DeloitteTouche Tohmatsu India LLP’s [DTTILLP or Deloitte India] eighth edition of signature publication on Technology, Media and Telecommunications [TMT] predicts major advances in machine learning, VoLTE technology services and Over the Top [OTT] platforms, apart from othertrends.

VoLTE is expected to be the most prevalent voice technology in the future. It is also estimated that more than 90% of all mobile subscribers will comprise of broadband subscribers by 2023. OTT platforms are witnessing an explosion in original content due to increase in consumption and viewership, the report says, adding that they will gradually become a preferred medium over television,with the consumers of vernacular content likely to become over 2.5 times that of English language content by 2021.

The publication highlights the fact that ‘Machine Learning’ will intensify among medium and large-sized enterprises. Compared to 2017, the number of implementations and pilot projects using machine learning technology is likely to double in 2018 and then doubling again in 2020.

As enterprises in India embrace technology to bring transparency and efficiency in business operations, data assumes center stage in decision-making, setting the stage for tools such as advanced analytics and machine learning to ushervalue-chain efficiencies, a Deloitte India spokesperson said. In 2018, technologies like OTT, VoLTE and Machine Learning will make significant progress and as organizations take steps to realize the potential of the Internet of Things [IoT] for their businesses, predictive analytics and intelligent data mining technologies are set to become mainstream in India.

PN Sudarshan, Partner, Deloitte India, said

India is one of the fastest growing technology market in APAC, with the on-going digital transformation of public sector and private sector enterprises enabled by changing market dynamics and policy interventions. Enterprises across industries are increasingly adopting technology driven solutions to improve customer experience, optimize business operations, and compete effectively in the market.

Catalyzed by the availability of cost effective computing infrastructure and flexible business models through Cloud computing, and the adoption of exponential technologies such as AI, ML, AR, IoT etc., technology sector in India is truly at an inflection point. Trends such as IoT will catalyze the emergence of analytics at the edge. Digital revolution, also known as ‘The Internet Economy’ is creating a new market for digital first services, which has the potential to optimize value chains, bring transparency, and improve overall productivity in the economy.

Newer technologies like LTE, LTE-A, LTE-A Pro & 5G will make wireless internet commercially more viablefor home internet users. The smartphone riding on new innovation will consolidate its position as the primary access to digital services and content, and live streaming and OTT video content arelikely to gain popularity.

Here are some more highlights from the TMT Predictions 2018 India edition:

Internet of Things, Realizing the Potential

IoT-driven point solutions will be adopted to solve a specific business issue. IoT-driven enterprise solutions would help organizations redefine their business models and provide innovative services for their customers; investments will not only be assessed on KPIs, but also will involve new product launches, new supply chains and a new operating model that enables organizations to monetize their services across value chains, leveraging IoT.

Analytics [finally] travels Beyond the Back Office

Enterprises will combine external perspectives, social inputs [surveys, social media comments, response to a feedback questionnaire] to the internal data sources to improve customer service. Device data will be integrated faster and on-demand to answer immediate field needs; information dissemination for decision-making will be faster and simpler using digital delivery; paying for results and provisioning on demand is the new normal [on cloud].

VoLTE: Enabling Next-gen Voice Services

Deloitte predicts that more than 60% of all broadband subscribers would be utilizing Voice over LTE [VoLTE] technology for voice services by 2023 surpassing 5 billion subscribers globally. IoT appliances can be enhanced with VoLTE improving the productivity and efficiency of applications and especially effectiveness in emergency situations, one example is a smartwatch with feature to automatically dial an emergency contact in case of abnormal heart rate.

Wi-Fi would be essential part of service provider network strategy to enhance access and extend coverage. With VoLTE supporting VoWi-Fi [Wi-Fi calling], it would be an opportunity to monetize hot-spots especially relevant in the Asia-Pacific region which would constitute 45% of global hotspots.

Sports Media in India Set to Unlock New Horizons

Indian sports business will continue to attract global investments. With broadcasters paying as much attention to rural segment, these geographies will continue to lead the way for Sports sector in India, especially with Tier 2 leagues beginning to receive widespread attention. Data analytics will increasingly play a significant role in managing all aspects of sports, especially on initiatives such as fan engagement and viewership on digital platforms. Governance related matters will continue to be in focus in Indian Sports ecosystem, and topics such as legalizing betting will be discussed more than before.

Mobile only: Wireless Home Internet Bigger Than You Think

Due to challenges in deployment of fixed broadband networks, current rural internet penetration stands at ~ 17%. In future, demand for fixed broadband would be limited to consumers with higher bandwidth/QoS requirements, with majority of home internet requirements catered through wireless network.

Augmented Reality [AR]: On the Cusp of Reality

The Indian market is witnessing the emergence of AR service providers helping enterprises embrace AR as part of their digital experience strategy. India’s $150 billion technology services industry has the potential to play a key role in increasing the adoption of AR for global businesses by building a robust supply of talent, business models, and frameworks to accelerate deployments. The public sector also has the opportunity to leverage the product and talent ecosystem in the country and adopt AR for improving the quality of experience in areas such as Education and Healthcare.

