• Some IoT alliances and consortiums of 2013-14. Source: Jeppesen 2016.
    Some IoT alliances and consortiums of 2013-14. Source: Jeppesen 2016.
  • Results of a 2018 survey of important IoT consortiums. Source: Cabé 2018, slide 44.
    Results of a 2018 survey of important IoT consortiums. Source: Cabé 2018, slide 44.
  • Internet of Things Alliances and Consortiums from 2015. Source: Postscapes 2018, figure, v1.0, March 2015.
    Internet of Things Alliances and Consortiums from 2015. Source: Postscapes 2018, figure, v1.0, March 2015.

IoT Alliances and Consortiums

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Summary

Alliances and consortiums are shaping the IoT landscape to reach a level of standardization, maturity and acceptance. They allow a reach which no individual organization can achieve and gives confidence to the market that there is larger commitment to the goals of the alliance or consortium.

Alliance and consortiums also enable mass adoption of technology. Organizations like IEEE leverage their brand and mass reach to promote generic frameworks which cut across competing technologies. They also help to consolidate an otherwise fragmented marketspace and help businesses reach economies of scale to make the price of solutions affordable to the common man or enable the industry to deploy systems in a large scale.

Milestones

Dec
2013

AllSeen Alliance is formed. Premier level members include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK.

2014
Some IoT alliances and consortiums of 2013-14. Source: Jeppesen 2016.

This is the year when alliances and consortiums start appearing. The Thread Group, Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) and Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) are all started in 2014. IEEE IoT Initiative is also launched. Thread Group opens for membership in October.

Mar
2015

Open, non-profit Lora Alliance becomes operational. It's mission is to promote global adoption of the LoRaWAN standard. By 2018, it has 500+ members.

Nov
2015

To accelerate distributed computing, networking and storage for IoT, ARM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Princeton University Edge Laboratory establish OpenFog Consortium. Focus will be to build frameworks and architectures for end-to-end scenarios with capabilities pushed to network edges.

Jan
2016

Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) is renamed into Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).

Oct
2016

AllSeen Alliance merges into Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).

Oct
2017

Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and EdgeX Foundry merge with a mandate "to align efforts to maximize interoperability, portability, security and privacy for the industrial Internet". EdgeX Foundry, a Linux-backed, open-source project has been "building a common interoperability framework to facilitate an ecosystem for IoT edge computing".

2018

Compass Intelligence awards Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) the top IoT organization influencer of the year award for 2018.

Discussion

  • What's the role of IoT alliances and consortiums?

    Alliances and consortiums provide for the following:

    • Help to promote standards in a particular area (Example: RFID Consortium, NFC Forum, WiFi Alliance, Zigbee Alliance)
    • Help to provide standardization and certification mechanisms (Example: IIC)
    • Help new entrants or startups to start quickly by providing required licenses, ecosystem or access to standards so that they can concentrate on building their differentiators
  • What should we look for when joining a particular IoT alliance or consortium?
    Results of a 2018 survey of important IoT consortiums. Source: Cabé 2018, slide 44.
    Results of a 2018 survey of important IoT consortiums. Source: Cabé 2018, slide 44.

    We can evaluate based on the following:

    • Openness: What are their policies on intellectual property? Are there royalties involved in implementing their standards? Is it a closed group that requires paid membership?
    • Availability: Is their work (standards, white papers, guidelines) already available or is it still a work in progress?
    • Adoption: Are people in industry already adopting and using their work?

    Back in 2014, Ian Skerrett evaluated a number of IoT alliances and consortiums based on the above metrics and published a descriptive analysis, which is a good read.

    In 2018, an online survey of 502 participants showed that Eclipse IoT, Apache Foundation, W3C, and IEEE are among the top consortiums that developers considered important in the IoT space. However, we should note that this survey was conducted by Eclipse IoT, AGILE IoT, IEEE and OMA. The survey targeted only members of their communities.

  • What are the major IoT alliances and consortiums?
    Internet of Things Alliances and Consortiums from 2015. Source: Postscapes 2018, figure, v1.0, March 2015.
    Internet of Things Alliances and Consortiums from 2015. Source: Postscapes 2018, figure, v1.0, March 2015.

