VDC Research Blog

MWC18, Part 2: Notes from the Show Floor

by Steve Hoffenberg, and Roy Murdock | 03/14/2018

In Part 1 of our MWC18 coverage, we featured info from the Mobile IoT Summit, and VDC’s pick for our Embeddy Award from the show. In Part 2, we highlight a selection of notable vendors on the trade show floor, as seen by VDC’s Roy Murdock and Steve Hoffenberg. Read more

MWC18, Part 1: 1NCE IoT Service Named Winner of VDC’s Embeddy Award

by Steve Hoffenberg | 03/12/2018

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, IoT products and services took a giant leap forward. Unlicensed spectrum LPWAN products and services for IoT communications (such as LoRa, Sigfox, and Ingenu) have been available for several years. In prior years, offerings for licensed spectrum IoT services such as LTE Cat-M1 (a.k.a. LTE-M) and NB-IoT were mostly in the discussion and demo stages. Now, the sheer volume of announced IoT wireless modules and services for the licensed spectrum has ramped up, and many are already on the market. Read more

Meet with VDC at Hannover Messe 2018

by Jared Weiner | 03/12/2018

VDC Research will once again be attending Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology. This year’s show—which takes place from April 23-27 at the Hannover Fairground in Hannover, Germany—will feature more than 5,000 international exhibitors, 1,400 lectures and panels, and 200,000 attendees. Among the industry trends expected to emphasized by exhibitors, lecturers, and panel members at Hannover Messe 2018 are Industrie 4.0, integrated energy, smart supply, predictive maintenance, cobots, lightweight construction, and the digital twin. Learn more

Hardware Highlights from Embedded World 2018

by Dan Mandell | 03/10/2018

Last week, the embedded engineering community migrated to Nuremberg, Germany for the 16th annual Embedded World conference. Embedded World is the epicenter of the IoT and embedded technology conference calendar with all of the global juggernauts coming together in one place to launch new products, unveil strategic collaborations, and set the future of embedded engineering. Read more

Mentor Named Winner of VDC Research Embeddy Award for Software – Nuremberg 2018

by Andre' Girard | 03/09/2018

VDC Research attended the Embedded World 2018 conference in Nuremberg, Germany through three days during the week of February 26th packed full of face-to-face meetings with dozens of exhibitors. This year’s event was the 16th Embedded World conference and it continues to grow as the leading exhibition for global IoT and embedded technology providers. 1,021 companies from around the world exhibited throughout 6 massive halls and showcased to more than 32,200 embedded experts from 78 countries. Read more

Silicon Labs Named Winner of VDC Research Embeddy Award for Hardware – Nuremberg 2018

by Dan Mandell | 03/09/2018

VDC Research attended the Embedded World 2018 conference in Nuremberg, Germany through three days during the week of February 26th packed full of face-to-face meetings with dozens of exhibitors. This year’s event was the 16th Embedded World conference and it continues to grow as the leading exhibition for global IoT and embedded technology providers. 1,021 companies from around the world exhibited throughout 6 massive halls and showcased to more than 32,200 embedded experts from 78 countries. Read more

Business Benefits Crucial to Wearables

by Spencer Gisser | 02/26/2018

Wearable solution providers are discovering the importance of focusing on the business benefits that they can provide. It is not enough to offer a flexible platform upon which customers can build – wearable companies must work with partners and prospective customers to learn what metrics their solutions can improve and map a specific path to those goals. Many wearables companies have not approached the market with a business benefit framework, and these organizations have become mired in “pilot purgatory.” Appealing to forward-thinking research and development units, many wearable companies expect prospective organizations to view their products as enabling new workflows and driving business benefits. Learn more

Major Takeaways from Embedded Tech Trends 2018

by Dan Mandell | 01/31/2018

Embedded Tech Trends 2018 highlighted several important trends impacting the markets for critical and intelligent embedded systems. Embedded Tech Trends is an annual business and technology forum where technology suppliers and media come together to discuss technology advancements, standards, and other important topics for anyone developing boards, systems, and software for critical and intelligent embedded computing. This year’s event was hosted last week in Austin, Texas with a focus on the “biggest technologies and brightest solutions” behind high performance computing problems in mission-critical environments. Read more

CES 2018, Part 2: Smart Home, A View Through the Pipes

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/19/2018

In Part 1 of our post about CES 2018, we looked at the rise of automotive technology at the show. In Part 2, we’ll discuss how and why consumers adopt smart home technology. And we’ll do so through a specific lens: five different products we saw at CES that can monitor and/or control the flow of water through the pipes. Unlike a Nest Thermostat or a Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerator, most visitors will never know these plumbing-related products are installed in the home. They have no bling value. Just to reiterate, we’ll be discussing these products as examples primarily to help illustrate the reasons consumers purchase smart home devices. Read more

Checkpoint Systems Aims to Further its Connected Store Ambitions with Latest Announcements at NRF 2018

by Michael Clarke, with Richa Gupta | 01/18/2018

Checkpoint Systems Inc. (a division of CCL Labels), a leader in electronic article surveillance (EAS) and RFID solutions for the retail industry, announced two new product offerings at the recently concluded NRF conference in New York. Thus, this blog will detail the latest products and the company’s outlook for the retail space in 2018. Read more

CES 2018, Part 1: Why CES is Now a Car Show, But Not a Car Show

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/15/2018

The CES trade show in Las Vegas covers a lot of territory, both literally and figuratively. In more than 2.75 million square feet of exhibit space in venues across Las Vegas, the show organizer Consumer Technology Association created 27 “marketplaces” devoted to topics such as Augmented Reality, Baby Tech, Drones, Fitness, Gaming, IoT Infrastructure, Robotics, Sleep Tech, Smart Cities, and so on. Notably absent from the list, however, was Automotive, which might lead an outside observer to believe that such a market wasn’t represented. On the contrary, the Automotive market had a huge presence at CES 2018. Read more

Omni-Channel Report Announcement

by Nick Elia | 01/12/2018

VDC’s Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices practice is announcing the release of our report on omni-channel retailing, the challenges retailers have experienced implementing omni-channel operations and the impact they have had on retail organizations operations when done right. VDC defines omni-channel as an evolutionary step above multi-channel, and involves organizations taking a channel-agnostic approach to customer service and retail by attempting to seamlessly integrate shopping across both physical and digital channels. Learn more

Leading Leuco Dye Manufacturer Shutdown Causes Significant Disruption in Direct Thermal Paper Market

by Michael Clarke, with Richa Gupta | 01/05/2018

VDC recently published a white paper in collaboration with mobile data capture vendor, Scandit. This piece analyzes the unprecedented challenges facing retailers with brick-and-mortar store locations today and their need to make strategic investments in technology solutions in order to compete effectively for customers and revenues. Shoppers today seek instant gratification and their exposure to a variety of different platforms and brands has dramatically altered their retail-related expectations. Read more

LoRaWAN Assumes LPWAN Leadership for IoT Gateways

by Daniel Mandell | 12/14/2017

The IoT is fueling wireless connectivity innovation and driving ecosystem development of new technologies such as low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs). LPWANs are suited for IoT devices transmitting and receiving relatively small amounts of data over long distances (a kilometer of more) and or long periods of time (5 to 10 years, often relying on battery power). Read more

Reengineer, Restructure, and Revamp Retail with Mobile Data Capture Technology

by Richa Gupta | 12/13/2017

VDC recently published a white paper in collaboration with mobile data capture vendor, Scandit. This piece analyzes the unprecedented challenges facing retailers with brick-and-mortar store locations today and their need to make strategic investments in technology solutions in order to compete effectively for customers and revenues. Shoppers today seek instant gratification and their exposure to a variety of different platforms and brands has dramatically altered their retail-related expectations. Read more

AIDC’s Time to Shine in the Asian Supply Chain Market

by Richa Gupta | 12/11/2017

The Asian logistics market has seen a flurry of activity this past week from an AIDC standpoint with market leaders Honeywell and SATO both making strategic announcements to address opportunities within it. This blog details the strategic investments and alliances forged by these conglomerates with an eye on the future. Read more

Amazon Sets Up Onramp for Billions of MCU-powered Devices to AWS with FreeRTOS Stewardship

by Roy Murdock | 11/29/2017

AWS announced its intent to enter the IoT & Embedded operating system (OS) market today by taking stewardship of the popular FreeRTOS operating system from WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems (WHIS). FreeRTOS is a small, MCU-focused Real-Time OS that has gained wide adoption since its release in 2003 as an alternative to paid options. Read more

