Year End Internet of Things Acquisition

I’ve taken some time during the holidays to get off the daily posting gerbil wheel to study even more deeply into the Industrial Internet of Things.

You may ask why. Every analyst firm now has an IoT practice. They do consulting of one sort or another. But, many are constrained by their models. I’ve seen some of the analyses. I think I can contribute.

Last week just before Christmas, PTC announced acquisition of Kepware to deepen its Internet of Things offering. I’ll have a longish analysis to kick off the New Year Monday.

The Internet of Things is a strategy, not a thing. It is described by an ecosystem, not a product.

A look at the 30-year history of the company reveals that it has grown by acquisition. First within its (then) core technology from CAD to modeling. Then into PLM. Then a Retail practice. Then it developed a services platform. None of these were core to my coverage, so PTC is not a company I’ve followed closely.

Then Jim Heppelmann, CEO, caught the Internet of Things virus. Meanwhile, the ThingWorx developers had a cool technology and cast about looking for a focus. Ah, it perfectly fits within the Internet of Things. Seemed like a fit, and an acquisition was consummated.

Following ThingWorx (2014) was Axeda–a company that itself had undergone more than one transformation. Then ColdLight helped complete the portfolio with its analytics engine.

I’ve consulted with a few companies and talked with others who wanted to jump into the Internet of Things by simply bolting on a product acquisition. They thought maybe just adding sensors (the “things” of the IoT, right?) they would be and IoT company. Or maybe a networking company.

No, PTC has the right idea. It remains to be seen if it bought the best technologies and if they can make them work together. I’ve seen companies fail at that point.

More later.

Meanwhile, I hope your 2015 was successful and that your 2016 will be one of personal growth and success.

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