Software Monetization in the Embedded and Internet of Things (IoT) Markets

Software Monetization in the Embedded and Internet of Things (IoT) Markets

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

There are few hotter topics in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) than the transformative ability to embed network connectivity in all of the personal and professional devices we rely on, and the closely associated impact that this connectivity will have on what is popularly characterized as the Internet of Things (IoT).

The hype surrounding IoT seems to grow exponentially each day. Judging by what has already has been deployed in such areas as agriculture, fleet management, logistics, and surveillance, it’s clear that we are on the verge of understanding what a brave new world of high-performing, reliable, safe, and profitable IoT ecosystems might look like.

Indeed, safety and profitability loom large as major challenges. After all, without the trust created by proper security, IoT will falter, and without the means for protection, progress could be hindered. This is precisely why next-generation licensing and entitlement management matter so much as enablers of the future. In fact, thanks to increased software-centricity, the cloud, virtualization, and mobility, licensing and entitlement will matter in unprecedented and evermore critical ways; these are the final elements necessary for ensuring the success of what has been referred to as the “Internet of Everything” and the promise it holds.

As an established leader in data protection and software licensing and entitlement management solutions (aka software monetization), Gemalto (formerly SafeNet (News - Alert)) is a company with a unique perspective on how we can get from where we are today to where we want to be. In fact, in a recent video interview with ICC Media Editor Jurgen Hubner, Aurelius Wosylus, Director of Business Development, for the Software Monetization unit at Gemalto (News - Alert), shared his thoughts on where we are and the road ahead.

Viewing the embedded video is more than worth your time. In the interview, Wosylus makes several noteworthy points about what is going to be required.

Wosylus’s talk is aimed at several audiences, the first being intelligent device manufacturers and their ecosystem partners. The following list of challenges that device manufacturers face is reason enough to bookmark this article: 

  • Feature enablement – The capability of secure and remote feature upgrades.
  • Operational costs – The high cost associated with inventory, support, and shipping for a wide variety of hardware SKUs for each product line.
  • IP theft – Competitive espionage resulting in the theft of trade secrets.
  • Reverse engineering – IP theft resulting in unauthorized reproduction and distribution of knock-off products.
  • Device Tampering – Malicious or unintentional code manipulation resulting in altered functionality and regulatory non-compliance.
  • Restrictive business models – Inflexible feature management techniques resulting in limited market penetration capabilities.
  • Manual business processes – Laborious upgrade and renewal processes resulting in high support costs and a poor customer experience.
  • Integration of applications in the corporate IT infrastructure.
  • 3rd party company integration.
  • Billing and payment integration.

The below list puts into context Gemalto’s (formerly SafeNet) Sentinel portfolio of solutions, outlining the business goals necessary for success now and in the future, as well as the various capabilities that need to be addressed in an holistic manner.

Source (News - Alert):  SafeNet

As Wosylus explains in his interview, if we look at licensing and entitlement from the dual perspectives of device and OEM manufacturers, and independent software vendors (ISV), each of the capabilities are important in their own right, but they are also closely interrelated. Going through them quickly illustrates why.

The list is not in rank order, but secure licensing is rightfully at the top, because without the assurance that intellectual property (IP) can be delivered and used according to contract terms and conditions, ISVs will fear their efforts are not being properly rewarded. Conversely, users will not know if they are getting the licenses they have paid for and are in compliance.

From the perspectives of ISVs and customers, having insight to customer usage is important, to say the least, not only in terms of compliance but also product development. In a world that is moving towards software-as-a-service subscription-based models, where ease of use is an important factor, customer self-service is only going to become more important over time.

Capabilities such as feature and/or software catalog management and license lifecycle management lend themselves to agility, responsiveness, and operational efficiencies. For ISVs and device manufacturers, the focus of their business models is shifting away from hardware and onto the software used to control it. As the world becomes increasingly software-centric, developers are looking for ways to package and price their offering however they want, in line with their users’ needs. For vendors, this means substantially lower development costs and the ability to be opportunistic with new features, bundles, and pricing options. This is made possible by improving both operational efficiency and the user experience.

