement between the IIC and DIN (https://www.din.de/). The growing interest in driving standards based on the results of IIC testbeds is outstanding.
From Berlin, I then flew out to Brussels for a series of meetings. The morning was spent with the European Commission, with separate meetings with Max Lemke & Werner Steinhögl of the Complex Systems and Advanced Computing Unit, on standards and testbeds and interoperable devices in the Internet of Things (the agency is extremely interested in how to ensure that devices in the Internet of Things are interoperable) and then with Thibaut Kleiner, Head of Unit Network Technologies, and two of his staff. His group is slightly different (they are focused on the connectivity issues rather than the device issues), but liaison with both is increasingly important for both OMG and IIC.
Lunch was at ING, hosted by old friends Johan Kestens, Managing Director & Member of the Executive Committee, and Johan Smessaert, Head of Domestic Application Management at ING. Then I had a long coffee-shop meeting with David Keating, a freelance writer, whom I had also briefed a couple weeks before on IIC for POLITICO magazine .
I’ve only mentioned the Berlin TC meeting very briefly in this blog. There were so many interesting special events, high-profile speakers and enthusiastic members that I believe it deserve s its own entry. So look for another entry this month that captures the spirit and highlights of the OMG Berlin TC Meeting!