McAfee Bolsters Cloud Capabilities with Skyhigh Networks Acquisition

by Spencer Gisser | 11/28/2017

Yesterday, McAfee announced a definitive agreement to acquire Skyhigh Networks. Although the terms of this deal are still unannounced, Skyhigh Networks CEO Rajiv Gupta will join McAfee CEO Chris Young’s leadership team to run McAfee’s cloud business unit. This deal allows McAfee to build a more comprehensive security portfolio with a full suite of cloud management and security tools. Given recent consolidation in the security market, and especially of large security companies acquiring cloud management companies, Skyhigh Networks’ security analytics capabilities are especially valuable to McAfee. Learn more

BlackBerry Talks the Talk – Still Has Work to Do

by Eric Klein | 11/17/2017

BlackBerry continues to move beyond its hardware roots―and speaks that way too. I had the opportunity to attend BlackBerry’s annual security summit in NYC earlier this week, and left with a different view of the storied vendor. While BlackBerry’s progress may not be visible, it has assembled a comprehensive security platform and has demonstrated it has fully transitioned from being “that phone company”. Learn more

Black Duck and Synopsys Set to Ride the Next Wave of Customers

by Andre Girard | 11/16/2017

The surge of consolidation VDC expected would reshape the software composition analysis (SCA) solution market advanced in earnest with the announcement Synopsys (NASDAQ: SNPS) intends to purchase segment-leading Black Duck Software. The deal, expected to close in December 2017, mirrors the 2014 acquisition of Coverity, which netted Synopsys the revenue share leader of a rapidly expanding test tool market segment. Synopsys first entered the SCA market by acquiring Protecode in 2015. Other M&A activity in the sector include the Flexera Software acquisition of Palamida and the purchase of Veracode by CA Technologies. Read more

ServiceNow Makes its 4th Acquisition this Year: Nabs SkyGiraffe

by Eric Klein | 11/02/2017

Since joining the ranks of the ~100 US-based companies with $1B+ in revenues in early 2016, ServiceNow has made several notable tuck-in acquisitions. When viewed in aggregate, the business problems and the technologies the acquirees had focused on (the IoT, machine learning, chatbots, and mobile development) show that ServiceNow wants to become a more strategic partner to its customers. Learn more

Arm: Gateways Play a Critical Role in IoT Networks

by Daniel Mandell | 10/31/2017

Last week’s Arm TechCon conference highlighted many trends affecting the development of embedded systems and IoT solutions today. Security, distributed intelligence, and scalability took center stage and were the driving factors behind two of the biggest announcements from Arm at the event: the launch of its Platform Security Architecture (see Steve Hoffenberg’s blog on that announcement here) and Mbed Edge software for IoT gateways. The latter is in response to the growing importance of IoT gateways in current and emerging connected solution architectures. Read more

Arm: Security Isn’t Just a Technological Imperative, It’s a Social Responsibility

by Steve Hoffenberg | 10/31/2017

As the world’s leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property, Arm is in a unique position to help secure the tens of billions of devices that will be coming to the Internet of Things. And in light of the numerous high profile security breaches that have occurred over the past year, it should come as no surprise that security was the major focus of the 2017 Arm TechCon conference in Santa Clara, CA. Read more

New Webcast Series: Industrial Internet of Things Insights

by Jared Weiner | 10/23/2017

VDC recently concluded its latest survey of the industrial automation community, receiving more than 225 web-based responses from a worldwide panel of industrial professionals in engineering, logistics, R&D, and executive leadership roles. In support of our findings, I am pleased to share a 3-part webcast series in which I discuss some of the key takeaways from our coverage on the Industrial Internet of Things. Part 1, which can be viewed here, previews the full set of results and takes a look at Industry’s progress toward Industry 4.0. Learn more

SAP Recommits to Cloud and Digital Transformation at TechED 2017

by Roy Murdock | 10/06/2017

VDC headed out to Las Vegas last week to grab a seat at SAP’s annual developer conference, TechED 2017. SAP held the conference in the massive Palazzo convention center, with the focus of the conference centered on SAP platform developer education and outreach. CTO Bjoern Boerke kicked off the conference with a Star Trek themed keynote, introducing his crew of speakers in the classic attire of the USS Enterprise. Bjoern states that a small team at SAP chose the theme to convey the bold move to “boldly go where no man has gone before” and lay the foundation for today’s SAP Cloud Platform. Read more

IoT Device Management is a Major Problem in Plain Sight

by Daniel Mandell | 10/04/2017

Device management is part of the foundation of an IoT solution. “Device management” is also an overly simplified term in light of the IoT where preserving embedded software and security integrity means greater control throughout the lifecycle. However, enabling scalable and secure IoT device management today still requires a fair amount of engineering time and investments to build – even on top of “building blocks” provided by IoT and cloud services providers. Device management and monitoring are not functions that translate easily between connected device classes, vendors, and use cases but remain critical to all of them. Read more

Latest BlackBerry Partnership Signals a Significant Market Opportunity for End-to-End Asset Tracking Solutions

by Nick Elia, with Eric Klein | 09/29/2017

In today’s world, transport and logistics are crucial to global trade, organizations have become reliant on sophisticated technologies and services to keep the flow of raw materials and finished goods constant. In this highly competitive environment, organizations have been taking advantage of a combination of cloud, mobile and satellite technologies as a way to manage demand, track assets, and address key challenges such as aging infrastructure, spiraling fuel costs, weather disruption, regulatory pressures, and complex intermodal networks. Learn more

Industrial PCs Lead the Charge for Distributed Intelligence

by Daniel Mandell | 09/29/2017

Industrial PCs (IPCs) are evolving and gaining more market traction from the Internet of Things to enable connected applications and services. IPCs are by no means new but the growing IoT solution requirements for distributed processing, connectivity, and security are breathing new life into the device class. Beyond more traditional embedded control applications, IPCs are helping fill the gap between intelligent “things” and edge servers or the cloud. Read more

5G Edge Infrastructure Market Growing Rapidly Ahead of Standardization

by Daniel Mandell | 09/28/2017

The network edge is a critical element to enabling 5G applications and services. While no one knows for certain which mix of 5G technologies, frameworks, and standards will be at the core of next generation networks, the edge is an area brimming with market opportunities today. Trends such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Fog Computing are causing OEMs, service providers, network operators, and others throughout the IoT and embedded ecosystem to reevaluate their network architectures and data models to position themselves on the front lines of competitive differentiation and services delivery. Read more

Hitachi Vantara, the New (Not New) IoT Platform Company

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/22/2017

Most people probably know that Japan-based Hitachi is a large corporation, but they probably don’t realize just how large it is. In its fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Hitachi Ltd. had worldwide revenues of 9.16 trillion Japanese yen (about US$82 billion), making it one of that nation’s 10 largest companies. Larger than Sony, Panasonic, Softbank, or many other well-known Japanese technology brands. Hitachi is also old, founded back in 1910, originally to produce electric motors. Read more

ServiceMax Conference Off to Strong Start

by Spencer Gisser | 09/21/2017

ServiceMax's eighth annual field service conference has kicked into full gear. Hosted in the Encore at Wynn, Las Vegas, 'Maximize' features three days of industry-specific sessions, a CSO summit, and session tracks encompassing service leadership, service transformation, product technology, service industry trends, and service technology. With today's opening keynote and field service vision keynote, Maximize transitions to a series of breakout sessions that will last for the rest of the conference. Learn more

Why organizations should reevaluate their cybersecurity initiatives following the Equifax security breach

by Nick Elia, with Chris Kondracki | 09/20/2017

Equifax, a major credit reporting agency, announced in the beginning of September that hackers had gained access to company data that included Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and other sensitive data for approximately 143 million people in the U.S, and about 44 million people in Canada and the U.K. This was recorded as one of the largest cyberattacks against one of the big 3 credit agencies and is the third cybersecurity threat Equifax has encountered since 2015. An astonishing 50% of people within the US were most likely affected by this breach, and practically anyone who has a credit report or has ran one in the past year most likely falls under this category. Learn more

MWC Americas: Senet Continues as Pioneer for LoRa LPWAN

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/15/2017

At the inaugural Mobile World Congress Americas trade show and conference (formerly the CTIA Wireless show), attendees wound their way around the ongoing construction at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to find an event notable smaller than its MWC mother event in Barcelona. Nevertheless, IoT-related products, services, and conference sessions were prominent and plentiful. Read more

SaaS Model to Drive Growth Within IIoT Security Market

by Jared Weiner | 09/13/2017

The market for security solutions serving embedded systems has grown considerably in recent years, and will continue to do so as the expansion of Internet of Things intensifies. The demand for security solutions is especially strong in the industrial space, where spending on embedded security software trailed only that of the mobile phones industry according to research recently published by VDC. Learn more