Another important requirement is the ability to monitor, analyze, and support every stage of the customer journey; from initiation to end-of-life upsell opportunity, such as when markets get disrupted or capabilities become obsolete. If operational excellence, customer responsiveness, and security are to be achieved, every aspect of the workflow needs to be recalibrated. This is especially true of workflows that support environments where billions of devices are connected and the amount of data being processed is enough to cause an explosion, figuratively speaking.

At the highest level, the goals are simple: provide access, options, security, and opportunities to maximize the potential of rapidly evolving markets as the world becomes more software-centric and connected. Thanks to the evolution of its Sentinel portfolio, Gemalto has become expert at visualizing the future.

It is interesting that the graphic is one of a vision, given that visibility for all concerned is foundational to maximizing the value of embedded software, and enabling IoT become massively and safely deployable and profitable in a future that is coming at us very fast.  

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Vertical Communications Acquires CT Innovations

February 19, 2015

By David Delony Contributing Writer

Vertical Communications, a provider of business communication software and solutions, has announced that it has acquired CT Innovations (CTI) a provider of voice and data solutions.


“CTI has built a very loyal customer base by delivering advanced communications technology that has remained relevant to the unique requirements of its customers,” said Vertical Communications CEO Peter Bailey. “Through this acquisition, Vertical will continue to build on the strong foundation cemented by CTI to serve this growing business community, while further expanding Vertical’s presence in the South and Midwest.”

CTI currently serves over 400 customers across Kentucky, Tennessee, Southern Ohio and Indiana. Vertical will serve CTI’s existing customer base, and its Louisville office will become a Vertical sales office.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the move will significantly expand its customer base.

“There are tremendous synergies with CTI that make this a very attractive opportunity,” Vertical executive vice president Ben Treadway said. “As a longstanding Vertical partner, CTI has been adept at selling solutions that deliver real business value to their customers, which is in perfect lockstep with Vertical’s business philosophy. We expect that the integration with CTI will be completely seamless and transparent, and are delighted to have the opportunity to now work directly with CTI’s loyal customers.”

A couple of months into the new year, Vertical has already been busy with acquisitions. The company acquired the assets of Boston-based Voice Systems through its Fulton Communications in January. The acquisition expanded its footprint in New England. Vertical had merged with Fulton in 2014.

Vertical Communications is based in Santa Clara, CA, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. The acquisitions will give it greater access to new areas with its flagship product, the Vertical Wave IP, which combines Unified Communications (UC) with CRM and ERP as well as mobile.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

inContact, Black Box Systems to Address Call Center Migration

inContact, Black Box Systems to Address Call Center Migration

February 18, 2015

Contact center software is nothing without a powerful infrastructure on which it can operate. Similarly, a powerful network is just a collection of metal and plastic without code on both ends to utilize those materials to transmit data. This necessary interplay is the backbone of why the new partnership between inContact and Black Box (News - Alert) Systems makes sense.


inContact, a developer of cloud-based contact center software, and Black Box Network Services, a provider of data and voice infrastructure, recently announced that they will being working together to better meet enterprise demand for call center systems. inContact's comments about the partnership calls the result of the pairing a complete solution that delivers a streamlined product from end to end. For enterprise customers this will include the inContact cloud-based contact center and workforce optimization platforms, as well as network connectivity from Black Box.

Paul Jarman, the CEO of inContact, noted that the two companies will help their business customers deliver a powerful customer experience.

“The inContact and Black Box relationship provides companies with technologically superior cloud solutions as well as industry leading service and support capabilities,” Jarman said. “inContact's advanced and open cloud contact center platform unifies multiple contact center locations and systems in order to streamline operations and improve the customer experience that companies want to deliver.”

Black Box added that this relationship will provide a number of options for enterprises so they can choose the exact features they want and have new infrastructure and software installed at a pace in which they are comfortable. This could be anything from a small to midsize business setup or a nation-wide construction that could tie together multiple call center locations.

One key element of what the companies say they can deliver is the ability to migrate without loss of service. In addition to allowing their clients to pick which infrastructure and software options they need, they can continue to use their legacy systems for as long as necessary before the inContact/Black Box installation is complete.

Part of the announcement mentions inContact's ability to partner with professional service firms and carriers to create the best products for their customers. Over the years, inContact has seen its share of partnerships that include big names such as a Siemens (News - Alert) and Salesforce. Earlier this month, it announced that it began working with Direct Interactions. The latest news regarding Black Box is unique, however, in that it will leverage Black Box's expertise in the field of network infrastructure rather than just offer its own cloud systems for use by other corporations.

