What Were the Key Takeaways from this Year's Mobile World Congress?


In this latest issue of our newsletter, A Connected Conversation, we'll fill you in on all of the exciting developments that happened at this year's Mobile World Congress. 

As 5G is making its way through the door, large MNOs are forming powerful partnerships, deploying new networks, and presenting dazzling, new solutions. So, who is partnering up, and where are these new networks being deployed? 

It is our goal at James Brehm & Associates to equip you, the reader, with the knowledge and insight you need to make wise decisions regarding your IoT and IoT-related ventures and projects. This goals drives us to uncover and report the most accurate and telling financials, key performance indicators (KPIs), and news. 

To view this issue of A Connected Conversation, simply click here. We hope that you enjoy reading this report as much as we enjoyed putting it together. 

For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

Take Our 5-10 Minute Survey & Reap the Rewards!

James Brehm & Associates has been commissioned to conduct a study to better understand the trends, opportunities, and obstacles of developing, deploying, and supporting LPWAN solutions. The findings from the study will be published in a Developer's Report and LPWAN Developer's Report. 

In exchange for completing the survey, participants will receive the the report at a discounted price of $425 (USD)—the original price being $1,200 (USD)—as well as 1 hour of custom consulting from James Brehm & Associates. Participants will also have their names entered in a raffle to win an Apple Watch.

We respectfully request your participation. If you're interested, then go ahead and click HERE to take this short, 5-10 minute survey. Your responses wll be confidential.  You can only take the survey once. Questions marked with an asterisk (*) require a response. 

Here is the link to the survey: http://bit.ly/IoTDevSur

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us at info@jbrehm.com.

Thank you for your input!

Happy New Year! Let's Review IoT's Q3 Peformance

For this issue of A Connected Conversation, we researched the market activity, financials, and KPIs of numerous IoT-relevant companies to gauge their performance for Q3 2018. 

In this issue, you will find performance summaries and analyses as well as updates on business activities such as new network deployments, partnerships &/or alliances, new product &/or service announcements. 

It is our goal at James Brehm & Associates to equip you, the reader, with the knowledge and insight you need to make wise decisions regarding your IoT and IoT-related ventures and projects. This goals drives us to uncover and report the most accurate and telling financials, key performance indicators (KPIs), and news. 

To view this issue of A Connected Conversation, simply click here. We hope that you enjoy reading this report as much as we enjoyed putting it together. 

For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

Help Us Help You! Complete Our IoT & Network Security Survey!


We at James Brehm & Associates are committed to staying ontop of the latest IoT-industry perspectives.

Whether by one-on-one personal interviews or by reviewing first-hand company reports, we use a variety of methods to gather data and maintain a well-rounded understanding of the market state of IoT...which is why we need your expert opinion. 

We are conducting a survey study to gauge how professionals involved in IoT (from entrepreneurs to developers, etc.) perceive security in IoT. In this survey we will explore the greatest security challenges each vertical faces as well as what different approaches are being taken towards boosting security, and more.  

The following survey should take less than 5 minutes, and your responses are confidential. You can only take the survey once. Questions marked with an asterisk (*) require a response.

To take the survey, click this link:


How Does Blockchain Enable IoT? Attend James's IoT Presentation with Pepper Hamilton to Find Out


James Brehm, Founder & Chief Technology Evangelist of James Brehm & Associates, will be presenting IoT & Blockchain: Opportunity at the Intersection at Pepper Hamilton November 8th in NYC.

We want to personally invite you to join us on November 8th from 6-8pm at Pepper Hamilton's New York Office in the New York Times Building which can be found on 620 Eighth Avenue 37th Floor, New York, NY 10018-1401.

This promises to be a lively discussion that will delve into how blockchain is being used to enable IoT innovation and growth with solutions that can smoothly juggle scalability, transaction speed, and security. 

Along with Andy Castonquay (IBM), Andre de Castro (Block Chain of Things), Joe Gaugliardo (Pepper Hamilton), and Allen Proithis (Capstone Capital), I will be discussing the where and when that blockchain makes sense with IoT.

If you want to register for this event please reach out to Kim MacAlister on215.981.4249 or via email at macalisterk@pepperlaw.com.

Since we are in town we're inviting you to take advantage of the opportunity to schedule a briefing.

Hope to See you soon.

How Did Major IoT Companies Do in Q2 2018? Read to Find out!

For this issue of A Deeper Connected Conversation, we researched the market activity, financials, and KPIs of numerous IoT-relevant companies to gauge their performance for Q2 2018. 

In this issue, you will find performance summaries and analyses as well as updates on business activities such as new network deployments, partnerships &/or alliances, new product &/or service announcements. 

