Wireless Noodle Episode 19: A new string to the bow

This week's Wireless Noodle looks at the a White Paper Transforma Insights did with Telia on 'hyperscale IoT connectivity', some new moves from Microsoft on industry clouds and consulting, and the launch of the Transforma Insights User Group.

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An approximate transcript of the podcast is available below. 

Welcome to this week’s Wireless Noodle. It’s been a while. Over 2 months since the last one. Work has picked up. But I’m getting back into the swing and I’ve got quite a lot of stuff to report. The biggest thing is probably the Transforma Insights User Group, more on which later. And we have unveiled oodles of great research at TI. So I’ll want to talk a bit about that over the next few episodes. Catch you up on what I’ve been up to.


First up, a white paper on ‘Hyperscale IoT Connectivity’ we did in conjunction with the good people at Telia. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always focused a lot on connectivity. Masters in telecoms, historically a mobile analyst. That sort of thing. As I’ve discussed recently, a lot of things are changing in the connectivity landscape. Mostly on the technology side. But there’s much more to it than that. Demand is also changing significantly. The requirements of any enterprise for seamless global connectivity with cloud integration and various other features is rising. 

On the 26th February we published a White Paper entitled ‘Hyperscale IoT Connectivity could save enterprises 28% of their global connectivity cost’. The starting point for the White Paper is the current state of IoT connectivity. A decade ago, the ways in which global connected devices were supported was relatively simple but has changed immeasurably in the last decade with the arrival of new technologies, increasing complexity in regulation and the shift to the cloud, to name but three. 

The way in which connectivity is provided must keep up. That’s why we’re advocating a new hyperscale approach to connectivity which meets the new demands for localization, security, cloud integration and compliance.

For this reason, we advocate for a connectivity solution with a number of particular characteristics that make it more suitable for IoT in the 2020s. Firstly they must be local, which includes localising connectivity using eSIM/eUICC, as well as data management; local compliance is the key. It must also be adaptive to different architectures including cloud and edge, as well as quick to deploy into new territories. Thirdly it needs to be secure, extending the enterprise’s security perimeter out to the edge device. Finally, it must be collaborative and interoperable between the diverse members of the IoT ecosystem. We term solutions that meet these criteria ‘Hyperscale IoT Connectivity’.

The report outlines USD117 billion in cost savings that can be made by enterprises over the next decade by using this Hyperscale approach. The White Paper demonstrates how critical it is for enterprises adopting IoT to make the right choices in their connectivity provider. Decisions around connectivity have focused too much on shaving a few cents off data rates. That misses the point that choosing wisely in a connectivity solution can accelerate time-to-market, guarantee compliance, ease integration with cloud platforms and help in numerous other ways that benefit the deploying organisation out of all proportion of the cost of the connectivity.

The aim with the White Paper is to focus the attention of would-be customers on the need to consider every aspect of their IoT project when making their choice of connectivity partner. Bad decisions, by selecting a connectivity solution that will not scale to the demands of the 2020s, will end up costing adopters over $100 billion.

In total we identify eleven main ways in which enterprises will benefit from selecting a Hyperscale-friendly solution. These range from greater supply chain efficiency, courtesy of using eSIM, through to more streamlined device-to-cloud integration giving a superior and more consistent global deployment experience. Other benefits include faster time-to-market for companies deciding the move into overseas markets, and superior security mitigating the cost of layering on additional measures. Further details can be found in the White Paper.

On average, our analysis tells us that enterprises can save costs equivalent to 28% of their connectivity spend. This figure hides a lot of variation. In the manufacturing vertical, for instance, the cost savings over the next decade could more than exceed the total spent by the sector on connectivity.

Link here


Speaking of Hyperscale. That’s a term I’ve *ahem* borrowed from discussion of a different set of companies. Hyperscale cloud providers. Principally this covers Microsoft, AWS and Google, but could include the likes of Facebook, Apple, Oracle, IBM and SAP. 

Back in March I wrote a report about one of them: Microsoft, and specifically its ‘industry clouds’ solution.

The last six months have seen a flurry of announcements about Microsoft’s ‘industry clouds’ offerings. Cloud for Healthcare was introduced in October 2020, with early 2021 seeing a more expanded offering covering Financial Services, Manufacturing, Nonprofit and Retail. These new product suites represent a significant switch towards more verticalised offerings, tailored to particular vertical sectors.