Cloud Computing: The Largest Technology Disrupter to Hit the Contact Center Industry

February 18, 2015

By Rodney Kuhn, Founder and Chairman, Envision

Cloud computing has come a long way since 1961 when the idea was first introduced. It’s gone from being a worn-out buzzword—that tech startups used to sell services—to one of the largest technology disrupters. In fact, one could argue that we’re currently living in the “era of cloud computing,” judging by its extensive adoption.

Read more

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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Mapping the Air for Drones

In the end drone regulation is like spectrum regulation, full of arbitrary dividing lines for use cases and sold off elevations.

In our planning meetings about the next IoT Evolution EXPO happening in Las Vegas August 17-20, the discussion of drones is a place where everyone has a part of the envelope.

Toy drones get discussed, aerial photography gets discussed, distribution systems like Amazon has talked about get discussed and the guy who travelled using a Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles comes to mind as an oxymoron.  

It seems to be a universal topic that sounds like we will all own one like a TV.

However, that also suggests that we are going to give the FAA some headaches.

Toys and aerial photography maybe get to be like short wave and wi-fi.  In a noman’s land where everyone is allowed to play.

RIght now they are indicating a fast lane strategy where drones can fly 500 ft up and go 100 miles per hour. At speeds like that the indication is we are going to have air roads.

While we all love to join Christoper “Doc” Lloyd in saying “Roads? Who needs roads!”  The reality is that we are probably going to have guidelines. The “guide - lines” will work somewhat like the way the FAA keeps commercial planes flying the same routes.  

Now with the understanding that the shovel and pick store was probably the richest venture during the gold rush, with the lawyers by the claims office being a close second, the biggest opportunity I can think of is surveying and map making.

While, I started this article with the view that air roads were going to follow highways,  I started to think about the way my GPS system keeps wanting to guide me to my home by the “shortest” route.  Often I end up in neighborhoods near my home, that made no sense to me, since it did not account for local stop signs and other residential traffic.

I can envision a “air” grab of right of ways for drone lanes that will be filled with contentions like cell towers. ”Everyone wants the coverage but don’t want the tower by their house,”  or noise pollution. The word drone, maybe based on the sound they make constantly.  “The highway sound barrier has helped my neighborhood, but does anyone have an idea, how to make a sound barrier in the air?”

Most importantly,  the government already has a pretty strong understanding of how they use drones, and their technology is heading towards it 3rd generation. Like the investment by Mark Zuckerberg in Titan Aerospace, the government has learned to hover for great periods of time. Suggesting that Arthur C. Clark’s rationale for Satellites can now be applied in our atmosphere.  This makes for restrictions and no fly zones for government purposes.

The implication is that we have a lot more up in the air, while the regulation is still up in the air.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Back to m2m Evolution Home

Partnership Sure To Cheer Call Center Managers

February 18, 2015

Contact center software is nothing without a powerful infrastructure on which it can operate. Similarly, a powerful network is just a collection of metal and plastic without code on both ends to utilize those materials to transmit data. This necessary interplay is the backbone of why the new partnership between inContact and Black Box (News - Alert) Systems makes sense.

inContact, a developer of cloud-based contact center software, and Black Box Network Services, a provider of data and voice infrastructure, recently announced that they will being working together to better meet enterprise demand for call center systems. inContact's comments about the partnership calls the result of the pairing a complete solution that delivers a streamlined product from end to end. For enterprise customers this will include the inContact cloud-based contact center and workforce optimization platforms, as well as network connectivity from Black Box (News - Alert).

Paul Jarman, the CEO of inContact, noted that the two companies will help their business customers deliver a powerful customer experience.

“The inContact and Black Box relationship provides companies with technologically superior cloud solutions as well as industry leading service and support capabilities,” Jarman said. “inContact's advanced and open cloud contact center platform unifies multiple contact center locations and systems in order to streamline operations and improve the customer experience that companies want to deliver.”

Black Box added that this relationship will provide a number of options for enterprises so they can choose the exact features they want and have new infrastructure and software installed at a pace in which they are comfortable. This could be anything from a small to midsize business setup or a nation-wide construction that could tie together multiple call center locations.