The ARKit in Apple’s iOS 11 will completely change the user experience on iPads and iPhones

by Nick Elia | 09/08/2017

This Fall Apple will be releasing iOS 11 and have been updating their public beta versions over the past month. Given that their annual iPhone event is taking place on September 12th, expect the update to be available sometime following this date. iOS has been around for about 10 years but this version is of particular interest to many people due to the unique added capabilities that are going to be available, one of which is the new AR framework that they have implemented into iOS 11. Learn more

Software takes center stage in the AutoID & Data Capture market – ISV partner programs abound

by Shahroze Husain | 09/01/2017

AIDC vendors today face intense competition in the barcode printer and scanner hardware markets. This has them adopting non-traditional approaches to maintain and grow their market share, and generate higher shareholder value. In recent months, incumbents and emerging participants alike have launched initiatives on the channel development front with an aim to address client and prospect engagement opportunities. Read more

Omron’s Acquisition of Microscan to Shakeup the Industrial Scanning & Automation Market

by Richa Gupta | 08/31/2017

Japanese Nikkei published a news article today announcing that factory automation vendor, Omron, is very close to acquiring US-based Microscan Systems for $157 Million. The acquisition will enable Omron to better integrate data and image capture capabilities into its robotic arms as a means to track product movement through today’s increasingly automated and connected factories. Microscan announced on its website that the deal would close in early October 2017 subject to regulatory approval. Read more

Surprise, Google has Enterprise Aspirations for Chrome—VMware Gets in First

by Eric Klein | 08/24/2017

VMware announced it was expanding its partnership with Google this past May to accelerate the adoption of Chromebooks (the announcement was timed for Dell EMC World). The company has now revealed the partnership has expanded since, and that its AirWatch EMM platform has achieved full integration with Google’s Chrome Device Management. Learn more

Mobile Worker Report Announcement

by Nick Elia | 08/11/2017

VDC’S Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices practice is announcing the release of our report on the mobile worker population. According to our research the mobile worker population has exceeded 1.76 billion as of 2016, and accounts for approximately 59.4% of the total global employment. VDC classifies mobile workers as someone who spends the majority of their day performing tasks and responsibilities in some type of mobile capacity. These include specialized line of business workers such as sales reps, field workers / technicians, delivery drivers, registered nurses, and even telecommuters as well. Learn more

Mobile barcode scanners helping expand total available and addressable market for data capture technologies, according to VDC Research

by Shahroze Husain | 08/09/2017

VDC recently published Interim Findings for our upcoming 2017 Mobile Barcode Scanning Solution Report. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. Handheld barcode scanning is no longer restricted to the traditional pistol grip form factor or rugged mobile devices. Mobile barcode scanners including companion scanners, sleds, ring scanners and barcode scanning software platforms saw strong demand globally in 2016 and will generate more than $150M in revenues by 2021, according to VDC’s latest research on the topic. Read more

Good news all around for Zebra Technologies’ Q2 2017 performance, but is the run rate business slowing down?

by Richa Gupta | 08/09/2017

Zebra Technologies announced its Q2 2017 earnings on August 8, beating analyst expectations on EPS by $0.03 and revenues by $18.07M. The company saw an improvement over Q2 2016 across all regions with its various product lines; this included 9% sales growth in North America driven by an especially strong performance in mobile computing, 4% increase in EMEA, and an 11% rise in Latin America brought on by exceptionally strong data capture, printing, and supplies sales. Read more

Kontron Finds Revitalization through S&T Merger

by Daniel Mandell | 08/07/2017

The Internet of Things is now a staple of competitive strategies for both embedded platforms and IT solutions alike. The recent merger of Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded technology, with S&T Deutschland Holding AG (S&T) is critical to the company regaining its foothold in the market. Kontron designs and manufactures embedded boards and systems spanning a swath of form factors. The company is a pioneer in the computer-on-modules market and remained the leading global supplier in 2016. Read more

Recent VDC Research Evidences a Significant Policing Technology Gap

by Colie Lueders, with David Krebs 08/07/2017

The capabilities of technologies used by today’s police force are not keeping up with advances of policing operations according to recent research conducted by VDC. Today’s public safety officers are already juggling various technologies as part of their daily workflow, including two-way radios, vehicle-mounted computers, radar guns, recording devices, mobile phones etc. Learn more

Symantec Acquires Skycure

by Spencer Gisser | 07/17/2017

Cybersecurity firm Symantec has announced its plans to acquire mobile threat defense vendor Skycure. The deal was for an undisclosed sum, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. This is the second acquisition of an Israeli cybersecurity startup that Symantec had announced in a week. Earlier, Symantec had announced its intention to buy Fireglass, best known for its anti-ransomware browser isolation capabilities. This deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. Learn more

SATO Global Solutions’ Omnichannel-focused Initiative – VISION Retail Platform

by Richa Gupta | 06/27/2017

Customers want a range of choices not only in products they are looking to purchase but also in the shopping channel. Omnichannel enablement today is therefore becoming increasingly critical to secure purchases and brand loyalty. Technology leaders BT, Intel, Nexgen Packaging, RetailNext, SATO Global Solutions (SGS), and Valmarc Corporation have come together to form the Acuitas Digital Alliance (launched in 2016), which is aimed at transforming the in-store retail experience by enhancing buyer behavior predictability, inventory visibility, and stock accuracy. It combines analytical concepts and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve overall retail in-store efficiencies. Read more

GS1 Connect 2017 – All About the Data

by Richa Gupta | 06/22/2017

I returned to Boston earlier today after spending an interesting two days at the 2017 GS1 Connect conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had the opportunity to present a session titled “How Retailers are Using Inventory Accuracy to Streamline Operations” with a representative from Target (Kevin O’Dare, Lead Business Partner). Here we talked about the importance of in-store inventory visibility to help facilitate a seamless and consistent omnichannel shopping experience for customers while at the same time elevating their retailer/brand loyalty levels. Read more

Are Robots Really Taking Over? How the Rise of Robotics is Transforming Warehouse Operations

by Colie Lueders, with David Krebs 06/19/2017

Everyone is talking about the rise of e-commerce, and what it means for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses across a wide array of industries; however, it also has meaning for warehouses and distribution centers, and, more specifically, how organizations are designing warehouses and distribution centers to efficiently fulfill this growing swell of e-commerce orders. Keeping up with demand – especially during peak holiday seasons – has proven itself a massive challenge. The warehousing industry is roughly a $31 billion industry, when you include warehousing, distribution centers, storage and e-commerce fulfillment, employing more than 650,000 people each year in the U.S alone (globeconfreight.com). Learn more

ARKit – Much Needed Addition to Apple’s AR Portfolio

by Roy Murdock | 06/13/2017

Apple released its long-anticipated AR tracking and recognition SDK, ARKit, at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last Monday. Many in the AR industry had anticipated the release for quite some time, given Apple’s 2015 acquisition of leading AR SDK provider Metaio – a German company incubated within Volkswagen in 2003. Until last week, Apple had remained content to play at the mobile hardware, OS, and application distribution levels, shuttering all licensing of Metaio’s SDK and tracking solutions, along with the popular insideAR conference that Metaio had organized since 2006. Read more

SATO Global Solutions’ Omnichannel-focused Initiative – VISION Retail Platform

by Richa Gupta | 06/13/2017

Customers want a range of choices not only in products they are looking to purchase but also in the shopping channel. Omnichannel enablement today is therefore becoming increasingly critical to secure purchases and brand loyalty. Technology leaders BT, Intel Labs, Nexgen, RetailNext, SATO Global Solutions (SGS), and Valmarc Corporation have come together to form the Acuitas Digital Alliance (launched in 2016), which is aimed at transforming the in-store retail experience by enhancing buyer behavior predictability, inventory virtualization, and stock accuracy and visibility. It combines analytical concepts and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve overall retail in-store efficiencies. Read more

National Instruments Adds Time-based Synchronization to Industry-leading DAQ Solutions

by Jared Weiner | 06/06/2017

I recently attended National Instruments’ annual customer conference, NI Week. Each year, NI augments hands-on training sessions, partner showcases, and customer success stories with a series of announcements regarding new or enhanced product offerings. This year, as detailed by my colleague Dan Mandell, the focal point of these announcements was very clearly the unveiling of LabVIEW NXG. However, NI also revealed some important enhancements within its suite of CompactDAQ solutions, centered on the concept of Time Sensitive Networking (TSN). Learn more