Earlier in 2020 we also saw another significant switch aimed at better addressing the enterprise market. In July, Microsoft launched its Consulting Services business unit as part of its Cross-Industry Solutions group. The new unit is focused on strategic advisory, project guidance and implementation of Microsoft technologies. 

These two moves mark a shift away from being a horizontally oriented products-only company towards providing a much more holistic set of vertical-specific services supported by consulting services for customization and implementation. 

Our new report examines the capabilities and remit of the industry clouds and Microsoft Consulting Services and offers our perspectives on how valuable its offering will be to enterprise adopters.  

The conclusion, broadly, is that the industry clouds offerings have the potential to cement Microsoft’s hold over mainstream IT products. The productisation of what would historically have been implemented as custom builds is a natural evolution to the platformisation inherent in ICT. 

As a side-note Jim Morrish at Transforma Insights has recently published a report looking at what Systems Integrators need to do to react to this challenge to their position. After all, if everything is being productised, what do the companies who do the customising turn to next? But I digress.

For Microsoft, it marks a notable strategic shift and a potential game changer, both in terms of building an even stickier portfolio of services for the enterprises, as well as providing a simple adoption path to the granular adoption of Microsoft’s AI capabilities. 

The success or otherwise of the consulting business is much more difficult to predict. The approach that Microsoft will take with it is not yet clear, although we can make some assumptions. Its ambition should be to use that organisation as a support act for the industry clouds, both in terms of learning about vertical client needs and in providing technical support for products which will never be quite off-the-shelf.

On the subject of hyperscalers, I will come back to that next week when I talk at length about a report that we’ve just published comparing the capabilities overall in all aspects of digital transformation between Microsoft, AWS and Google. 


Finally. As promised. Big news from us is that we’ve launched a new part to the business. Specifically it’s the Transforma Insights User Group.

How we describe it is as a year-round, engaged and informed, subscription-based member community, connecting technology end users who are navigating their digital transformation journey.

The User Group unites professionals with common goals and responsibilities in a trusted environment, to exchange lessons in new technologies, emerging use cases and enterprise change management. 

The TI User Group facilitates structured discussion and the sharing of ideas to allow members to grow their knowledge base and foster partnerships between leading technology stakeholders and enterprise adopters.

For details on membership, the year’s schedule and member benefits, see transformainsights.com/about/user-group

OK, so who is it for? It’s for adopters of IoT, AI and any other disruptive technology. Could be Chief Information Officer or Chief Digital Officer or someone sitting within an innovation BU. Essentially it’s anyone interested in how new tech will influence their business. And it’s across all verticals. In fact we’re thinking that one of the interesting things will be how businesses can learn off other sectors. 

What do you get? Every quarter we’ll have a theme, be it digital transformation in the post-COVID era or building data driven competitive advantage. Based on that theme we will have  exclusive reports, podcasts, virtual events, collaboration sessions and meet ups.  

And there’s a special closed door collaborative discussion forum for premium members. 

Of course a lot of this will be primed by Transforma Insights analyst contributions and other experts on the latest technology trends and enterprise issues. But ultimately it will be built on a community of users all sharing best practice on technologies, use cases and business issues related to ‘Digital Transformation’. We’re very excited about the prospect.

If you would like to hear more there will be a link on the Transforma Insights website


Really finally this time, we’re hiring. If you know a great candidate to be a Principal Analyst and/or VP Research in North America, please drop us a line. We’re looking for a face-of-the-company type to speak at events, write some thought leading research and spend a lot of face time with clients (when we’re finally allowed again). Mail careers@transformainsights.com if you know someone. Or if you are someone. 

Just a reminder: if you’re enjoying the podcast I’d be obliged if you could leave a review. It’s much appreciated. 

Next week I will be talking more about hyperscalers, and the User Group and sharing some of the news that caught my eye in the many weeks since we were last doing this.   

Links to some of the research that I’ve refered to in this week’s show, as well as a transcript of the recording, will be available on the podcast website at WirelessNoodle.com

Thank you for listening to The Wireless Noodle. If you would like to learn more about the research that I do on IoT, AI and more, you can follow me on Twitter at MattyHatton and you can check out TransformaInsights.com

Thanks for joining me. I’ve been Matt Hatton and you’ve been listening to the Wireless Noodle