Month: April 2015

Intel Champions Internet of Things at IDF Shenzen

While I wasn’t there myself, this post from Intel’s blog is a good recap.

The Year of the Goat, a symbol of good fortune, marks the celebration of global ecosystem collaboration to advance the Internet of Things. To encourage collaboration at an unprecedented level, Intel announced the opening of the first Intel IoT lab in China at IDF Shenzen, a major tradeshow this spring.

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Internet of Things Group Doug Davis spoke to attendees about how the Internet of Things will drive new business models, transform industries and ultimately improve people’s lives.

Doug Davis at IDF Shenzhen“As we think about the Internet of Things, the numbers associated with it are all huge,” Davis told the crowd. “Analysts believe that by the year 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet1. About 10 billion of those devices are PCs, tablets, phones, and servers. That means the other 40 billion are things. Those things will include all of the great ideas and mass innovations that are happening.”

Today, the installed base is estimated at about 15 billion devices, and 85 percent of things that have integrated computing are not connected to each other, or to the data center or cloud2. That means that the number of devices needing to connect to the Internet over the next five years is 35 billion.

Internet of Things Growth in China

“If you look at IoT growth rates worldwide, the rest of the world is growing at about a 10 percent compound annual growth rate, but China is expected to grow at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate,” Davis said.

“Some of the industries that are expected to make up that growth worldwide are transportation and automotive, smart homes and buildings, manufacturing, industrial, and energy.”

Intel IoT Lab Opening in China

Davis also announced that Intel and the Strategic Alliance of Smart Energy Industrial Technology Innovation (SASE) are investing in an Intel IoT lab focused on platform development for the energy sector. The lab will allow customers to connect to an infrastructure and conduct testing for implementation. Intel has several such labs already in operation worldwide and will open this latest Intel IoT lab in Beijing at the end of the month.

“Customers need to be able to quickly and efficiently deploy these kinds of solutions,” Davis said. “The Intel® IoT Gateway platform integrates the Wind River operating system, the intelligent platform, and the McAfee Whitelisting Technology to create a platform where customers can create their own applications stack to deploy out into the solutions they’re creating.”

“If we want to be able to support 50 billion devices, we need solutions that can scale rapidly,” Davis continued. “Intel has been involved in these kind of horizontal and standardized implementations in the past, going from PCs to servers to storage to networking. We’ve seen dramatic growth in those areas because of that level of standardization. That’s the kind of scale that we need to drive into the Internet of Things.”

Intel IoT at IDF Shenzhen

Watch IDF Shenzhen keynotes by Davis and other Intel executives.

1. Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018 (white paper).

2. IMS research

Intel Champions Internet of Things Collaborations at IDF Shenzhen

13 f^`°n awesome Internet of Things stats

CMO.COM posted a f^`°n awesome list of stats.

1. In 2008, there were already more “things” connected to the Internet than people. By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion, with $19 trillion in profits and cost savings coming from IoT over the next decade.

2. Connected homes will be a huge part of the Internet of Things. By 2019, companies will ship 1.9 billion connected home devices, bringing in about $490 billion in revenue. Google and Samsung are already ahead of the pack. Google bought smart thermostat maker Nest Labs last year for $3.2 billion, and Samsung purchased connected home company SmartThings for $200 million.

3. Right now, most IoT smart devices aren’t in your home or phone; they are in factories, businesses and health care. By 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology could be as much as $6.2 trillion–most of that value coming from devices in health care ($2.5 trillion) and manufacturing ($2.3 trillion).

4. Only 0.06% of things that could be connected to the Internet currently are, which means 10 billion things out of the 1.5 trillion that exist globally are currently connected.

5. By 2020, it’s estimated that 90% of cars will be connected to the Internet as compared to 10% in 2012.

6. The connected kitchen will contribute at least 15% savings in the food and beverage industry by 2020.

7. By equipping street lights with sensors and connecting them to the network, cities can dim lights to save energy, only bringing them to full capacity when the sensors detect motion. This can reduce energy costs by 70% to 80%.