Omnichannel Fulfillment and E-Commerce Will Drive Growth in Mobile Printer Market, According to VDC’s Latest Research

by Shahroze Husain | 06/05/2017

We recently published market estimates and forecasts as part of VDC’s 2017 coverage of the global market for Mobile Thermal Printers. The market grew nearly 2% from 2015 to 2016, per our research. E-commerce fulfillment and retailers’ omnichannel initiatives are transforming supply chains and how they operate. Retail, Transportation & Logistics, and Commercial Services segments are the biggest adopters of mobile printing solutions, and will continue to be the main segments driving growth for the mobile printers market through the forecast period (2017-2021). Read more

NIWeek 2017: The Next Generation of LabVIEW, 5G, and the Industrial Internet of Things

by Daniel Mandell | 05/26/2017

We were in Austin, Texas this week for National Instruments’ annual conference, which brings together thousands of engineers, scientists, and industry professionals from a variety of backgrounds. NIWeek is a showcase of how the organization is accelerating development and increasing productivity in test, measurement, and control systems using its platforms. This year’s show was full of exciting new announcements and customer demonstrations of new technologies at the forefront of 5G and the Industrial Internet of Things. Read more

Is Machine Vision the Next Frontier for AIDC Market Participants?

by Shahroze Husain | 05/25/2017

VDC recently published a report analyzing Machine Vision as a growth opportunity for AIDC participants. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on the market and its potential. In the enterprise, cameras have historically been associated with machine vision solutions such as Smart Cameras and PC-Based Machine vision systems that leverage industrial cameras & software applications for advanced machine vision applications. However, camera technology has over the years expanded to traditional AIDC markets through the introduction of camera-based imager engines. Imager engines today have overcome previous performance limitations including decode snappiness, ambient light performance, depth of field, and price, all of which has helped the technology do what laser scanners can and more. Read more

Changing Competitive Dynamics Herald Big Shifts in Handheld Scanner Market, According to VDC’s Latest Research

by Richa Gupta | 05/24/2017

We recently published market estimates and forecasts as part of VDC’s 2017 coverage of the global market for Handheld Barcode Scanners. The market contracted nearly 2% from 2015 to 2016, per our research, with vendors generating close to a billion dollars for the segment during the year. Revenues from the laser scanner category declined 20%, in keeping with the overarching trend of migration to camera-based imaging. 2D imager-based scanner sales were up more than 7% in USD terms. From VDC’s perspective, it has been interesting to see the transition from 1D to 2D scanning take place with this form factor, especially from the standpoint of the changing dynamics of the global competitive landscape. Read more

VDC’s Richa Gupta to Present at GS1 Connect® 2017 in Las Vegas

by Richa Gupta | 05/22/2017

Retail store closings have dominated headlines these past few weeks with several major brick-and-mortar chains announcing significant changes to their existing landscape. Retailers today have a heightened focus on creating a meaningful, engaging, and consistent shopping experience for their customers across all channels of operation. In keeping with this theme, VDC’s Richa Gupta, Director of the AutoID & Data Capture (AIDC) Practice, will be presenting on the topic “How Retailers are Using Inventory Accuracy to Streamline Operations” as part of the Apparel and General Merchandise Track at the GS1 Connect® 2017 conference on June 20, along with Kevin O’Dare, Lead Business Partner at Target Corporation. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Majid Bemanian of Imagination Technologies on IoT Security (Part 2)

by Daniel Mandell | 05/19/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded technology providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. In part one of this blog, Majid touched on the evolving IoT threat landscape and how open source communities are crucial to securing embedded platforms. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Majid Bemanian of Imagination Technologies on IoT Security (Part 1)

by Daniel Mandell | 05/18/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded technology providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Majid Bemanian is Director of Segment Marketing for Imagination Technologies, responsible for driving the company’s strategic security initiatives and leading its market strategy for the networking and storage segments. He also co-chairs the prpl Foundation’s security working group, focused on developing open standards and APIs around next-generation embedded security solutions. He has more than 30 years of high-tech industry experience. Read more

Are Integrated Cross-channel Order Management Solutions the Answer to Retailers’ Omnichannel Woes?

by Shahroze Husain | 05/16/2017

Retailers with physical storefronts face mounting pressure today. Department store chains nationwide are closing hundreds of stores, e-fulfillment is on the rise, and changing consumer habits are forcing many brick-and-mortar retailers to re-evaluate their operations and move towards a more omnichannel sales model. Brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for over 90% of overall revenues. Despite that, retailers are feeling the pressure to create meaningful and highly engaging in-store experiences that align with shoppers’ expectations in order to facilitate customer conversion Consumers’ access to non-traditional retail channels, including online shopping (both desktop and mobile), and click-and-collect, has transformed retail and logistics, perhaps forever. Read more

SOTI Evolves With its ONE Platform

by Eric Klein | 05/10/2017

SOTI announced an expanded product strategy and direction today with the release of its SOTI ONE platform. SOTI’s flagship MobiControl remains at the center of the offering, but the vendor has added important enhancements and integrations to its platform that will help make the vendor a viable alternative to other competing EMM solutions. Learn more

Digital Transformation of Retail Drives Zebra Technologies’ Performance in Q1 2017

by Richa Gupta | 05/10/2017

Zebra Technologies announced its Q1 2017 earnings on May 8, beating analyst expectations on EPS by $0.07 and revenues by $17.25M. The company saw an improvement over Q1 2016 across all regions with its various product lines; this included double-digit sales growth in EMEA and Latin America and a 5% growth in North America. Strong demand from retail and e-commerce customers contributed to success this quarter that exceeded Zebra’s guidance range. Read more

VMware Gets in on the Dell EMC World News Cycle

by Eric Klein | 05/09/2017

Dell EMC World is underway this week in Las Vegas, and VMware didn’t miss the opportunity to be part of the news cycle at the mega vendor’s annual powwow with its marquee customers, the analyst community, and media outlets. VMware announced today that it is integrating its AirWatch mobility management suite with Dell’s Client Command Suite—the integration will make sticking with the Client Command Suite more compelling for current customers. Learn more

Intel Struts Its Stuff for Autonomous Driving

by Steve Hoffenberg | 05/05/2017

Amid presentations from senior executives and demos from partners, on May 3 Intel invited dozens of press and analysts from around the world for Autonomous Driving Day, literally rolling up the garage door on its new autonomous driving engineering facility in the former Altera building in San Jose, California. Read more

Reactions from Hannover Messe 2017

by Jared Weiner | 05/04/2017

As a first time attendee at Hannover Messe, I was simply blown away by its scale. This year’s show drew an unprecedented 225,000 attendees and featured 6,500 exhibitors from more than 70 countries. The Hannover Fairground—the largest exhibition ground in the world, with more than 5 million square feet of covered exhibition space spread across 27 halls—was sold out down to the last square meter. The largest single exhibitor, Siemens, constructed a “booth” that was nearly the size of a football field. Another exhibitor, FANUC, featured a massive robotic arm lifting and spinning a full-size sport-utility vehicle as if it were a Matchbox toy. Learn more

With Acquisition of Kodiak Networks Motorola Solutions Corners PTT over Cellular (PoC) Market

by David Krebs | 05/03/2017

Motorola Solutions has recently announced their intent to acquire Kodiak Networks, a privately held company and the leading carrier-integrated PTT over cellular (PoC) solution provider. The agreement was announced on May 1st of 2017, and according to Motorola’s Corporate VP they expect to close the deal during the second half of the year. Kodiak has positioned itself as the leading PTT partner for wireless carriers with its technology supporting AT&T’s enhanced PTT (EPTT) solution, Verizon’s PTT+ and soon to be announced Direct Connect from Sprint. This deal significantly enhances Motorola’s workgroup communications and PTT capabilities adding to its already popular over the top (OTT) WAVE solutions. Learn more

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) Report Announcement

by Spencer Gisser | 04/20/2017

Security startups, particularly those with a cloud-first focus and architecture, have attracted close to $250 million in venture funding in just the last 24 months. This group of vendors have busily expanded their headcounts, growing customer rosters, and have introduced key cloud security innovations to the market. Two notable CASB vendors have been acquired as well – Microsoft acquired Adallom in July of 2015, and Oracle acquired Palerra this past September. As this market has matured, we see CASB vendors expanding well beyond policing “Shadow IT” roots – vendors have pivoted to address more complex cloud security challenges and have mobile security ambitions as well. We expect to see tensions grow between CASBs and Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) vendors. Learn more

AT&T Awarded FirstNet Contract

by David Krebs | 04/14/2017

AT&T has recently been awarded a multi-billion dollar contract over a 25 year period to maintain and install FirstNet, the first responder safety network originally created by the 911 commission. The contract value is totaled at around $46.5 billion, with AT&T contributing 40$ billion and the government contributing $6.5 billion through the FCC’s AWS – 3 Spectrum auction proceeds. The contract will create 10,000 jobs over the first 2 years, and will require AT&T to access over 40,000 towers in the U.S increasing their tower activity significantly since 2014. Learn more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Marc Brown of Parasoft

by Andre' Girard | 04/12/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Parasoft is unique in our support of embedded, IoT, and enterprise IT markets, providing broad testing support for developers and testers – static and runtime analysis, unit testing, API testing, load testing, penetration testing, security testing, virtual test environments via service virtualization, and intelligent reports and analytics. Read more

Enhancing the Airport Experience with IoT

by Steve Hoffenberg | 04/06/2017

In a city like London, where there are five airports for travelers to choose from, airports need to optimize the experience they provide flyers. Travelers are accustomed to interactive displays for announcements, kiosks and electronic check-ins, and weather and delay updates via smartphones. So then, how can airports continue to improve? To be competitive, they will have to become “Smart Airports.” Learn more

Samsung DeX: The Future of Enterprise Computing?

by David Krebs | 04/05/2017

Samsung has long viewed the enterprise market as a strategic growth priority for its popular Galaxy line of smart mobile devices. However, while Samsung has sat atop the global smartphone share charts, this has not always translated into enterprise sector success. For example, while Samsung’s overall smartphone share in the US is around 28%, its share of the enterprise smartphone market is estimated by VDC Research at 17%. Learn more

Critical Hardware Trends from Embedded World 2017

by Daniel Mandell | 03/29/2017

Embedded World is without a doubt among the most important annual events for the engineering ecosystem. Each year, more than 30,000 visitors and 900 exhibitors descend upon the historic city of Nuremberg, Germany to discover new embedded technologies and solutions spanning the gamut of industry applications. The conference itself continues to grow year-over-year bolstered by burgeoning IoT solutions within automotive, building automation, communications, energy, white goods, and more. Learn more

Still Room for Innovation on EMM

by Eric Klein | 03/24/2017

Dynamic deployment environments require real-time and contextual insights. While the argument of securing devices versus data persists (MAM/CASB vs. EMM), there is no question that the need to manage devices will remain a key requirement in compliance-intensive industries (e.g., financial services, insurance, health care, and telecommunications), as well as in enterprise deployments, where large fleets of purpose-built devices remain on premises, or are permanently affixed to objects (such as a wall or a piece of furniture, or onto a vehicle, airplane or train). Government and military deployment environments also figure prominently—in toto, these deployments are vast, and account for the majority of the current EMM revenue opportunity. Learn more

Blockchain Goes Mainstream with the Announcement of the IBM Blockchain

by Shahroze Husain | 03/20/2017

To tackle the challenges of data management and security in the supply chain and address new regulations surrounding centralized interoperable database implementation, there is rising interest in the blockchain. Today, IBM unveiled the IBM Blockchain at InterConnect 2017 - A blockchain as a service offering for the enterprise. Known to most as the underlying technology supporting Bitcoin digital currency transactions, a blockchain is a digital ledger that uses cryptography to allow participants (each with a unique signature) on a network to use the ledger and record transactions to enable granular traceability. Read more

The Platform and Security Puzzles - MIT Connected Things Conference 2017

by Roy Murdock | 03/17/2017

VDC director Steve Hoffenberg and analyst Roy Murdock made their way through the crisp, chilly (19F!) Boston Monday morning to Cambridge to attend the MIT Connected Things 2017 conference. As usual, the event took place in the MIT Media Lab, giving attendees a spectacular view of the Boston skyline and the Charles River during breaks throughout the day. Learn more

IoT at MWC: Beyond the Hype?

by Chris Rommel | 03/13/2017

The tech world is at a point of unparalleled change. You've heard that phrase, or things similar to it, in just about every year since the Dark Ages. Walking around MWC, however, something did feel different this time. Yes, there was a lot of hype and even a healthy sampling of good old fashion vapor-ware. But there were real tangible products, customer deployments and the beginning of some fundamental shifts in the vendor ecosystem structure. Learn more

CIA has Hacked Android and iOS

by Spencer Gisser | 03/09/2017

WikiLeaks has recently published a treasure trove of over 8,000 pages of CIA documents. Among many other bombshells, it appears that CIA has been stockpiling far more vulnerabilities than the U.S. government has implied. In particular, the agency has demonstrated its ability to compromise mobile phones. Learn more

New Report: 2016 Global Market for OEM Barcode Scan Engines

by Shahroze Husain | 02/27/2017

VDC recently published a report focused on OEM Barcode Scan Engines. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. The global OEM scan engine market grew 6% year over year from 2015 to 2016 and is expected to grow to $362M by 2020, according to VDC latest study. VDC defines OEM barcode scan engines as products that are embedded in devices to enable and facilitate enterprise-grade barcode scanning. Read more

Recent HIPAA Settlements Highlight the need for High Quality and Up-to-Date MDM Security Solutions Across the Healthcare Industry

by Steven Lundstrom | 02/24/2017

Children's Medical Center of Dallas, the seventh largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country, was recently handed down a $3.2 million fine by the Department of Health and Human Services for multiple HIPAA violations, dating back to 2009. The violations in question include the loss of a BlackBerry device containing the records of 3,800 patients at the Fort Worth Airport in November of 2009, and the more recent the theft of a laptop containing the records of nearly 2,500 patients from the Hospital premises in April of 2013. Learn more

Retail Gets SmartSense with Zebra’s Latest Product Release

by Shahroze Husain | 02/17/2017

Two major issues that face retail stores every year are the low matching accuracy of inventories and potential revenue lost from inventory shrinkage. According to Bill Hardgrave, dean of Auburn University's Harbert College of Business and the founder of the RFID Lab, current accuracy of retail inventories range from 30 percent to 60 percent . In terms of shrinkage, $45.2 Billion was lost last year in the United States alone according to the 2016 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the NRF. Read more

Cybersecurity Shines at RSA2017 Innovation Sandbox

by Steve Hoffenberg | 02/14/2017

At the RSA Conference, one of the annual kickoff events is the Innovation Sandbox “Most Innovative Startup” competition, in which 10 cybersecurity startups vie for the title. Each competing company has three minutes to present their case before a panel of expert judges and a room packed with thousands of attendees. (When we say three minutes, we mean exactly three minutes. A countdown clock is visible to everyone, and when it reaches zero, a loud buzzer sounds, cutting off any presenter that is still speaking.) Learn more

Blockchain to Expand into Customer Loyalty Programs

by Spencer Gisser | 02/10/2017

IBM is at the vanguard of blockchain, focusing on its applications for banking and financial technology. The company sees blockchain as a way for the many competitors and collaborators in a business network to share data such as bank routing codes. Previously, all information and requests for confirmation had to be forwarded to a central authority, a bottleneck for every participant in this configuration. With blockchain, the leger of all transactions across each partner is distributed. Learn more

RealWear’s HMT-1 Launch Hints at the Opportunity for Industrial Hands Free Computing Solutions

by David Krebs | 02/09/2017

I was recently invited to Keynote RealWear’s launch event for their head-mounted HMT-1 wearable computer to discuss the next wave of enterprise mobile computing and the opportunities for “hands-free” wearable solutions, a market we have been covering at VDC Research for over 10 years. Learn more

BlackBerry’s Analyst Event

by Eric Klein | 02/03/2017

BlackBerry invited more than 100 technology and financial analysts to San Ramon last week and shared details on its progress transitioning from a hardware-centric vendor to a software and services company. I was one of three VDC analysts that made this trip ― here are some of my quick takeaways. Learn more

Five Industrial Automation Trends to Watch in 2017

by Jared Weiner | 02/02/2017

Manufacturers’ ability to effectively harness the power of Big Data to maximize operations will be the single biggest Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) trend to watch in 2017.Though nearly two-thirds of respondents within the Industrial Automation segment of VDC’s Voice of the IoT Engineer survey reported their organization’s customers are not currently realizing the full benefits of IoT connectivity, this will be a major emphasis this year. Learn more

Q&A with Scandit CEO and Co-Founder Samuel Mueller

by Shahroze Husain | 01/13/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing Q&A series VDC conducts with AIDC solution providers where they share their views on their company, products, and state of the market. We had the opportunity to catch up with Samuel Mueller, CEO and Co-Founder at Scandit to learn about the company and its recent initiatives. Read more

