In a move aimed at removing barriers to internet of things (IoT) adoption for UK businesses, Vodafone UK is partnering with specialist IoT.nxt to launch a range of services that are claimed to offer customers every part of an IoT solution.
As part of the services, Vodafone UK will provide IoT sensors and devices, create a data management platform – with the capability to integrate old and new devices in one system – and offer ongoing professional services. The aim is to ensure that IoT is accessible to all businesses, including those that do not have specialist capabilities in-house.
The new platform enables businesses to consolidate multiple processes onto one simple platform and integrate old and new devices with a single system. Markets that Vodafone says can most quickly benefit from IoT adoption include utilities, logistics, public transport, healthcare, manufacturing and building management.
“We are making it easy for any business to adopt IoT,” said Anne Sheehan, business director at Vodafone UK. “We are taking away complexity and making it simple to deploy, simple to manage and simple to see the return on investment. With our colleagues at IoT.nxt, we can be unique in the UK market – we’ll grow our leadership position from here and deliver customers a digital capability that will prove invaluable in meeting the pressures of business today.”
Vodafone Group subsidiary Vodacom acquired a 51% share in South Africa-based IoT.nxt in 2019 to enable Vodafone UK to grow its leadership in the IoT space by opening up new markets through the ease of deployment, the simplicity and flexibility of operation and the capability to customise to any application.
“We are thrilled to power the new era of Vodafone UK’s IoT strategy,” said IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn. “IoT is perceived by many businesses to be complex and bespoke, but it doesn’t have to be. We hope to change that perception with a platform which can be adapted to any business, any type of connection, and any use case.”
Just as it was announcing its new portfolio of IoT services, Vodafone released a report on the benefits of digital buildings, which found that investment in IoT in public sector buildings could reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy usage and save taxpayers up to £380m a year. The report, which calls on the UK government to explore digital building technology, estimates new technology could reduce carbon emissions by up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 a year and reduce overall energy usage in buildings by 15%.
In Vodafone’s recent IoT Spotlight research, 87% of UK early adopters said they had already seen a return on investment for IoT, while 76% said they were able to do things they couldn’t do before. Although IoT is generally regarded as helping businesses adapt to the digital economy, complexity has been a major barrier to adoption.