Telco Giant Ericsson Adds PTC's ThingWorx to Its IoT Accelerator Platform
Felix Nilsson posted on May 17, 2018 |

Don’t think for a moment that Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has given up.

Though the company is going through a tough period of downsizing and re-prioritization, where areas that are not profitable and show little future growth potential will be eliminated, this is only one side of the coin.

The other side shows there’s a clear path to the future. While next-generation 5G technology is certainly one way forward, another area where growth opportunities are looking particularly good is the Internet of Things (IoT). The players in this arena are working at a frenetic pace to build and expand an ecosystem, because as many companies have realised, collaboration is key.

In light of this, it’s no surprise that Ericsson has announced the addition of PTC's ThingWorx to its cloud-based IoT Accelerator platform. With this, "the wider IoT market gets access to the best applications and AR development tools offered by PTC," said Ericsson’s head of IoT, Jeff Travers.

With PTC's ThingWorx on Ericsson's cloud-based IoT Accelerator platform, the wider IoT market will now have access to the best applications and augmented reality (AR) development tools offered by PTC. On the AR side, PTC has developed powerful solutions by combining Vuforia with ThingWorx, which helps facilitate service efforts in the field, for example. Through AR, you can see how a product should be serviced through connections to exploded views of the product's 3D model.
With PTC's ThingWorx on Ericsson's cloud-based IoT Accelerator platform, the wider IoT market will now have access to the best applications and augmented reality (AR) development tools offered by PTC. On the AR side, PTC has developed powerful solutions by combining Vuforia with ThingWorx, which helps facilitate service efforts in the field, for example. Through AR, you can see how a product should be serviced through connections to exploded views of the product's 3D model.

The bottom line is that Ericsson wants to speed up the creation and launch of IoT applications and services. It is also clear that PTC plays an important role in this context. PTC was the first PLM player to offer a systematic commitment to IoT, and since then has continuously built its position in the field to become one of the market leaders.

"This combination is good for both ecosystem partners and customers, which combines Ericsson's strong brand and presence, and its related telco market solutions, with PTC's strengths and solutions in industrial verticals," said Tiago Goncalves, CEO of Innowave, a company that has collaborated with both parties and sees this as a complementary partnership.

Ericsson and PTC Collaborate for Increased Mobile IoT Uptake

PTC's IoT solutions have many strong points, but what’s particularly interesting is the ability to create a seamless link between IoT and the product development side. With its PLM suite Windchill, PTC has created the conditions for feedback between the PLM system, and products in the field and in the hands of the user.

The PLM system “carries” the product development work, and the ability to feed data back into this system offers significant benefits and, in some sense, “closes” the product life cycle loop. Data from the field, delivered via sensors in the products and the IoT platform, creates an excellent basis for usage-based innovation.

But of course, through the ThingWorx solution, you can also build up all the "normal" benefits of an IoT solution: the ability to monitor, control, update and service a product remotely.

A slightly stylized view of PTC’s ThingWorx solution in action on the shop floor.
A slightly stylized view of PTC’s ThingWorx solution in action on the shop floor.

Integrating the ThingWorx Tools into the IoT Accelerator Platform

With the aforementioned capabilities, PTC has a broad technology platform and solutions to help companies design, manufacture, operate and serve things in the new, increasingly “smart” world we’re entering.

The company has hundreds of customers using the IoT platform ThingWorx and more than 250 partners have chosen this solution as their innovation platform. System integrators have built IoT competence centers around ThingWorx technology, and nearly 300,000 developers use it to create their own solutions.

The components of the solution include:

  • ThingWorx Foundation is a modeling environment for developing IoT applications.
  • ThingWorx Studio is a powerful, easy-to-use tool that enables industry companies to quickly create scalable augmented reality (AR) experiences.

Today's message from Ericsson means that these two tools are now integrated into Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Platform.

Positive Reception

The new collaboration has received a positive reception among customers and users. An example quoted by Ericsson is Kari Terho, head of smart factory management at Elisa Industrial IoT, a telecommunications, ICT and digital service company based in Finland.

“The Ericsson-PTC collaboration is very complementary given Ericsson’s strengths in handling connectivity at scale and PTC’s ThingWorx rapid application enablement platform,” Terho noted.

Simplifies the Shift to Digital Transformation

With PTC's solutions in Ericsson's ecosystem, service providers now have the opportunity to move the value chain into the "IoT Stack," and go from being a supplier to becoming a partner in the digital transformation. This change is simplified by Ericsson's IoT Accelerator Platform for the creation and deployment of IoT solutions that use mobile connections.

Having ThingWorx on this platform, reinforces end-to-end deals that address the full spectrum of customers' technical and launch needs.

"We are of course very pleased with this collaboration with Ericsson's team to provide companies with the tools needed to develop IoT applications and AR experiences," said Catherine Kniker, CRO, ThingWorx & Vuforia. “It will contribute to the efforts to capture the global market potential of IoT solutions and enable our common customers to scale up quickly.”

Ericsson’s Head of IoT, Jeff Travers.
Ericsson’s Head of IoT, Jeff Travers.

For Ericsson, the goal of creating a global IoT ecosystem is fast approaching.

“A co-operating ecosystem is the key to IoT development and increased mobile IoT uptake. We look forward to continuing to work with PTC to make it easier and faster to launch IoT services," said Travers.

Finally, in regards to Ericsson and PLM, it should be mentioned that the company concluded an agreement with the PTC competitor, Dassault Systèmes, two years ago, for their 3DEXPERIENCE product development platform.

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