Scandit closes $7.5 Million investment from Technology Investment Firm Atomico

by Shahroze Husain | 01/11/2017

Zurich-based mobile image processing and cloud computing software vendor Scandit – with clients including Cardinal Health, HomeDepot, Macy’s, GE Healthcare, Coop, Shell and Verizon – recently closed a $7.5 million Series A funding investment from London-based VC, Atomico. Atomico’s investment portfolio consists of notable IoT (Internet of Things) and mobility companies like EVRYTHNG (which also partnered with Avery Dennison), Fon, and Jawbone. Read more

Taking Measurements - the growing adoption of dimensioning solutions in the supply chain

by Shahroze Husain | 01/10/2017

VDC recently published a report focused on Dimensioning Solutions. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. The market for dimensioning solutions (also known as cubing solutions) is expanding. For years, these solutions were used for dimensioning products and parcels for efficient storage, package sizing, and quality checks and have recently come to gain greater attention beyond the transportation and logistics industry. According to the new report from VDC Research on enterprise requirements for dimensioning solutions, 55% of respondents across the manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution and logistics industries indicate currently using dimensioning solutions to support applications from inventory management, to order management and shipping in hubs across supply chains including distribution centers, manufacturing shop floors, warehouses, retail back of stores, and offices. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Steve Rokov of GE Digital

by Roy Murdock | 01/10/2017

Steve joined GE in September 2015. He reports into GE Digital and is based in San Ramon, CA. He serves as the Core Product Marketing lead for Predix – the Industrial IoT Platform. As a ‘go-to-market’ expert, he has launched multiple products in the mobile and enterprise infrastructure markets. He has held senior roles in both public and private companies in the US and UK. Learn more

CES 2017: Automotive, Voices, and Everything

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/10/2017

Once again the annual consumer electronics lovefest known as CES invaded Las Vegas. With more than 3,800 exhibitors occupying 2.6 million square feet of floor space (not to mention numerous private meeting suites), the show seemed more overwhelming than in past years. We couldn’t possible see it all, much less sum it all up in a blog post, but we’ll briefly highlight a few themes.Learn more

Rewards for Innovation Continue within Enterprise Mobility

by Spencer Gisser | 01/04/2017

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal has highlighted the falling productivity of American workers. Focusing on the aspect of economic growth known as “total factor productivity,” the article argued that recent gains in research and technological development have failed to adequately equip the workforce with tools that can expand its current capabilities. Learn more

VDC Cocktail Event at Mobile World Congress 2017

by VDC Research | 12/22/2016

Meet with our team of IoT and Enterprise Mobility analysts and executives to learn about our key research findings, current offerings, and upcoming initiatives, as well as network with other technology stakeholders. We’ll cover some of the latest technology trends we are following. Space is limited, so please REGISTER NOW to attend. Learn more

Industrial Color Label Printing: External regulatory and compliance factors to fuel greater demand towards on-demand solutions

by Shahroze Husain | 12/06/2016

VDC recently published a report focused on Industrial Color Label Printing Solutions. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. Vendors today can no longer rely on brand recognition and product quality alone to achieve profitability targets and with increased levels of market maturity, it is driving interest in/opportunities around various types of unique functionality and design innovations. Read more

Recent Acquisitions by General Electric Show Continued Emphasis on Digital Revenues

by Steven Lundstrom| 11/28/2016

On November 14th of this year, GE Digital acquired ServiceMax for 915 million dollars. The acquisition of the Field Service Management Solution provider shows GE’s continued push to generate new digital revenue by expanding service options and performance, and capitalizing on the massive amounts of data coming from connected devices. This has been done with a heavy emphasis on the continued improvement and development of their Predix platform which GE hope will become the leading platform for Industrial IoT across the industries they serve. Read more

Robotics in Logistics: Whitepaper Download

by Shahroze Husain | 11/29/2016

In a recent VDC View that is now available for public download, we highlight some of the major robotics solutions including ASRS systems, robotic picking solutions, AGVs and delivery drones overhauling the warehouse and delivery space today and what to expect going forward. Read more

GE Minds + Machines 2016: Checking in on GE’s Progress Towards “Digital Industrial”

by Roy Murdock | 11/22/2016

GE brought together a wide range of software, hardware, systems integrators, and industrial companies in San Francisco this past week for its fifth annual Minds + Machines summit. Over 2,700 attendees mingled inside a spacious, restored warehouse on Pier 48 overlooking the bay – a fitting location for a company intent on transforming itself into a “Digital Industrial.” Read more

Zebra Technologies beats EPS expectations, refocuses on core solutions with sale of WLAN business

by Shahroze Husain | 11/16/2016

Zebra Technologies reported its Q3 2016 earnings on November 15th 2016 beating analysts’ EPS estimates by $0.12 at $1.42 while missing on revenue by $0.42 million. The company’s revenues declined 1.4% from Q3 2015. Revenues of $906 million for the quarter included $605 million from the Enterprise business unit, which was consistent with the revenue contribution in Q3 2015. Zebra’s legacy business (including barcode printers, card printers, consumables, location services) accounted for $301 million, down from $314 million in Q3 2015 (a decrease of 4.14%). Read more

Evolving User Expectations Driving Vendor Strategy

by Jared Weiner | 11/14/2016

Among the greatest challenges data acquisition (DAQ) vendors face today is adapting to the evolving expectations of their customers. Consider the nature of the current wave of startups and kickstarters; more than ever before, the entrepreneurial spirit is centered on the creation of actual devices and physical products as opposed to the websites and mobile applications that dominated the earlier part of this millennium. Read more

Andromeda OS: Already on the Rocks?

by Cameron Roche | 11/09/2016

Throughout the past year, Google has teased the release of Andromeda, the highly anticipated hybrid of its Android and Chrome operating systems (OS), capable of running across mobile devices and larger PC form factors alike. Although Andromeda will not be released until 2017, the impending arrival of Google’s own cross-platform OS and the vendor’s continuing investments in its Android for Work initiative already offer insights into how mobile hardware vendors, enterprise users, and incumbents, like Microsoft and Apple, will move to remain competitive once this new OS enters the market. Read more

High Risk, High Reward Qualcomm Takeover of NXP

by Daniel Mandell | 11/04/2016

The embedded processor space continues to see rapid consolidation seemingly quarter after quarter. Last week, Qualcomm propelled itself to the forefront of a number of new industries with the $47B acquisition of NXP – the largest acquisition in the semiconductor market’s history. The leading driver for the acquisition is the rich growth prospects of the automotive market and the (Industrial) Internet of Things. From a sheer sense of scale, Qualcomm is taking on a company with more employees, products, and customers than itself. Read more

Key Takeaways from ARM TechCon 2016 – Part 2

by Daniel Mandell | 11/03/2016

In part 2 of our ARM TechCon recap (See Part 1 here), we will see how new embedded development solutions for system-on-chips and connectivity are lowering the hurdles for OEMs and engineers. We will also illustrate the importance of the automotive (IoT) market looking forward. As Embedded Processors Become Platforms of Integration, Engineering Focus Turns Towards Simplifying Development - System-on-chips have become extremely complex given the increasing number of integrations at play between hardware/cores and software stack elements. Read more

Key Takeaways from ARM TechCon 2016 – Part 1

by Daniel Mandell | 11/02/2016

Much of the ARM ecosystem came together last week in Santa Clara for the annual ARM TechCon conference where industry leaders like to launch and showcase their new IoT and embedded technology solutions. This year’s conference featured no shortage of interesting and innovative developments from organizations both new and old. ARM itself announced its entrance into the cloud-based SaaS market with secure device management for mbed Cloud developers, launched the first ARMv8-M cores (the M33 and M23), expanded its Cordio radio IP, and extended its TrustZone security features beyond the processor core with the CoreLink SSE-200 subsystem IP. Looking back, there were 6 key themes that stuck out in our discussions with various vendors and partners at the event. Our key takeaways from the event include… Read more

Latest Report: 2016 Global Market for Point-Of-Sale Barcode Scanners

by Shahroze Husain | 10/26/2016

VDC recently published a report focused on Stationary POS Scanners. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. The global stationary POS scanners market will grow 5% year over year from 2015 to 2016 and is expected to grow to $ 446.8M by 2020. Applications including reading of 2D barcode labels and loyalty cards are leading the charge for POS scanners. Read more

Enterprise Users Brace for the Windows 10 Leap

by Cameron Roche | 10/26/2016

Over the past year, Microsoft has been rolling out their Windows 10 operating system (OS). For enterprise organizations, this includes “Big” Windows 10 for desktops and tablets, as well as Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise for smaller form factor devices. While this enterprise OS update has been relatively quick, the migration for some line of business (LoB) applications has been slower than anticipated. Read more

