Scaling the Adoption of IoT

IoT Leaders with Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye and Dimitrios Spiliopoulos, Senior IoT Specialist, EMEA at AWS

The way to scale IoT adoption is to simplify and automate. Not everyone needs to have a cybersecurity expert on their team. Most of the time, the IoT services can provide ample security — and much more.

In this episode, Nick interviews Dimitrios Spiliopoulos, Senior IoT Specialist, EMEA at AWS, and finds out how he addresses the biggest challenges his clients face when scaling IoT.

What they talked about:

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Intro (00:01):
You’re listening to IoT Leaders, a podcast from Eseye that shares real IoT stories from the field about digital transformation swings and misses, lessons learned, and innovation strategies that work. In each episode you’ll hear our conversations with top digitization leaders on how IoT is changing the world for the better. Let IoT leaders be your guide to IoT, digital transformation, and innovation. Let’s get into the show.

Nick Earle (00:32):
Welcome to the next edition of the IoT Leaders Podcast with me, your host, Nick Earle, the CEO of Eseye. And I’m delighted on this podcast to have my guest, Dimitrios Spiliopoulos. And Dimitrios is from AWS, Amazon Web Services. He’s the Senior IoT Specialist for EMEA for AWS. So, Dimitrios, welcome to the IoT Leaders Podcast.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (00:58):
Thank you very much, Nick, for the invitation and for having me here today. I’m very keen to discuss with you. Thanks again.

Nick Earle (01:05):
You’re very welcome. As am I. Now, Dimitrios, as you will know and hopefully some of the listeners know, AWS and Eseye do have a history together in the IoT space. We’ve been partners for, oh, I would say… just coming up to five years, I think. And we have a lot of mutual customers. And we’ve learned a lot of things together in that time. And I’m sure we’ll cover a few of those things in the brief time that we’ve got here. But just for the moment, maybe you could just explain… What does your role involve? What does a senior IoT specialist for EMEA involve at AWS?

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (01:42):
Yeah. It involves many things. It is more around the business development for a IoT business. I belong in the IoT worldwide specialist organization of AWS, where we help our customers with their digital transformation projects where IoT is involved. But also we’re helping our colleagues internally, like account managers and then other colleagues to understand better IoT but also help their customers. So it has an element of enablement internally, but also dealing with the customers outside and trying to understand, get feedback from what are the needs, what are the trends, and feedback that the service team that they’ll build their IoT service for AWS. And then I’m focusing more on their scaling activities, trying to scale the adoption of IoT in general, where is my passion, but also the adoption of AWS IoT monitors.

Nick Earle (02:48):
Yeah. And I mentioned that we’ve been working together as two companies for about five years. One of the reasons that we thought that AWS be… a couple of reasons really why we thought AWS would be successful in this space. First of all, just looking at the numbers. We talked about 80% of the data is going to be at the Edge as the number of devices grows exponentially at the Edge. And of course, AWS really makes money by capturing data by giving insights, by adding value to data, and then with all the applications to manipulate the data. And so it’s natural that AWS would follow if you like the data to the Edge.

Nick Earle (03:33):
But the second thing is… and I think this is really emerging from my perspective, at least… Second reason is the global nature of AWS. I mean, I’ve talked to you a lot on this podcast about our focus being global customers, global deployments, which is where multi-country multi regions, where a lot of issues often come up because of the fragmented proprietary nature of the mobile network, marketplace and landscape. And of course AWS being an inherently, a global capability is something which gives lots of value to customers. So let’s double click and go into what sort of issues do you… you must meet a lot of customers all the time, as you said. What sort of issues do your customers talk to you about? What are you finding are there their biggest challenges?

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (04:24):
Yeah, I think that the type of sound is changing, right, every year. Because now, I think IoT has become more mature. Many more companies are using IoT, or they’re thinking very seriously. We’re not like 3 or 5, 10 years ago that it was very emerging technology. Now and we are in more going to the maturity.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (04:48):
So I would start with the first challenge for the companies that they have already started their IoT journey, which is that the okay, they connected the product, they launch it in the market. They had some success and now they are thinking, “Okay, what are we going to do more with IoT, with our already connected products.” But also they are wondering what they will do with a version two of their product and how they will be able to monetize the data they have or how they are thinking how they can have more data that can offer more value to their customers or create new services and make more revenues for their business. So customers are coming to us not only for the services, several… let’s just say IoT services, but they’re coming also to listen from us how they can get value from their IoT data.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (05:41):
And we have several ways that we tried to help them. One is with some ideation workshops and we try to use the Amazon innovation culture. They are working backwards, as we say in Amazon. And where we try to tell customers to think about what they want to do to get the press release, which works to be their final announcement of their product. And also give them the tools would say to analyze their data. This is something that-

