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Articles by Stefan Ferber

Stefan Ferber

I am Vice President for Portfolio Strategy at Bosch Software Innovations in Germany – the Bosch Group’s software and systems house. I also represented Bosch in the German “Industrie 4.0 Plattform” and am a member of the European “Internet of Things Council“. Here I leverage more than twenty years experience in software development, software processes, software product lines and software architectures for embedded systems, computer vision, and IT domains. Before I was Product Manager for the Bosch eMobility Solution and therefore engaged internationally in the eMobility market, business models, standardization, and technology topics in Europe, Asia, and Australia. I also acted as Director of Bosch Corporate Systems Engineering Process Group and a technical expert for software engineering and software architectures mostly for automotive embedded software. I hold a Ph.D. and a diploma degree in Computer Science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and a MSc. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA.
Contact @stefferber Xing Google+ LinkedIn

Business models relevant for IoT

There have been some articles focusing on women in the tech world and in IoT.

Today, I’d like to add a very fundamental dimension for the Internet of Things besides technology – business models, and like to introduce you to Karolin Frankenberger, the head of the Competence Center Business Model Innovation at the University of St. Gallen. Karolin and her team developed what I often call the ‘Swiss army knife for business model innovation’:  The St. Gallen Business Model Innovation Navigator, a tool supporting companies to strategically innovate. Her prediction for business models in the Internet of Things: Competition will no longer take place between products, but between business models. And, hybrid business models will emerge, the most important ones at the moment being (1) digitally reloaded products, (2) sensor as a service, and (3) digital add-ons.

Watch here some highlights of Karolin Frankenberger’s presentation from the Bosch ConnectedWorld conference. 


2013: The year of the IoT inflection point?

The year 2013 is a turning point for the Internet of Things (IoT). I would like to quote John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco: “The inflection point of IoT”. He bases this statement on the following: Since 2010, the number of devices connected to the Internet has overtaken the number of people connected to the Internet.

For me, it is even more. For me, 2013 is the year when the business world has taken over the thought leadership in Internet of Things from research and technology evangelists.

The term Internet of Things was suggested by Kevin Ashton in 1999. Nearly 15 years later, it arrived in the business world with terms like the “Internet of Everything” or the “Industrial Internet”.

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers keynoted at inaugural #IoTWF in October 2013.

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers keynoted at inaugural #IoTWF in October 2013.

Why am I so optimistic? Just have a look at the following list of events which took place over the past months:

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Ten challenges the international IoT community needs to master (2/2)













In my first blog about the 10 challenges the international Internet of Things community needs to master, I mainly focused on five tech aspects: robust connectivity, useable security, big data, big code and information models. Now there come five societal and business challenges. Read more…

Ten challenges the international IoT community needs to master (1/2)


Download the IoT infographics

We expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to be the biggest system that mankind has ever built: In a few years’ time, 75% of the world’s population will have access to the internet and by 2015 alone, we expect there to be more than 6.5 billion objects connected to the internet and cooperating partially without human intervention. The internet has always been a success machine. Looking back, we can see that the internet developed in three waves. The first brought easy exchange of documents, the second provided for commercialization of online businesses, and in the third wave people started engaging through social networks. The next wave is the Internet of Things, a gigantic wave that lets people, things and services interact autonomously around the clock. The Internet of Things will have an impact on how we live and move, how we produce and consume energy, and how we do business or manufacture things. The international IoT community is facing technological, societal and business challenges and must ensure that this next internet wave breaks smoothly on our beaches. There are ten challenges to master. Some are new and some are old acquaintances that need a new interpretation based on specific IoT requirements. Read more…

How is Bosch shaping the future with software?

Software from Bosch running over the internet? Well, this is probably not your first association that you have when you see the Bosch logo on home appliances, power tools, automotive or security products. In an interview during CeBIT 2013, my colleague Steffen Schmickler explains why software and the internet are important for Bosch: It’s about today’s business and about even more opportunities in the future. Are you ready to join us in the Internet of Things #IoT?


