Acquisitions have also been a key part of Cisco and Qualcomm's strategies.
Making money still isn’t easy in the IIoT, but some companies say they’re doing it.
So far, the easiest applications in IIoT have been ones that save companies money, but the future is going to be about creating new business opportunities, according to Mike Dolbec of GE speaking at CB Insights’ Innovation Summit.
For Amit Chaturvedy of Cisco Investments, the key was to stop looking at all but 3 main categories: “It used to be this big thing with many verticals, but now we limit our focus to three: manufacturing, the connected car, and enterprise spaces.”
Chaturvedy added that Cisco’s massive acquisition of Jasper Technologies ($1.4B, Q1’16) worked because the company provided different pieces of connectivity that linked up well with Cisco’s technology.
“Jasper was unique,” he said. “They spent 11 years getting embedded with service providers, be it GM Onstar, Tesla, Uber, Starbucks, Boston Scientific Pacemakers … Jasper does cellular connectivity management, and Cisco brings the Wi-Fi element to it.”
Chaturvedy and Dolbec were joined on the panel by Qualcomm’s Quinn Li and Barrick Gold Corporation’s Michelle Ash, in conversation with Ari Levy of CNBC.
Li explained Qualcomm’s acquisition of IoT chipmaker NXP Semiconductor (for $39B) as a way to get into specific markets. “As we move into this world of autonomous cars, we want to provide sensing solutions to enable LiDAR and different sensor technologies … [The acquisition’s] enabled us to be a bigger player in the space.”
But one of the big challenges of the industrial IoT is that implementation comes with huge upfront costs.
Speaking from the customer side of the industrial IoT, Ash noted the potential costs of implementing IIoT networks. Given the company’s rugged mines and their location in rural places like Tanzania, the industrial IoT presents computing challenges that could be easily overlooked.
“We all talk about upkeep on those sensors, in mining anyway. Our ability to maintain them isn’t particularly strong, so every sensor counts. It’s a maintenance cost. It’s a cost to transfer that data. It’s a cost to store that data,” Ash said.
The upfront cost challenge will only become greater as the cybersecurity threat rises. Companies will need to put in place robust safeguards of products and infrastructure that were likely never built to be connected. “The risk going forward isn’t … another Denial-of-Service attack. But that someone gets too much radiation,” Dolbec said.
Track all the IIoT startups in this brief and many more on our platform
Startups working on industrial sensor networks have potential to revolutionize manufacturing, logistics, and energy, just to name a few areas. Sign up for a free trial and look for IIoT in the Collections tab.Track IIoT startups
Ari Levy, senior tech reporter, CNBC: Again, we’ll talk about the Industrial Internet of Things and I guess getting started maybe we can just talk a little bit about what that means for your particular companies and the companies that you work with how you think and talk about it internally. Let’s start with…what append to GE?
Mike Dolbec, GE Ventures: Okay, I’m sorry, I’m being distracted. I got promoted here on the… I’m not quite the managing partner of GE Ventures, but thank you. I’ll put in a good word for myself.
Ari: Industrial Internet of Things, how you…what does that mean to you?
Mike: It’s gonna be big, it’s gonna be really big. So I’ve been with GE for four years and some short time before that that company made a conscious decision to… They saw the convergence of what’s possible with the advances in computing and sensing AI and big data and the opportunity to change the game with industrial corporations and the challenges that they face. So I’d say for us the opportunity is what happens when those forces converged and what challenges get created and the opportunities are to overcome those challenges.
Generally speaking, the easiest ones are to help industrial companies save money, and I think now we’re drifting into the help industrial companies make money in the U.S.
Ari: At Barrick Gold, how do you guys think about it?
Michelle Ash, Chief Innovation Officer, Barrick Gold Corporation: Yeah, so I guess a couple of things. One, you know, as a mining industry there’s so much opportunity for us to use some of the new technologies to really improve productivity and to improve safety and other things. So I guess the way we look at it is how can we use sensor technology, how can we use predictive analytics, how can we use some of the new and emerging technologies to understand their business more and really become either more productive or in a lot of cases, you know, how do we take people out of roles that maybe less safe and put them into an areas or other roles where they’re safer. So how do we leverage that to create safety as well.
