Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

HCL, Microsoft start IoT incubation centre

The aim is to build advanced solutions based on machine-to-machine (M-2-M) technology, in areas such as industrial manufacturing, life sciences and healthcare

New Delhi: HCL Technologies Ltd, India’s fourth largest software services exporter, on Monday said it will launch an incubation centre for the Internet of Things in partnership with Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, Washington.

The aim is to build advanced solutions based on machine-to-machine (M-2-M) technology, in areas such as industrial manufacturing, life sciences and healthcare.

IoT is defined as a worldwide network of things such as identifiable devices, appliances and machinery of all forms and sizes that are connected to the Internet and can communicate, control and manage each other to perform a set of tasks with minimum intervention. M-2-M is the automated exchange of information between machines.

In July, Noida-based HCL bought some assets of US-based consulting firm Trygstad Technical Services Inc., which deals with niche segments of emerging technologies and has expertise in IoT, embedded systems, intelligent systems and core engineering, including operating systems.

In September 2015, the firm partnered with International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to set up an incubation centre for IoT solutions in Noida to jointly develop connected products and operations such as remote monitoring, smart inventory management, smart building and facilities management.

HCL is not the only one to do so. IoT and M-2-M are being embraced by many Indian information technology (IT) firms, including the Big Three software services exporters: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd. The idea is to take IoT-enabled solutions to their clients globally to capture the emerging opportunity.

According to a report by Forrester Research, about one in five firms globally have already adopted IoT, while another 28% are planning to deploy it in the near future.

International Data Corp. estimates the global IoT market will reach $7.1 trillion by 2020; the number of IoT connected devices is expected to reach 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015, a rise of over 285%, show data collated by mobile, online and digital market research firm Juniper Research.

The Redmond-based incubation centre will “also deploy a new model of innovation leveraging real-time analytics, sensory data and rapid co-creation allowing customers to experience the impact IoT can have on their ability to create sustainable business value", the company statement said.

Sukamal Banerjee, executive vice-president and head of the IoT WoRKS business unit at HCL Technologies, said industrial IoT is set to be the next big productivity and revenue generation lever for enterprises worldwide.

Susan Hauser, corporate vice-president, enterprise and partner group, Microsoft, said the aim of the partnership with HCL is to “enable companies to accelerate IoT adoption with industry-specific solutions that deliver greater business insights, new revenue models and speed return on investment".