There’s some 'thing' about IoT! Takeaways from the Beltug X-change of 7 March 2017


Internet of Things (IoT) as a concept continues to mature in the minds of companies, innovators and entrepreneurs. This session aimed at answers to the questions that arise in that process:

  • How do we start developing an IoT solution?
  • What do we need?
  • What are the optimal (cloud) services for our project?
  • And (last but not least): once the IoT solution is in place, who owns the collected data?

Beltug members can see presentations from the event here (after login):

There's some 'thing' about IoT: Beltug

Hopes and challenges of IoT at BAM Belgium: BAM

Have you ever wondered what 1 million connections looks like?: Proximus

Launching NB-IoT in 2017: Orange

The Smart Enterprise: Dimension Data


For questions on the Eandis presentation, please contact Ann.


Proximus kicked off the session, with Katia Deboel, Lead manager IoT & M2M.  She visualised not only how IoT connects the dots in the network, but the different business partners.

IoT-enabled objects -the 'things' in Internet of Things - are increasingly mature. For example, IoT sensors are better quality, lower price and available everywhere.  The same holds true for LoRa (long range) hardware (for which virtually no battery power is needed), making the roll-out of LoRa solutions ready.

This is key, according to Katia: both the eco-system and the technology need to be mature, or the IoT train will fail! To build a case, she advised:

  • First define the 'what' - what do you want to enable?
  • Then continue with the how.
  • To build your IoT solution, you can choose to do it all yourself, or to work with partners. Fortunately, Belgium has a vast IoT eco system!
  • And always, always base the choice of technology on your use case!

Katia shared some recent, real-life use cases:

  • Assisted car solutions, car assistance, in car Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Monitoring of meeting rooms using LoRa technology: users can track and see which rooms are actually available (regardless of reservation status)
  • Debt management, and the prevention of leaks and losses, in the energy sector
  • Monitoring of a consumer’s heating oil tank and other ‘consumer’ applications.

"Through IoT projects, you bring value to the data", Katia explained.

IoT is actually an element of digital transformation, Stéphane Münster, Business Unit Manager Digital Business at Dimension Data continued.  Take the Tour de France case: it wasn’t about 'connecting the bicycles', but about leveraging the data to increase the ‘fan experience’.

The data are the life-blood in an IoT project, not the technology! So Stéphane’s advice is to start preserving all your data - old and new. Connect everything, he continued, collect the data, and use it for all kinds of use cases: predictive maintenance, augmented user experiences, machine learning, etc.

Daan Hostyn, Digital Innovation Officer at Eandis explained how this company has defined its Digital Innovation process, from idea to experiment, in three steps: (1) input, (2) backlog (3) validation.  Step three can have three outcomes itself: dump a bad idea, discover by digging deeper, or do by going live.

Eandis has already carried out a number of trials, including smart meters, tracking cable reels, and monitoring lift trucks. Future efforts will include IoT on street lights and high-voltage cabins, for example, monitoring security, access, weather conditions, etc. There are so many possible applications, just for this one company! Daan's advice: fail fast and fail often - especially at the start of an IoT project.

Frank De Weser, Marketing Director B2B & Business Unit Director IoT at Orange, had a rather different perspective: taking a 'subnet-of-things' step before leaping into internet-of-everything. Orange has chosen to go forward with NarrowBand IoT (M2M technology) via the existing mobile networks due to the wide availability of 4G and LTE networks, and the fact that roaming agreements aren’t necessary.  All Orange IoT simcards have recently been moved to a single simcard platform, Frank explained, so customers can manage their 2G, 3G or 4G connectivity.

Frank’s final conclusion was in-line with the previous presenters: "Transformation cannot be driven by technology, but must come from the business.”

The final presentation of the day illustrated a very recent IoT project.  Robin Collard, Business Development Manager at BAM Contractors shared his experiences and quest towards a viable IoT experiment. This included searching for an optimal partner, selecting the best technology, convincing the Board, etc.

Don't be naive, Robin highlighted: between having the people and a toolkit (and even a demo) in your hand, and actually achieving a product launch, there are many things to do and take into account (see slide 35).










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