Huawei ranked as the No. 1 IoT platform vendor according to a new scorecard from IHS Markit. Cisco, Microsoft, and PTC rounded out the top four positions.
The IHS Markit “IoT Platforms Vendor Scorecard” evaluated nine vendors based on the context of both market presence and momentum. Market presence was determined by evaluating the number of devices managed by the vendor’s IoT platform, financial strength, and the vendor’s strategic commitment to the IoT market. Market momentum was measured by the growth rate of the devices managed on the platform, the range of IoT functions, the breadth of vertical markets it targets, the strength of its IoT ecosystem development efforts, and its technical innovation on the platforms.
The other vendors evaluated in the report were Alibaba, Amazon Web Services (AWS), GE, IBM, and SAP.
According to Sam Lucero, the report author and senior principal analyst of IoT at IHS, Huawei excelled at a number of the categories evaluated. Particularly, Huawei led in the number of devices managed through its IoT platform, and the growth of those devices. Additionally, he noted its commitment to the IoT market and its technical innovation.
Huawei has a number of enterprise IoT products. The primary product is its cloud-based IoT Connection Management platform, which is access agnostic meaning it works with any network connections. It also has an edge computing IoT (EC-IoT) service that integrates open edge computing with cloud management architecture to perform intelligent data processing. The vendor also has a product suite of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) products, including an operating system and chipset that it launched in 2016.
Lucero wrote in an email to SDxCentral that: “Huawei is a key figure in cellular standards development and has played a central role in bringing NB-IoT to the market. This is particularly important given the role the NB-IoT will likely play in facilitating IoT services globally. Related to this, Huawei has worked with operators around the globe on early NB-IoT trials, most importantly partnering with Vodafone on the latter’s development of NB-IoT-based services.” He also noted that as a mobile virtual network enabler it can build IoT-specific core networks for its customers.
This has been a tumultuous year for Huawei as it battles geo-political issues. The vendor has been facing a lot of pressure from the U.S. government, which banned use of its equipment by domestic telecom operators, and encouraged other countries to do the same. The Australian government also issued a ban on its 5G equipment.
Cisco’s No. 2 position on the list was due to the range of IoT functionalities addressed by its platform. This includes its IoT industrial networking, operations management, data management, and security platforms. According to Lucero, two key platforms drive Cisco’s IoT ecosystem: its connectivity management processor (CMP), which is based of its 2016 acquisition of Jasper; and its Kinetic architecture, which helps customers securely connect devices, as well as extract, compute, and move IoT data.
Cisco has made a number of IoT investments in the past. After acquiring AppDynamics for $3.7 billion last January, Cisco shifted the company’s focus to IoT. And this year it expanded its intent-based networking concept to support the technology.
Microsoft was boosted by its strong IoT investments and enterprise sales force. Software vendor PTC was lauded for its focus in the market and its broad ecosystem of partners, which includes Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). It’s worth noting that PTC’s products are largely focused on the industrial IoT (IIoT) space.
Of the overall IoT market, Lucero said that IHS is seeing “explosive growth in the Chinese IoT market” and a “growing interest in IoT data monetization, particularly in the connected car industry.”