Ari: And was there a point at which you sort of started an overhaul?
Michelle: Yeah, absolutely. So Cisco will know as much about this is as I do but last year our chairman announced a partnership with Cisco, and the idea around the partnership with Cisco is really to give us a bit of insight into the Internet of Things and what’s possible, intercommunications the number one and data securities, I keep moving around and leaving my mark. And certainly that relationship has been very fruitful in terms of allowing us to understand the possibilities.
Ari: On that note, Amit for Cisco?
Amit Chaturvedy, Internet of Things acquisitions, Cisco Systems: Hi everyone, Cisco Investment. My name is Amit Chaturvedy, I’ve been with Cisco a couple of years now, lead at IoT venture investments activities so I’d say in one sentence I’ll describe our role as the enabler of IoT. IoT means many different things for different industries, different verticals, different corporate. I suppose the very basic definition of IoT is a sensor network that’s connected over the internet and there’s some middleware platform that manages that network of sensors and there’s data flowing, and hopefully there are data insights that are being derived out of that through an application that gets consumed by the end consumer be it an enterprise or a retail consumer.
So, you know, with that sort of notion of how we define an IoT stack, Cisco has taken a very deliberate viewpoint around what areas we want to focus on which wasn’t there a few years ago. We thought that IoT is broad and so for us going and chasing the IoT opportunity in every vertical would make sense. Now, it’s sort of paired down to three main verticals which are manufacturing, connected car, and enterprise spaces. And the thought process behind choosing these three specific verticals is Cisco has a big existing play as an IT vendor in these three areas. Plus our viewpoint is that the opportunity to be chased in these three verticals which by themselves are pretty big as you start to slice and dice these areas is just massive for anybody to chew on. And so that’s kind of the focus we’ve been able to drive especially with the Jasper acquisition that happened earlier last year.
Ari: Yeah, we’ll talk a little bit about that for sure. Quinn, Qualcomm you’re leading investments?
Quinn Li, VP and Global Head, Qualcomm Ventures: Right.
Ari: And so I guess it makes more sense if you talk about it from that perspective but also the way that you sort of work within Qualcomm.
Quinn: Yeah. So, I’m Quinn Li, Head of Qualcomm Ventures. We’re the venture capital on for Qualcomm. So what we’re trying to do from an investment standpoint is trying to invest in ecosystem that helps Qualcomm to gain insights into new emerging areas, help us to push technology adoption. So we’re a technology enabler company, right? We develop mobile technology for the last 15 years. So how we look at Internet of Things is we’re taking a lot of the technology we’ve developed for the smartphone industry taking some of that technology applied to different verticals, so different verticals who have interest to us or things around the smart home, connected homes, things around connected automotive and in particular around the industry IoT. The things we’re interested in smart city, smart energy, so example would be taking a silo connectivity technology applying into a smart media infrastructure for example, right, allows you to enable the utilities to be able to do demand response type of applications.
Another example would be taking a set of technology embed them into a parking meters allows you to make payments, reserve maybe spaces in the smart city infrastructure. So those are the couple of examples we’re taking our technology, applying to some of these industrial verticals.
Ari: So can we just draw this out broadly what are the, some company wants to start to take advantage of all of the technology that’s available, big data, all the things that we know you have to be taking advantage of in, you know, the modern era. What are the pieces, what do you need to have both from an infrastructure standpoint, from the software and also hiring. What kind of people do you have to be hiring internally versus how much can you outsource to third-party vendors. I know it’s a loaded question but Mike you seem prepared to answer it.
Mike: Yeah, thank you. That’s a very big question. So the short flip answer is you have to really want to do it. You have to be prepared, which at least in our experience, right? Senior management has to buy in in a big way to support what are probably going to be a series of projects or experiments so most of our customers don’t go all in and digitally transform the company from scratch, they… It’s a typical process where they dip their toe in the water. They find a valuable project if they could…a valuable outcome they want to achieve. And then they’re trying to achieve that incrementally through a series of projects. And they achieve success, and then they take some more rope and see what knots they can tie and they kind of build up to it over time. But I think we advice, generally advice people a backup.