It is our goal at James Brehm & Associates to equip you, the reader, with the knowledge and insight you need to make wise decisions regarding your IoT and IoT-related ventures and projects. This goals drives us to uncover and report the most accurate and telling financials, key performance indicators (KPIs), and news. 

To view this issue of A Deeper Connected Conversation, simply click here. We hope that you enjoy reading this report as much as we enjoyed putting it together. 

For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

Read All About It! Our Latest Issue of A Connected Conversation Has Just Been Released!


IoT solutions could be used to enable heavy equipment operators and OEMs to perform predictive analytics and maintenance as well as a number of other financially gainful functions. Adoption of these solutions, however, has been slow. 

In this latest issue of A Connected Conversation, we focused on IoT solutions, the benefits they offer to heavy machinery operators and OEMs as well as the challenges to their adoption.

To view this issue of A Connected Conversation, simply click here.

For more information, please contact us at info@jbrehm.com.

The 2018 IoT Health Report: IoT World Gives IoT Its Yearly Check-up

By: James Brehm, Mike Krell, & Carl Ford


Every spring the IoT industry convenes in Santa Clara for IoT World. As one of the larger (if not the largest) IoT specific show, IoT World is a great opportunity to network with the “movers and shakers” in the IoT space, and it also gives us an opportunity for a checkup…so how is our health?

The answer is we are either still in our infancy or we are a technology trend and not a market.

After careful deliberation, here are 7 key thoughts about where we are after spending 3 full days of meetings and taking in the IoT scene at the show.

1. It’s all about the ecosystem. We’ve been saying this for a long time, and it still holds true. No company can implement an IoT solution in a vacuum—our research at James Brehm & Associates (JBA) bears this out. We see generally about 8 different systems/companies involved in major IoT deployments. Face it, there are just a lot of pieces to the puzzle: sensors, processors, gateways, and servers on the hardware side on top of lightweight OS, edge-based solutions, and cloud on the software side. Given all these pieces, it’s not surprising that for each of these there is a systems integrator or IoT managed service provider ready to assist in assembling the puzzle. Whether we like it or not, this isn’t going to change. What can and should change, however, is the number of potential solutions in each category. This leads us to our next key thought…

2. Cloudy partnerships don’t deliver IoT. We looked around for actual customers and realized there was a problem. Being in Silicon Valley makes for strong attendance. Startups and cloud companies mingle easily and achieve a lot of partnerships on paper. Producing products in partnership, on the other hand, is not being achieved. To elaborate on the problem: in the US there are about 6 million businesses. At the top are 6,000 companies with more that 2,500 employees. These are the companies that can power through using IoT. To IoT World’s credit, they highlighted some of these eenterprises. However, the next two market segments are not necessarily getting offerings that match their needs. For the 1.5 million companies that are between 10 to 2,500 employees (and most of them are closer to 10), integrators with reference designs that deliver 80% of the solution are in high demand. Very few of these offerings are coming out of the CA-based IoT solutions company, myDevices. Sprint’s IoT Factory, on the other hand, is one of the better picks and uses reference designs. The integrator ecosystem has yet to meet the challenge of this segment. The largest market, the small business market of less than 10 employees, is in even worse shape. This is a market that wants to buy IoT off the shelf. They want to buy from Amazon and not Amazon Web Services (AWS).

3. What was missing? Sprint’s IoT Factory & Off the Shelf Solutions. Actually producing finished, IoT products is essential to scaling IoT and broadening the reach of IoT World. By offering off-the-shelf solutions with straightforward, readily understood pricing models and by streamlining processes and cutting down on unnecessary meetings about requirements and costs of customization, Sprint’s IoT Factory (powered by the IoT solutions company, myDevices) is a great example of what the marketplace needs right now. A simple, concise “Here are the solutions, and here is when we can send someone out to install them. Interested?,” carries volumes more punch than hours of will-we-won’t-we conversations. Who does IoT Factory send? This is one of the best aspects of their partnership with myDevices. The installers are small independent integrators identified by myDevices  that have been researched on Yelp. If you know what you’re doing with IoT and have a review on Yelp, then there’s a good chance that you have probably already been contacted by the Factory (or soon will be) and have been invited to train to support the Factory. Kevin Bromber the CEO of myDevices says it well: “As an industry, we’re just scratching the surface of how powerful IoT solutions can be when combined with the massive scale, world-class connectivity and advanced technology…”

4. There are still too many platforms. It’s confusing (and holding back) the industry. We at JBA have a +700-long list of solutions that call themselves “platforms.” A key issue has been (and remains) settling on the definition of a platform. What is a platform? How about device management? Application enablement? When language isn’t standardized, misunderstandings ensue and we end up with a jumble of solutions—many of which claim to fulfill the same role but simply do not provide the same functionality. How’s an organization to pick a solution? There’s everything from majors like Amazon, Microsoft, and SAP to industrial players like PTC and Siemens to smaller players like Clearblade and everything else in between. Do enterprises go with a more generic solution (which requires more programming/setup) or a more industry-specific or focused solution? We’ve got our thoughts on the winners/losers of this battle, but one thing is for sure: with this many players, the field must shake out. And hopefully it’ll happen rapidly to quickly weed out those that don’t have real innovative and scalable technology from those that do.

