The Asia Pacific region is home to one of the fastest-growing Internet of Things (IoT) markets in the world – by 2025, it is expected to account for nearly 40 percent of the global IoT market. As international vendors are joined by regional solution developers, the competition among IoT players in APAC is becoming increasingly intense. But Bosch is not known for shying away from a challenge. With the IoT being the key focus for the company over the past years, Bosch has invested a lot of effort into studying customers’ pain points and developing IoT technologies best suited to solving them – as well as into building a strong team of experts to implement these technologies in practice. And these efforts are paying off, as shown by the level of market adoption and the recognition from experts. Indeed, in August 2019, the analyst firm Frost & Sullivan awarded Bosch Software Innovations the title of “2019 Asia Pacific IoT Vendor of the Year.”
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan is one of the world’s top ten technology analyst firms. Established in 1961, Frost & Sullivan has become world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders, and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies and new business models across multiple industries. It is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has 40 offices on six continents.More about Frost & Sullivan
Vendor of the year: evaluation criteria
The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies that demonstrate outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. In order to identify best practices in the industry, Frost & Sullivan industry analysts compare market players and measure performance on the basis of in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research.
A significant contribution to the nominee selection process is made by customers – as part of the evaluation exercise, Frost & Sullivan analysts survey key decision makers in customer organizations and incorporate their opinions as to which vendors they consider the industry leaders.
In his letter of congratulation to Bosch, David Frigstad, chairman of Frost & Sullivan, stated, “Frost & Sullivan’s global teams of analysts and consultants research a wide range of markets and identify companies that are true industry leaders. These companies have a keen eye on the future and drive the innovation that meets upcoming needs, before these become commonly visible, often being first to market with new solutions.”
The main criteria that Frost & Sullivan uses to define the award recipient include visionary innovation & performance and customer impact. In these areas, Bosch Software Innovations has been recognized for its open-source and open-standards strategy, and for delivering end-to-end IoT solutions that meet the specific needs of APAC customers.
Visionary innovation & performance: advocating open source and open standards as the winning strategy for the whole industry
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Bosch’s IoT philosophy is reflected in the motto “No one can do IoT alone.” In order to advance the still young IoT industry, Bosch is convinced that vendors should adhere to common standards so as to ensure the interoperability of their IoT platforms and solutions. Open source is another vital factor for promoting a rapid adoption of the IoT, since it ensures access to free and innovative technology for all, generates scope for experimentation, and allows for rapid prototyping and proof of concept (PoC). This combination of industry standards and open-source software helps create a common IoT ecosystem across multiple platforms and vendors for the ultimate benefit of end users.
From the beginning, Bosch Software Innovations has been at the forefront of the open IoT ecosystem approach, having taken on leading roles at the OSGi Alliance, Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), Trusted IoT Alliance, and Eclipse Foundation. Bosch is an active contributor to many Eclipse IoT open-source projects and utilizes these technologies in its own IoT platform – the Bosch IoT Suite.
As Frost & Sullivan states, “For customers, the benefit of pursuing the open ecosystem approach is that it eliminates vendor lock-in and also enables them to participate in the future development of IoT solutions and to influence that process.” In turn, Bosch achieves faster results and better DevOps quality by leveraging best talents and technologies through open collaboration with other IoT industry leaders.
Customer impact: a clear focus on the Asia Pacific region
Unlike other global companies, where solution development is often done centrally, a considerable number of the solutions from Bosch Software Innovations have been conceived and developed in Asia Pacific. These include Secure Product Fingerprint, a solution to combat acute counterfeiting problems, which was developed and launched earlier this year in China. Further examples are Connected Building Services and, in particular, Lift Manager, a solution for monitoring lift operations and optimizing lift maintenance. Hundreds of lifts in Singapore have already been equipped with this capability, providing building owners and facility managers with valuable insights into lift performance. Frost & Sullivan highlighted this fact: “Bosch Software Innovations is recognized in Asia Pacific for addressing local markets with solutions developed or refined in the region.”
“We focus on productizing solutions rather than implementing one-off IoT projects,” says Thomas Jakob, Regional President in Asia Pacific for Bosch Software Innovations. “By creating standardized IoT solutions, which are more affordable and easier to deploy, we contribute to making IoT technology more mainstream and available to a wider range of regional – and, ultimately, global – customers.”
Recently, Bosch has also introduced its extensive IoT consulting portfolio to Asia Pacific, with the launch of a number of workshops and training sessions in China, Singapore, and India. These covered a broad spectrum of topics, from designing new IoT business models to developing IoT applications. The workshops were targeted at various audience segments, including business owners and software developers. Their purpose was to share with the regional market the vast IoT expertise that had been globally accumulated by Bosch Software Innovations experts. In 2018, showing further commitment to serving regional customers, the company also established an IoT Services Delivery Center in Nanjing, China, to help with the regional adoption of IoT products and solutions.
As Thomas Jakob points out, “At Bosch Software Innovations, we went to great lengths to create an all-around team of consultants, developers, solution architects, product managers, and professional services specialists in order to deliver end-to-end IoT solutions based on the Bosch IoT Suite to customers in Asia Pacific. It’s a massive team effort, and we are happy to see that this effort is so highly recognized by the market.”
More on key benchmarking principles
For the Company of the Year Award, three leading vendors were selected out of the initial long list of nominees, based on industry practitioners’ opinions. These shortlisted vendors were then subjected to further evaluation and benchmarking. Frost & Sullivan analysts independently evaluated two key factors — Visionary Innovation & Performance and Customer Impact — according to the criteria below.
Visionary Innovation & Performance
- Criterion 1: Addressing Unmet Needs
- Criterion 2: Visionary Scenarios through Mega Trends
- Criterion 3: Implementation Best Practices
- Criterion 4: Blue Ocean Strategy
- Criterion 5: Financial Performance
- Criterion 1: Price/Performance Value
- Criterion 2: Customer Purchase Experience
- Criterion 3: Customer Ownership Experience
- Criterion 4: Customer Service Experience
- Criterion 5: Brand Equity
To support its evaluation, Frost & Sullivan employs a customized Decision Support Scorecard. The tool follows a 10-point scale that allows for nuances in performance evaluation. Ratings guidelines are illustrated below.
To remain unbiased and to protect the interests of all organizations reviewed, the other key participants are referred to as Competitor 1 and Competitor 2.
Once all companies have been evaluated according to the Decision Support Scorecard, analysts then position the candidates on the matrix shown below, enabling them to visualize which companies are truly breakthrough and which ones are not yet operating at best-in-class levels.