Nick Earle (06:11):
That’s interesting. That’s interesting that you did it. I didn’t know you actually had formalized that process. I was reminded, as you were saying it almost like playing golf. People say you play backwards from the hole, how many shots… start with the destination and work backwards. It’s a common business technique. So you actually have formalized it. You’re saying you almost start off, write the press release, the marketing release, whatever, of what you want the success story to be. And then you’ve got a clear idea of what success looks like. And then work backwards as opposed to start with some technology and work forward, solving a problem at a time. That-

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (06:53):

Nick Earle (06:54):
That’s the way you go about it. That’s interesting.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (06:57):
Yeah. Instead of starting with the technology or let’s do IoT, or let’s use these AWS services and partners, we’re saying, “Okay, this is a press release, what we would like to announce.” And then we help the customer. And this is absolutely the methodology that the Amazon and AWS uses for all these years. So we have maybe make it as a workshop to help customer. Our customers say, “Learn and practice is their methodology.”

Nick Earle (07:25):
So if you’re going to do that, presumably then, that means that you get a selection of different people from the customer to come in to some sort of ideation workshop. I mean, just the pure technology people wouldn’t be enough, would it? I mean, because they would say, “Well, I don’t know. I’ve just been asked to do a certain task or I’ve got to solve this problem.” So you actually ask for a certain, I don’t know, job titles or of people at management as well as technical.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (07:55):
Definitely. Yeah. That’s a good point. And because with traditional IT workloads, usually we had the lessons with IT people, right, CIOs. But now with IoT, I think we… and certainly that yes, I’m sure you see those right in your business. The discussion is not only with the IT or procurement, but mainly with the business development with innovation teams. Many times with the CEO of the company because we are speaking about transformation or an innovation and changing processes, business models. So yeah, we try to invite even the CEO of the company, CFO, marketing people, sales, business development. And of course, the tag team of the customer.

Nick Earle (08:41):
So… Okay, that’s interesting. So I want to go back to a point that you said and skipped over it because I think it’s very pertinent. One of the things… and that was this issue of… I think he used the phrase V2 of the product. And one of the reasons for doing this podcast… I’ve mentioned it before on previous ones with previous guests… is that we didn’t start off saying, “Oh, we want to be in the podcast business.” We actually were finding that people really needed help and advice, and they wanted people to guide them through various steps. And you’ve just mentioned that and therefore, the IoT Leaders Podcast series came about. And you’ve just mentioned that because you said, “Well, version one, they’ve got it to work. But it’s essentially, in the bench, in the office. It works, the prototype works. But having a prototype working and then going for a national or global roll outs with all the different components and having to solve it, the connectivity, you mentioned the device, which I’m sure we’ll come onto, which is a big issue. The data, capturing the data, what to do with the data. So is that also a common thing after you’ve done the vision thing. I guess you’re then in the process with the customer and you seem to be saying that many customers get going, I guess, fairly quickly. But then where they really need help is scaling it to V2?

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (10:08):
Yeah. Or scaling even from the V1 because they may do a POC or prototype, but then they need to scale it. And yeah, we see customers that they’re trying to do everything themselves. And sometimes it can take one or two years, but… which is very long, right. Maybe your product is outdated after two years that your idea from three years ago. I always… Exactly. Yeah. We tried to bring a partners and always recommend that to our customers to work closely with our partners in order to accelerate this journey. Plus we also try to… we have a prototyping team, which is designed to give the customers started that the right way for the professional services. But yeah, we always try to give the full support of the customer, especially to our partners, in order to not wait for a long time until they make it production ready product and scale quickly. And then there are other things around security, right. Around the Edge computing, how to do it at the right way, how to reduce the risks.