Investment in Line of Business Mobile Devices for Health Care Ecosystem Reaches All-Time High

by Cameron Roche | 10/20/2016

With patient satisfaction and engagement rates as main drivers, growth for both rugged and consumer grade devices used for line of business applications in the health care vertical is projected continue through 2020. The health care ecosystem has reached a critical juncture where organizations are beginning to heavily invest in the next generation of mobility solutions. In 2015, the health care vertical invested nearly $7.2B between hardware, software, and connected services. Over the next few years, this value is projected to climb well past $8.0B as an increasing number of organizations begin their transition towards new mobile-enabled solutions. Read more

Q2 2016 Rugged Mobile Hardware Market Overview

by Cameron Roche | 10/06/2016

In Q2 of 2016, the total worldwide rugged mobile hardware market, sized as all rugged notebooks, tablets, forklift mounted devices, and handhelds, grossed nearly $958M in revenue shipments and had over 1,033,000 units ship. As seen in Figure 1, the Q2 rugged market saw an overall year-over-year (YoY) revenue dip of 4.4% when compared with Q2 2015. Read more

Why did Silicon Labs Acquire RTOS Vendor Micrium? Think IoT-focused MCUs.

by Roy Murdock | 10/04/2016

Silicon Labs announced its acquisition of Micrium yesterday. While we had anticipated Micrium’s acquisition for quite some time, given the shrinking pool of commercial competitors in the MCU-targeted real-time operating system (RTOS) space, we were surprised to see Silicon Labs as the eventual acquirer, given how well Micrium could have integrated into various major IoT portfolios. In this blog we discuss why this acquisition makes sense from both companies’ perspectives, and how it will enable them to break out of their respective stagnating market segments. Read more

As Expected, BlackBerry Makes the Software Pivot

by Cameron Roche | 09/28/2016

A major era of the smartphone age has ended. On September 28th, BlackBerry Ltd.’s second quarter fiscal report officially announced the company’s plan to end all internal smartphone development. Instead, the company will begin outsourcing future hardware R&D to manufacturing and distribution partners in Asia. “We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy,” said Executive Chairman and BlackBerry CEO John Chen. “Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold.” The move is not altogether surprising, with Chen stating in May 2016 that he would ultimately decide to exit the hardware space by September if BlackBerry hardware sales were not earning sufficient profits. Read more

Citrix Analyst Summit Recap — Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft!

by Eric Klein | 09/21/2016

Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov kicked off Citrix's annual analyst summit and shared his strategy and vision for the company. What quickly became clear after listening to the company's key leadership present over the course of the two day event was Mr. Tatarinov's key takeaway — Citrix has been heads down and has refocused on its core. While this makes perfect sense, the company is not being complacent - clear progress was revealed (much of it under NDA), and the company's innovation pipeline has been/continues to accelerate. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Antony Passemard of AWS IoT

by Roy Murdock | 09/16/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Antony Passemard leads the strategic product management efforts for AWS IoT at Amazon Web Services. Read more

Secure Messaging 2.0: Evolving Beyond Traditional Communications

by Cameron Roche | 09/15/2016

Many forward-thinking hospitals and clinics are upgrading expensive legacy pager systems and adopting more efficient and effective communications platforms. Replacing these pagers are secure messaging applications coupled with a mobile device (handheld/smartphone, tablet, or wearable). In fact, a recent VDC Research healthcare survey found that 58% of end-users currently support mobile healthcare applications for some type of secure staff communication platform. Vendors in the healthcare community have been marketing now-traditional secure messaging systems for the past few years, but this raises the question of how vendors will continue to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive ecosystem. Read more

Intel’s McAfee Spin-Off: What’s it Mean for IoT Security?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/13/2016

As has been widely reported, Intel is planning to spin off its Intel Security business unit formerly and soon again to be known as McAfee. The spin-off will be a private company valued at approximately $4.2B, of which 49% will be held by Intel and 51% by asset management firm TPG. Read more

Mobility Spurs Security Ecosystem Expansion

by Eric Klein | 09/09/2016

VDC’s mobile team recently published its annual security report. The Report, titled “Mobility Spurs Security Ecosystem Expansion”, details how the adoption of mobility in corporate setting has—for all intents and purposes—blown up the notion of a corporate network perimeter. Threats now extend much further than devices: vulnerabilities, such as malware, direct attacks, data interception, exploitation, and social engineering are all evolving and remain a threat on endpoints in our hands, at our desks, on our networks, and within the data centers of our service providers. Read more

Data-Hungry Enterprises with Intricate DAQ Systems Require Sophisticated SW Development Platforms

by Natasha Menon | 09/02/2016

As data-mining techniques have gained paramount importance across every industry, the associated devices and software solutions handling these tasks have become integral for every enterprise. Chasing data has transformed every enterprise operation – from managing massive production lines in factories, tracking assets in remote locations or analyzing customer behavior in retail stores. Never before have large streams of data been scrutinized at such granular levels to drive operational efficiency, improve agility, manage costs and reduce redundancies to achieve a diverse set of goals concurrently within organizations. Read more

Product Innovation to Promote Growth in Stationary Thermal Barcode Printer Market

by Richa Gupta | 08/29/2016

VDC recently published a report focused on Handheld Barcode Scanners. The following report highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. The global market for handheld barcode scanners is expected to grow 3.3% from 2015 to 2016 and continue this growth posting a CAGR of 4.9% through 2020 reaching $1.3B. Global macroeconomic challenges that hardware vendors in this market are facing caused handheld scanner revenues to stay flat year-over-year during the first quarter of 2016. Drivers for future market growth will include the increase in sales of camera-based imagers. Read more

Overall Tablet Growth Tempered, but Enterprise Opportunities Remain

by Cameron Roche | 08/26/2016

While the global tablet market opportunity is expected to contract through 2020, enterprise line of business (LoB) deployments provide a bright spot for growth. In fact, for LoB tablets in enterprise and government industries/sectors, the number of units shipped is expected to grow to nearly 8.7 million by 2020, up from 7.4 million units in 2015 (CAGR of 3.3%). Read more

Shopping with IoT: Retailers Leverage New Technology to Restock and Reshelve

by Roy Murdock | 08/24/2016

As the Internet of Things continues to revolutionize the way we interact with the devices around us, some of the most forward-thinking organizations are taking note of the many ways in which the IoT can be effectively used to change the consumer experience. Major retailers are working with vendors, such as Intel and Panasonic, to tackle the competitive pressures of the ever-changing retail industry. With new IoT devices that can track inventory across the supply chain, connect the backroom to store shelves, and deliver personalized in-store assistance to customers, retailers are finding opportunities for growth by utilizing new data flows. Read more

VDC Research and Loftware Present Joint Webinar on the Evolving Requirements Shaping the Future of Barcode Labeling

by Richa Gupta | 08/23/2016

On Thursday, August 25th, VDC’s Richa Gupta will co-present a webinar with Loftware’s Vice President of Product Management, Josh Roffman, on how global supply chains and changing regulations are powering the evolution of enterprise labeling. This presentation is a follow-up to a comprehensive white paper authored by VDC Research titled “The Changing Landscape of Barcode Labeling”. Read more

New Report: 2016 Global Mobile Thermal Printing Solutions Market

by Shahroze Husain | 08/18/2016

VDC recently published a report focused on Mobile Thermal Printing Solutions. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. The global mobile thermal printer revenues posted a 7% growth from 2014 to 2015 and are expected to grow to $509M by the year 2020. Led by increasing investments on mobile thermal printers by retailers and third party logistics providers in the growing e-commerce space, the Americas will continue to be the major market for these solutions with 53% of global revenue shipments and growth at an expected 7.5% through the forecast period. Read more

IoT Gateways: The ‘S’ Factors for Successful Deployment

by Natasha Menon | 08/12/2016

As low power technologies become increasingly popular, more organizations are implementing LoRa WAN technologies in their gateways as the near-term solution. The flexibility of LoRa WAN is the ability to integrate numerous devices without complex installations. The gateways can provide bi-directional communication channels, as these devices are often connected to a network server via standard IP connections and the end-points communicate using single hop wireless communication to one or many gateways. Read more

Intelligent Gateways: Redefining Connectivity Architecture

by Natasha Menon | 08/11/2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) has resulted in the clash of the informational (IT) and operational technologies (OT) realms, and this convergence is expected to aggressively accelerate as enterprises, suppliers and customers move towards implementing next generation technologies. The overlap of technologies between the OT and IT domain has industries struggling with the complexity of connecting new systems and legacy infrastructure. The reality of jumping onto the IoT bandwagon has become imperative for most industries to drive operational efficiencies in capital constrained business environment. Read more

