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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

PTC Selected as IIoT Company Of The Year For 2016

January 5th, 2017 by Jeff Rowe

Just about a year ago, PTC received the IoT Innovation Vendor of the Year Award from marketing analytics and consulting firm Compass Intelligence at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Compass Intelligence Annual Awards recognize the best Internet of Things (IoT) products and services offered in the market during the past year.

In the view of the award presenting organization, PTC had become a leading provider of technology that enables its customers to realize the value inherent in the Internet of Things. As well, in their opinion, PTC’s CEO, Jim Heppelmann, had become a major thought leader, having coauthored two seminal HBR articles that describe the implications of the IoT and offering companies a blueprint to get started on their own IoT journeys.

This week PTC announced that it had been named Industrial Internet of Things Company of the Year by IoT Breakthrough, an independent organization dedicated to recognizing IoT products and companies that stand out in the industry. PTC also received the IoT Breakthrough award for “Industrial IoT Solution of the Year” for its Kepware KEPServerEX industrial connectivity software.

The Industrial Internet of Things Company of the Year award comes at the end of a big year for PTC in the IoT space. In 2016, PTC added a substantial number of new customers and partners to its IoT ecosystem, improved integration of industrial connectivity and machine learning technology into the ThingWorx platform, launched a new augmented reality (AR) user experience capability, and improved the overall functionality of its ThingWorx IoT platform.

The Industrial IoT Solution of the Year award also recognizes PTC’s Kepware KEPServerEX industrial connectivity software. KEPServerEX connects, manages, monitors, and controls diverse automation devices and software applications that enable the Industrial IoT (IIoT).

These awards signal the fact that IoT and IIoT have become much bigger than just a fad — they are a big part of the future, not just for PTC, but for all of us.

PTC’s Vision for Smart, Connected Products

The acquisition of ThingWorx by PTC was the crux of the entire notion of IoT, not only for integration into PTC’s world, but also in the bigger IoT universe. What was at first an enigma when PTC acquired ThingWorx has become more clear for the future direction of PTC.

Today there is no standard definition for an IoT platform, but PTC is at the forefront for establishing that definition and expanding the IoT marketplace far from its current place in business and in life.

However, a standard definition is in the works, and IoT generally refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. The term Internet of Things was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999, although the concept has been around since 1991, so it’s not exactly brand new.

According to PTC, the Internet of Things has the potential to create trillions of dollars of new economic value in the coming decade. To capture this value, manufacturers will increasingly rely on new applications that enable the creation of smart, connected products, thus PTC’s interest and commitment, as shown in the video below.

IoT’s Place in the PTC Ecosystem

Keep in mind that the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of things are not the same thing. A good piece about commonly held misconceptions about what the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is as well as what it’s not written by Varun Nagaraj for O’Reilly Radar can be found here.

PTC realizes that “things” have evolved from just 3D objects to being smart and connected. These “things” are what PTC emphasizes in its IoT approach, as the new reality is a hybrid of the physical and digital — distinct, but inseparable. The “thing” and customers’ roles are interchangeable, where one, the other, or both can act as the sensor. IoT also provides great potential for analytics and predictive behavior of products. This new reality comes down to technology platforms and enterprise applications that can provide business transformation, opportunities, and value.

Is PTC unique in this push for IoT? Not exactly. Just about any industry you can name is showing increasing interest — hardware and software vendors, machine and medical device manufacturers — the list goes on and on, and we’re just in the initial phases of IoT platforms, but PTC is ahead of the curve on many fronts. However, needless to say, PTC is not alone on the IoT frontier.

Admittedly, as we’ve said in the past, PTC seems to betting the farm on the success of its IoT initiatives, but PTC continues to get the parts aligned for success. Now and for the foreseeable future PTC is very well positioned for both IoT and IIoT.

Editor’s Note: Just about a month from now (February 5-8, 2017) we’ll be in Los Angeles as a Media Sponsor for SOLIDWORKS World 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We’re in the process of booking video interviews for the conference, and if you’re interested in conducting a video interview, contact Sanjay Gangal at 408.221.0982 or When edited, the video interviews are 4-7 minutes in length and are a great way to promote you company and its products and services. We hope to see you there at Booth #129!

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