Over the last year, the most compelling changes in the market for enterprise internet of things (IoT) platforms were the dropping out of key vendors including Google Cloud IoT (in August 2023), presumably based on lack of revenues/profitability.

The decommissioning of most services from SAP’s IoT PaaS offering, announced at end of 2023; and IBM’s winding down of its Watson IoT platform service in December 2023, with IBM focusing instead on offering internet of things capabilities via its hybrid cloud solutions and software.

In addition to these dropouts of platforms which focused on IoT application enablement, products focused on connectivity and device management, such as Ericsson’s IoT Connectivity platform, changed hands, having been sold to IoT MVNO and platform vendor Aeris.

Some of the other original leaders have also marginalised their offerings, embedding them in vertical solutions, or combining them with big data and AI tools, positioning IoT primarily as a data collection enabler.

Industrial stalwarts Software AG and Siemens, however, are becoming innovators in this market, with good reviews for functionality, vertical solutions, and contributions to positive ROI. The following announcements from remaining vendors highlight the kinds of add-ons to their portfolios, focusing on security, easier onboarding, user interface enhancements, integration with adjacent products and services, re-branding/re-positioning, and expanded go-to-market.

2023 IoT Platform Announcements

AWS IoT Core added self-managed client certificate signing for mobile device fleet provisioning. This allows customers to integrate with an external certificate authority, its own public key infrastructure, or services such as AWS Private CA, to sign certificate signing requests when provisioning device fleets. This provides flexibility to meet specific security requirements. In addition, AWS IoT FleetWise announced support for vehicle vision system data collection to collect metadata, object list and detection data, and images or videos from camera, lidar, radar and other vision sub-systems. This builds upon existing capabilities that enable customers to extract value and context from their data to build vehicles that are more connected and convenient.

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Microsoft announced public preview of Azure IoT Operations, enabled by Azure Arc.  Arc-enabled services help organisations onboard assets, capture insights, and take actions to scale digital transformation of physical operations. Azure IoT Operations provides a unified, enterprise-wide technology architecture and data plane that supports repeatable solution deployment and AI-enhanced decision making.

PTC reported FY 2023 annual recurring revenue of $1.9bn, up 26% YoY. It noted that IoT continued to thrive as the third highest bookings driver at the company. The retiring CEO further noted that in FY 2023 Microsoft named PTC its IoT and Manufacturing Partner of the Year; Nucleus Research and Quadrant´s SPARK Matrix named PTC the leader in IoT platforms; and LNS Research placed PTC in the leader position for Connected Frontline Worker. PTC further announced that integration of the ThingWorx IoT platform with other PTC products is gaining traction. ThingWorx Navigate supports Windchill on the PTC Atlas platform and PTC is beginning to integrate Windchill PLM, Windchill MPM, ThingWorx Navigate, and ThingWorx Connected Work Cell. PTC can now enable a continuous closed-loop digital thread from engineering to manufacturing.

Siemens Two years after its re-branding/transition of the MindSphere IIoT platform into Insights Hub, Siemens announced that Insights Hub is now a part of the Siemens Xcelerator platform, its open digital business platform featuring a curated portfolio of IoT-connected hardware and software, ecosystem of partners, and a marketplace. In addition, its combined IoT capabilities are now elements of Industrial Operations X, Siemens vision for the fusion of IT and OT, featuring a modular portfolio of IoT and edge solutions, low code platform, and manufacturing capabilities.

Software AG Cumulocity IoT platform was made available as-a-service for international customers in China through Tencent Cloud. Customers can connect and manage their devices in China as part of their device fleets, providing a single view of all assets globally. The offering includes local partners being able to publish the services and manage compliance to fulfil regulatory requirements. In addition, Software AG Cumulocity IoT’s latest release of its Cockpit dashboard enhanced the user experience and made it easier to develop and manage IoT solutions. An updated colour scheme was added, with usability and accessibility improvements for screen readers, keyboards, and user settings. Asset hierarchies defined in Digital Twin Manager and device smart groups can now also be analysed using Analytics Builder to perform aggregation analysis such as averaging humidity across devices.