Consolidation is the name of the game for the past few years in the automation and controls market. We’ve seen companies on the acquisition trail. Not limited to for-profit companies, industry alliances and organizations have been consolidating as well. A few years ago it was Fieldbus Foundation and HART Communication Foundation joining to form FieldComm Group. Now we have consolidation in the Industrial Internet of Things space. This no doubt signals growing maturity of the market and technologies.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the OpenFog Consortium (OpenFog) announced January 31 that they have finalized the details to combine the two “largest and most influential” international consortia in Industrial IoT, fog, and edge computing. Effective immediately, the organizations will work together under the IIC umbrella to drive the momentum of the industrial internet, including the development and promotion of industry guidance and best practices for fog and edge computing.
This action brings OpenFog members into the IIC at a time when their complementary areas of technology are emerging in the mainstream. The first formal meeting of the unified organization will be held in Raleigh, N.C., from February 11-14.
The IIC, now incorporating OpenFog, also announced that the IIC Steering Committee, which guides the strategic direction of the organization, has elected two OpenFog principals:
· Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT Standards, Azure IoT, Microsoft. Mr. Zahavi is focused on IoT standards and consortia and also leads Microsoft’s Worldwide IoT Architecture Community. Mr. Zahavi has extensive experience in all aspects of technology management and solution delivery, 18 of those related to IoT solutions. Matt Vasey, Microsoft director, AI and IoT business development, will serve as the alternate to Mr. Zahavi.
· Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue University. Dr. Chiang was previously the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor at Princeton University and founded the Princeton EDGE Lab in 2009. The Lab bridges the theory-practice gap in edge computing/networking research by spanning from proofs to prototypes. Dr. Chiang received the 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award for his contributions to networking R&D.
“This agreement brings together the two most important organizations shaping the Industrial Internet of Things. The combined organization offers greater influence to members, more clarity to the market, and a lower-risk path to the future for end users. We will be the center of gravity for the future of Industrial IoT systems across industry verticals,” said Stan Schneider, CEO of Real-Time Innovations (RTI) and Vice Chair of the IIC Steering Committee. “We welcome the experience and vision that Ron Zahavi and Mung Chiang bring to our Steering Committee.”
“We are excited to take the first steps toward integrating the OpenFog Working Groups, Testbeds and Use Cases with those of the IIC,” said Matt Vasey, OpenFog chairman and president, and director, AI and IoT business development, Microsoft. “Our membership is highly motivated to contribute at every level to continue the advancement of fog technology in the Industrial Internet.”
Following are additional quotes from IIC Steering Committee Members
“We are looking forward to our continued work at the IIC strengthened with the addition of OpenFog. The combined organization will cover the edge to cloud continuum and leverage the international diversity of its members, regional committees and testbeds.” Ron Zahavi, Chief Strategist for IoT Standards, Azure IoT, Microsoft, IIC Steering Committee Member
“The OpenFog Consortium and the Industrial Internet Consortium coming together marks a major step in the evolution of IoT and embedded AI. The complementary strengths of the two organizations now jointly serve global industry in the most exciting era of these technologies.” Dr. Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue University, IIC Steering Committee Member
“Building out the IIoT ecosystem is essential to ensuring quick market adoption. A significant amount of data is processed at the edge in a majority of IoT solutions being deployed. Joining our memberships as well as our technical edge and fog expertise is a force multiplier for the guidance that we are creating for the IoT industry.” Wael William Diab, Senior Director, Huawei Technologies, IIC Steering Committee Secretary
“ABB’s digital approach recognizes the importance of all elements of an IIoT stack, from the edge to the cloud, from the sensor, the automation system, and the IoT analytics, as well as the importance of open standards to ensure interoperability. As an IIC member since early days and an IIC Steering Committee member, ABB sees a great value in joining forces between the Industrial Internet Consortium and the Open Fog consortium.” Dr. Christopher Ganz, ABB Group VP Service R&D, IIC Steering Committee Member