General Electric (GE) and Bosch Software Innovations last week announced a partnership to jump-start the development of an open source Internet of Things (IoT) platform.
Announcing their partnership, the two companies said that open source will encourage greater interoperability and application development. Both firms have sought help from the Eclipse Foundation to speed up the process.
Under the agreement, the companies will create a core IoT stack comprised of open source software, which will provide interoperability between GE's Predix operating system and the Bosch IoT Suite.
The Eclipse Foundation has been at the forefront of helping to improve the IoT developer ecosystem and will come into play more prominently on device connectivity issues.
If the Internet of Things is going to work as envisioned, it needs to be based on open technologies supporting collaborations. Proprietary technologies or a single vendor's platforms are virtually guaranteed to be limiting and prone to locking in customers.
While the idea of controlling relationships by locking in customers with proprietary platforms may have short-term appeal, the major players in IoT who see the long view of the market recognize the imperative for organizations using IoT solutions to interoperate.
Companies like GE, Bosch and others have a great deal to win or lose based on how they deliver IoT to the market, as it enables them to deploy IoT solutions that can facilitate leveraging the underlying utility value of their IoT data to maximize leverage and insight.
The partnership gives GE and Bosch reach across global markets and industries and is likely to be welcomed by manufacturers and companies that wish to adopt an IoT platform and strategy that extends across all of their markets and areas of interest. The fact that GE and Bosch's platform is not dependent on any specific IT platform will also appeal to companies that hope to avoid being locked into relationships with specific vendors.