ClearObject’s Internet of Things Journey
About a month ago, I wrote a letter announcing that we had changed our company name to ClearObject. I explained that our company had expanded in expertise, personnel and industry experience. I would like to elaborate on that, explaining how we saw the opportunity IoT offers and jumped at the chance.
The company started out as a pioneer of turning IBM software products into SaaS services, focused on a single large corporation, initially. This was in 2008-2009 when the cloud was still new – and IBM had no offerings for the cloud. We took their development tools and turned them into a cloud service. Later we added their analytics tools, and then later the same (development and analytics) tools from other manufacturers, so that by 2014 we were the leading adapter of these types of products for the cloud.
Since the software we work with wasn’t originally designed for the cloud, there is a tremendous amount of services we are able to wrap around it – billing, measurement, self-healing, backup, deployment – none of this is built into the software out of the box. This is code, processes and knowledge was developed here at ClearObject, and it helps us stand out amongst the competition.
Based on the tools we were providing (mainly analytics and DevOps), we realized that our customers were mostly using our offerings and expertise for IoT projects. They didn’t often call it “IoT”, that concept was still too new, but that’s what it was. We decided to move forward with IoT as a vehicle to convey our message to the marketplace.
We quickly learned, however, that cloud is only one of a few things you have to get “right” in order to succeed with IoT. You also need strong ideation (prototypes, UI design, requirements), developers that can code, and edge expertise (networks, security, sensors). However, the key to all of it, what brings it together, is the cloud. Luckily for us, this was something we were well versed in.
Through our managed services side of the business, we had become integrated with our customers and their processes. As a result, we saw them struggling with putting these pieces together and decided to help by offering a sort of systems integration capability to bring partners together for those tasks. This, of course, drives long term cloud delivery recurring revenue, but it puts us more in the “drivers seat” of the projects we take on.
In declaring ClearObject an IoT company, we didn’t really move away from our original offerings, in a way we fully realized their potential. IoT requires cloud hosting and managed services, but as a part of a bigger, more productive process.
John McDonald is the CEO of ClearObject, Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing IT company in Indiana for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and winner of the 2016 Entrepreneur Magazine 360, the 2016 Deloitte Fast 500 in Technology, the 2016 CRN Next-Gen 250 and 2015 and 2016 IBM Beacon Awards, the highest honor given to a business partner.