    Among the many IoT alliances and consortiums, some important ones are the following:

    In one study from early 2018, the following important alliances were listed: OMA, Genivi, IIC, IoT Consortium, TrustedIoTAlliance, OneM2M, AIOTI, and OCF.

    Some alliances and consortiums are vertically focused on a particular industry. For example, Thread Group is focused on connected homes; Apple's HealthKit is about health and fitness; EnOcean Alliance is about building automation; Open Automotive Alliance is about connected cars; HART Communication Foundation looks at the industrial IoT space.

  • How does Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) contribute to IoT?

    It was founded by AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, and Intel in March 2014. It has around 224 members as of June 2018.

    It was formed to bring together industry players — from multinational corporations, small and large technology innovators to academia and governments — to accelerate the development, adoption and widespread use of Industrial Internet technologies. IIC members work to create an ecosystem for insight and thought leadership, interoperability and security via reference architectures, security frameworks and open standards, and real world implementations to vet technologies and drive innovations (called testbeds). The IIC Technology Working Group ratified an Industrial Internet reference architecture on 17 June 2015, which defines functional areas and the technologies and standards for them, from sensors to data analytics and business applications.

    As per Compass Intelligence, IIC won the top IoT organization influencer of the year award for 2018.

  • What role does IEEE play in IoT?

    The IEEE IoT Initiative was launched in 2014. IEEE IoT Initiative aims to help engineering and technology professionals learn, share knowledge and collaborate around IoT.

    IEEE has a variety of programs that can help solution providers that are trying to understand IoT, including the IEEE Technical Community, which is made up of members involved in research, application and implementation of IoT. IEEE also heads the IoT Scenarios Program, which is an interactive platform to demonstrate use cases, business models and service descriptions.

    IEEE has contributed the Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things (IoT). IEEE also publishes a number of peer-reviewed IoT papers across its different publications, including IEEE Internet of Things Journal (IoT-J) that's dedicated to IoT. IEEE also organizes many conferences and events on IoT around the world.

  • What are the major developments in the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF)?

    Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) in 2016 changed its name to Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) when Microsoft and Qualcomm joined this group. The AllSeen Alliance was developing the AllJoyn standard, which was first created by Qualcomm. In October 2016, the AllSeen Alliance and OCF merged together to become the new OCF. The merged group will continue working on the open-source IoTivity (OCF) and AllJoyn (AllSeen) projects under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, eventually merging them into a single IoTivity standard.

    Developing interoperability standards is one of the key aims of the OCF, a single IoTivity implementation that offers the best of the previous two standards. Current devices running on either AllJoyn or IoTivity are expected to be interoperable and backward-compatible with the unified IoTivity standard. There are millions of AllJoyn-enabled products on the market.

  • What's the role of Thread Group among IoT alliances?

    Thread is mesh network built on open standards and IPv6/6LoWPAN protocols to simply and securely connect products around the house. 6LoWPAN is a power-efficient personal area network protocol with underlying standards of IPv6 and IEEE 802.15.4. Thread is also capable of running for a long period of time from a long-lasting battery.

    The Thread Group was founded by a variety of vendors, including ARM, Nest, Samsung and Silicon Labs. Thread Group members get practical resources to help grow the world of connected devices by joining a global ecosystem of technology innovators.

    Thread liaises with other IoT alliances and consortiums like Open Connectivity Foundation and Zigbee Alliance and tries to provide a one-stop shop for the home IoT.

  • What is special about Lora Alliance group?

    The LoRa Alliance is a fast growing technology alliance. It's a non-profit association of more than 500 member companies, committed to enabling large scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) IoT through the development and promotion of the LoRaWAN open standard.

    Members benefit from a vibrant ecosystem of active contributors offering solutions, products & services, which create new and sustainable business opportunities.

    Through standardisation and the accredited certification scheme the LoRa Alliance delivers the interoperability needed for LPWA networks to scale, making LoRaWAN™ the premier solution for global LPWAN deployments. The speciality of Lora Alliance is that it operates primarily on the WAN side of the IoT space.