Nick Earle (11:15):
Yeah. Yeah. And I mentioned at the beginning of the… I’m going to get onto security and Edge computing in a second. But let’s pick three subjects to go a bit deeper in now. Let’s go to the connectivity, the Edge computing, and the security. If we start off with the connectivity… I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that we’ve been partnering for almost five years now. One of the areas that we partnered in was on the connectivity side. And it’s interesting what’s happened since those early days because we started off saying, “We have the AnyNet SIM, which can connect to over 700 networks. So therefore, you can create a single SKU, a manufacturing SKU… like Bosch, have a single SKU for robotic lawn mower, sell it around the world in multiple countries. People take it home, buy it through retail, take it home, switch it on and it works.

Nick Earle (12:09):
But what’s now happening is we’re seeing that the telecoms market… and we talked about this in other podcasts as well. It’s fragmenting even more, and the roaming agreements are actually breaking down because of the financial model in roaming. There’s just not enough money, particularly at the low end on narrowband. And so you’re now getting an even more fragmented market, features like power saving mode, not available on many roaming agreements. Therefore, it’s even more difficult to take that V1 and scale it because now you have to think about all the different connectivity and all the different markets and all of this work. And that was the Genesis of the relationship between us that we say, “Well, with our SKU, we handle that.” And we localize the connection in each market.

Nick Earle (12:59):
But you mentioned security. We also did some early work together with AWS on Device Defender. Security is a big issue for our customers. It must come up in every conversation that you have. What sort of questions, and what sort of concerns and advice to people really… what are the concerns that they have and what advice are they wanting from you in the area of security because it’s such a broad topic for IoT.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (13:33):
Exactly. Yeah. I mean, we see customers come to us asking about the basic, how to start with the security, how to do the basics, right. How to do the access management properly, to not give access to everyone today, a data lake or to their storage, to their data. Or how to minimize them the access to each person based on what they have to do, for their job. So these are some basics which are not only for IoT, right? This classic IP security. But also about the encryption. All the AWS site services are encrypted by default. So this something we always recommend the customers about the device ID, how to monitor them at scale. And then the key, and the device AI identities, also how to be able to know that your device is not compromised, and it’s not discounting the message or data from another source.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (14:41):
So we try to help with all of this then. Our solution architects actually for the specialist, IoT are getting in these discussions for security, for the IoT core service. But this is, I think, is a basic security. As you mentioned, device defender, right? So this is the service that we… I always recommend the customers for extra security of their devices. These services designed for IoT sensors. It’s not for something else. It’s designed for connected devices. And I think, the most interesting thing that maybe it’s worth it to hear for the audience, these are the… Since December, we launched a new feature of the devices center, which use machine learning in order to identify anomalies of the last 14 days. Anomalies of the network, of the traffic, and of the behavior of the device. So it can send alerts and take medication actions.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (15:40):
So having Nick is more about now how we try to – we see many questions, but we see that it’s quite complicated sometimes, right, for customers to handle all of this. So we try to simplify it and automate kind of, many of the processes. So normally to have a super cybersecurity expert in the team to develop-

Nick Earle (16:03):
Well yeah, it’s interesting that you talk about the machine learning because when I mentioned that the number of devices is growing exponentially at the Edge, it is our belief, as well as Eseye, that the only way you can actually do, define and propagate and monitor security policies is to do it centrally, and use techniques like machine learning to do sort of patent recognition at the Edge. When we’re describing a security to people, I say, “Let’s…” It’s hard for a lot of people to wrap their head around what that means. And we say, “Well, think of the nest… an SNM stance, they say is more intelligent than a human because it does pattern matching of what room… we’re all creatures of habit… What room do we go in more often? It knows, clearly it knows the temperature outside. It knows the forecast, but it also knows that you don’t need the bedroom heating on because you never go in there. And it can monitor you. But then if you apply that to tens, hundreds, or thousands, potentially millions of devices, the idea of using machine learning to recognize patterns… and in this case, as you say, anomaly detection.

Nick Earle (17:21):
So it’s not that these things will magically stop any security breach. But the first thing is early recognition of unusual behavior. And because devices of creatures, devices of habits, if you like. And the earlier you can recognize unusual behavior, the quicker you can look at it. And it might be fine. You say, “Well, that’s fine. That’s something going on there. I’m okay with that. Or it might be not fine because time is so critical isn’t it? When there’s any sort of a security problem, one of the key issues is not reacting to it. It’s the fact that by the time you spot it, often the damage is done.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (18:06):
you could be more proactive lets say, or it could be identified, right at the real time that something is going wrong.