To access the complete report, refer to the link Deloitte India

Microsoft India showcased several projects that make use of the company’s cloud-based artificial intelligence, cognitive services and Internet of Things [IoT] technologies that can change the way citizens, enterprises and governments engage in healthcare services, agricultural practices, education and everyday work.

Image Source – IoT

Many of these applications are being tested out or used in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Haryana among others.  The company also put the spotlight on use of artificial intelligence in Indian language computing.

Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director of Microsoft Research India, said

These AI, cognitive technologies and IoT applications can help in India’s inclusive growth. The world is today powered by an intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge.  We are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to benefit society. We are committed to ensure that technology is defining and shaping the future, and is a combination of unbridled innovation and digital inclusion.

Some of the examples of transformative technology for a Digital India showcased were

  • Project FarmBeats: Microsoft FarmBeats is a research project for agriculture that enables seamless data collection from various sensors, cameras and drones. It comprises two broad areas viz., a, data-acquisition system consisting of drones and sensors and a data-analysis system consisting of connectivity pieces, cloud storage, and predictive analysis.
  • AI for farming: Microsoft and ICRISAT announced the results of the second phase of the pilot of their AI-based Sowing App for farmers. The program was expanded to touch more than 3000 farmers across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during the Kharif season of 2017 for a host of crops including groundnut, ragi, maize, rice and cotton, among others. The increase in yield ranged from 10% to 30% across crops.  The Sowing App was developed to help farmers achieve optimal harvests by advising on the best time to sow using data about weather conditions, soil quality and other indicators.

Commenting on this season’s results, Dr. AVR Kesava Rao, Honorary Fellow and Senior Scientist, Agro-climatology, ICRISAT, said

We are excited about the results that have emerged from the use of the Sowing Application and Personalized Village Advisory Dashboard. We have strengthened our partnership with Microsoft to help small holder farmers and give a boost to our AI-powered agriculture initiative in a big way.  The application of the Intelligent cloud is a significant start for digital agriculture and we look forward to expanding this further.

  • HAMS [Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety]: A virtual harness for vehicles that focusses on two factors that are critical to road safety—the mental state of the driver-including distraction and fatigue, and his /her driving relative to other vehicles.  It employs the front and back cameras of a dashboard-mounted smartphone, the phone’s GPS and inertial sensors, and an On-Board Diagnostics [OBD-II] scanner. Project HAMS is being used by Institute of Driving and Traffic Research [IDTR] – a joint venture between the Department of Transport of State Governments and Maruti Suzuki India.
  • Interactive Cane: This AI-powered Interactive Cane to aid people with visual impairment.  Microsoft Research is experimenting by adding several sensors to existing canes, and adding gesture recognition to the cane. Interestingly, Microsoft Research is doing these using sensors added to the cane, and an AI agent on a micro-controller with very low resources on the cane itself, thereby making the cane an intelligent edge device. We believe that more such applications of ML on edge will become feasible in the coming years.
  • IoT monitoring of water quality: Authorities across states have turned to IoT to monitor drinking water quality for its citizens. Indian ISV TechSpan Engineering has implemented a monitoring system built on the Azure IoT platform, using sensors provided by the Austrian firm s::can and their India Partner Aaxisnano. Using the power of the Microsoft cloud, IoT and data, the solution taps into the robust s::can sensors to provide measurements across 17 parameters – from Chemical Oxygen Demand [COD] and Biological Oxygen Demand [BOD], Chloride and Fluoride levels to temperature and color. The solution is currently being used for
  1. Monitoring drinking water quality online by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board [125 stations] and Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board [KUWSDB] in Hubli–Dharwad & Bijapur [3 stations],
  2. Online surface water quality monitoring by Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi [44 stations] and Central Water Commission, New Delhi [3 stations]
  3. Online industrial pollution monitoring [1500+ stations]
  4. Online sewage treatment and flow monitoring by Delhi Jal Board [36 stations]
  • Smart Lighting in Jaipur: Microsoft Azure IoT is also powering India’s first Smart Street Lighting Project for the pink city of Jaipur, underscoring Microsoft’s mission of transforming public spaces digitallyThe Jaipur Municipal Corporation [JMC] operates and maintains over 100,000 public street lights within the city. However, one of three in these lamps did not work and many others functioned poorly, leading to several areas of the city being in the dark. Microsoft’s partner Samudra LED has now deployed a customized Microsoft IoT-platform-based solution created by ISV Precimetrix to monitor, control and manage smart LED public street lights. The project will benefit 1.65 million people through improved street lighting and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 36,750 metric tons/year. It will also result in $1 million per year in fiscal savings accrued to the government due to reduced energy consumption.
  • AI for local language computing: Starting with Project Bhasha in 1998, Microsoft has been consistently working to provide local language computing in Indian languages. Microsoft Office and Windows support 11 Indian language scripts and overall supporting 22 Indian languages. Bing allows users to browse in nine Indian languages. With the help of its AI technologies, Microsoft is now making translation and speech recognition across several Indian languages. Here are a few examples:
    1. Microsoft’s SwiftKey, which allows text input in as many as 24 Indian languages and dialects including Marwari, Bodo, Santali and Khasi, brings AI in the keypads to enable faster, predictive writing.  It also allows mixed language typing in English and Hindi
    2. Indian English and Hindi speech recognition is available as part of Microsoft Cognitive Services as well as Bing App for Android
    3. Text to speech translations currently includes such capabilities in Hindi and Tamil on Microsoft Narrator, on Windows 10.
    4. Microsoft PowerPoint uses AI to translate full presentation decks from English to Hindi, Bangla and Tamil.

Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. released its key business and Technology Trends for Asia Pacific in 2018. These trends are jointly predicted by Hubert Yoshida, chief technology officer, and Russell Skingsley, chief technology officer Asia Pacific.

Image Source – IoT

The adoption of IoT platforms will dominate enterprise IT strategies in 2018, alongside a number of other areas. Yoshida & Skingsley have identified ten key trends for the Asia Pacific technology market in 2018.

IT will adopt IoT platforms to facilitate the application of IoT solutions 

IoT solutions deliver valuable insight to support digital transformation and are rapidly becoming a strategic imperative in almost every industry and market sector. IT must work closely with the operations side of the business to focus on specific business needs and define the scope of an IoT project.

According to Yoshida

Building IoT solutions that provide real value can be difficult without the right underlying architecture and a deep understanding of the business to properly simulate and digitalize operational entities and processes. This is where the choice of an IoT platform and the choice of an experienced service provider is important.

According to Skingsley

Enterprises should look for an IoT platform that offers an open, flexible architecture that simplifies integration with complimentary technologies and provides an extensible “foundry” on which to build a variety of industry applications that companies need to design, build, test, and deploy quickly and with minimal hassle.

Object storage gets smart

Enterprises started their digital transformation this year but the first problem that they ran into was the ability to access their data. Data is often locked in isolated islands that make it costly to extract and use. These islands were built for purpose and not to be shared, and many contain data that is duplicated, obsolete or no longer used because of changes in business process or ownership.

According to Skingsley

Data scientists tell us that 80% of the work involved in gaining analytical insight from data is the tedious work of acquiring and preparing the data. The concept of a data lake is alluring, but you can’t just pour your data into one system, unless that data is properly cleansed, formatted and indexed or tagged with metadata so that the data lake is content aware. Otherwise you end up with a data swamp.

While object storage can store massive amounts of unstructured data and provide metadata management and search capability, the ability to be context-aware is missing. Object storage now has the ability to be ‘smart’ with software that can search for and read content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyze it for cleansing, formatting and indexing.

According to Skingsley

Hitachi Content Intelligence can extract data from the silos and pump it into workflows to process it in various ways. Users of Content Intelligence can be authorized so that sensitive content is only viewed by relevant people and document security controls are not breached. Content Intelligence can create a standard and consistent enterprise search process across the entire IT environment. It can connect to and aggregate multi-structured data across heterogeneous data silos and different locations and provides automated extraction, classification, enrichment and categorisation of all of an organisation’s data.

Analytics and artificial intelligence

2018 will see a growth in analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) across the board as companies see real returns on their investments. According to IDC, revenue growth from information-based products will double the rest of the product and services portfolio for a third of Fortune 500 companies by the end of 2017.

According to Skingsley

AI became mainstream with consumer products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, and Hitachi believes that it is the collaboration of AI and humans that will bring real benefits to society. Through tools like Pentaho Data Integration, our aim is to democratise the data engineering and data science process to make Machine Intelligence – a combination of Machine Learning and AI – more accessible to a wider variety of developers and engineers.

Pentaho’s machine learning orchestration, with integrations for languages like R and Python and for machine learning technologies like Spark MLlib, are steps in that direction. Lumada, Hitachi’s IoT platform, enables scalable IoT machine learning with flexible input and outputs, standardises connections that can automatically configure and manage resources, and is compatible with Python, R and Java for machine learning.

Wider adoption of video analytics

Video content analytics will be a ‘third eye’ for greater insight, productivity and efficiency in a number of domains beyond public safety. Algorithms that automatically detect and determine temporal, spatial and relational events combined with other IoT information, like cell phone GPS and social media feeds, to apply to a wide range of businesses like retail, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, education and entertainment.

Yoshida believes that video can provide unique functions like egomotion – 3D motion used in autonomous robot navigation – behavior analysis and other forms of situational awareness.

According to Yoshida

Retailers are using video to analyze customer navigation patterns and dwell time to position products and sales assistance to maximize sales. Video analytics relies on good video input so it requires video enhancement technologies like de-noising, image stabilisation, masking and super resolution. Video analytics may be the sleeper in terms of analytics for ease of use, ROI and generating actionable analytics.

Extension of agile methodologies across the enterprise

Digital transformation is all about efficiency and working together to drive faster and more relevant business outcomes. This is why more information technology organizations are adopting agile methodology.

IT organizations have a legacy of siloed operations with server, network, storage, database, virtualization, and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. In fact, many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes and not business outcomes.

According to Skingsley

Even when data centers used technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross functional teams using iterative agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business outcomes and deliver it more efficiently.

