I moderated a track on innovative business solutions based on the Internet of Things. Seven sessions. Good speakers. The Industry of Things World event is one of the better conferences you will attend. It is organized from Germany, and still draws top speakers and more than 400 attendees. Sounds as if it is outgrowing its venue at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. Oh, if only other conferences in our industry sector faced such a problem 😉 

The basic difference between European-oriented conferences and American lies in some of the speakers. Even though the organizers do not do this on purpose, many of the keynotes were from supplier/sponsor speakers. A few basically gave company presentations rather than talking about their technology or solutions. 

My votes for best keynotes went to Alex Tapscott (first) who spoke on blockchain. I believe that blockchain and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) are the two technologies most likely to disrupt the industry. The second keynote was from Jim Davis on Smart Manufacturing. I have not heard from him for a couple of years, and this was a good update. More on both below. 

Sugar Creek Packing case study by Edward Rodden, CIO. Empowering workers was a key part of the IoT strategy, according to Rodden. Both IT and OT came together under him, and they built a single network and IoT platform to further unify the disciplines. Using a converged network infrastructure was a benefit in addition to implementing a software defined data center. They built in a DMZ between the enterprise and operations segments. They found appropriate planning to be the key to success. They consider a ratio of 80/90% planning to 10/20% execution. Main problem they had, which was not expected nor in the plan, was not vetting wiring contractor who used many people not properly trained for this type of IT wiring. Rodden sees IT as change agent in the business.  

David Riddle, Director of Information Technology and IoT Development at ThermoFischer Scientific, described business models for connected, mobile controlled substance test devices that help police identify substances quickly and effectively. New chemistry profiles can be downloaded effortlessly or the device can be sold on a per use basis instead of an up-front capital cost. 

Yves-Gorat Stommel, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Evonik, discussed how to do the first step of a Big Data analysis journey. He pointed out, “Somebody needs to start, why not you?” As you talk to people around the company, with every new discussion you will reach people who can become supporters and drivers. You may find talent and existing projects that help 

There is more coming. This was an impressive gathering.

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