Nick Earle (18:11):
Yeah. Yeah. And given that you guys also can issue security certificates, issuing authority as a hyper scale cloud provider, you’re in a great position to actually re-issue the certificates, and to help seal the device, if you like. And that our alliance was around taking that sprint Device Defender, which we helped launch with you… it seems like a long time ago now onstage in Chicago. But the ability to actually take the devices across our network, which is also encrypted, of course. We don’t use the public internet. We only use encryption, private networking at all stages. So it’s network level security, which is very important. And the ability to then store the security certificates in the SIM with all the securities is a key part of it.

Nick Earle (19:08):
All of which brings us to the third subject, which is the hardware side. That’s another big area as well. And the phrase that I’m hearing more and more is MEC or Mobile Edge Compute. We’ve all lived through this time when we thought that hardware wasn’t important. Actually, I would say due to the success of the hyper scale cloud providers like AWS is like, “well, I just need a browser. I know there’s hardware, but I’m not managing it anymore. I’m just doing work. I’m just programmed.” And so phrases were thrown around. “Software is eating hardware.” “It’s all about software.” Even company evaluations were very much geared towards software companies, not hardware-

Nick Earle (19:56):
And then suddenly Mobile Edge Compute arrived and you mentioned the sensors, and suddenly now there is a very important piece of hardware at the Edge, which is an aggregation point, which is now going to have to deal with certain sensors with unique business logic. In fact, the business case comes together at the Edge. And suddenly you’ve got all these people who thought that they were going to do an IoT project, maybe buy an off the shelf device, like you buy a mobile phone from a phone shop, but actually it’s not. I mean, our experience… we’re a hardware design company as well as a SaaS IoT consulting company. But I would say 90% of devices and projects that we get involved in would require custom specific hardware. How are you finding your customers and prospects are wrapping their head around suddenly having to think about hardware when they have spent the last 10, 15 years thinking it’s just all in the cloud and you don’t have to do it anymore.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (21:07):
I mean, I think that the… it’s not they were nothing about hardware, but yeah, I think you’re right, that they were reducing the value or the importance for the hardware in their business. But now, I think how we tried to do is, us, we said to simplify, right, to simplify everything. That’s why we, a few years ago, we acquired the FreeRTOS, which is a open source operating system for microcontrollers, called Greengrass. You know it very well. In December, we announced that this is a open source and more modular. So you can use some modules of a Greengrass for your Edge software and take only what you need. So we try to make it easier to our services to work on different on this variety of a hardware. And of course, we count on our partners to build a personal for the consultancy of our partner that our partners provide, but also to build with our partners a hardware that is easier to deploy the AWS IoT services or other things. Yeah. And I think with the Edge computing, you’re right that we will see more and more everything is coming at the device level. Not everything, but the big majority as the years pass. And also that’s why for us in AWS, we think IoT and the Edge is super important because not many things will be in the cloud, but many will be in the factory, the warehouse or the terminals for oil and gas. Yeah.