Under the leadership of Chief Information Officer, Renee McKaskle, Hitachi Vantara has been using agile methodologies over the past two years to drive digital transformation, and the results have been highly impactful.

According to Yoshida

Agile provides us with a nimble approach, where small cross functional teams, with a clear direction and strategic milestones, can iterate through short sprints to ensure alignment across the board, communicate effectively, and focus on problem solving and achieving our common business goals.

He also noted that 2018 will see more enterprises move to agile and DevOps in software development, with agile methodologies being used across the enterprise.

Data governance 2.0

2018 will see new challenges in data governance which will require organizations to implement new frameworks. The biggest challenge will come from the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR], which will give EU residents more control over their personal data. This regulation will drive up costs and increase the risks involved in collecting and storing personal data. Violations of the GDPR could face fines totalling up to USD 21.75 million, or 4% of EU’s total annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year.

Skingsley commented

Previous data governance was based on the processing of data and metadata. New data governance must now consider data context. If a user invokes their right to be forgotten, a company must be able to locate that individual’s data, eradicate it and provide proof that this has been done. GDPR’s mandatory breach notification of within 72 hours also means organizations face a very short window to respond.

The ability to do this is impossible if the data is scattered in different application silos and cannot cover data stored on mobile devices or in the cloud. In 2018, data governance frameworks will need to be updated to include content intelligence tools.

Containers enable movement to the next level of virtualization

Container-based virtualization is the latest virtualization technology that will gain wider acceptance in 2018. Considered a new generation of virtual machines (VMs), which abstracted an entire device including the operating system (OS), containers consist only of the application and all the dependencies that the application needs.

Yoshida added

Containers are lightweight, in that they do not need a dedicated OS for each container, which helps to reduce costs. Their open configuration also means that they can run on numerous platforms and they allow applications to run isolated from one another, resulting in greater security. Monolithic applications can be written as micro services and run in containers, for greater agility, scale, and reliability.

Enterprises are migrating and developing new applications with containers in order to be competitive in today’s market that is defined by agility and efficiency. As an organization, we have built our IoT platform, Lumada, on containers and micro services and are fully embracing the benefit that they bring by moving our management software for Pentaho worker nodes, Hitachi Content Intelligence and Hitachi Infrastructure Director to containers as well. Storage Virtualization Operating System [SVOS] for Virtual Storage Platforms [VSP] also has a plugin to provision persistent VSP storage in containers – a trend we expect many storage vendors to follow next year.

Blockchain projects will mature

According to Yoshida, blockchain will be in the news in 2018 for two reasons-

First is the use of cryptocurrencies, which saw growing acceptance this year as a stable currency in countries that were plagued by hyperinflation. Japan and Singapore are also indicating that they will create flat-denominated cryptocurrencies in 2018 that will be run by banks and managed by regulators. Consumers will use this for P2P payments, ecommerce and fund transfers. This will lead many banks to turn to blockchain to help them build the capacity needed to manage accounts in cryptocurrencies.

Second is the growing use of blockchain in the financial sector for routine processes like internal regulatory functions, customer documentation and regulatory filings. Interbank fund transfers via blockchain ledgers are also expected to expand in 2018, and other sectors will begin to see prototypes with smart contracts and identity services for healthcare, governments, food safety and counterfeit goods.

Time is right for biometric authentication

The increasing numbers of passwords required by today’s consumers will also support the shift towards biometric authentication in 2018.

Skingsley added

In reality, most of us use the same password for the accounts that we don’t think are very important. Unfortunately, hackers also know this, so once they discover a password, they will use it to successfully hack other accounts. Businesses are coming to the realization that proxies that represent our identity – like passwords, ATM cards, and pin numbers – even with two-factor authentication, are hackable.

Smart phone vendors and financial companies are moving to solve this problem by using biometrics which represent the real user. But choosing the right biometric is important. If a biometric like a fingerprint is hacked, there is no way to reset it in the same way you would a pin number or password. Since we leave our fingerprint on everything we touch, it is conceivable that someone could lift our prints and reuse them. Hitachi recommends the use of finger vein, which can only be seen when infrared light is passed through a live finger to capture the vein pattern and is the most resistant to forgery.

Co-creation of value

Traditional business thinking starts with the premise that the producer autonomously determines value through its choice of products and services. Consumers have typically been consulted through market research and were passively involved in the process of creating solutions and value. In 2018, Yoshida thinks we will witness a shift in value creation, away from producer-centric, solution-value creation to a co-creation paradigm of value creation.

Yoshida commented

Producers and consumers can no longer survive in the digital world with this traditional approach to value creation. In the digital world, the pace of change is relentless and problems span across multiple domains, with a blurring of industry domains and boundaries. Producers cannot take years to develop a solution and consumers cannot plan their business on multi-year road-maps that may not deliver what they need. If consumers and producers are to innovate, they must be active participants in the value creation process as co-creators.

Hitachi sees co-creation as the process of collaborating with customers and ecosystem players in order to innovate and create new value for business stakeholders, customers and society at large. The company has been co-creating with a number of customers and has developed a co-creation methodology that it expects will see further uptake in 2018.

