Nokia’s IMPACT Launch: What is the “Impact” on the IoT Market?

Ron Westfall - Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure
Ron Westfall – Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Summary Bullets:

• Nokia launched its Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT) solution, broadly targeting the emerging IoT market. Nokia is showing early progress integrating key Alcatel-Lucent assets, and now has a solution that yields the company a marketing plan to accentuate competitive differentiation in platform feature areas such as device management scalability.

• Nokia still must further sharpen its investment and channel priorities for the IoT space or risk diluting its IoT portfolio development and marketing objectives.

During the company’s recent 2016 Global Analyst Forum, Nokia unveiled its new IMPACT solution. IMPACT targets burgeoning operator, enterprise, and public sector demand for IoT platforms purpose-designed to manage the onboarding of IoT applications in a secure fashion. The solution includes the updated version of Nokia’s Motive Connected Device Platform designed to deliver lifecycle management for a vast array of IoT, broadband, and home devices. Essentially Nokia acknowledged the platform was available earlier and initiated unified packaging of the multiple assets to sharpen its IoT portfolio and channel messaging. What competitive differentiators and Alcatel-Lucent integration proof points can Nokia use to drive the IMPACT solution further into the IoT service enablement ecosystem?

IMPACT’s Clear Competitive Differentiators: As part of updated version of the Motive Connected Device Platform (CDP), the IMPACT solution already manages more than 1.5 billion devices, demonstrating its capacity to scale to accommodate the massive volumes of new IoT connections coming. The Motive CDP currently delivers lifecycle management and recognition for more than 80,000 IoT, home, and broadband device models, including auto-configuration of up to 15,000 device models. Nokia asserts these capabilities are unmatched within the IoT industry including against IoT offerings from Cisco/Jasper and Huawei, as well as other non-cellular centric platforms such as PTC,/Axeda/ThingWorx, and GE Predix. Overall, Nokia’s IMPACT offering neatly combines the applications, platforms, infrastructure, and device/sensor solution elements needed to drive accelerated ecosystem adoption of IoT applications.

IMPACT Validates Alcatel-Lucent Integration Progress: The IMPACT proposition combines all of Nokia’s IoT and mobile device management assets into a single solution umbrella. This includes device management, data collection/data contextualization/data analytics, event processing, security and application enablement capabilities originating from both the Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent portfolios. The unveiling of the new solution removes potential IoT ecosystem concerns among operators and enterprises about prolonged portfolio rationalization post-merger.

Even with robust competitive differentiators and Alcatel-Lucent integration proof points, Nokia confronts ecosystem challenges in convincing operator, enterprise, and public sector customers to adopt the IMPACT platform:

Sharpen IoT Vertical Priorities: At the Global Analyst Summit, Nokia clarified its corporate-wide industry vertical priorities are in five segments (connected cities, connected mobility, connected utilities, public sector, and large tech enterprises). These priorities largely align with the six verticals targeted in the IMPACT announcement (connected cars, healthcare, first responder, smart cities, smart homes, and utilities). However it leaves somewhat unclear what if any role the IMPACT solution can play in driving Nokia’s corporate-wide connected mobility and large tech enterprise vertical priorities. There clearly should be a role, however Nokia needs to further align and tighten its corporate-wide and IoT-related vertical prioritization to further sharpen its focus and reduce the potential for short-term confusion within the channels. In contrast, Ericsson primarily targets only the transport, utilities, and public safety segments simplifying its overall vertical strategy and suggests that the Nokia IoT vertical channel strategy would also benefit from emphasizing a streamlined three-prong targeting approach.

Overcoming IoT Standards Fragmentation: Accelerated ecosystem adoption of IoT applications remains somewhat hampered by the vast array of emerging IoT standards initiatives. These include the AllSeen Alliance, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), the Google-driven Thread Group, and the ITU-T SG20 as five significant instances of standards bodies vying to lead industry-wide IoT standards consensus. Nokia’s selection of the Lightweight M2M (LWM2M) security model to boost the IMPACT platform’s security credentials is a step in the right direction. Now Nokia needs to make the same move in regard to the evolving core IoT standards in order to further raise its credibility within the IoT channels and give operators and enterprises increased confidence in Nokia as they make IoT platform purchasing decisions.

Overall Nokia strengthened its IoT proposition with the IMPACT launch. The IMPACT proposition advances Nokia’s capacity to play a proactive influential role within the IoT ecosystem and position it to build a growing IoT-related revenue stream as IoT deployment volume continues to grow.

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