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William Behn: IoT, Industry 4.0 & thoughts from Hannover Messe

Written by: William Behn, President, Tosibox Inc.

It’s not often you get to be with the political leaders of the industrialized world and the CEOs of Volkswagen, Siemens and every major organization at the forefront of IoT and Industry 4.0. And, it’s hard not to draw historical parallels between the first ever Hannover Messe, designed to help companies work together to rebuild Europe and Hannover Messe of 2016  watching Barack Obama and Angela Merkel talk about redefining US and European cooperation as we enter a new chapter in global cooperation. The Obama/Merkel participation was part Victory Lap for President Obama and an opportunity for German leaders to get serious about the next phase in Global Economic participation.

It’s even harder not to be impressed by the sheer scope and scale of Hannover Messe. Everything from the German precision of getting in and out every day, to the hundreds of thousands of square feet of high tech showmanship. For my money there were a few standout exhibitors. Let’s just forget Siemens for now, since they always show up big and were the centerpiece of Hannover Fair with their exquisite demonstrations, exquisite space and exquisite team of presenters. Let’s talk about the German robotics company Kuka, who’s robots and colorfully clad people were everywhere and were a hit at the opening ceremonies. And how about the Ping-Pong playing robot from Omron? I could not get enough of that robot, and, I could not get enough of watching men from the crowd slam forehands at the poor robot. I guess the need to dominate our robotic friends is strong.

I guess if I had to sum up the technical aspect of Hannover Messe 2016, I would way it’s clear the industry is working to understand the next revolution: that is, of the securely connected globe. The phrase “Internet of Things” are so overused and misunderstood that next up is “Industry 4.0”. That term, too, seems a little conceptual but whatever we call it, the securing of global networks, the interaction of connected devices and the collection of global data is, indeed, a revolution and is here to stay. I am enjoying participating and seeing our world get smaller and smaller and even more connected.

As for Tosibox and our little corner, Hannover Messe 2016 was clearly our “coming out party”. As a five year old technology firm, now with secure connections in every global time zone, it was amazing to have multi-billion dollar companies seek us out to learn about at our technology. At the Tosibox booth we hosted CEOs and Product Managers from every corner of the industrial automation world. Some understood our technology in 15 minutes, others came back time and time again to learn more.  So whatever we call it, IoT, Industry 4.0, M2M communications, Tosibox has found itself in the right place at the right time and we look forward to partnering with global companies and truly enabling the next generation of secure global connectivity, data collection and industrial VPNs.