iBot: Turning Physical Assets into Digital Services

In today’s era of e-commerce and automation, IoT is no longer a buzzword. IoT is all about getting smarter. This is one of the technologies which have the power to change the future. Also, enabling us to make better business decisions, and greatly benefitting to the business.

With this understanding how this technology can help the business, Hyderabad based iBot is helping to create smart and secure Internet of Things (IoT). iBot is one of the world’s first one-stop-shop for connected products with a proven, highly secure technology platform at its core, so any machine can be connected to any cloud.

iBot builds meta-products called connected processors using a combination of electronics, telecommunications, firmware and cloud capabilities to help makers create connected experiences for themselves and their customers. On top of these products, iBot offers global connectivity and cloud-based services, so companies can focus on innovating around their business model.

The Inception Tale

In the year 2005, Ravi Subramanyam, the Founder & CEO, iBot Control Systems Inc., started his first entrepreneurial venture, MobileOne which focused on enterprise mobility. After a successful exit in the year 2011, Ravi founded iBot Control Systems with a vision of helping manufacturers create connected products to disrupt their respective industries. His clear vision from the outset was to build an innovation power house, bringing together the brightest tech minds and industry experts to engineer cutting-edge connected products.

The outcome was a one-stop-shop for connected products, wherein iBot accompanies the customer end-to-end, from requirements engineering to rapid prototyping, product certification, global manufacturing, distribution and support. It is one of the best platforms of a complete solution for Enterprise IoT Systems. Efficient devices, cloud and studio help integrate, manage and develop innovate solutions for smarter world.

Meet the Passionate Persona

Ravi Subramanyam, the Founder and CEO, iBot, holds master’s degree in applied computer sciences from Germany. Also, he is an industrial engineer, and a financial analyst. He has worked with SAP AG in Germany for about ten years before relocating to India.

Ravi is passionate about technology and believes in creating technology value at the intersection of multiple industries. Before being an entrepreneur, first and foremost, Ravi is a family man. In contrast to his day-to-day business with cutting-edge technology, he loves to explore ancient ruins and study long-lost civilizations with his daughters. Whenever business takes him overseas, he tries to combine trips with detours to Rome, Athens or The Great Wall of China.

Initial Struggle Strengthened the Success of the Brand

For the first five years of iBot, the whole team had invested their time on experimenting with different business models to ensure a perfect market fit product. At first, they entered the consumer electronics space, designing off-the-shelf connected products. They had to learn the hard way how crowded this space is and how challenging it is to get consumer attention for a product. After this, they tried to understand which problems enterprises face, which could be solved through IoT, and decided to build a technology platform to help companies innovate around their business model. Finally, the results proved them right – when iBot went to market in 2016, within a year it managed to bring in twenty global customers.

Challenges Faced at the Beginning

It doesn’t matter from how long a technology has been in the market. But, it is still shaping the whole world into a usable design, transforming it into a product or service. And, these products or services are getting accepted and used by everyone, which is going to be a long and very challenging process.

Ravi has faced many challenges throughout his journey, but he intelligently identified the concerns and solved it easily. Before he founded iBot eight years ago, he realized that OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) fundamentally fight with three issues:

Firstly, the companies are unable to expand revenue beyond the initial sale via any upsell or cross-sell possibilities or re-monetization of its business model. In addition, the revenues have become capped as mean time between failures have increased over the past decades, putting pressure on increasing sales volumes, while markets have become increasingly saturated.

Secondly, OEMs are fundamentally unable to reduce their cost of service because of an absence of a feedback loop from their products. Valuable product usage insight is often missing due to sales being channel-driven.

Lastly, OEMs have a strong need to differentiate themselves as their products are becoming commoditized, while they are fighting against strong competition.

This prompted Ravi to build a technology platform, to help makers transform their products into connected experiences, enabling them to seek a deeper engagement with their customers and innovate around their business models.

Some Pleasant Memories of iBot

The year it went to market, iBot was selected by ‘Microsoft’ as innovator of the year. In the meanwhile, it has celebrated tremendous customer successes, winning anchor clients across Europe, US and Asia. By now, the majority of its customer base consists of leading multinational corporations with revenues of at least $1bn. iBot’s product range has grown to three distinct processor lines tailored and have been deployed on large scale real-life use cases.

Evolving Opportunities with Advanced Technology

As the IoT technologies space is tremendously noisy, it is easy for corporate innovators to lose focus on the strategic fit between their business model and the connected product use case they want to realize. In the case of wireless technologies, this has proven to be an opportunity for iBot since it relieve the customer from the pains of having to select – it regularly provide multiple redundant communication channels and plan for failover scenarios, globally and on-demand, and working with its customers to decommission end-of-life technologies in the background.

Ravi’s Words of Wisdom

Since companies are heavily investing in IoT these days, everything looks like an opportunity, making it easy to get lost. Therefore, during the first years, dedicate all of your time to realizing a real-life IoT use case with a paying customer, and set your mind on delivering on quality, time and budget.

iBot’s Exceptional Future

The company believes the future will be very exciting, which will be like a world where everything and everyone is connected, in a secure manner, and newer interactions will be composed on the fly by machine intelligence and algorithms working on the cloud.  And, the crew team of iBot is working hard for getting recognized as one of the worlds pioneering companies in the IoT space – where the technology created is used for the benefit of everyone. Ravi is also, strongly envisions, the company will grow to 2000 people and will become a $1bn company by 2023.