Calls for Industry-wide IoT Collaboration Sparked at oneM2M Industry Day

IoT dream may not be realised without a harmonised solution that takes all technologies into account

Organisations working to standardise and interoperate the Internet of Things (IoT) need to significantly increase collaboration if ubiquitous connectivity is to become successful on a mass market scale.

That was the message delivered at oneM2M’s first North American Industry Day held in Memphis, TN.

Representatives from several global standards organisations shared their goals and experiences with IoT interoperability during the event, which was hosted by ATIS , and attended by leading IoT-focused companies. The goal was to highlight the benefits that a joint approach would have in accelerating IoT adoption through standards-based approaches.

"It is without question that interoperability is needed for wide-scale IoT deployments," said oneM2M’s Technical Plenary chair, Dr. Omar Elloumi, of Nokia. "While great strides have been made, now is the time for an industry-wide approach that takes the bigger picture into account to bring the vision of a connected society to life."

The industry day focused on the action needed to make this a reality. Elloumi noted: "Many IoT standards and technologies that exist today are complementary, not competitive and, by working together, clarity, understanding and alignment will emerge worldwide. We are, for instance, collaborating with ITU-T to meet this goal."

Zigbee Alliance, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)  and the Thread Group echoed the calls of oneM2M for increased collaboration in their presentations, before setting out their willingness to work with oneM2M in a panel discussion titled “Where do we go from here?”

"As an IP networking layer solution, Thread is very complementary to oneM2M, OCF and Zigbee dotdot as it provides the foundation for them to build on," said Sujata Neidig, VP of Marketing at Thread. "Partnerships and combined offerings are important to unlock the full potential of IoT, moving it from concept to reality and transforming people's lives through smart homes, buildings and businesses."

Alan Soloway is the Chair of the Joint OCF/oneM2M Ecosystem (JOOE) Project in OCF, which is working to bring secure and complete device interoperability to consumers, businesses and industries by partnering with other IoT organisations.

The OCF is delivering a standard communications platform, a bridging specification, an open source implementation and a certification program that allows devices to communicate regardless of form factor, operating system, service provider, transport technology or ecosystem.

"Collaboration on IoT is not just a nice-to-have consideration, but an absolute necessity," Soloway said. "When decision makers look at deployments, they need to know that each technology will work together seamlessly."

Tobin Richardson, CEO at Zigbee Alliance, agreed on the need for a partnered approach, explaining: "We are already working with a number of other organisations because a single entity is not enough to realise the full potential of the IoT; it must be a joint effort. We take the view that one technology might not be the best fit for all use cases – and that includes our own solution so looking at how the different technologies fit together is incredibly important."

The IIC, which develops testbeds, cited interworking between different organisations as being absolutely essential.

"Coalitions are essential to building the industrial IoT ecosystem as they bring together the various stakeholders – such as IT, Operational Technology, academia, government, open source communities and Standards Development Organisations – to collectively address challenges and deliver on the promise of the IoT," said Wael William Diab, Chair, IIC Liaison Working Group and senior director, Huawei.

“The IIC testbed programme is a good example of how we bring together different stakeholders to create a platform that showcases innovation, emerging technology and requirements for standards in the industrial IoT space.”


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