Internet of Things [IoT] has become one of the most popular technologies, especially when the discussion is about creating an overall connected eco-system. Be it homes, offices, vehicles, etc. most of them are now becoming ‘smart & connected’ and are able to generate data on which actionable steps can be performed.

Image Source – IoT

Most of this is possible due to the wide range of Sensors that are very important part of the IoT setup. Some of these sensors are Temperature Sensor, Pressure Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, etc.

As per a report by Gartner on IoT, there might be around 20 billion connected things by 2020. Things in IoT would not only be limited to smartphones, PC’s, etc. but also extend to other appliances. The meteoric rise of IoT and IIoT has resulted in evolution of new business models, thereby resulting in number of startups trying to solve ‘customer centric’ problems via IoT.

We take a look at ‘11 Internet of Thing Startups to Watch‘, a useful compilation created by Wrike, a company that specialises in project management software and has interesting set of tools with which you can manage projects online.

11 “Internet of Things” Startups to Watch
Infographic brought to you by Wrike manage projects online

The world population is growing to upwards of 10 billion people by the middle of the century. This growth combined with the accelerating urbanisation will require the agricultural production to double. To succeed, we need smart solutions from farm to fork for healthy, fairly produced, and sustainable food, feed and fibre, which is the mainstay principle of CropIn Technology, a leading agri-tech company based in Bengaluru.

Image Source – Agritech

As an initiative to disseminate information and know-how about how CropIn can change the face of agriculture at a global level, the company conducts a series of webinars. The latest webinar titled From Agriculture to Agtech would take place on the 7th of December, 2017.

  • Live Webinar on December 7th, 2017 at 3 PM IST by Bhavesh Barot, AVP [Sales & BD], CropIn Technology.
  • Register for the Webinar here
  • Learn more about CropIn & Request for Demo here

The Webinar will cater to Agri-businesses, Agronomists, as well as ICT and IoT enthusiasts. The discussion will cover the evolution of agriculture from old growth drivers to new growth drivers, the way agricultural technology has progressed over the past decade and how CropIn is harnessing technology to revolutionize the agri-ecosystem.

The Presenter : Bhavesh Barot – After working with renowned Industries for over a decade, Bhavesh Barot, Associate Vice President [Sales &BD], CropIn Technology, decided to take up a role which stands to impact the lives of millions of farmers and make a difference to the global community of the future. He currently spends most of his time meeting Agri-Business stakeholders and explaining how Technology stands to Transform Agriculture.

About CropIn Technology

CropIn Technology, a leading agri-tech company based in Bangalore, provides SaaS based services to agribusinesses globally. CropIn enables its clients to analyse & interpret data and derive real time actionable insights on standing crop and projects spanning geographies. The company harnesses cutting-edge technologies – Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Geo-tagging & Satellite monitoring to revolutionize the agri-ecosystem. Providing sustainable solutions for food, feed and fibre and ensuring farm to fork traceability across the agriculture supply chain are the mainstay principles that drive the company. For more information, please visit

Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi Vantara, jointly announced Hitachi’s first commercial Lumada Internet Of Things [IoT] platform offering. Now in its v2.0 release, the Lumada IoT platform has been fully updated with an elegant, portable architecture that enables it to run both on-premises or in the cloud and to support industrial IoT deployments both at the edge and in the core.

Image Source – Lumada IoT

The new software stack is designed to help customers quickly and easily gain insights, predictions and recommendations from their data, and can be easily adapted to support mid-to large-scale environments. Lumada’s integrated advanced analytics have also been enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) functionality at scale. The result is a highly intelligent and flexible platform that accelerates superior outcomes for enterprise and industrial customers, such as increased operational efficiencies and cost savings, enhanced operational safety and reliability, improved asset utilization, performance management and product quality, and the creation of new business models.

Among the notable advancements to the Lumada IoT platform are asset avatars, Hitachi’s unique approach to what is commonly referred to as ‘digital twins.’ Asset avatars provide a digital representation of physical assets and rich metadata for analytics, serving as a digital proxy for business and industrial assets and providing rapid data-driven insights into their health and performance, with continuously updated sensor values. This approach helps to eliminate ‘blind spots’ in operation-critical systems by providing improved access to – and insights from – business, machine and human data, which can help users move more rapidly from measurement to management to improvement.

The newly enhanced software stack also provides IoT developers and architects with powerful design tools and features that simplify the creation and deployment industrial IoT solutions, with faster time to insight. Since introducing Lumada to the market as a co-creation platform in May 2016, Hitachi has hardened and optimized its Lumada IoT platform. These improvements are based on numerous deployments in Proof-Of Concept [POC] and co-creation project engagements with its customers and partners, as well as in its own factories.

Hitachi worked with customer Daicel Corporation to co-create an image analysis system using Lumada that improves product quality and increases productivity by detecting signs of facility failures and deviations in front-line worker motions. This system has allowed Daicel to improve the in-process guarantee rate for products.

Another customer, Okuma Corporation, worked with Hitachi to co-create an advanced high efficiency production model with Hitachi to support mass customization in its manufacturing plants. The target of this joint demonstration experiment is to double productivity and reduce production lead time by 50%.

