HCL Technologies is betting big on internet of things-as-a-Service

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HCL Technologies is putting its weight behind internet of things-(IoT)-as-a-Service as more and more industries are looking at adopting the technology.

“The fact is we were the creators of the market (of IoT-as-a-Service). The business has grown very robustly, and we have grown our business 11X in three years, of course on a smaller base. We’re in the triple digit million dollar range already,” said Sukamal Banerjee, corporate vice president, ERS Sales (Hi Tech & Comm) and Head —IoT WoRKS, at HCL Technologies.

IoT WoRKS is a dedicated IoT business unit of HCL Technologies. It focuses on helping customers accelerate time to market and increase cost saving. 

IoT-as-a-Service, which HCL provides through this unit, has been a growing segment for the past three years.

According to research firm Zinnov, “IoT is the fusion of technologies starting with devices incorporated with sensors, connected through networks to the cloud, on top of which there is analytics. The complexity of the IoT Tech Stack is further exacerbated as applications are delivered through multiple layers of technology sourced from different vendors, requiring varied skill sets for integration, usage, and maintenance.” 

This is where technology services firms have found an opportunity, given that different protocols and standards related to IoT require expertise that a single organisation will find difficult and cost intensive to have.

While traditionally, asset-heavy industries like manufacturing, energy and utilities, transportation and logistics, and healthcare have been big adopters of IoT, there are asset-light customers who are also looking to leverage the technology.

“We have also come across very interesting use cases like in casualty and property insurance, retail and CPG as retailers try to take on the Amazon effect,” said Banerjee. 

Retailers are using IoT, he said, not just for improving the experience of the shoppers in the store, but also running the back end — from packing inventory to prioritizing the shares of the products in the stores.

He added that IoT is also a big revenue generator for telecom service providers, and they are also creating services — both business-to-business and business-to-consumer — which require IoT.

In terms of geographies, HCL has chosen to work in North America and Europe initially, but has now started to look at Asia Pacific (APAC) as well.

“First primary focus, and that’s what we did about 2018. And for the last year and a half, we started focusing on chosen countries in APAC. And wherever we have chosen to operate we have seen significant traction,” Banerjee said.

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