Nick Earle (22:48):
Yeah. Prior to me running Eseye, I was at Cisco for 13 years. And my last three, four years is… it’s confession time now. My last three, four years, I was actually competing with AWS. I ran the cloud program for Cisco globally, planned managed services and we argue that failed miserably. Not that the goal was to try and stop AWS, but it was actually to try and replicate a lot of what AWS did. But the scale that you guys had was very difficult to replicate. And in the end, it was more of an embrace strategy. But one of the things I always used to say to people when I was explaining why AWS was so effective, was that you really did, in my view, at least, two things really, really well, is simplify things, demystify / simplify them. And you did it multiple times. It was, I mean, it was releases of software every day. The dev ops model is limited new features that were coming every day, solving problems. And then also scale. The ability to really scale in a simple way. And that’s relevant in terms of the hardware because the approach that we’ve taken and working with you. You mentioned Greengrass, is to actually say, “How could you apply the lessons from simplifying scale to the hardware level?” And so one of the things that we’ve done. We have our own routers, and we just released a new one, of course, the Hera 700, which has AWS on there. It’s optimized for 5G environments. Programmable router. You can program a Python on the cloud and download the application to the Edge router. So it makes things simpler. We’ve also taken the scaling down to its silicone level. And another announcement that we did with you guys was we… formally Gemalto, now Thales at where actually you have their Intelligent Cloud Connect, which is essentially a module or an Edge aggregation device, which contains everything in the silicone. So when you switch the module on or the Edge aggregation device on, it actually registers as a thing on the AWS IoT thing repository. The services provision, the security certificates is generated from within AWS IoT and is stored automatically in the module. And the idea is is that it’s just 280 commands. It’s sort of publish and subscribe, but it’s 280 commands to turn the device on, which is significant for those listeners who know about how difficult it has been to connect devices to hyper scale cloud and to make them secure, register them, and provision the service. It’s a significant breakthrough. And then of course, you’ve got the ability for it to connect to any network globally. So I think we’re both on this approach to try and constantly simplify it because as much of it as the progress is good that we’ve made so far. Still, the number one feedback we get at least is that one of the biggest inhibitors is the complexity. And we started off talking about that. I still think we’ve got a way to go, but working in the areas of hardware and scalability, the silicone layer, the security side, and then giving people advice, that means we’re making progress.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (26:26):
And the integration that you mentioned, right? The integration of your connectivity platform with AWS IoT, which makes it much easier to deploy it this cloud, to secure your devices. And also with Thales (Gemalto) is… all of these are great examples to the right direction. And I think because we are going now to more maturity with IoT then, more and more companies are starting using IoT. I don’t think that there’s so much talent outside. So much that so many experts in the market, quite a technical IoT expert. So to help the traditional companies build a good products, connect good products. So that’s why I think this kind of partnerships and this simplicity that we can try to bring the market is a way to scale IoT, right? It’s the way to make it be accessible for more companies, more people.

Nick Earle (27:24):
Well, actually, I’ll tell you a story, I challenged our SVP of sales. I won’t mention his name on this call. I challenged him, I said, “Look, if this product is so simple that it will do everything we just talked about, then a child should be able to use it.” And he said, “Well, I’ve got one of those. I’ve got a 12 year old daughter.” So we made it ahead of our quality testing department for a week. And so we got these boxes from Dallas, and she’s 12 year old at home. I said, “Well, take it home. And see if your daughter can make it work without any help from you. And to her credit, she did. She had a small issue and it was actually due to an error in the documentation. We then fixed that. But she felt… I mean, kids are amazing. They follow things well, and they’re quite happy doing a bit of research. Anyway, she got it to work. So we gave her certificates as our Head of Testing. I did threaten to make the sales manager do the same thing live in front of the rest of the management team. But I decided not to put him on that platform. But the serious point being is that when we say things have got to be easy, it can’t be a IT definition of easy. I mean, it’s sort of like a… Can a twelve-year-old do it? Can you truly switch it on, follow some instructions… it’s not instant, but follow some instructions, and within a few minutes have it working. And it has to be easy to get the adoption. And that’s something that we’re all working on. There are customers out there, of course, who are really doing extremely well. We always try and highlight them in this podcast. And so I’ve got one in particular I wanted to talk about. But if we go first with yourself, Dimitrios, can you give us perhaps a customer example of somebody who you think have done something fairly innovative. You mentioned partners working with a partner that maybe you can give a shout out to a customer who’s done things well.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (29:39):
Yeah. I would like maybe to mention one customer who has worked with Eseye as a partner, but also with another partner here in the UK. The name is Green Custard. So the customer-

Nick Earle (29:52):
– Green Custard, you have to explain. So you said that quickly as I… excuse me for jumping in, but some people will say, “What did he say? Did he say this?” And so it’s a company. It’s a partner of both of us actually, which were formed by Mr. Green and Mr. Custard had the brilliant insight to actually call the company Green Custard. So anyway, I just want to just to explain it that.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (30:16):
Yeah, yeah. I don’t know much about the history of the name, but yeah, you’re right. And it’s very interesting how they created the name. So this is like a local system integrator for the IoT, and we work very closely. So the customer is a Martin Engineering that they’re a American company and they are providing bulk material handling equipment and services around the world. So they have belt cleaners, conveyancing belts, blades for the mining industry for heavy industrial sectors. They provide the material handling solutions. So what they wanted to do was to connect data equipment in order to be able to do real time, remote monitoring, to understand the conditions of their equipment and send alerts to the engineers when the belts are going to… when they are very dirty or when they need replacement or when they need to stop the machine, and try to do it practically, or schedule them 10 hours a day at right time instead of stopping the production of the customers, which would cost them lots of thousands per hour.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (31:33):
And, yeah, Eseye was a global connectivity provider. They wanted a global solution. So they came to a site to have this global coverage and to be everywhere connected. And they use AWS IoT services, like a site wide IoT core device defender. We mentioned device management and our partner, Green Custard, they helped them bring everything together and deploy it from the US to around the world, using cloud for information and the other services. So this is really how a very traditional company, how they are trying to connect. They’re not just one machine in the local business, but how they are going at scale to connect their industrial assets, which are expensive. And they are really valuable for their customers and how they can go in full production and not globally deployments.