Based on the best practices developed throughout projects like these, Hitachi has enhanced Lumada’s functionality to simplify management of business and industrial assets, support greater  asset utilization and accelerate the time to value of IoT deloyments. Its next generation architecture is highly flexible, composable and adaptable to support customers’ existing business and IT environments and help them to more rapidly achieve highly optimized outcomes.

Customers looking to accelerate their IoT initiatives using Lumada will benefit from engaging Hitachi’s co-creation services, tapping its expansive expertise in both operation technology [OT] and information technology [IT] to create customized IoT solutions that are tailored to their unique requirements.

Keiji Kojima, Chairman at Hitachi Vantara & SVP and Exective officer at Hitachi Ltd said

Our next-generation Lumada IoT platform demonstrates Hitachi’s unparalleled expertise in both OT and IT, and reinforces Hitachi’s commitment to being an innovation partner for our customers in the IoT era. With the powerful advancements delivered today, our customers and partners can now choose to harness the full power of Lumada’s AI, advanced analytics and asset avatars capabilities to simplify their own IoT solution development or to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in co-creation projects with Hitachi. In either case, we believe Hitachi is delivering a highly intelligent and unique solution that challenges the industrial IoT platform market status quo.

Hitachi’s next-generation Lumada IoT platform architecture has been fully updated with five major layers to form a flexible, portable and composable software foundation with comprehensive security capabilities and expanded support for unstructured data uploads. IoT developers and architects will also benefit from Lumada’s dynamic design features, rich analytics and robust asset management capabilities, including:

  • Lumada edge: Allows any variety and velocity of data to be easily ingested, transformed and analyzed in close proximity to physical assets.
  • Lumada core: Provides asset registry, identity and access management and simplifies the creation of asset avatars.
  • Lumada analytics: Blends OT and IT data to uncover patterns with powerful analytics, machine learning and AI.
  • Lumada studio: Delivers predefined widgets to simplify the creation of dashboard applications; issues alerts, notifications or just straight-through processing.
  • Lumada foundry: Offers foundational services to ease deployment on-premises and in the cloud, as well as security, micro-services and support features.

Product Availability and Information

Hitachi’s Lumada IoT platform software is generally available now for purchase and in co-creation engagements with Hitachi and select partners. Some features may not be immediately available in all markets. For more information and a complete list of product and feature enhancements, visit here.

Experience Hitachi’s Lumada IoT Platform at NEXT 2017

Hitachi’s new Lumada IoT platform software and related solutions will be on display at the company’s user conference, Hitachi NEXT, in Las Vegas, September 19 and 20, 2017. Event attendees can see live demonstrations of the software and the innovative IoT solutions Hitachi and its customers and partners are developing with it.

The event also features a full track of IoT developer breakout sessions, providing attendees with an opportunity to engage directly with Hitachi product management executives and development teams. The developer breakout session will provide a deep dive on the latest architectural advancements, design features and best practices for building industrial and commercial enterprise IoT solutions with Lumada.

About Hitachi Vantara

Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., helps data-driven leaders find and use the value in their data to innovate intelligently and reach outcomes that matter for business and society. Only Hitachi Vantara elevates your innovation advantage by combining deep information technology (IT), operational technology (OT) and domain expertise. We work with organizations everywhere to drive data to meaningful outcomes. For more information, please visit HitachiVantara

Kruzr, positioned as the world’s first technology powered smart driving assistant launches their operations in the United States and United Kingdom, to address the problem of increasing number of deaths and accidents resulting from mobile phone usage while driving. Kruzr, a startup promoted by co-founders Pallav Singh and Dinesh Fatehpuria was conceptualized and designed on the principle of ‘safety first’ when it comes to driving.

The launch comes after several months of ground research and development to understand and address the requirements of the region. Following the success of their launch in India, the founders have decided to tap these markets considering the immense potential where the per capita adoption of cars is extremely high.

The smart app that leverages multiple technologies including pattern recognition, machine learning, natural language processing etc activates when one starts driving. The app then automatically manages incoming calls and messages to the owner [driver] with the personalized bot interacting and alerting inbound callers that one is driving at the moment and hence can leave a message for deferred attention.

Pallav Singh, Cofounder, Kruzr added

The per capita adoption of cars in the United States alone averages close to 800 as opposed to India which is around 167. This large adoption coupled with the heightened awareness of driving safety in these markets provides ample opportunity for a product like Kruzr. Team Kruzr have also taken into account the high speeds in which cars are driven in the West, increasing the probability of accidents and collateral damage.

[L-R] Pallav Singh, Co-Founder& CEO, Dinesh-Fatehpuria, Co-Founder& CTO – Kruzr

According to a recent report in the US with regards to driving and accidents:

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
  • 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
  • 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

How Kruzr works

Kruzr is a free mobile app, which can be downloaded by anyone on to their smart phones. It is the ideal driving assistant, always with you and protecting you on every trip short or long. Kruzr has been meticulously designed and requires zero effort from drivers. Once it is set up, Kruzr runs in the background and kicks in when driving is detected. It detects driving within 30 seconds and activates automatically. The smart app then handles all calls and messages and only allows the important communication to filter through. Only those calls that pass the ‘Extremely Important’ muster will reach and alert the driver immediately.

