IoT round-up: SAP, GE, Bosch and Samsung eye slice of a growing pie

30 Sep 2016

IoT is everywhere. Image: jamesteohart/Shutterstock

The shift towards internet of things technologies and solutions shows no signs of easing, with billions of dollars poured into the area this week.

Internet of things (IoT) has become the phrase of the decade, with connected anything and everything the pursuit of what seems like every technology company worth its salt. This week, looked at in isolation, seems the perfect microcosm of just that.


SAP bets big

With €2bn burning a hole in its deep pockets, enterprise application software maker SAP plans to plough it all into IoT.

A five-year plan to invest in a platform to help businesses benefit from the surge of sensors, smart devices and big data, SAP says it wants in on the ground floor of what it expects will become a €250bn industry by the end of the decade.

Creating SAP IoT, the German company wants to “leverage” its existing HANA platform, with a new focus on machine learning the order of the day.

Plat.One and Fedem Tech have both come under SAP’s wing as part of its IoT push, with the company opening labs in Munich, Palo Alto, Berlin and Johannesburg to help current and potential customers learn and test IoT and digital solutions.

“With billions of connected devices, we now have the potential to reshape society, the economy and the environment,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “SAP HANA is the data platform we knew would unlock IoT. Today, SAP is making another bold investment to help our customers seize the benefits of live business.”

GE and Bosch

GE and Bosch have decided to team up and merge their connected technologies, to establish an open-source platform for companies to develop industrial IoT projects.

Announcing the signing of a memorandum of understanding this week, the pair revealed that they are to create stack-based open-source IoT software as part of the ongoing Eclipse Foundation, an open source software initiative.

To do this, the pair will integrate parts of GE’s Predix operating system with Bosch’s IoT suite to cover functionalities like messaging, descriptions and authentication.

One such implementation of this IoT suite was announced recently at IFA 2016, when Irish start-up Drop revealed its technology was to be included in its range of IoT ovens.

Samsung and SoftBank

Samsung met with Japan’s SoftBank during the week, bidding to create some form of IoT partnership. SoftBank, for those unaware, made news earlier this year when it snapped up British chipmaker ARM.

It was finally ratified earlier this month but, when the Japanese company’s July interest emerged, it caught many off guard. Sterling was at a particularly acute low following the Brexit result, with ARM part of a growing number of UK firms bought up by foreign companies.

SoftBank’s activities in Japan include plans to roll out a LoRaWAN IoT network as part of a major national project, with reports of the Samsung meeting hinting at something similar in South Korea.

“[SoftBank CEO] Masayoshi Son is keen to invest somewhere in the region of $4.5bn in South Korea’s tech industries, especially artificial intelligence, semiconductors, robots, mobile and IoT,” according to Telecom TV.

Samsung’s dominant presence in the country means the meeting, presumably to forge a close partnership, makes a good deal of sense.

Oh oh at OVH

In what is the world’s largest DDoS attack so far, hackers this week enlisted an army of IoT devices to mount an attack on data hosting company OVH.

OVH CTO Octave Klaba said that 145,607 hosted cameras were being used to hit the company with the equivalent of 30Mbps per IP, amounting to an overall 1.5Tbps.

Klaba confirmed that the attack used IoT devices, including hacked CCTV cameras. The attack is alleged to come from the same sources who spearheaded the attack on US infosec journalist Brian Krebs earlier this month.

5G Automotive Association

Once two very separate industries, telecoms and vehicle manufacturers are now rapidly merging together with the advent of connected and future autonomous vehicles.

This culmination has resulted in the forming of a new organisation, one that will include the biggest names in the automotive and telecoms industries, known as the 5G Automotive Association.

The new association includes AUDI, BMW and Daimler from the automotive side; and Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm from the telecoms industry.

The ultra-fast mobile broadband platform remains experimental in many places, but governmental organisations like the EU have put in place plans to roll out 5G into 28 European cities by 2020.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic