Tag Archives: IoT

Smartphones and Beyond: The Best of Mobile World Congress 2018

The world’s biggest mobile technology event was upon us again this week. Over 100,000 tecchies descended on Barcelona this week to showcase the latest and greatest smart devices and network technologies that is Mobile World Congress (MWC). Despite reports of an overall global decline in sales at the end of last year, just one look at the show this year will tell you that consumers’ love affair with their smartphones is far from over. However, MWC is increasingly also about showcasing other kinds of connected devices and technology platforms. Continue reading

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Filed under Connectivity, Home automation, IoT, Market Analysis, Mobile technology, Smart Home, Smart Technology, virtual reality, Wearables

Channel Predictions for 2018: The drivers of change

As part of a series of Prediction blogs for 2018, we interviewed Tim Curran, CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) on his views of what this year might bring for the channel.

The pace of technology industry change continues to accelerate – and with it comes unprecedented opportunity as well as significant potential for disconnects and dislocation. Continue reading

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Filed under Enterprise IT, IoT, IT Distribution, Market Analysis, Retail, Uncategorized

Channel Predictions for 2018: A French association speaks about GDPR, IOT and “as a service”

As part of our 2018 predictions pieces, we interviewed Stella Morabito and Laurent Mitais, Secretary-General and President of the SGI distributor association on their views around key market trends they expect to see over the coming months.

GDPR General Data Protection Regulation, with its related products: Data processing & Data security
The impact of the conformity to this pan-European regulation entering into force on May 25, 2018 will be huge on CRM/HR software providers both in terms of the architecture of Stella.jpegtheir products and on the contractualization with their clients. The market of security will also be positively impacted by the growing importance of data protection and security.

IoT, with its related products: Data transmission and communications, Cloud, Data storage, Data security

The exponential development of the IoT will engender the explosion of cloud storage capabilities and hence of data centers (+21% built in 2018 following industry forecasts). A bright future for server manufacturers and providers but also an important R&D challenge, given the necessity to reduce (or reuse) power consumption (which represents in average 40% of the operating costs of a data center).

‘As a service’
2018 will mark the beginning of radical changes in consumers’ buying behaviors and in the population working habits. Consumers will become more environmentally and socially responsible, increasingly promote an economy of sharing  and be more attracted to as-a-service solutions, be it for software, hardware or transportation solutions.Laurent.jpeg

Companies will increasingly rely on telework, thus boosting the need for connected devices, cloud software and security.

SGI new year’s resolution
In this year of renewed challenges and unprecedented business opportunities, SGI will continue to support its members with expert counsel, dedicated training sessions and the organisation of industry events analysing the most impactful changes.

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Channel Predictions 2018: The effect of price transparency & other trends

As part of our Channel Predictions, we interviewed senior executives across the Channel globally, to give their predictions for this year. Today’s is by Alessandro Cattani, CEO of Esprinet and by Mariano Gordinho, Head of the Abradisti distributor association.

The effect of price transparency
by Alessandro Cattani, CEO of Esprinet
Hypertransparency” in pricing and product specifications brought by the widespread availability of internet and of e-commerce sites will push vendors, distributors, resellers and retailers to consolidate in search of economies of scale and to innovate in search of new sources of value by means of differentiation. But both consolidation and innovation will end up in fewer and fewer “hyperwinners” and more and more barely surviving (or not surviving at all) companies. Alessandro

2018 and beyond will be a stepping stone in the process of converting physical mobility (cars, motorbikes, bikes etc.) into a new IT platform as we witnessed in the past with our office desks, with our sitting rooms at home and lately with our pockets now full of smartphones.

In a world in which change and adaptation are key for survival and physical mobility is a new frontier for the IT industry, after one year and a half of problems with a tendinitis I will get back to running: you gotta be fit.

Defining trends of the IT industry
by Mariano Gordinho, head of the Abradisti distributor association
2018 will continue to consolidate the trends that have been redefining the shape of the IT industry. Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Software Defined Networks, cyber security, the increasingly intensive use of smartphones as “the device” for mobile computing, will be mandatory items on the agenda of the IT Teams and corporate decision makers.

I believe that due to the technological complexity that all these trends are putting together, cyber security should become the most relevant issue among all.Mariano

My resolution for the New Year is based on an interesting story with a friend. We were having lunch and there was a very expensive wine on the wine list. When the waiter asked my friend if we wanted the wine he said “put the corkscrew in!”. After we had a good laugh, he told me about another friend who had a beautiful cellar, but who died before drinking the wines. It was clear that this story seemed to be a good decision for life. Do not leave anything for tomorrow. There may not be a tomorrow. So my resolution for 2018 is “pop the cork” not only in our IT industry but in life in general.

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What to expect in IFA 2017?

For growth in the tech industry it’s all about Internet of Things and of course the Internet of Playthings – this year’s IFA will be an exciting place to witness this. The pre-show announcements point to make or break smart watches from Fitbit, new wearables from Samsung, a new connected toothbrush from Philips, a “behemoth” gaming machine from Acer, and new mixed-reality headsets from Microsoft.

The agenda of the various conference programmes, shows that IFA, just like its sister shows CES and MWC, give most airtime to the new, and hardly any to how technology companies can optimise the vast but legacy categories such as PC’s, printers and displays. So, for example, the keynotes will focus on digital health (Philips & Fitbit), “building the possible” (Microsoft – could this be related to their mixed reality offering?) and an intriguing topic of mobile and AI from Huawei – are they launching their own Siri/Cortana competitive offering? The IFA+ summit is focused on IOT, wearables, integrating tech in smart home, and the latest on immersive computing. It’s all about the next level – nothing stands still, although there is a timeless element about the IFA show, with its long history stretching back to 1925.

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As you wander around the 155,000 square metres of space, and get to meet the 1,805 exhibitors, do not forget to put the innovation areas on your itinerary.

Here are two of them: in hall 6.2 there are 78 companies presenting smart home offerings – covering security, lighting, home automation, cloud platforms and gateways. Look especially for the advances in voice control and the linking of smart home solutions to this technology, which is less than one year old in Europe and has already made an enormous difference to the smart home market. Then, not far away, there is hall 26 – this is the innovation pavilion where IFA Next is housed (it used to be known as IFA Tec Watch). Here you will find start-ups and all those next generation products, the ones to watch.

In pavilion 26, there is also another smart home area, with another 10 vendors, and associations, which is also not to be missed. And especially at 4pm on 4th September, when three smart home associations – the Smart Homes & Buildings Association (UK), Fédération Française de Domotique (France), and Smart Home Initiative (Germany), will sign an international cooperation agreement working together to build the category across Europe. CONTEXT is associated with all three associations, having been a force in bringing them together, and already collaborated on a number of pan-European projects.

Lastly, and not least, CONTEXT is looking forward to hosting its annual IFA dinner with clients and partners – the opportunity to hear the latest CONTEXT research on Smart Home and Immersive technology, will be delivered in a delightful Berlin venue, providing a great opportunity to relax, meet up and network.

by AS

 

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Filed under Connectivity, Home automation, IoT, Market Analysis, Mobile technology, Retail, Smart Home, Smart Technology, Wearables

Is blockchain an answer for Smart Home and IoT security?

by Chris Petersen, IMS

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you keep hearing about the concept and new technology of “blockchain”. Typically blockchain is associated with the trending topic of “bitcoin” and digital currency.   A lot of people have been talking about blockchain, but exactly what is it?   Why is it revolutionary?

More importantly what does blockchain offer in terms of security that might address the vulnerability of Smart Home and the billions of IoT devices that will permeate our lives?   Confused? You are certainly not alone.   Blockchain is more than a buzzword for millennials and something that we need to better understand at least a basic level. Continue reading

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Filed under IoT, Security, Uncategorized

WannaCry Ransomware Outbreak Drives Surge in Security Software Sales

It’s that time again when hundreds of exhibitors showcase the most relevant IT security solutions and discuss the issues that keep businesses awake at night at this week’s Infosecurity Europe show in London. Ransomware, IoT, Business Email Compromise, these are just some of the hot topics being discussed at the annual event.

It’s been over three weeks since WannaCry caused widespread chaos as it wormed its way through servers and PCs across the planet. The threat itself has at this stage largely been contained, but now the dust has settled on one of the highest profile malware campaigns in recent memory, we thought it would be useful to examine whether there’s been any impact on channel sales.

The 4000% year over year increase in Week 20 security sales is a strong indicator that organisations have indeed been prompted by the ransomware outbreak to invest in cybersecurity tools.

A global incident
Cyber attack campaigns don’t come much bigger than WannaCry. The exact scale of the incident is still not fully known, but after less than two days the ransomware had infected over 200,000 users and organisations across 150 countries, according to Europol. In fact, the total number of infections could now be in the millions, according to reports. It featured two NSA exploits, dubbed DoublePulsar and EternalBlue, which had been published online by a group known as the Shadow Brokers. It’s widely believed that another group then took these and repackaged them so that, once on a target network, the malware searched worm-like for other machines to infect, both inside that network and externally.

The speed and scale with which WannaCry spread raises some interesting questions about the state of security in many organisations. For one thing, it exploited a known Windows vulnerability, patched weeks earlier by Microsoft after the NSA informed the company. That tells us many organisations and consumers fail to follow best practice security by keeping their systems up-to-date at all times.

It also highlighted the catastrophic real-world impact that malicious code can have. Scores of NHS organisations were affected and had to shut down key IT systems, causing the cancellation of operations, chemotherapy sessions and other patient appointments. For companies, a similar outcome will have led to lost productivity and service outages, impacting the bottom line and brand reputation.

Prioritising security
It’s perhaps not surprising, therefore, that CONTEXT data tells us the WannaCry outbreak generated a significant rise in cybersecurity channel sales. We tracked license sales for two categories: Security Suites and Mail Security. The combined figures reveal that sales increased by 4,090 times from week 20 in 2016 to week 20 in 2017. More telling still is the fact that 1.2 million units were sold in the weeks post-WannaCry, compared to a normal run-rate of 20-50,000 units per week.

Cybersecurity specialists need to tread a fine line when engaging with prospective customers, between educating the market and straying into the territory of over-hyping threats to sell products. Yet the uptick in sales following WannaCry shows us that such incidents can certainly focus the minds of IT buyers, and move certain purchases up the priority list.

by MK

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