One key element of what the companies say they can deliver is the ability to migrate without loss of service. In addition to allowing their clients to pick which infrastructure and software options they need, they can continue to use their legacy systems for as long as necessary before the inContact/Black Box installation is complete.

Part of the announcement mentions inContact's ability to partner with professional service firms and carriers to create the best products for their customers. Over the years, inContact has seen its share of partnerships that include big names such as a Siemens (News - Alert) and Salesforce. Earlier this month, it announced that it began working with Direct Interactions. The latest news regarding Black Box is unique, however, in that it will leverage Black Box's expertise in the field of network infrastructure rather than just offer its own cloud systems for use by other corporations.

How Big Data Can Make Call Center Experiences Go More Smoothly

While there are those out there who dismiss personality testing as pointless, feel-good frippery, there are also plenty who will note that getting people with similar personalities together in the same place can make for much smoother interactions, better understanding, and ultimately, greater satisfaction from those engaging in the connections. Now, a new report from Mattersight suggests that, if personalities are better put to use in the call center environment, satisfaction in turn is likely to increase.

The word from Mattersight's Jason Wesbecher, who serves as the company's chief marketing officer, suggests that call recording is already a pretty standard part of the office, particularly for “...training and quality purposes...”as the largely-ubiquitous call announcements proclaim. But with big data tools like those Mattersight has to offer—particularly the Behavioral Analytics tool—companies can not only record calls, but analyze the calls received on a variety of fronts. The biggest such point is that the tool can narrow down the personality of the person calling in, which in turn allows companies to, in the future, connect that caller not to the first available representative, but the first available representative with a similar personality type. Failing that, companies are able to better connect to compatible personality types, and that can be a big help in terms of addressing certain issues.

With the tools, a company can determine if a caller is outgoing or shy, sarcastic or serious, and similar simple terms like that just running call recordings and other records through a series of proprietary algorithms. The end result places the caller—based on the words used and the context in which said words are used—in one of roughly a “half-dozen” personality constructs. Then the company can match up which of its call center staffers best match up to these personality constructs, allowing the caller to feel more at ease dealing with someone who better understands how he or she thinks.

While the issue of just which personalities are most compatible—using a Myers-Briggs personality typing system, for example, will lead to a lot of conflicts as some say an INTJ will work with an INFP, while others say it's a terrible match—is somewhat subjective, the idea that “close counts” can apply here, meaning that a close but imprecise match can be a better experience than a complete mismatch. It's one of those cases where any effort is better than no effort at all, even if it's only just a little better than the alternative. In fact, there's actually something of a risk here in that a personality could be mismatched, making a bad situation potentially even worse. But then, the likelihood of that happening might well be too small to be much concerned with; not every customer every time walks away satisfied. That's just the nature of business as we know it.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Moving Your Hosted Call Center Just Got Easier

February 18, 2015

Contact center software is nothing without a powerful infrastructure on which it can operate. Similarly, a powerful network is just a collection of metal and plastic without code on both ends to utilize those materials to transmit data. This necessary interplay is the backbone of why the new partnership between inContact and Black Box (News - Alert) Systems makes sense.

inContact, a developer of cloud-based contact center software, and Black Box Network Services, a provider of data and voice infrastructure, recently announced that they will being working together to better meet enterprise demand for call center systems. inContact's comments about the partnership calls the result of the pairing a complete solution that delivers a streamlined product from end to end. For enterprise customers this will include the inContact cloud-based contact center and workforce optimization platforms, as well as network connectivity from Black Box.

Paul Jarman, the CEO of inContact, noted that the two companies will help their business customers deliver a powerful customer experience.

“The inContact and Black Box relationship provides companies with technologically superior cloud solutions as well as industry leading service and support capabilities,” Jarman said. “inContact's advanced and open cloud contact center platform unifies multiple contact center locations and systems in order to streamline operations and improve the customer experience that companies want to deliver.”

Black Box added that this relationship will provide a number of options for enterprises so they can choose the exact features they want and have new infrastructure and software installed at a pace in which they are comfortable. This could be anything from a small to midsize business setup or a nation-wide construction that could tie together multiple call center locations.