8. GE estimates that convergence of machines, data, and analytics will become a $200 billion global industry over the next three years.

9. More than two-thirds of consumers plan to buy connected technology for their homes by 2019, and nearly half say the same for wearable technology. Smart thermostats are expected to have 43% adoption in the next five years.

10. In 2008, Proteus Digital Health created a pill with a tiny sensor inside of it. The sensor transmits data about when a patient takes his medication and pairs with a wearable device to inform family members if it’s not taken at the right time.

11. A whopping 94% of all businesses have seen a return on their IoT investments.

12. Wearables will becomes a $6 billion market by 2016, with 171 million devices sold, up from $2 billion in 2011 and just 14 million devices sold.

13. Currently, 7% of consumers own a wearable IoT device, and 4% of consumers own an in-home IoT device.

Why Strong Customer Relationships Trump Powerful Brands

 At The Buddy Group, we find ourselves working with new and well established companies as they look to define the stories that matter. Often time, that means evaluating and in some cases overhauling the customer experience to ensure the message, story and characters are properly and authentically aligned.
In this article from HBR, I further my position that the funnel has been annihilated and yet, no one wants to admit it.Move aside silo’d thinking of customer support and brand marketing and welcome in the new collaborative marketing minds of Customer Experience Marketing and Management.
Look for a future post from me on this topic. In the meantime- enjoy the wisdom that is HBR.

Since the birth of e-commerce, marketing experts have disagreed about the future role of brands. Some have predicted that digital technologies will hasten the demise of brands because customers will have ready access to information they need to make purchase decisions, and “brand” will therefore become less relevant. Others have prophesied an increasing importance of brand as a simple way to evaluate choices in an era of information overkill.

To find out which school of thought is more accurate, we looked at the value of brands and customer relationships as revealed by M&A data covering over 6,000 mergers and acquisitions worldwide between 2003 and 2013. The beauty of M&A for examining valuation trends is that M&As reveal the dollar valuations of all assets at the time of the acquisition. Upon acquiring a business, companies have to value the different assets they acquired for their accounts and balance sheet in accordance with accounting and reporting standards. These valuations include – among other assets – brands (trademarks) and customer relationships.

This graph, based on data from the MARKABLES database, represents brand and customer relationship valuations as a percent of total enterprise value. The percentages come from fair value assessments done by purchase price allocation experts according to established accounting standards.


As the graph bracingly shows, brand valuations declined by nearly half (falling from 18% to 10%) while customer relationship values doubled (climbing from 9% to 18%) over a decade. All other categories of intangibles remained stable. These numbers reveal a dramatic shift in the strategic approach to marketing over the last 10 years. Acquirers have decisively moved from investing into businesses with strong brands to businesses with strong customer relationships.

In the past, M&A strategies often concentrated on brands and on growing brands through better brand management and internationalization. Today, such brand growth strategies appear to be either limited (for example, there is limited growth potential in mature markets) or too expensive. Instead, M&A strategies now concentrate more on acquiring firms with strong customer relationships – with all the loyalty and cross-selling benefits that confers.

This trend is powerfully reinforced by digital technologies. These allow more direct interactions with customers, bypassing expensive middlemen and reducing the cost of sales and marketing; they allow firms to optimize customer lifecycle management based on detailed data and analysis of customers’ needs; they improve efficiency and quality across the value chain as a result of continuous customer feedback; and, finally, they facilitate the realization of merging two brands into one, or rebranding. As a result, the price of direct engagement with customers relative to traditional branding and media campaigns has dropped while the effectiveness of such marketing efforts has grown.

There is a parallel development on the demand (customer) side. Digitalization makes information, including information about brands, easily accessible. For example, a customer shopping for a new car can now instantly examine and compare the specifications and performance of different car models. Thus, purchasing decisions have become more fact based, and less brand-image based. Customers still value strong brands, but what constitutes a strong brand is now more dependent on customers’ direct experience with an offering, and with their relationship with the firm that produces it.

