I Got 99 Problems, but a Platform ain't One

By James Brehm

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall. 98 bottles of beer on the wall, 98 bottles of beer...
(Insert the term Platform above.)
As the old song says, start with 99, finish it off and you’ve still got 98. But congratulations to Bryan Kester and team SeeControl. They are the latest “Platform” to be swept up in the great IoT Acquisition frenzy of 2015, having been acquired late last week by Autodesk.

A leader in autocad software used in the design phase of product development, AutoDesk will leverage SeeControl’s remote device management platform to more fully capitalize on the Internet of Things opportunity. The acquisition reduces the barriers of entry for Autodesk and positions itself as a leader in the integrated software space, leveraging SeeControl's software controls and analytics for their “maker” customers.

Autodesk will directly sell and support the SeeControl platform and integrate the technology into its design tools for manufacturing, allowing designers to make connected devices and participate in the Internet of Things. SeeControl is a scalable, cloud-based platform used by industrial product makers looking to integrate smart sensors and services.

Along with competitor PTC, AutoDesk appears to be trying to create a one-stop shop for makers to design their new products from the ground up with connectivity and the IoT in mind. This makes it easier and faster to deploy new solutions. Time to market is critical, allowing organizations to capitalize on new products or a unique service offering in a timely manner and provides a competitive advantage.

With all the acquisitions and mergers happening (Thingworx, 2lemetry, Axeda, SmartThings, SeeControl, etc), who’s next? Will it be an acquisition? Will it be an IPO?

The IoT has moved beyond just hype and mere projections: Billions of dollars are searching for billions of things. And these things are looking for users and use cases. Businesses and consumers alike are searching for real solutions to real problems, and they want them now. So, who’s got the next usable thing? And how will society benefit from these things?