  • What are the other alliances and consortiums to keep a watch on?

    Open Trust Protocol in the space of security in IoT is an important initiative.

    The IPSO Alliance promotes the Internet Protocol for "smart object" communications, advocating for IP networked devices in health care, industrial and energy applications. This group is an alliance that manages an IPSO Smart Object Registry that includes libraries and icons open to OEMs.

    M2M Alliance acts as a platform and voice for providers and users of M2M and IT solutions. Its primary objective it "to promote M2M technologies and solutions."

References

  1. Artin, Cynthia S. 2017. "The Industrial IoT: A Consortium and Community Come Together." IoT Evolution World, October 11. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  2. Burt, Jeff. 2016. "IoT Standards Groups OCF, AllSeen Alliance Merge." eWeek, October 10. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  3. Cabé, Benjamin. 2018. "IoT Developer Survey 2018." SlideShare, April 13. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  4. Compass Intelligence. 2018. "Winners Announced for The 6th Annual Compass Intelligence Awards in IoT, Mobile, and Emerging Tech." Press release, May 16. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  5. Jeppesen, David. 2016. "Beneath the IoT Hype: Nobody Loves the Plumbing." ProwessCorp, June 22. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  6. Lima, Joao. 2015. "IoT giants create OpenFog computing consortium." Computer Business Review, November 20. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  7. LoRa Alliance. 2018. "About LoRa Alliance™." Accessed 2018-06-20.
  8. Metering & Smart Energy International. 2013. "AllSeen Alliance formed to advance the ‘Internet of Everything’." Metering and Smart Energy International, Spintelligent (PTY) Ltd, December 13. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  9. Postscapes. 2018. "IoT Alliances and Consortium." May 23. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  10. Residential Systems. 2014. "Thread Group Membership Grows to 50 Companies." Residential Systems, December 17. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  11. Skerrett, Ian. 2014. "ABCs of IoT Consortiums." DZone, December 15. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  12. Turck, Matt. 2018. "Growing Pains: The 2018 Internet of Things Landscape." January 09. Accessed 2018-06-20.

Milestones

Dec
2013

AllSeen Alliance is formed. Premier level members include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK.

2014
Some IoT alliances and consortiums of 2013-14. Source: Jeppesen 2016.

This is the year when alliances and consortiums start appearing. The Thread Group, Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) and Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) are all started in 2014. IEEE IoT Initiative is also launched. Thread Group opens for membership in October.

Mar
2015

Open, non-profit Lora Alliance becomes operational. It's mission is to promote global adoption of the LoRaWAN standard. By 2018, it has 500+ members.

Nov
2015

To accelerate distributed computing, networking and storage for IoT, ARM, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Princeton University Edge Laboratory establish OpenFog Consortium. Focus will be to build frameworks and architectures for end-to-end scenarios with capabilities pushed to network edges.

Jan
2016

Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) is renamed into Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).

Oct
2016

AllSeen Alliance merges into Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).

Oct
2017

Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and EdgeX Foundry merge with a mandate "to align efforts to maximize interoperability, portability, security and privacy for the industrial Internet". EdgeX Foundry, a Linux-backed, open-source project has been "building a common interoperability framework to facilitate an ecosystem for IoT edge computing".

2018

Compass Intelligence awards Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) the top IoT organization influencer of the year award for 2018.

Tags

See Also

Further Reading

  1. Postscapes. 2018. "IoT Alliances and Consortium." May 23. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  2. O'Donnell, Lindsey. 2016. "10 IoT Consortiums, Alliances Solution Providers Should Have On Their Radar." CRN Magazine, September 19. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  3. Skerrett, Ian. 2014. "ABCs of IoT Consortiums." DZone, December 15. Accessed 2018-06-20.
  4. Yang, Evelyn. 2015. "New Technology Brings a New Generation of Smart Home." SMAhome, Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd., June 16. Accessed 2018-06-20.

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Devopedia. 2018. "IoT Alliances and Consortiums." Version 16, June 20. Accessed 2019-12-11. https://devopedia.org/iot-alliances-and-consortiums