The new initiative comprises technical infrastructure as well as platform and software offerings, and claims to cover the full IoT proposition, from the device to the cloud. It will be initially utilized for in-house solutions, though plans are to roll out the platform as a service for other companies worldwide from 2017.
“As of today, we offer all the ace cards for the connected world from a single source,” said Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner. “The Bosch IoT Cloud is the final piece of the puzzle that completes our software expertise. We are now a full service provider for connectivity and the Internet of Things.
“A major factor in the success of connected solutions is their scalability. Business models must be able to grow quickly when necessary. The Bosch IoT Cloud means Bosch now has the relevant infrastructure. We see this as a major milestone for Bosch.”
Traditionally a major player in the automotive, building and appliances spaces, the announcement follows a lengthy transition into the digital industry with Bosch apparently spending €500 million annually on new technologies. “The key prerequisite for this is to have in-house software and IT expertise,” said Denner. “Bosch has been building these capabilities for many years. Digital transformation and increasing connectivity are huge opportunities for us.”
The move allows Bosch to increase its influence in the development of the connected world in such areas as smart homes, smart cars and Industry 4.0. Current applications include detection of parking spaces, insurance rebates for careful drivers, a platform which connects user’s smartphones with the heating, lighting and smoke alarms at home, as well as a system to connect technicians directly with their customers’ heating systems. The company claims to currently connect more than five million devices and machines.
Denner’s leadership over recent years has driven Bosch’s strategic transition and brought about a number of acquisitions, including Pro-Syst Software, to build the company’s software expertise – the cornerstone of Bosch IoT Cloud.
This move is a great example of how IoT is bringing businesses from a very diverse range of industries into the same space as partners, competitors or both. Companies like Bosch will increasingly be bumping shoulders with the likes of Ericsson, Cisco, Intel and Amazon in the race to serve up the most comprehensive IoT proposition.