That suggests that marketing resources now directed at brand building should be more fully integrated with those designed to reinforce relationships. The value of “brand” or “brand image” as an entity distinct from the offering itself, we think, will diminish. However, marketers should be careful not to take this too far and underinvest in classic branding. With brand messages becoming more and more individualized and diverse, brand equity needs to stay strong to perform its overall integrative role. Strong brand communications are and will remain important especially in attracting new customers and in enhancing desirability for higher price premiums.

Finally, our analysis might provide a reality check on some of the gigantic brand values now published by leading brand valuation companies as it reveals that often the lion’s share of value lies in customer relationships. Although closely intertwined, brand equity and customer equity are different concepts that need to be measured and reported separately. The real art of brand management will be to integrate the two concepts without being stymied by friction between the camps that typically manage brands and customer relationships. As Peter Drucker said, well before the advent of the information age, the sole purpose of a business is to create a customer. It’s clear that brand building will only go so far.

Christof Binder is CEO of Trademark Comparables AG / MARKABLES.

Dominique M. Hanssens is the Bud Knapp Professor of Marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.


Amazon’s Brilliant New Service Will Make You Want the Internet of Things – Hidden inside the recent announcement of’s (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) new Dash button — which lets your order specific products with a single plastic button — was a much more important move for Amazon, and one that has the possibility to truly change how we order consumable goods from Amazon.

It’s called the Dash Replenishment Service (or DRS), and its ability to automatically reorder home goods straight from the devices that use them could be a transformational step in the burgeoning Internet of Things.

All-knowing devices When we think about our home appliances, they typically serve one purpose. They either toast our bread, keep our food cold, wash our clothes, or make our coffee. They’re usually good at what they do, but are incapable of doing more than their basic function.

But the Internet of Things (or IoT) is changing that. It’s adding intelligence and connectivity to these formerly unperceiving appliances, allowing them to understand what they need, when they need it, and how to get it.

And that’s where Amazon’s DRS comes in. Amazon has teamed up with appliance manufacturers to create an automated system that allows some appliances to reorder the goods they need — all by themselves — through Amazon’s website.

Let that sink in for a moment. For anyone who hates making grocery lists, despises trips to the store, or just wants to spend more time not having to do those things (I can’t be the only one), this could be a new way to shop. Or, actually, a new way not to shop.

The best example of it right now is Whirlpool’s new smart washing machine set to debut later this year, which will come preloaded with Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service. The washing machine will not only measure when it’s running low on detergent but will also order it for you through your Amazon account when it starts running low. Two days later, assuming you have an Amazon Prime Membership, there’s detergent on your front doorstep.

The fast-growing market for IoT solutions and services may be giving IT professionals some pause, suggests a new study from Dallas-based IT outsourcing company CompuCom. Citing a forecast from IDC, the firm expects the IoT market to consist of 212 billion connected devices and be worth $8.9 trillion in 2020. Meanwhile, telecommunications giant Verizon predicts that by the same year, the industry will have established 5.4 billion business-to-business (B2B) IoT connections.

With so many devices flooding the Internet of Things with so much data, it’s little wonder that IT experts are a little wary.

A recent survey of 431 technology professionals conducted by CompuCom found that security and the potential rise in cyberattacks were the top concern for 44 percent of respondents. Data privacy and the risk of exposure of sensitive personal information emerged as a major worry for 28 percent of those polled.

“IT professionals have pretty much figured out security at the traditional end-point,” remarked Sam Gross, chief technology officer for CompuCom. “IoT accentuates a new set of security concerns that span securing the device, the edge network and the new classes of data that will be collected.”

Current approaches to safeguarding data and locking down networks may fall short in the IoT era, he added. “How we rethink security standards has driven innovation into the marketplace that will benefit us all.”

Some IT pros fear that their companies may be dragging their feet on the way to IoT readiness, the survey revealed. Nine percent pointed to a lack of organizational drive in committing to, or investing in, IoT-enabled technologies. Five percent of respondents expressed unease about finding ways to capitalize on IoT data.

Another five percent are worried that consumers may push back against IoT, fearing the possibility of invasive surveillance and other “Big Brother” scenarios.