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IoT is a bit like “I love you” it means a lot of different things to different people.  I have been fortunate to have been in the Telecoms, Media, and Technology (TMT – I only need two three-letter acronyms in this thought piece) sector for about 25 years both on the operational side and as an investment banker.

I am not a bleeding-edge type of guy, I would rather make a little less and make sure a product or service has found a need or differentiator before I go jumping in – with my resources, talent, or cash.  It’s a bit like the American railroads – the people who laid the rails and then the people who built the railcars struggled to make money, but the freight company’s made and continue to make a fortune.

The cloud, machine-2-machine, and now Internet of Things (IOT) have all been around for a while starting with the Cloud which was not much more than a marketing tagline from IBM. But it has allowed businesses to distribute data all around the world with a fair amount of security but most importantly scale quickly as demand required.  Ubiquitous wifi and now the advent of narrowband IOT networks allow small data packages to be sent from one machine to another (machine-2-machine) this is where it all starts to get exciting. So now one machine in, say, a production facility could talk to another in another part of the plant and learn from each other to improve production outcomes. This was mostly one batch of machines to another but as people started to collect the data and see the tangible benefits of interacting, they said, what about if we added more machines and hey what if we started to use computers to intercept and interact with the data.

So now we have the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.

But there is a race going on a bit like Betamax and VHS (look it up if you are too young to remember)   – who is going to own the platform that this all plugs into. Well, there is the rub and the opportunity. The big boys such as Microsoft, Intel, and Google would like you to believe that they have all the components and you should use their platform.  A single-source vendor, no matter how financially attractive the “city sponsorship” is, is in my mind a Big Bet.

I am not sure that if I was a City director I would want to go down a single-sourced solution, look at what is happening in Toronto – I am not sure how that is going to play out.  So take a look at CarlData solutions,, it’s traded on the TSXVentures Exchange. When I first started looking at this business it was beautifully collecting data from their own and third-party sensors and turning it into something meaningful for the engineers to understand almost in real-time. These individuals are able to make decisions in minutes not days and stay one step ahead, rather than behind.  The company has something – exciting worth looking at. They can collect the data from virtually any IoT sensor, and then initially take out the anomalies (like spam in e-mail) then overlay both historical data and predictive data allowing the same engineers to review simple dashboards in near real-time and based on what happened in the past with a device or event overlay forward-looking data to see how likely it is going to happens and when.

It’s future-proof.

CarlData’s platforms are all technology agnostic, so they don’t care who’s endpoint device, sensor it is or what coding language it gets thrown, It’s future proof, that’s what excites me.  Spooky – but the practical uses are profound.

Let’s say you are a city manager looking after water and sewage – it would be great to know that you are going to have a problem in a specific area of the city because of rain forecasts for seven days out. You could fix the problem with the blockage and stop sewage backing up into basements or flooding out into the sea or rivers.  You get better deployment of resources in a proactive rather than a reactive state. CarlData already does this for cities across Canada and the US, and it’s working really well.  A company trading below its credentials right now, building a strong technology base, and a sales pipeline, and it’s in an exciting sector of the TMT market where the need is obviously there, “noteworthy in my mind”.

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