Bosch supports the Springboard accelerator for the Internet of Things

SpringboardSpringboard is a UK-based start-up incubator that combines investment capital with an intensive 13 week mentor-led accelerator program. The program ends with an investor day where the teams present their propositions to an audience of angel investors and venture capitalists. Springboard provides fantastic office spaces at the Google Campus in London and ideaSpace in Cambridge and seeds capital – over $150k of free services. More important is the Springboard network of over 100 experienced entrepreneurs and investors throughout the IoT program plus access to a wider network of mentors and partners.

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Wuxi IoT Week (2/2): My China journey continues

Welcome back. This post continues the first part of my trip to Wuxi, China.

Sino-EU IoT Symposium, Sensing China Center, Wuxi, China

Sino-EU IoT Symposium

Attending the Sino-EU IoT Symposium, Sensing China Center, Wuxi

Rob van Kranenburg  (IoT Council) and Sammy Shen (Sensing China Center) prepared a small and private exchange “From Smart to Wise Life” about IoT on October 26, 2012. At least the European team with Rob van Kranenburg, Alex Bassi  (Technical Coordinator of IoT-A), Sebastian Lange (Coordinator IoT-A), Jianguo Wang (Bosch Software Innovations China) and I thought so. When we arrived at the Sensing China Center, we already saw a big sign “Sino-EU IoT Symposium”. As we entered the room we were introduced to Karl Ma, Vice Director Secretary of Sensing China Center and also associate of the well established IoT Wuxi company wsb. With him, there was a room full of participants from the IoT industry in Wuxi. Rob started his presentation about “IoT and neighborhoods” with several beautiful new pictures. I gave an outline about Bosch’s strategy in IoT and shared some examples. Particularly, the telemedicine example has drawn a lot of interest from the audience. The Chinese presentations included George Guan, the CEO of the Wuxi smart home company Jillion, and a further presentation about open data in government and cities. The lunch discussion afterwards focused on the need of business model development for IoT companies. Overall, I was able to capture the Chinese thinking of IoT in this meeting, which will give an important input to our strategy in China.

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Wuxi IoT Week (1/2): My journey starts – why IoT in Wuxi?

Wuxi downtown at night.
Source: www.outsourcingbiz.com.my/topics/Wuxi-IOT.htm

Internet of Things 物联网 in China is a hot topic. And Wuxi is the Chinese hot spot for IoT related activities. You don’t know Wuxi? Wuxi has “just” a population of more than 6 million, growing about 1 million per year, has more than 3,000 years of history, is located at the ancient Grand Canal, the longest channel worldwide, and is only 45 minutes by train north west of Shanghai.

The city has been named the “Sensing China Center” in 2008 – and this has an interesting story. Here are some rumors that I heard during my visit: It all started with the fast industrialization of the rich Wuxi area in the 1990s. In 2007, China’s third largest beautiful freshwater Lake Tai was polluted by industry and people. Algae bloom and bacteria were so heavy that the Chinese government called the lake a major natural disaster. In order to control the cleaning of the lake, which involved the shutdown of several hundred factories and removal of the leaver harming algae from boats, the authorities installed a sensor network that measured water quality. Due to the success of this approach Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed during a visit in Wuxi that the “Sensing China Center”should be established in Wuxi. In the opening ceremony on August 7, 2010, he called for the rapid development of Internet of Things technologies: “Internet + Internet of Things = Wisdom of the Earth”. Read more…

Industry 4.0 – Germany takes first steps toward the next industrial revolution

acatech logoToday, I would like to share my impressions from the Umsetzungsforum Industrie 4.0, which took place ten days ago at the Produktionstechnisches Zentrum Berlin. The event was organized and hosted by Prof. Dr. Henning Kagermann, President of the acatech working group, and Dr. Siegfried Dais, Co-President  of the acatech working group and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management at Robert Bosch GmbH. Many well-known figures from the political and economic scene were also in attendance. The impressive building was a great platform to foster the discussion and reflection about the next revolution in production. Read more…

The Internet of Things: Renaissance Re-born?

The Internet of Things & Services is a major driver for technological development and will dramatically change products, services, and markets. It not only empowers people to collaborate, but any product or service developed by people — or those emerging from such collaboration. The technology will definitely change business, but the social implications will change our society beyond our wildest dreams.

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