5. It’s a lot about the edge. One of our constant battles at JBA is trying to define what the edge is, and what the overall IoT industry is. The industry still doesn’t have  comprehensive and standardly accepted definitions of these terms. What we do know is that the IoT edge is getting smarter and that it is having a strong effect on  hardware and software architectures. Driven by video and voice, processor companies like Qualcomm and ARM are focusing on delivering low-cost compute architectures that can provide the ability to process data and provide analytics where the sensors and actuators are located, such as on video cameras on an industrial controller. These applications, driven by increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, are pushing not only hardware architecture, but software architecture, as well. Azure Edge, Clearblade, SAP, and Leonardo Edge are just a few of the IoT platforms that are rapidly trying to deal with this change. The critical elements for long haul success will be how and where enterprises process and then integrate data from IoT applications into their business systems to get the most value out of their data.

6. Use cases, use cases, repeat after me, use cases. We talk a lot about applications, target markets, and verticals when discussing IoT, but in reality, it’s all about use cases. The world of IoT is so diverse that you have to get really specific when talking about what problems you are trying to solve or what markets you are trying to affect. Transportation is not a homogeneous target segment. The needs of an autonomous vehicle are very different needs from those of fleet management or of pallet tracking. Vendors that are focused on just one of these verticals are missing the mark when it comes to positioning their solutions for organizations to actually use them and actually generate revenues. Remember: enterprises are trying to solve real world problems, find new revenue streams, optimize real processes, and meet compliance requirements. Questions like “How can I reduce the number of times my production line goes down?” or “how can I meet the new industry regulations for fleet tracking?” are very specific problems. One of the key trends I see is application enablement platforms producing “80/20” solutions that are 80% complete for specific applications such as asset management or fleet tracking. Huawei and SAP come to mind. With pre-packaged applications mostly done, the only work left is to connect them to the specific systems they need to interact with. This is the right strategy at the right time to jump-start the IoT market.

7. The prospects for IoT monetization are high, and the money continues to flow (for some). There is no doubt that the IoT ecosystem will generate significant revenues over time. IoT Fever may be running high but it will eventually come down from its pitch back to earth. I had a senior executive at a major enterprise player once tell me, “We know the market is huge, so we’ve stopped trying to chase the numbers to justify all out actions.” Microsoft just announced a $5 billion investment in IoT, on top of what they have already spent. There is a huge ecosystem of players being funded by VC’s and private equity firms making continuous moves, and they both are still very active in the space. We all know it’s going to be huge. The problem is this is a long game, and it takes time to move and develop. IoT networks, both cellular such as NB-IoT and LTE-M and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) such as LoRa, don’t yet provide ubiquitous coverage. Software and hardware aren’t mature yet. And enterprises are still looking for the ROI. There will continue to be shakeout, and we will need to reduce the number of options for every segment of IoT.

In summary, the promise of IoT has not been reduced, and the industry will continue to grow, but people have to understand that the industry is still nascent. It’s in it’s infancy. We have a long way to go, but that’s not a deterrent. All the pieces in the ecosystem will fall into place to provide the real value of connecting devices and gathering and analyzing data from a seemingly never-ending supply of use cases…

Conversations near a Conference

By: Carl Ford


IoT World is going on this week in Santa Clara. We started the week with meetings in San Jose and Santa Clara and have 20+ meetings and speaking on two topics. It’s a very good show. Kudos to Gavin Whitechurch and his team.

My first two days have been spent in the Santa Clara Hyatt adjacent to the convention center in meetings with clients and other industry heavyweights.

Two conversations in particular struck me as worthy of writing about. One for its insight and depth of collaborative discussion. The other for its content regarding poor messaging.

Let me set the stage first. Almost everyone who is here believes we have not even begun to tap the market opportunity of IoT. Whether you want to dive into a vertical or look at the entire spectrum of solutions, the market is rich with problems needing a solution. Many companies have unmet requirements, broken business models, unmet needs, and missed opportunities. The organizations we speak with have untapped market opportunities.

This is where the insight came in with a discussion from a friend at a Tier 1 MNO. He was sharing his experience with business leaders that often have a problem that IoT can solve, but don’t have a full perspective or responsibility. He says often he comes across problems that people want addressed but are not in charge of. For example, a company has a problem with theft and wants to track their goods. An IoT track and trace solution would fit nicely into this mix. This problem of the theft is drawn to the attention of security. It starts as a physical security discussion, but they don’t have access to all the shipment data and they would have to deploy people since they have limited IT resources or skills. Security brings this to the attention of IT. IT listens but candidly does not monitor the shipments—only the transactions—so they don’t look for a solution.

