The Internet of Things will revolutionise the relationship between digital design and physical product

PTC sinks half a billion dollars in to pursuit of IoT market

PTC has bought data analytics company Coldlight for $105m, the latest in half a billion dollars-worth of acquisitions to expand its products in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

PTC will use Coldlight’s Neuron automated predictive analytics technology as the core analytics to complement its IoT development platform ThingWorx. PTC sees huge potential in the IoT to produce savings for its customers in product servicing and maintenenance of smart connected products.

Coldlight’s technology will, for example, be able to analyse data from IoT-connected parts in a factory to predict failures before they happen. This could improve safety as well as produce cost savings for both the user in reduced downtime and the supplier in more efficient servicing.

Jim Heppelmann, PTC President and CEO, told the LiveWorx customer conference in Boston, MA, that most physical ‘things’ start life as digital designs yet data from that physical ‘thing’ rarely makes it back to the digital realm and so companies don’t know how customers are using their product or how it is working until the customer service department gets a complaint from the customer. The IoT will radically change that, he said.

“Sensor data by itself creates value, but that value is magnified dramatically when companies use predictive analytics to process that data into many forms of actionable knowledge that can transform the way they do business.” said Jim Heppelmann, President and CEO, PTC. “With this acquisition, PTC will possess an innovative advanced analytics platform that will allow us to accelerate how we help our customers capitalise on the explosive growth potential of this rich new resource.”

"We share PTC's vision for the need to improve how data is captured, analysed, understood and acted upon in order to help organisations drive more impactful IoT strategies," said Ryan Caplan, CEO, ColdLight. "We believe all industries, but especially manufacturing, can benefit from a data analytics strategy in the Internet of Things era.

ThingWorx is software that can be used by companies in diverse industries to put ‘things’ online by adding connections to sensors and handling the data from them. ColdLight’s Neuron platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to automatically and continuously learn from data, discover patterns, build validated predictive models and send information to virtually any type of application or technology.

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