Twilio participated in the IoT Tech Expo in Amsterdam last week under the motto “connecting hardware and humans”. Being co-located with other events (AI & Big Data, Cyber Security, Blockchain, Edge Computing, and Digital Transformation) the IoT Expo was well attended – with a diverse audience across multiple industries – which drove many people to our booth and presentation. It was good to be back at a show again after 2+ years of pandemic absence! In case you weren’t able to attend the show live, here are my top 3 takeaways from Twilio’s presence at the show.
My learnings from IoT Tech Expo Europe
1) IoT builders don’t need “just another SIM card.” They need a more complete technology stack that enables them to securely connect and update IoT devices, and communicate the significance of their data.
One thing I heard over and over again at this event was that simply getting connectivity isn’t enough to make IoT solutions a success. As new application features become available or changes arise within the technology stack, IoT fleet operators need a way to update large fleets of devices without risking bricking them. Further, IoT builders need to be able to communicate the data to other stakeholders in real-time (from a sensor on a HVAC system to a field service worker, for example). This may even be the most critical step in the IoT journey – what use is the data, or derived insights, if they don’t lead to action? At IoT Expo Amsterdam, we demoed products that help IoT builders connect and update their field-deployed solutions, and communicate and engage with their stakeholders, be that customers or field staff. That’s what we mean when we say “connecting hardware and humans.” To summarize, here are the products attendees of the show got to see:
- Twilio Super SIM: Global cellular connectivity with network redundancy and pay-as-you-go pricing.
- Twilio Microvisor: A platform for managed connectivity and device-to-cloud security, unbrickable over-the-air updates, and remote debugging.
- Twilio Programmable Asset Tracker: A fully customizable asset tracking device with years of battery life
- Twilio Channels: Multi-channel 2-way customer engagement via SMS, email, chat, video, voice, and more.
2) The market is curious about Twilio.
Many know Twilio as a CPaaS and customer engagement technology provider, and few know that Twilio has innovative IoT offerings, as well, and not just since the show last week. At the show, I did a presentation titled “Embedded CPaaS: How connecting hardware and humans is the next evolutionary step for IoT”. After my talk, there were several follow-on discussions regarding how Twilio is helping enterprises build IoT solutions that scale. More specifically, it seemed that people were interested in hearing about programmable platforms and services to help them build customized IoT solutions easily– a sign that the IoT marketplace is evolving from pre-made ‘one-size-fits-all’ offerings to customized solutions that deliver better results for customer’s unique business needs. If you find yourself curious about how Twilio has reimagined cellular IoT, have a quick watch:
3) Programmability is becoming a top choice among IoT builders.
In particular, our new Programmable Asset Tracker, currently in private beta, got a lot of interest. Many customers told us they have specific asset tracking needs (form factor, battery life, software functionality, application workflows, back-end integrations) but have not found an off-the-shelf solution in the market that fits their needs – but they also know they don’t want to build an asset tracker themselves from scratch. Programmable Asset Tracker addresses these needs by being both ready-to-use and fully customizable so it’s easy to create a customized solution. We’re looking forward to the follow-up conversations.
If you’d like to learn more, check out this page, where you can request access to the first fully customizable asset tracking platform that works out of the box.
One thing I love most about attending conferences like this one is that I get to hear about real-world challenges customers are facing when building these solutions. Even better, is when we get to take the next step and help these builders unlock the potential of their ideas by leveraging Twilio IoT. Stay tuned to see which upcoming conferences we’ll be at next to see a technical talk or a demo, or contact my team if you want to build something together. If you’re just getting started and looking for some inspiration, check out our customer stories.
Terrence is a Principal IoT Solutions Engineer at Twilio. His previous roles included software engineering, evangelist, product manager, tech lead and architect for a range of mobile, cloud, embedded, wireless, and IoT projects at companies such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and Electric Imp (acquired by Twilio in 2019). Terrence has participated in leading industry associations and spoken at technology events around the world.