We run about 20 executive briefing sessions a week at GE Digital where customers of ours and sometimes competitors of ours and governments come in and mostly they want to understand what was going through GE’s mind when it decided to start transformation, and how is it going and what trouble, where did you get snagged and more or less answering some of the questions that you ask. And so we, I think we’re very transparent about things we try that work and didn’t work, what we learned and then how we continue forward from there.
I think depending upon…the answer to your question depends a lot upon the size of the organization. So we tend to deal with the very largest of customers directly. We have I think over $1 trillion worth of installed base of capital assets so we focus there directly and then indirectly because we have a software platform. There are other customers we touched that aren’t traditionally directly our customers. And the last I think the last question you asked is a very important one which is what kinds of, I think you asked what kind of organization that you have or who do you hire?
Ari: Yeah, I guess, in terms of building the stuff out yourself, you obviously need a, you know, very technical team. And I imagine at GE you’re doing much more in-house than a lot of other companies.
Mike: Yes and no. We’re trying not to do everything in-house because that would be the typical big company thing and that’s probably a mistake with software. So, but I think back to my original answer you have to decide…you have to understand this is probably a fundamental change from how you currently operate. You probably don’t have all the people in-house with the right skills and who’ve come up through the organization promoted because they’re really good at causing change and innovation and learning from that. So you have to decide how many outsiders, how many strange disruptors are you gonna bring in and can you tolerate at once for you to run these experiments and learn something and then keep going.
Ari: So you can’t just call up Accenture and say, “Hey, we’re gonna implement this IoT thing…?
Mike: Oh, I’m sure, you can. How many people from Accenture are here, they’re one of our systems integrated partners. That’s certainly one approach and even there though, you don’t go with the $100 million project at first. There are systems integrators, many of them, who think about digital transformation of large companies as a 10 year journey, right? That starts small and keeps going and grow somewhat like ERP was for corporations before everybody used SAP to manage their supply chain.
So if you’re willing to start that journey there are a number, pretty much all the major large companies want to engage their senior management and talk about the journey that you could take in part using IoT along the way.
Ari: Michelle, when Barrick started this. What was the starting point? Was it the infrastructure, was it, you know, the data center and did it got moved from there? I mean you can talk about that in the context with your partnership with Cisco.
Michelle: Yeah, so for us it has been not a very long period of time, and certainly not as long as GE’s in going through this transformation and journey. But for us there was some very immediate short term things that we had to do. Now, we’ve got mining sites all around the world and the communications were, you know, the steps in communications platform and trying to get Wi-Fi to the phase, you know, get it on the ground, get it actually down to the equipment because you can put as, you can put great sensors and have lots of data coming off machinery. But if you can’t actually get it to a place and then utilize it, it’s not particularly helpful. And one of the things we found quite interestingly is that developing countries have better Wi-Fi networks often or internet networks in more places than developed countries which is sort of very, very interesting for me anyway, having lived in Tanzania in a year and then now back in Canada or in the States and we had better internet in Tanzania.
So we’ve had to put that infrastructure and we’ve had…
Michelle: And, you know, I know we all talk about big data analytics, but, you know, to upkeep those things is…because, you know, our skills, in mining, anyway, to maintain sensors isn’t particularly strong. It’s something we’re having to build almost from the ground up is instrument techs. So, every sensor counts, you know. It’s a maintenance cost. It’s gonna cost to transfer that data. It’s a cost to store that data. You then have to wade through it. And so one of the things we’ve been trying to look at is how do you get big data insights but with small data. And so one of the things that the Williams team have been really interesting to talk to them about is every sensor is fundamentally important on a race car. Because it adds weight, it adds complexity, it adds, you know, all sorts of negative things. But also it adds some positive things in terms of the insights and making sure that they, you know, do all the appropriate things to the car. They pull it in and etc. when it’s going around, so they’ve actually become very, very good at what’s the smallest amount of data that we need in order to get the biggest insights. And I think that’s a real challenge for industry, because of, you know, just the cost and the complexity of maintaining, you know, a lot of sensors. There’s a lot of data, data cleanliness, data accuracy.
Ari: Have you hired a whole data analytics team to make sense of all this?
Michelle: So, we’ve actually got a mix. We’ve got some people that we’ve hired, absolutely. We’ve got some people that we had borrowed from various consulting companies. We’ve also got some people that we’ve borrowed from some of the other partners, such as Cisco have been providing us with, you know, some support. And I think, from my perspective, that’s actually really important. Because if we employed a whole heap of people into Barrick, we would very quickly Barrickize them, and they would stop seeing insights and stop seeing things that you can when you’re outside of the business. But at the same time, they get a deep understanding of our business.
So, I think, for us, there’s this need to create a base. They want to work with us for a couple of years and then go somewhere else and get different experiences. So, one of the things we’re just starting to talk to some of our partners about is can we actually have a group of people that then move between some of their businesses so that they can get those experiences, get that self-fulfillment, and also add value to businesses.
Ari: Now, Amit, was this at Jasper?
Ari: Yeah. So, maybe talk a little bit about just the rationale, like, very broadly, what Jasper is and the rationale behind the Cisco deal. And, like, you mentioned some of the industries that you’re going into, but here’s, you know, an industrial mining company. What’s another sort of, you know, a clear example of how that’s being used?
Amit: Yeah. Yeah. So, I think if you think of Cisco as a vendor to the IoT ecosystem, you know, one of the things that we realized several years ago was that the end market opportunity is big, and yet the internal DNA within Cisco that we needed to be successful in IoT as an enabler of the ecosystem and get our fair share as a vendor just didn’t exist. And so Cisco is pretty big in acquiring DNA from outside where it makes sense and helps fill critical gaps. And so as we started to invest in the IoT space over the last three years, we have deployed $52 million. We have 18-plus companies in our portfolio and also investors in four venture funds. So we had a pretty good understanding of the IoT ecosystem and where technologies were emerging from, and one of the realizations was that there aren’t management platforms big enough and scaled up enough that were servicing end devices that mattered in the IoT ecosystem and also making money in the process.
And so that’s kind of where, at a very, very high level, Jasper was unique that they had spent 11 years getting embedded with service providers building a scaled up business where they were actually making money servicing devices, be it the GM OnStar platform, or Tesla, Uber, Boston Scientific Pacemakers, Starbucks…so I can go on and on and on. So, these are all devices and use cases that make a lot of difference. There is high level of value attached to those use cases. And so these guys had built a business which…
Ari: So, effectively, it’s the layers on top of the connections. A company is connecting everything to the internet to, you know, a central location. Jasper’s giving you the tools to make sense of that and to manage it.
Amit: Right. So, it’s one piece of it. Jasper does cellular connectivity management. Cisco brings the Wi-Fi element to it. And so the vision is if using the Jasper Control Center we can combine what Jasper already brings with what we do, that’s a very powerful vision, right? So, if you believe in, you know, these numbers keep on changing, but 50 billion devices getting connected by 2020, you know, there is a big market opportunity in the three verticals that I just described. But there’s a fundamental match where Jasper has been successful and where Cisco has been successful.
Ari: Quinn, Qualcomm’s success over the last couple of decades is in mobile, no secret. When you think about, you know, powering the future of devices, and certainly in the industrial era, does Qualcomm need to be at the heart of those devices? Is that part of sort of the future projection here?
Quinn: Yeah. So, this is how we look at things, right? So, last 20 years, mobile is, you know, it’s been a big business for Qualcomm. And if we look at these different vertical…I’ll just maybe give an example. If you look at drones today, right, what’s in the guts of a drone? If you think of drones, it’s like a flying smartphone, right? A lot of the technologies, the sensors, the GPS, the cameras, the connectivity solutions in a drone, you can easily take the smartphone platform, just use that as part of the heart of the drone system, right?
So, what we did was we took the Snapdragon platform we have for smartphones and added some additional software to it, basically built a platform, the drone manufacturer can easily adopt the solution. So, we’re adding, beyond the chips that we sell, we made the acquisition of a flight control software company. For example, we added the additional software. So then we take this platform, we offer it to the drone manufacturers, and they can make drones very, very easily.