On receiving an important call, the driver is advised to slow down and park the car to be safe. Important message notifications are buzzed and displayed only when one stops, like at a signal. In this scenario, reading and replying to even important messages becomes totally safe and harmless even during a trip.

A light and easy to use application, Kruzr helps cut down distractions by more than 95%, thereby reducing road accidents and fatalities as a direct fall out. Currently the app is free for everyone to download and use.

Kruzr : Enhancements in future releases

The Kruzr team is also currently working on developing other new age technologies to further enhance the capabilities of mobile devices with an aim to ensure better safety on roads. These include complete voice interface and automatic crash detection. Voice interface will ensure that the driver never needs to look at the phone or take his hands off the steering wheel to get anything done on the phone. With automatic crash detection, the app will automatically detect accidents and we will ensure medical help reaches the accident site ASAP.

Kruzr for Android can be downloaded from here, iOS version is coming soon…

Internet of Things [IoT] has become one of the most popular terminologies, especially when the discussion is about creating an overall connected eco-system. As per a report by Gartner on IoT, there might be around 20 billion connected things by 2020. Things in IoT would not only be limited to smartphones, PC’s, etc. but also extend to objects like vending machines, connected cars, agriculture equipment’s, manufacturing equipment’s, etc.

Image Source- IIoT

IoT has been instrumental in the creation of new business models, transformation of businesses to the digital front and helped enterprises improve the overall operational efficiency. Though there has been a lot of discussion about the growing usage of IoT in the consumer devices, it is playing a very important role in the transformation of the Manufacturing industry, also called as Industrial IoT [IIoT].

In simple terms, Industrial IoT harnesses the power of data by amalgamating it with Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, M2M Communication, etc. thereby improving the overall productivity and quality in an industrial setup. From smart manufacturing to home automation, Industrial IoT is shaping enterprises for a connected future.

Indian enterprise Sasken has deep-rooted expertise in industrial analytics that enables smart services through data ingestion, data processing, and actionable insight generation. It has various offerings for enterprises looking to capitalize on the IIOT wave. Today, we have a chat with Ram Ramaseshan, Senior VP & Head, Automotive and Industrials Business Units, Sasken Technologies Limited about IIOT, trends & challenges in IIOT, how enterprises can leverage the power of IIOT, etc.

What are some of the drivers of growth of the Industrial IoT [IIOT] eco-system?

IoT has catalyzed the tapping of existing data faster and in significant volumes. IoT is one of the key factors that have pushed the adoption of digital transformation. When IoT technologies are applied to the manufacturing industry, we call it the Industrial Internet of Things. Industrial IoT continues to disrupt the way machines and human beings collaborate. Some of the drivers of growth are:

  • Availability of relevant and economical wireless connectivity technologies
  • Decreasing cost of hardware components such as Sensors, g/w and software components and in addition, cloud storage, analytical tools
  • Emergence of more robust IoT platform such as Thingworx, Predix, etc.
  • Standardization that would allow aggregating data for decision making

What are the use cases and industries where you see the massive traction for IIoT?

Increasing adoption of the Internet of Things presents manufacturers with tremendous business opportunities. And, through a connected factory setup, manufacturers can effectively gather and apply insights to monetize these opportunities. Today, the IoT-driven Industry 4.0 solutions are helping businesses to improve productivity, reduce operating costs, and enhance worker safety. Reduced cost of ownership is one of the major benefits linked to IIoT. Some areas where IIoT will see major traction are:

  • Logistics in general, especially high-value shipments
  • Security and surveillance systems
  • Asset Performance management for safety and reliability of equipment
  • Energy sector such as wind turbine, solar power plants, Oil & Gas monitoring, etc.
  • Remote management of assets

How can executives at industrial companies exploit the revenue-generating opportunities of the IIoT?

The adaptation of IIoT is not an alternative but an essential tool for survival and success in today’s time. Since technological advancement is directly proportional to enhanced profits, every firm, be it large or small, must work towards the achievement of complete digitization and must also empower their workers with the necessary skills. A few things executives in Industrials sector can keep in mind are:

  • Productivity/utilization of equipment can be increased thus increasing revenue
  • Implementation of IIoT can help reduce downtime thereby increasing revenue
  • Wastage can be reduced and quality can be improved
  • Allowing machines in sequence to be connected thereby moving to silos to better utilization of capital assets

What are some of the key challenges [be it technical, infrastructure, security, etc.] that your team encountered while implementing IoT/IIoT solutions?

The Industrials customer, today, has some really challenging needs that include decreasing operational cost, increasing productivity and quality, and ensuring the interoperability of information technology [IT] and operational technology [OT]. Some of the challenges that we at Sasken have helped solve in the recent past are:

  • Unavailability of a single tool/platform which can provide easy installation and maintenance of IIoT system
  • Right connectivity solutions as there is no one size that fits all
  • Convergence of IT & OT is difficult as the lifecycle of both technologies varies by default
  • Concern over security/cyber-attacks
  • Managing data coming from disparate systems becoming a deterrent to IoT implementation
Ram Ramaseshan, Senior VP and Head, Automotive and Industrials Business Units, Sasken Technologies Limited

Which are some of the emerging technologies with the rise of IoT and AI in the area of Industrial Automation?

