For the past nine years, NTT DATA has hosted the NTT DATA Open Innovation Contest – which boasts startup contestants from 20 cities and 18 countries who are determined to “change the world” through advancing what we think, when we think of IT.
I sat with Ron Victor, Founder and CEO of ioTium, Inc after winning the Open Innovation Contest to hear more about their innovative ideas for the future.
M.R Rangaswami: Congratulations on your win! Tell us about ioTium and what you pitched to win the Open Innovation Contest.
Ron Victor: ioTium is enabling scalable digital transformation for Fortune 500 Industrial Enterprises today. The fundamental digital transformation issues our customers face are related to IIoT deployment complexity and security.
This last year we’ve seen the IIoT landscape evolve; with data being generated faster than what we can humanly do with. While we hear all these amazing transformational stories around IIoT, traditional Industrial organizations are still facing the same question – how do I securely connect my millions of legacy brown-field unconnected industrial assets to today’s cloud-based applications at scale? We’re not talking about connecting a few but rather connecting millions of buildings, tens of thousands of locomotives, thousands of oil-rigs and hundreds of refineries and power plants!
The scale is massive, risks are high, and benefits are overwhelmingly obvious. However, the IIoT deployments today are rife with complexities and security vulnerabilities. Our customers have tough decisions to make — do they hire armies of skilled IT personnel and send them to these millions of IIoT assets with a charter to connect them? Do they invest in millions of dollars worth of hardware and software network and security infrastructure and then maintain and manage this infrastructure for the entire lifecycle? Do they send a truck roll out every time they need to patch or upgrade existing software; or deploy new services such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep packet inspection, discovery and more?
This is where ioTium is a valuable partner and helps with these decisions. ioTium is the only company to provide both the technology and management aspects of this network and security Edge-cloud infrastructure as a managed service. ioTium’s drop-ship plug & play cloud-managed solutions ensure that any machine, using any protocol can be instant, seamlessly and securely connected to any application residing in any cloud or data center through any network infrastructure and operator; all while minimizing IT overhead, eliminating deployment complexities and minimizing network security risks. This allows our customers to focus on higher value-add applications using their core strengths and domain expertise.
M.R: What do you think was the deciding factor for NTT DATA and iotium – why were you chosen above the others?
Ron: We’re solving real-world problems for these enterprises – taking a strategic role in their digital strategy — it’s exciting. As digital transformation becomes a priority for industrial organizations across all verticals, they will seek and leverage technologies to help them realize this shift. ioTium’s secure, plug-and-play offerings provide the flexibility these enterprises need to build, innovate and future-proof their investment for their digital transformation journey.
M.R: You’re advancing to the Tokyo finals, tell us what you’re going to be doing to prepare – what are you most excited about regarding this opportunity and what sort of outcome are you hoping for?
Ron: We’re excited to have the opportunity to share our experiences and cases on how Industrial Enterprises are using ioTium as part of their digital transformation initiatives with the NTT Data team in Tokyo. Real digital transformation deployments are already underway across buildings, oil and gas, manufacturing and more. The full potential of the IIoT, however, can only be realized when different global systems are connected in a secure and scalable manner. We hope to partner with NTT DATA to make bigger strides in helping these organizations accelerating their deployment, securely and at scale.
M.R. Rangaswami is the co-founder of Sand Hill Group and publisher of SandHill.com.