So, some of the investment we’re making around that sort of drone ecosystem, we’re invested in a company called Flirtey, which is doing drone delivery, right? So, Amazon’s doing that as well. So, we’re investing in some of these vertical applications of drones, enterprise or industry applications, drone delivery being one use case. It could be using drones to measure progress at the construction site, for example. These are the use cases. So, we wanna take what we developed for the mobile platform, apply it to these different verticals, drone being one of them. And there’s many other verticals we’re interested in.
Ari: So Snapdragon is not…Qualcomm is going to be a chipmaker to a platform for processors for all sorts of smart devices. And the Qualcomm processor will be in many of those devices. Is the vision to be in all of them?
Quinn: That’s what we like to see, right? So, whereas the, you know, some of the advanced, I would say, platforms where you need the compute power, then we’d like to see our processor be a part of it. But there’s gonna be cases where you don’t need as much processing power maybe in some of these low-power, low-computational requirement devices. In those cases, we may just simply sell connectivity solutions, right? It may not be the processor. It may be just 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi connectivity solutions. So, it depends on the use case. We’d like to sell the complete solution, including the processor components. But in some use cases, we may just sell the connectivity solutions.
Ari: And Amit, what’s the data in terms of how many devices are gonna be connected? I think you guys do this.
Amit: Yeah, 50 billion. I’m not the source though. But it’s somewhere in the billions.
Ari: And how do we deal with the data overload problem as all of these devices are getting connected?
Amit: Yeah. It brings out another element of Cisco’s vision around fork computing. And so the notion of transporting all the data that gets generated, bringing it back to the cloud for analysis is probably not that meaningful in generating insights. So, you have to have the ability to process data at the edge and be able to draw meaningful insights, and then on a case-by-case basis, bring it back to the cloud. And as we all know, right, all this data that’s getting generated, most of it is meaningless, because it’s the same repetitive data not really giving you any insights. Trying to transport it back to the cloud in every instance is probably just not that useful. So, I think that’s kind of what needs to happen.
Ari: Michelle, can you talk about, you know, about a couple of other vendors that you use either on the software or hardware side that are helping you kind of put all this stuff together?
Michelle: Yeah. So, we’ve had a range of vendors, both helping us with software. And we’re actually running a number of agile workshops in Elko, which is another kind of significant change for the mining industry. We’re not particularly customer-focused as an industry, and especially not internal customers. So, one of the things that we’ve really adopted quite strongly is we’ve set up a code mine, which is like a digital lab, in Elko. And we’ve actually had a number of our vendors and partners coming to that code mine and working to produce, you know, solutions for task management, solutions for short-term or short-interval individual control. And that actually has been working quite well, and we’ve had a number of vendors who work together. And it’s actually one of the things, I think, that we’re looking more towards vendors going forward is not only to come and work with us, and, you know, deliver solutions within 6 weeks’, 12 weeks’ work with our guys, but also a number of our vendors and partners are now starting to work together, even when some of those other companies may seem competitive, to create a product that is, you know, not only good for us, but also good for the rest of the industry. I know we’ve been helping to then promote that throughout the industry to try get more traction for those particular products.
I mean, certainly one of the products that we’re starting to try to get ahead around now is, you know, as we automate more and more equipment, and, you know, wanting to do so so that we can take people out of the mines, off the hills, you know, have them working in nicer, safer environments in maybe different roles, is how do we actually create that brain or that platform that’s going to then control, you know, a thousand devices, processing plants and other things, and then optimize that.
And I think that’s one of the real challenges now for our industry is there’s relatively easy ways to build some of these apps and some of these other smaller solutions. But how do we create that overarching brain mechanism? So, if anyone has got a solution for that, I’m very, very interested in it.
Ari: I’m putting this out to any of you who feel equipped to answer. Is this a whole new IT stack that’s being built for IoT? And who’s making money now with it? Are you, “Hey, I can answer the question?”, or are you saying you’re making money?
Ari: All right.
