With 4.9 billion connected devices to be in use in 2015, the need to create industry standardisations in the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing rapidly. So it’s no surprise that this week SAP announced it will be joining the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which is one of the standards groups trying to define the standards for IoT in the enterprise.
"With the SAP HANA Cloud Platform and next-generation IoT solutions we already bring to our customers, SAP intends to combine the untapped potential of digitization and connectivity that is the cornerstone of the IoT. IIC membership shall ensure that SAP customers can drive value for their business without disruption in harmony with other IoT systems and solutions," said Michael Lynch, global co-lead for IoT at SAP.
SAP will be joining a group of other high-profile backers including AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel and supports a diverse public-private ecosystem of 141 member companies in 20 countries. However as you would expect there isn’t just one standard.
Other groups aiming at defining the IoT standards are the Qualcomm-based AllSeen Alliance and the Open Internet Consortium (OIC) which has more than 50 members, and the UK's HyperCat who hope to define the standard for IoT generally and in Smart Cities with HyperCatCity.
If you’re thinking this sounds like it could end up as another ‘Betamax v’s VHS’ contest then don’t worry because the interested parties are working together. In fact, the IIC and the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) announced last week that they had signed a strategic liaison agreement to share information to assist IoT device interoperability. As the organisations explained in a joint release. "Through this formal liaison, the Industrial Internet Consortium will share its use cases and architectural requirements focused on the industrial market. In turn, OIC will ensure that its specification and associated open source project (IoTivity) will deliver the necessary features in an IoT comms framework to meet the requirements and make the use cases not just real, but also easy to implement."