This week at O’Reilly Solid Conference we announced our overall BlackBerry Project Ion strategy for M2M/IoT as well as the first product in the portfolio, our QNX Device Cloud (note name is not final). Various analysts estimate that the number of connected devices may exceed 200 billion by 2020, we believe this will drive the need for: (from our press release)
A secure public application platform that will enable a new generation of IoT applications that can access massive amounts of data from multiple sources and allow businesses to make timely, informed decisions. Powered by QNX® technology and BlackBerry secure enterprise mobility management, this platform will securely manage data from millions of end points across multi-device, multi-platform environments.
Facilitation of an Internet of Things ecosystem consistingof partners, carriers and application developers looking to connect an ever-growing number of Internet-enabled devices on a secure public applications platform.
Strategic partnerships, including membership in the Industrial Internet Consortium™ (IIC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to driving standards-based technologies for industry, academia and government to accelerate the development and availability of connected technologies. BlackBerry is also one of the founding members of the Application Developer Alliance (ADA), an association that focuses on advancing application development while helping to solve current challenges such as security and privacy.
At QNX, we’re building the connected device cloud. As I’ve blogged before, with 35 years in the embedded OS business, our team has a deep understanding of embedded device scenarios gained by working with our customers designing their devices. With this unique insight into how connected devices work we are designing our cloud to be the easiest and simplest way to implement a cloud connected device whether you use the QNX OS or another embedded platform. From BlackBerry we’ve gained valuable experience with secure endpoints, secure connections, cloud platforms and an in depth understanding of all things mobile. More importantly we know how to make these devices work for your business.
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This week I’ve been up at QNX HQ in planning meetings. This was a great experience for a number of reasons, but, primarily just seeing the QNX leadership team in action. I’m a guy who bears the scars of product review meetings with Bill Gates over the years, so, when people say technology isn’t a contact sport I beg to differ. I have to say what I saw this week was very close to sessions I remember from Microsoft at it’s peak in the 1990’s. The good news, seeing the emphasis on architecture.
Having been @MSFT for the genesis of the Windows NT operating system in ’89/’90, and the long run it’s had for the industry I can testify first hand about the importance of getting your architecture right, the pay off is obvious. I worked closely with Dave Cutler’s team (now Chief Technical Fellow @ MSFT) and took their designs and reviewed them with the leaders in technology of the day, ecosystem friends and competitors. There are subsystems in Windows that still manifest the impact of this review loop today.
I’m pleased to report we’re doing the same thing for my new products, talking to customers early, working hard to get things right. We’re both building a cloud based system, but also getting it right on the device. If your on device agents processing markedly changes device state, you’re really not measuring the true device state, are you? Architecture matters, it’s not easy to do, but will show it’s value over time.
I have been in my new gig for just over two weeks and have spent a lot of this time reading up on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) landscape, Clearly, the tech industry hype machine is in overdrive. I guess these two weeks now makes me an industry veteran, at least given the rapidly shifting market landscape and the divergent approaches that exist today.
Maybe it’s my old PC systems management background or even my recent mobile MDM bias, but a lot of what’s being built in the market appears to be modeled upon those pioneering systems. I think this is the wrong approach, The Internet of Things is all about the device and it’s unique functional characteristics. Period. Hence, any product built to address IoT scenarios must take a device first approach.
It should not be a surprise for me to say given the institutional knowledge @QNX that this is the design approach we’re taking. Now you’re asking, “What does that mean?”. I will from time to time share more thoughts as we make our way to market and what it means to be truly device first.