Now comes the insight. If you are stuck in these circular discussions, the problem is not an IoT problem yet. The people you are talking to don’t have a span of control that matches to an IoT solution. This means you either have to go up a level or find the right organization that cares about these issues.

And here is the inverse of this discussion: Meeting with a platform company that is looking to differentiate themselves from the plethora of platforms out in the market. This company has focused on supporting hardware companies with almost-out-of-the-box, ready-made reference solutions. In reality, many (if not most) of the platforms available have these libraries today. Additionally, many have offered MVNO services.

The hardware companies may need to see a reference design, but the Pareto Principal (aka the “80/20 Rule”) would indicate that a reference design—while being 80% of the code—only takes you to 20% of the value.

The additional 20% of development needs to meet the requirements of the business case. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the integration to specific environmental issues and the management dashboard and training. These additional requirements extend far beyond a lump of code.

This is a job for a systems integrator.

And here the insight from our Tier 1 friend shows comes up again.

Everywhere I turn, I hear about digital transformation and digital twins. You would think that systems integrators would be the ones pushing the conversation and value of IoT. Yet connecting the dots and showing the benefits of IoT has not been understood, on their end.

It’s clear we are a fledgling business. It’s also clear that we need to improve our messaging to climb the hockey stick.

Mind the Gap with Carnegie Technologies

By: Carl Ford


“Heterogeneous” is the word for the process of melding communications systems using wireline, Wi-Fi, and cellular technologies. I asked to interview Carnegie Technologies when they acquired SmartSwitch, as the company is one of the leaders in the heterogeneous networking space. I spoke with John Goocher, Managing Director, Matt Hovis, Chief Marketing Officer, and Ben Toner, Director of Mobility Product Management, about the acquisition and history of Carnegie Technologies.

Paul Posner, who has been a pioneer of wireless services, founded Carnegie Technologies after realizing that the vendor community had portfolio gaps in areas necessary for seamless communications. The goal was to manage disparate networks like Wi-Fi and cellular services. Along the way the feature set expanded and began to include features such as replication of packets, link aggregation (what I used to call “bonding”), dual “keep a lives,” and traffic analytics. Combined, this became Carnegie’s Network Convergence Platform (NCP) solution which aims to optimize the user experience through making and aggregating the best network connections available.

The acquisition of Smartswitch enhances the ability to provide “a consistent user experience across all devices while in the home, at work, on the move and while out and about. The innovation required to deliver such a tailored experience, in all real-world Wi-Fi conditions, has repeatedly demonstrated the value service providers can extract from their Wi-Fi assets today.”

Carnegie has developed a link aggregation capability which it says is designed to provide a smooth integration of Wi-Fi into cellular services. Although it has similarities to the much talked about Multipath TCP (MPTCP), it provides extra capabilities for supporting UDP data streams from voice apps and for delivering gapless handover. It also removes some of the technical issues faced by MPTCP, such as Head of the Line Blocking. “The combined capability of SmartSwitch and the patented link aggregation capabilities of the NCP goes directly for the maximum user experience, offering premium aggregation of data links while ensuring the best Wi-Fi has been selected in order to maximize the potential for Wi-Fi usage, which in turn eliminates congestion and cost on the cellular networks.”

Paul Posner, CEO of Carnegie Technologies, commented “many smart devices on the market today have the capability to access more than one network at a time, and we’re committed to ensuring that the users of these devices can benefit from all networks with the optimal user experience.”

Their NCP solution boasts a number of features that are pragmatic and ready for today’s network environment. For example, a Wi-Fi analytics capability continuously measures QoS and provides insights to the service providers when their customers are both on and off their network. In addition, NCP offers policy management and the ability to adapt the network selection to be just right for the customer (e.g. unlimited plan customers may use 4G if Wi-Fi is slow, whereas pre-pay customers may use more Wi-Fi regardless of quality in order to keep costs down). Their solution supports SIM authentication and HotSpot 2.0, so it is ready for all of the future Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Another aspect of the NCP with SmartSwitch is the ability to interface with the mobile core via 3GPP Access Network Discovery Selection Function (ANDSF), which in turn means their connection and aggregation policies are tuned to the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) rules and subscriber tiers. For MVNOs who do not have a mobile core, they support automatic authentication of portals using EAP methods as well as WISPr.

Carnegie Technologies is also a player in IoT where it’s also expected to offer huge benefits owing to devices’ need for continuous and reliable connections to work to their fullest potential. Regardless of a carrier’s primary strategy, I think solutions such as Carnegie Technologies’ offering are going to become more essential.