Q&A with Stefan Ferber

Wed, 2015-10-14 17:19

Stefan Ferber  

Stefan Ferber is vice president for engineering at Bosch Software Innovations, where he is head of engineering core products, portfolio strategy, and product management for the Bosch IoT Suite. He has represented Bosch in the German Industrie 4.0 Plattform and is a member of the European Internet of Things Council.

Stefan presents the keynote, Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Lessons Learned after One Year of Open Source Activities in the Internet of Things


Q: Your keynote tackles lessons learned in the IoT market. What can attendees expect to take away from your experiences and apply to their own IoT strategies?

A: Bosch has been active in IoT since 2008, starting a software and system house dedicated to this topic. We’ve gathered project experience in automotive, intermodal mobility, electro mobility, smart home and smart building, energy, Industrie 4.0, and smart city.  This talk will concentrate on the Business Ecosystem buildup with strategic industry alliances like Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), business consortia like mozaiq (Smart Home), global system integrators, international standardization like OSGi Alliance, and open source like Eclipse IoT. Each of these activities play an important role for the further development of and community building around Bosch’s IoT platform, but particularly the Open Source Software is a “new trick” for Bosch as “Nobody can do I(o)T alone.” 

Q: What was most surprising to learn in Bosch’s first year of open source activities for IoT?

A: The positive reaction of the market and not only in the open source community. The webinar about Eclipse IoT Vorto, which Bosch proposed and is leading now, has got a lot of twitter airtime and positive reactions by many software and industry companies. Vorto is our answer to the IoT Babylon.

Q: What is the role of OSGi technology in Bosch’s IoT strategy?

A: OSGi is key for our gateway technology and remote technical management. We use it in many domains from Automotive Communication and Control Units for leasing fleet management up to smart home gateways like in our mozaiq consortium with ABB and Cisco. OSGi offers the right compromise between flexibility and hardware cost point for gateways in IoT. As of today, no technology is both more future-proven on IoT gateways and more mature than OSGi.

Q: IoT gets a lot of buzz. How can we tell the difference between the buzz and real business opportunities when we explore alliances, consortia, and even events and technologies?

A: That is very simple. Right now there is a lot of marketing hype and “trillions of dollars at stake.” We at Bosch have more than 100 concrete projects. Here we concentrate on bringing our products online, B2B or B2C connected, and taking them to real and paying customers. Examples are our robot lawnmower, TrackMyTools for professional power tools, connected heating systems, automotive leasing fleet management, connected nut runner for factories, and many projects in our own factories in the “Industrie 4.0” context. In these concrete projects the benefits are clear and in several cases we generate new revenue streams based on new business models. For me, IoT crossed the inflection point where business becomes the major focus now.

Thank you!

Alisa Pfeil, OSGi Alliance