The introduction of IoT in the Industrial space heralded the advent of expanding connectivity, more digitalization, utilizing cloud infrastructure, and newer business models. The implementation of IoT and AI in the Industrial landscape is giving rise to technologies such as machine vision, machine learning, sensor automation, mesh networking with short range communication protocols, and wearable technology such as the smart helmet.

From an enterprise customer’s perspective, how much savings/reduction in OPEX will an industrial enterprise get when shifting to an IIoT solution?

Market research shows that 86% of maintenance is reactive [too late] or scheduled [unnecessary] and typical maintenance practices have not changed much over the years. This could be attributed to the unavailability of tools robust and mature enough to fundamentally improve maintenance practices. At present, the most asset intensive industries follow scheduled [time/usage based] preventive maintenance practices. This practice still does not eliminate the possibility of unscheduled maintenance and catastrophic failures. So companies are trying to make their operations reliable and ensure optimal performance at a lower maintenance cost by predicting and preventing failures in a timely manner.

As per The International Society of Automation:

  • 5% of plant production is lost annually due to unplanned downtime
  • $647 billion is lost globally by manufacturers across all industry segments

Being able to predict the health of an asset on a continuous basis and avoiding the OPEX spent on regularly scheduled maintenance can bring down the OPEX by as much as 50-70%. E.g. being able to predict the health of a rolling stock can avoid bringing the rolling stock back to the yard for regularly scheduled services and this can result in significant cost savings to the rail services as it can now run those many more trips.

What is the role of wearable technologies, AI, machine learning, etc. in shaping up the entire IoT industry [be it IoT or IIoT]?

We see them as the important building blocks for the realization of IoT/IIoT for:

  • Safety
  • Remote management of assets
  • Collaboration for decision making
  • Intelligent Alerts and Events management
  • Condition based monitoring, in its true sense

are some of the applications we see being realized through these technologies.

Who are some of the customers, industry partners of Sasken for its IIoT business?

Some customer problems that Sasken is trying to solve include enabling legacy controllers by ensuring compatibility at the shop-floor and control-level, asset management, and using AR and virtual reality (VR) to make field service operators more effective and efficient. These are complex problems and require reliable and proven partnerships.

Sasken has partnered with the following companies to solve such complex business challenges:

  • PTC ThingWorx
  • Intel
  • Qualcomm
  • TI
  • Smartrac
  • QNX

Can you share some thoughts about Digital India [particularly Housing For All] and what are the challenges if ‘Smart Housing’ needs to go mainstream?

Digital technologies including smart devices [e.g. smartphones and wearable devices] and cloud computing applications have emerged as catalysts for rapid economic growth and consumer empowerment across the globe. The emergence of smart devices is the key to the vision of a Digital India. The Indian government envisions transforming our nation and creating opportunities for all citizens by harnessing digital technologies and to empower every citizen with access to digital services, knowledge, and information. Mobility, Analytics, and Cloud are the foundations that will enable the Digital India visions of providing ‘e-governance and services on demand’ and ‘digitally empowering citizens’ and support the social inclusion schemes being launched by the government. Here IIoT can play a major role in the government’s Digital India vision by digitizing the government initiative and tracking systems.

The Andhra Pradesh Government’s dashboard is a good example of what we can achieve with the implementation of IIoT. This will enable government schemes to become more transparent thereby reducing spillage and corruption. With respect to Housing for All, smart lighting, drinking water, drainage systems, and security can be managed much better through IIoT implementations. The wastage of electricity and water can be monitored and prevented through smart metering and lighting solutions for electricity and water.

What are some of the data security measures and energy efficiencies within smart building and home automation services?

Smart Homes will provide increased flexibility of energy consumption with smart energy management. The user will be able to control HVAC and lighting remotely from his smartphone. This will result in reducing the load on electrical grids thus bringing down the need to use expensive generators.

The typical challenges continue to be security of the data and information, interoperability issues, complex systems trying to talk to each other, evolving standards, etc. More importantly, the world is still not a full-fledged connected place; there are infrastructure issues which have to be fixed first for IoT to become a reality. The good news is that the whole industry is working towards addressing these aspects.

How important is a requirement for Open architecture, shared platforms, etc. for the growth of the entire IoT/IIoT eco-system?

One of the challenges in implementing IIoT faster is the non- interoperability between industrial devices from multiple vendors. In order to make the implementation easier for end users, it is important to have an open architecture, shared platform, etc. in the IIoT eco system. This will help the existence of multiple vendors and healthy competition thereby enabling customers to achieve better value.

We thank Ram Ramaseshan for sharing his insights with our readers. If you have any questions for Ram about IIOT, How your startup/enterprise can leverage capabilities of IIOT, etc. please email them here or share them via a comment to this article.