Nick Earle (32:31):
Interesting that… often when I asked the question to guests on the podcast, can you give a shout-out to a customer, it’s often the innovative startups. And of course the big potential is for the installed base of legacy equipment. That’s out there. And you mentioned conveyor belts and industrial company that’s been around for a long time. The payback of smart, enabling legacy equipment, the industrial IoT, and some people call it the interface between IT and OT, information technology and operational technology. That’s actually where a lot of the ROI and the payback and the opportunity for IoT is. And if you can actually take classic, almost heavy equipment type scenarios and smart enable it, the opportunity is huge.

Nick Earle (33:24):
Not least in which the most common business case we’ve seen is… and I’m sure it’s the case here, is the maintenance process, is the ability to interrogate devices to find out what’s wrong before you actually send somebody out there to find out, to confirm that it’s wrong to then go back to get the part that they now know that they need to come back that represents downtime. And so the ROI for doing that is huge. If you can then do that globally with the same solution, the same SIM, the same connectivity, the same cloud solution, the same security policy, the paybacks are enormous because previously, this stuff wasn’t possible. I’m going to give a shout out to… Sorry- go on…

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (34:09):
The industrial sector is where I think we see the most interest and demand this year, which is very distinct. And especially from the traditional companies that they are starting now their IoT journey. And usually the business case is that the data production stop for one hour, they may lose a 300k, $300,000, or pounds, whatever, or half a million in the mining industry, now oil and gas. So the business case is so clear for these companies are using IoT, which is very fascinating, but yeah, tell me your favorite example for customer.

Nick Earle (34:50):
Yeah. Well, at least on this one, I just want to highlight that again, what you just said because I think a lot of people have missed that. I’m actually going to give an example of a startup. But before I do, like you said, what is one hour of downtime worth to you or cost you?

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (35:10):

Nick Earle (35:11):
And it can be 10,000, a hundred thousand. It can be half… I mean, the oil well had… if you can’t drill, you have to stop the rig, it can be a million dollars. And at that point you suddenly realize that that’s where the opportunity is, but people don’t know how to IoT-enable legacy products.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (35:33):
…and measure the value sometimes.

Nick Earle (35:35):
Yeah. And that’s what you can do with these Edge aggregation devices because the thing about a conveyor belt, or we have customers who do big industrial boilers. We have 2000 customers, and I guess most of them are in the legacy product space. But these products all have controllers on them. So they have a small port where you can plug it little cable in and you can get information out to them. And often, engineers use that information just to diagnose it when they’re on site. But the moment… the fact that you have a controller in the device of some sort perhaps with an RS232 interface or something means you can put an Edge aggregation device in this cellular and actually start to do this remotely, and then start to actually do the sort of case studies that we’re talking about. So I do believe that IT/OT is almost a forgotten area of IoT, and I think that’s where a lot of the case studies, I totally agree with you. A lot of the big success case studies will be with this huge installed base of legacy equipment that’s not smart and is about to become smart.