Michael: Well, I think, you know, we are making money. So, we have a platform that’s a soup of services built from an entire tech stack. It’s actually multiple tech stacks. First of all, IoT isn’t one thing. It’s not one market. It might not be coalescing for any time soon. So, at least industrial, it’s a series of verticals that we think can use the same platform. But we wanna earn the right to be your platform of choice, and we are doing that as we speak. We have 20,000-plus developers on our platform.
Ari: I see the commercials.
Ari: I see the commercials.
Michael: Yeah. People wanna interview. So, Owen was at our developers conference, a fascinating actor in New York. So, that’s just GE’s response. But certainly, we’ve made an attempt. We sort of backed into it. What we decided is that we needed to use what these technologies made possible in order to achieve our own productivity targets. And then second, we realized that we better become very familiar with what you could do with this kind of technology before our competitors used it against us competitively. And so we decided to dog food our own platform and use it internally. And I think third is when it occurred to us, “Okay, if you’re really serious, then you could try and sell this to third parties and earn the right to be their platform.”
Ari: And to what degree is GE a platform for third-party developers to also deploy and potentially make money?
Michael: First developer conference for third parties was in Las Vegas in July or August. We had over 1700 developers there. I’m not sure we’ll fit in the same venue next time. So, we have…
Ari: Is there ever going to be a developers conference, or specifically a priority?
Michael: Both. And so it was a developers conference for the Predix platform. And the goal, most of the people there were trying to figure out how to make money writing apps and sell them to somebody else. But there are hundreds of apps and microservices available that generally get collected into some sort of suite of stuff as a solution for a industrial customer.
Ari: And so does GE have a platform for those apps where customers can go and sort of buy them on a piecemeal basis?
Michael: Predix.io, I think, is the easiest way to find out. But you can use your credit card if you want, or if you have a really, sort of $100 million dollar thing, we can, you know, work out an invoice and accounts payable.
Ari: I’m sure I could use my credit card. Where else is the actual real money being generated? Can we go into Jasper?
Amit: Well, I mean, we’ve spoken about Jasper. So, that’s a clear example of who’s making money in the space. I think, just looking forward, Connected Car is one vertical that I would point out where the very notion of getting disrupted by a Silicon Valley player is keeping people awake in Detroit and Europe. And so you’re starting to see a lot of innovation that people were sitting on as, you know, not something that’s relatively new, but a lot of this autonomous innovation was one that people were aware of. But it’s just starting to drive discussions at the right level in different OEMs and pushing out product by 2020. And so you have a player in Silicon Valley that has a leg up for four or five years over the rest of the ecosystem.
So, that’s one clear vertical. It’s a device that matters to most people, high-value asset. And there is disruption happening in lean industries. So that’s what kind of where suppliers should make money supplying to OEMs. There are newer suppliers that would emerge as part of this process of supplying to OEMs, because traditional tier 1 and tier 2 vendors would not be able to supply the type of technology that’s required to create an autonomous platform.
And I think then if you focus on, like, outcomes, and if you focus on where either there is disruption happening or money that can be saved…so, you know, most people think of IoT as consumer and wearables and smart home and automations. So, surely there is a clear sort of use case there in terms of what’s top-of-mind for most people, but our belief, and I think that Mike would agree with me here, is that the amount of value that will get unlocked in the industrial space is far higher through IoT.
Ari: I think we’ve got time for a couple of questions, maybe a few. We have our question person.
Cameron McCurdy, CB Insights, Host: Yeah, we have some questions on the back. We got a few questions about cybersecurity. So, the Mariah[SP] attack last year demonstrated that there are significant security vulnerabilities in the consumer IoT space. In industrial IoT where some of the outcomes could be potentially worse, as we talked about, what are steps being taken to make sure that these IoT companies are secure?
Michael: Do you want me to take that? Sorry. I can’t see who asked question, but I’ll just scan the room just in case I…so, it’s a very big problem. And you point out that the Mariah attack is sort of the existence proof that it’s really easy to make relatively annoying things happen. We have been terribly concerned and humbly trying to create a “defense in layers” approach with the architectures that we have been building for now, four or five years. We certainly understand the risk. The risk is that instead of a denial of service attack, I’ll make this up, your relative gets medically imaged and receives much more radiation than, you know, one should in any one treatment by some malicious party. Or the head of state, let’s call it that, because that’s a plausible thing.
