On November 14th, the tech world crowded together for the 2016 IoT Summit. Everyone from small startups, to consultants, to major industry players rubbed shoulders and talked about the future of the Internet of Things. Lee Winfield, Seebo’s Director of Hardware Integration, gave a talk that highlighted one of today’s greatest concerns for non-tech companies: breaking the tech barrier. Here, she talks about trends from the summit and highlights how developers of traditional products can overcome the challenges of going smart to grow their business.

This event had major players: Qualcomm, Microsoft, IBM, Bosch… is there still room in the Internet of Things for smaller companies to succeed?

Lee: Absolutely! Some of the most innovative smart products we’ve seen recently have come from small companies, even startups on Kickstarter. Speaking for Seebo, we have clients with dozens of employees, and ones with only a handful. The great thing about working with an IoT development platform is that it doesn’t matter what resources you have within your company. You can gather resources outside and develop a smart product or system with centralized communication. Whether people come from inside or outside your company, everyone is aligned and agile at every stage of the product life cycle.

Lee Winfield, Seebo Director of Hardware Integration, speaks at the IoT Summit 2016.
Lee Winfield, Seebo Director of Hardware Integration, speaks at the IoT Summit 2016. Image Source: Seebo

What did you find interesting about the conference?

Lee: There were many amazing speakers, including a lecture on international and industrial IoT tech trends. Moreover, the audience were as interesting as the speakers. Even though I’ve been involved with smart product development for years, I was surprised by the sheer variety of players who are involved. Seebo had a booth at the conference, and executives from major companies were coming over. Smaller companies, too, from outside the IoT world. But there were also investors, consultants, academics, and incubators who were all eager to learn. It’s thrilling to see what we can offer such different groups.

Samsung gave a talk on leveraging IoT platforms to accelerate time to market. How does Seebo fit into that?

Lee: That’s exactly where Seebo adds value for companies and the Internet of Things globally. Lior spoke about the challenges of going smart at the conference.

“Seebo reduces development costs, cuts time to market, and simplifies smart product development. That holds true both for companies with R&D departments and ones coming from outside the tech world.”

Going smart is complex, expensive, and involves a lot of risk. IoT development platforms like Seebo cut down on a lot of that risk by giving companies the tools to properly plan in advance, understand the elements involved in developing a smart product and getting it to market. You have one location that centralizes the entire process, so you can design the smart features, source teams and hardware, connect to the cloud or an app – all in one place. And that’s just one example of how a platform can get a smart product to market quickly.

IoT Israel Summit 2016. Lior Akavia, Seebo Co-Founder/ CEO
Seebo Co-Founder and CEO Lior Akavia discusses smart product development and the Seebo platform. Image Source: Seebo

You gave a talk called “Breaking the barrier: Difficulties of going smart for non-tech teams”. Is there one piece of advice you can give manufacturers interested in going smart?

Lee: When a company starts developing a smart product, there are so many more stakeholders involved in the process, so many more points of possible conflict. It’s crucial to choose proper service providers for your product early on. There is no one right choice for everyone, but there is a right choice for a specific organization at a specific time, based on their size and chosen use case. And with so many players involved, choosing teams, factories and other stakeholders can be overwhelming, but there are tools that can help you set up your resources early on. Finding the right tools, and the right resources, is key to getting a smart product to market quickly and efficiently.