Nick Earle (36:43):
So having said all of that, I do want to give a shout out to a company. It’s actually a company that has just won an award. They won an award from Juniper Research for the most innovative, I believe the title is the most innovative IoT solution. It’s a company called Alcuris, A-L-C-U-R-I-S. And we talked about areas in which IoT makes a contribution, and this is in the healthcare area. It’s a very simple on paper idea, but one which I think we can all identify with. And it’s to do with, again, it’s pattern matching. It’s another area of pattern matching, but in this case, it’s humans and their behavior, and actually elderly relatives. So the idea of, I don’t know, let’s say your mom is living on her own and you worried about her, and the idea of putting little sensors around the house, tiny little things. They could be in the bed. So you can find whether she’s lying on the bed or she’s out of bed. They could be on the bathroom door as she passed the bathroom door to go to the bathroom at the night. And then you, by the kettle, has the cattle been switched on. It’s a British company, so switch on for a cup of tea. And then the idea is by putting these sensors around the phone, you very rapidly build up a pattern, a predictable behavior. And what you can then say is, “Well, I’m going to have an alert, which is if mum gets out of bed in the night, goes to the bathroom, but doesn’t get back in bed, then alert,” obvious one. Or just made a cup of tea, her cup of tea. Hasn’t made a cup of tea and it’s 20 minutes later than normal. Maybe I’ll call her. So this all goes into the phone. And it’s a very simple idea. But the market segment… you talk about the ROI. The market segment is the care home, a business where people send carers out into the community. And the idea is that… well, the thing that they’re addressing is that often people will get three visits in a day from different carers, calling in on the same person. And so there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of carers working for councils, whose job it is just to go and check on people. You don’t get the human element, but you do, you can perhaps say, “You know what? You should either prioritize who you don’t need to check on because they seem to be okay.” Or the other side of it. “No, no, no, go back to this person now. They’re not due a check, but there’s something going on.” So it actually is a great thing for obviously the patients. It’s a great thing for the local councils. And this is a… local councils are loving it because it allows them to optimize care availability

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (39:26):
Exactly, yeah.

Nick Earle (39:28):
…very simple, and of course for relatives who can get all the information from the phone. It’s a very, very simple idea. These sensors are very cheap. They’re very small. They’re easy to install. And again, it’s pattern matching, which comes back to your machine learning thing. And you can imagine in the future, you could really start taking this to many, many more levels once you introduce machine learning into these healthcare environments.

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (39:52):
Exactly. And I think you mentioned the human element, right? But I think if a council is able to reduce the three visits just to, which have the purpose, just to check if an elder is fine, they can do like one visit per day maximum, but this could be like 20 minutes, full of human interaction –

Nick Earle (40:15):
Exactly. Have a discussion and a chat, which might be the only… they may be the only person that they speak to that day. And so-

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (40:22):

Nick Earle (40:22):
…the idea of all the benefits around mental health and combating loneliness. Some of the IoT health studies, case studies are quite touching in terms of what IoT does, not from a technology point of view, but what IoT can do to change people’s quality of life. And I think some of them are quite amazing what they can do. And you’re absolutely right. Just spend more time with somebody, that quality time. Yeah. For both the patient and the carer actually. Well, listen, we can talk about hours, Dimitrios, because I know we’ve got many, many customers together. But I did want to perhaps bring this together with one final question and say… I’m sure people have been fascinated by this conversation. If people want more information, is there any source of information or where they could go to get more information about what it is that you guys do?

Dimitrios Spiliopoulos (41:27):
Yeah. First of all, if this for something specific, they can reach out to me by LinkedIn. Dimitrios Spiliopoulos IoT or Dimitrios IoT and they will find me. But they also personally can find more information on the website, AWS IoT, if they Google they will find it. But also recently, I think this is very important, and especially for existing AWS customers or for company that they are considering to use the AWS IoT services. We recently published a well-architected review which is very popular right now from AWS, but so far it was general for cloud IT services. But now we publish the document, which is well-architected review with IoT lens. So it’s focusing only on the IoT and it covers security, scalability, reliability, resilience, access control. So all of these things like basically best practices that follow around the AWS IoT. And yeah, if you check a well-architectured review IoT lens, you will find it online. And it’s free to download them.

Nick Earle (42:42):
Great. So let’s bring it to conclusion. Thanks again, Dimitrios, for your time and your insight, and indeed your partnership between the two companies. You’ve been listening to the IoT Leaders Podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I certainly did. And thanks again for the discussion. Take care.

Outro (43:02):
Thanks for tuning in to IoT Leaders, a podcast brought to you by Eseye. Our team delivers innovative global IoT cellular connectivity solutions that just work, helping our customers deploy differentiated experiences and disrupt their markets. Learn more at

Outro (43:22):
You’ve been listening to IoT Leaders, featuring digitization leadership on the front lines of IoT. Our vision for this podcast is to be your guide to IoT and digital disruption, helping you to plot the right route to success. We hope today’s lessons, stories, strategies, and insights have changed your vision of IoT. Let us know how we’re doing by subscribing, rating, reviewing, and recommending us. Thanks for listening. Until next time.

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