And so the issue is now that we have encouraged people to hook up more or less to the internet things that weren’t previously so directly connected and things that unfortunately were never designed with much security in mind, don’t we have a exposure problem? And the answer is yes. And the answer is that we have been.
You should come hear us give the Predix presentation to people who have regulatory risk or business continuity risk. So, it’s a very serious problem. The reason it’s serious is because not only the outcomes could be potentially serious, but also the people who want to perpetrate these attacks have virtually unlimited resources, and they’re government-sponsored or nation state efforts. So, you know, there are no rules.
And I think you’re never done trying to continue to assess what you’ve got, what your customer has, how they operate it, and to continue to try and make it more difficult to interrupt what’s going on. The kinds of attacks that you don’t hear about are the things that we’re most concerned about are not spectacular, newsworthy tremendous loss-of-life things, but the more subtle things that would cause some interruption in a large business’s ability to make money.
So, today, I bet everybody in this room gets a paycheck, and it’s probably there is some master record somewhere that says here’s your salary, and it’s that time of the month, so it’s time to cut a check. And there is probably no check to make sure that the data that the payroll system is generating the check on hasn’t been tampered with recently. It’s like the high school equivalent of changing your grades. So, what happens if you are manufacturing automobiles or mining equipment and somebody tampers with the information that may relate to safety, and all of a sudden, a tremendous capital equipment loss happens because it was operated in?
Anyway, there’s loss of life. There’s loss of capital assets. But there’s also just changing the data you think is the data, which messes with the actual situation that the company is running itself on. So, we’re worried about protecting physical things, but we’re also worried about protecting data at rest, data in motion, data in use. People can look at what you’re searching for or what your app is searching for, and they can decode maybe what they shouldn’t know about data sets that are proprietary to a particular company. So, we’re very, very concerned about that.
Cameron: Okay. Great. We’re running a little bit over, so we’ll just ask two quicker questions. Does the IoT space become regionalized? Does it look different in the U.S. compared to places like China or Asia-Pacific? And are there things that U.S. companies can learn from these overseas applications?
Amit: I’ll just make an observation that if you’re a startup and if you’re focused on enabling connectivity for IoT devices, right, most of the manufacturing’s happening in China. And if you’re, again, going back to what we were discussing, IoT security, there is a lot of security DNA in Israel that already exists which is now starting to get applied. You know, GE has made investments there as well that’s starting to get deployed to the world of IoT. And so clearly, there is tons to be learned. You know, India has this whole industry on IT services. And so how do you provide a managed service that you’re managing somebody’s network of devices, keeping it secure, making sure that all the devices are getting all the updates that they need to get? And so there is definitely DNA in these different geographies that exist that will be instrumental in creating the newer set of technologies in the world of IoT.
Cameron: Okay. The last question is directed to Quinn. So, Jasper was one of the largest acquisitions in the IoT space in tech as a whole last year. And in a different industry, which we talked about a little bit, we saw the acquisition of Cruise ignite the auto tech space. Have you seen the IoT space change or outlooks shift since that acquisition has taken place?
Quinn: Yeah. So, the Cruise acquisition, we…so, it’s an investment we made in a company that’s making basically a full-stack autonomous vehicle solution to enable a service, like Uber-like service basically, with driverless cars, right? And GM got very interested in the tech and the company, and they bought the Cruise early this year for a billion-plus. So, our interest in the autonomous vehicle space is really providing technologies. We provide a lot of the connectivity solutions to the auto industry today, telematics, infotainment. But as we move into this new world of, you know, autonomous cars and self-drive vehicles, we wanted to provide, you know, other sort of solutions, whether being sensing solutions to enable the autonomous driving, other things across the ecosystem, could be even LIDAR, has different sensors technologies. And then we announced the acquisition of NXP, which is one of the largest tech deals last year. And that’s also enabled us to become a bigger player in the automotive industry, basically, to capture many of the sort of new emerging trends in the auto industry.