Hyperledger: How Blockchain and IoT Can Work Together

by Steve Hoffenberg | 08/08/2016

The Hyperledger Project is a collaborative, open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. The project aims to apply the blockchain concept to transactional markets other than cryptocurrencies. Started in 2015 and currently comprised of 61 members, it is a relatively new initiative that has gained a lot of industry support in advancing blockchain technology. The Hyperledger Project is made up of different codebases donated to the Linux Foundation. Read more

BlackBerry Security Summit Recap

by Eric Klein | 08/02/2016

I attended BlackBerry’s Security Summit in NYC a few weeks back and wanted to finally share some quick takeaways from the event (a family vacation precluded me from posting this earlier—one of my 2016 resolutions was to disconnect while on vacation, and I actually succeeded!). The event was well attended, with many of the firms’ largest financial services and government customers in attendance. While none of these customers were willing to go on the record, several short conversations made it clear that these customers were loyal, and pleased with the firms’ roadmap and vision. Read more

Self-scanning 2.0? Datalogic introduces new generation of its popular Joya self-scanning solution

by Shahroze Husain | 07/28/2016

Datalogic, the European leader of the automatic data capture market, recently introduced a new generation of its popular Joya handheld self-scanning device for retail – Joya Touch. The multi-purpose solution can be deployed for consumer self-scanning applications as well as supporting in-store employee applications including queue busting, shelf replenishment, inventory management, and price checks. The company is one of two hardware vendors (the other being Zebra Technologies) of self-scanning devices and is a leader in the barcode scanner/imager and mobile computer markets. Read more

Enterprise Mobility Exchange Atlanta Wrap-Up: What We Learned from Pokemon Go

by David Krebs | 07/19/2016

While enterprise mobility was the name of the game at IQPC’s Atlanta event, Pokemon Go certainly crashed the party. The app from Nintendo and Alphabet-backed Niantic had just launched to much fanfare the week prior to the event and it seemed like no session could avoid mention of this app and the growing fanfare surrounding it. Since its launch Nintendo had added over $8 billion to its market cap – an astounding figure given the short lifespan of many once hot mobile properties. Read more

Q1 2016 Rugged Mobile Hardware Market Overview

by Cameron Roche | 07/14/2016

In Q1, the total worldwide rugged mobile hardware market, sized as all rugged notebooks, tablets, vehicle mounted devices, and handhelds, grossed nearly $913 million in revenue shipments and had over 975,000 units ship. As seen in Figure 1, the Q1 rugged market saw an overall year-over-year (YoY) revenue dip of -6.3% when compared with Q1 2015. Read more

What’s in Store for Inventory Tank Gauge Suppliers? (Part 2)

by Natasha Menon | 07/11/2016

As the oil & gas industry continues to face the worst downturn experienced in the last three decades, affecting inventory tank gauge suppliers dependent on this vertical. In the past, most leading suppliers persistently focused on the oil & gas vertical to obtain a significant portion of their revenue. However, the recent slowdown of the oil & gas industry hampered revenue goals for leading tank gauge suppliers, forcing them to explore new opportunities within other verticals. Read more

What’s in Store for Inventory Tank Gauge Suppliers? (Part 1)

by Natasha Menon | 07/07/2016

Industry gurus prophesied the downward spiral of oil prices would be brought about by increased oil production activities resulting in oversupply worldwide. As this prediction came to life, the industry was unprepared for steep declines it witnessed in prices, leaving producers baffled, as oil prices dropped further from $80-90 per barrel to $30-40 per barrel. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Quentin Ochem of AdaCore (Part 2)

by Andre Girard | 07/06/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. In part two, Quentin Ochem of AdaCore provides insights into how he sees the Ada market evolving. Read more

Q&A with Samsung Business CISO Sam Phillips

by Eric Klein | 07/05/2016

VDC has been tracking Samsung's mobility initiatives for several years now. The company has established a marquee consumer mobility brand and is continuing to make moves to further expand its enterprise and government business. Samsung has been very successful in embedding security into its platform and hiding many sophisticated functionality that safeguards their customers’ devices from data leakage (core to the company’s strategy is Samsung's proprietary Security Enhanced (SE) Android platform). Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Quentin Ochem of AdaCore (Part 1)

by Andre Girard | 07/05/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. In part one, Quentin Ochem of AdaCore explains that reports of Ada’s death are greatly exaggerated. Read more

Wearable Technologies Pave the Way to Rio Olympics

by Steve Hoffenberg | 06/30/2016

With the 2016 Olympic Games set to begin in Rio de Janeiro in August, many athletes have begun to promote the latest and most advanced wearable technologies they have used in preparation for the event. From the US Cycling team to the South African Track and Field team, elite athletes have integrated wearable technologies into their training plan to gain a competitive edge. Read more

Replacing Complexity with Productivity: A Preview at Zebra’s Upcoming Wearable Technology Release

by Cameron Roche | 06/30/2016

A recent VDC Research survey found that 85% of end users are motivated to invest in warehouse wearable initiatives in order to increase employee productivity. This investment is being driven by five significant market pressures (see Figure 1) all pointing to warehouse end-users’ desire to squeeze more productivity out of their operations. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: Q&A with Jim McElroy from LDRA Technology (Part 2)

by Andre Girard | 06/24/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Read more

EMM: All Grown Up, but Where to Next?

by Eric Klein | 06/24/2016

The level of competition in the EMM market is on the rise and has forced vendors to reposition their solution portfolios, pricing models, and has even led to several notable market exits. Intel Security announced the end of life (EOL) for its McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management solutions; Globo PLC was forced to vacate the EMM market as it was caught falsifying data and misrepresenting its financial position, and Oracle’s attempt to build an EMM platform around its Bitzer Mobile acquisition seems to have faded. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: Q&A with Jim McElroy from LDRA Technology (Part 1)

by Andre Girard | 06/23/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Read more

FPGA 101: Understanding What’s Behind the Gate

by Daniel Mandell | 06/17/2016

As field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) diversify into new markets and become easier to develop with, the broader embedded community should understand the basics of the processing technology. Introduced to the market in 1985 by Xilinix, FPGAs first offered a flexible alternative to application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The main distinguishing factor of FGPAs is that they are field-programmable which means they can be programmed by the end user to meet specific needs (during prototyping, post-deployment, etc.). Read more

Agile in Embedded: Opportunity for Vendors to Target this Specific Need (Part 2)

by Andre Girard | 06/17/2016

Just as embedded engineering organizations were slow to adopt new methods, so too have tool suppliers been slow to adapt to changing practices in embedded development. With limited options, many in the large and growing population of system developers using Agile either apply their incumbent lifecycle management tools in support of new practices OR employ tools designed for Agile development in IT to address the specific needs of the embedded realm. Read more

Agile in Embedded: The Challenges Behind and Potential Ahead (Part 1)

by Andre Girard | 06/16/2016

Agile and product manufacturing have a long and somewhat contentious relationship. Lean manufacturing practices and the Toyota Production System are often viewed as the initial inspiration for the Agile software development manifesto. The speed and quality improvements of early Agile teams quickly lead to widespread use of iterative practices in the enterprise/IT software development market but embrace of the methodology for product, or even systems, development could certainly not be called rapid. Read more

PTC LiveWorx 2016: Friend or foe?

by Roy Murdock | 06/10/2016

VDC recently had the pleasure of attending PTC’s flagship LiveWorx 2016 event, which has become one of the largest and most highly-anticipated IoT conferences in the greater Boston area. The 3-day event took place from Monday June 6th to Wednesday June 8th in the Boston Convention center, and featured a wide range of notable speakers, such as... Read more

Complex recalls prompt traceability system updates and upgrades in the automotive industry

by Shahroze Husain | 06/08/2016

Globally distributed automotive supply chains now make it imperative for automakers to have the ability to trace any part all the way from the component/part supplier through to the end consumer. Specialized component vendors may distribute their products throughout the entire industry to several different automakers, meaning an issue with one small part has the potential to affect several market participants. According to VDC’s latest report, US-based automakers and components manufacturers are looking to invest in smarter traceability and communications systems in order to shift from a traditionally reactive supply chain model to one that is more proactive in order to support functions like order fulfillment, inventory management, reverse logistics, and recall management. Read more

Fast Approaching DQSA Deadlines Will Drive Greater Traceability Investments in the Pharmaceuticals Industry

by Shahroze Husain | 06/01/2016

US pharmaceutical companies today face a number of challenges emerging in the supply chain that are driving greater adoption of track-and-trace systems including the theft and diversion of drugs, counterfeiting, and unpredictable errors potentially leading to mass recalls. 2015 saw an increase in drug recalls by the FDA and pharmaceutical manufacturers, up from 1,572 in 2014 to 2,021 recalls. Read more