"Only those companies will succeed in the IoT that are able to collaborate in ecosystems. Only ecosystems provide the strategic basis for open platforms and interoperability."
Dr. Rainer Kallenbach, CEO
Creating an open IoT ecosystem
The Internet of Things requires a sea change in how established industries do business.
We believe the key to success lies in business and technology ecosystems, not individual players. IoT ecosystems work like a coral reef: all the different species live in the same water, and all help make sure the reef stays intact, too.
We help create a vibrant IoT ecosystem by playing an active role in partnerships and activities in OSS communities, standardization bodies, and industry consortia:
- Strategic alliances such as “Plattform Industrie 4.0” and the Industrial Internet Consortium accelerate development of the industrial IoT.
- System integrators not only have the right customer base, but also the skills and manpower needed to make the IoT a reality in the business world.
- Business consortia are joint ventures aiming to break through in markets that one company alone cannot conquer, e.g. Hubject (mobility; joint venture with BMW Group, Daimler, EnBW, RWE, and Siemens).
- Technology partners complement the software stack of the other player(s). The joint architecture of the Bosch IoT Suite and ThingWorx enables the integration of connected products with enterprise processes. Another example is GE Digital: we are working on technology interoperability and cloud platform integration.
- Standardization bodies such as the OSGi Alliance define globally accepted standards and are key IoT drivers.
- Open source communities such as the Eclipse IoT Working Group enable an open Internet of Things. As a strategic member of the Eclipse Foundation and a member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Bosch demonstrates the strategic importance of open source initiatives in the IoT.
How to manage interoperability
The Internet of Things is all about connecting things and machines. The number of connected devices is expected to exceed 15 billion by 2020.
In our experience, it is not the sheer number of connected devices that poses the major challenge to making the IoT a reality. Instead, it is the heterogeneity and diversity of constantly evolving things that must be reliably addressed. Our gateway and device management software therefore facilitates interaction among connected devices.
True to our open IoT strategy, we provide our users with an open platform for the IoT market, leveraging open source technologies and open standards such as Linux, Java, Eclipse IDE, OSGi, and Cloud Foundry. OSGi in particular is a global standard as well as the key to our gateway technology and remote technical management. It is also ideal for managing distributed devices, and is thus used by multi-device vendors for complex software requirements. Optimized for use in embedded and resource-constrained platforms and products, our gateway software supports all major IoT protocols, thus facilitating the integration of devices and sensors.
More openness for less complexity in the Internet of Things
A key consideration for the success of the IoT will be to have a set of core open standards.
The complexity of software today is so great that open standards alone will not suffice. A combination of open standards and open source that results in the implementation of IoT standards will be the key to promoting rapid adoption of IoT technology.
Benefits of open standards:
- Because open standards are not defined by individual players, but by industry collaboration, they are of higher quality.
- Multiple stakeholders foster long-term investment while increasing the longevity and global adoption of solutions.
- Open standards help reduce risk by precluding dependence on only one vendor. They also provide greater flexibility with multiple sources / suppliers.
Benefits of open source:
- It grants free access to the software that serves as the foundation for the Internet of Things.
- Open source enables cooperation with partners and facilitates creation of IoT ecosystems.
- It allows for cost-effective implementation of the scalability required for connecting and managing many devices.
- Only by relying on open source will it be possible to attract enough developers to make the IoT a reality.
- There is no risk of dependency on proprietary third-party platforms or on lone players.