One key element of what the companies say they can deliver is the ability to migrate without loss of service. In addition to allowing their clients to pick which infrastructure and software options they need, they can continue to use their legacy systems for as long as necessary before the inContact/Black Box installation is complete.

Part of the announcement mentions inContact's ability to partner with professional service firms and carriers to create the best products for their customers. Over the years, inContact has seen its share of partnerships that include big names such as a Siemens (News - Alert) and Salesforce. Earlier this month, it announced that it began working with Direct Interactions. The latest news regarding Black Box is unique, however, in that it will leverage Black Box's expertise in the field of network infrastructure rather than just offer its own cloud systems for use by other corporations.

IoT Connectivity Solutions Week in Review: Dog Hunter, ARM, Icon Labs

IoT Connectivity Solutions Week in Review: Dog Hunter, ARM, Icon Labs

February 14, 2015

The Internet of Things is already well on its way of making 2015 its year, and it is certainly showing in the IoT Connectivity Solutions Community. With the weekend upon us, it would seem we have reached that time again: Time for the week in review!

A growing concern with the IoT is security, with these billions of devices how do we ensure security. This week Icon Labs and Mentor Graphics announced they have teamed up to help secure our not-too-distant connected future.

"Securing critical infrastructure has been a top priority for many businesses and governments, and now with the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), the challenges will increase exponentially,” Alan Grau, founder and CEO of Icon Labs, said

Staying on the security chain, one mover and shaker this week was ARM with the announcement that it has purchased IoT security software company Offspark. Offspark solutions will be integrated immediately into the ARM security strategy.

“ARM is undeniably the front-runner in the embedded world and combining with them is the perfect way of scaling our business,” said Paul Bakker, CEO, Offspark. “Security is the most fundamental aspect in ensuring people trust IoT technology and that is only possible with a truly tailored solution. Together, ARM and Offspark can provide security to the edge of any system and we look forward to working with our partners to help them deliver some exciting new projects.”

Dog Hunter made the news this week, as the Boston-based IoT developer made quite a splash at the recent ITEXPO in Miami, Florida. Dog Hunter COO Mike Storella sat down TMC group Editorial Director Erik Linask to shed some light on the market.

Additionally from ITEXPO and Miami’s sunny shores comes an innovator in the Unified Communications (UC) space that is redefining UC and integrating M2M technology. The company is HiperPBX, and it will be very interesting to see what’s next for the developer.  

That’s the week that was. Stop by the IoT Connectivity Solutions Community early and often for all things IoT. See you next week!

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Outbound Call Center Week in Review: Avaya, Fonality, Enghouse

February 14, 2015

This week in outbound call center news we saw new product releases, acquisitions and feature content touting the benefits of outbound contact.

Reliance Communications (News - Alert) announced this week that it is partnering with Avaya (News - Alert) to further improve customer care.

Reliance is a fully-integrated telecommunications service provider in India that provides telecommunications services to over 110 million customers in the region. With the new partnership with Avaya, the company’s call center will now have digitally-enabled customer engagement systems and long-term training and technical support.

Also this week, eImprovement, an online retailer said it has selected Fonality to provide a new VoIP-based Call Center suite for its operations.

“This VOIP system increased our functionality while also being very cost effective and cutting our traditional phone bill in half,” Michael Fox, the president and CEO of eImprovement said. “The Fonality (News - Alert) system is very flexible, allowing us to expand and plug in phones wherever we decide to work or operate. The call center recently moved floors during a remodel and we were able to move all the phones upstairs in an hour. We could not have done that on our old PBX (News - Alert).”

In a bid to expand its call center operations, Capita also announced this week that it will buy German call center company Avocis and is one of the largest acquisitions by the company since its new CEO took the helm.

A webinar this week took up the topic of outbound communications from companies to discuss how proactive outreach can improve customer care in 2015.

Sponsored by Enghouse (News - Alert) Interactive, “topics included what the proper proactive outbound approach is and what some of the modern expectations are from self-service as well as how companies can bypass customer frustration with better self-service tools.

And another feature this week also covered the ways companies can improve customer experiences with the outbound call center. Top tips included gaining a better understanding of what is wanted from your operations and earning the respect of peers to help drive higher profits.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back for all the latest outbound call center news as it happens. Until next week…

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