Qualcomm Launches New Digitalization Platform, Need for Robust Implementation as Other Players Take a Different Direction

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By Adhish Luitel | 1Q 2023 | IN-6880

Qualcomm has unveiled a solution to help organizations harness real-time data to accelerate digital transformation programs in supply chain and procurement. Open standards and portfolio diversification will be key for solution providers addressing imperative end-user pain points.

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Qualcomm Unveils Aware Platform


Qualcomm Technologies has introduced an innovative solution aimed at facilitating the digital transformation initiatives of businesses in the areas of procurement and supply chain management via real-time data harnessed from disparate Internet of things (IoT) solutions. It seeks to address the issue wherein ecosystem fragmentation and system design complexity often prevents IoT deployments from meeting their full potential. This solution, called Qualcomm Aware, is a highly customizable platform that offers seamless integration with various private clouds, industry-specific platforms, and existing enterprise software tools like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), inventory management, and supply chain management. It combines silicon and an extensive ecosystem of hardware and software partners with a developer-friendly cloud framework to offer services for managing assets that require critical, accurate and time-sensitive decision-making, according to the company. The San Diego-based company, known for its microprocessors that enable mobile devices to connect to data networks, has expanded its wireless communication expertise to diverse markets, such as automobiles and factories, where Internet connectivity is crucial.

Solution Providers at Crossroads


Externally, Qualcomm's announcement appears to be peculiar timing because several cloud industry players have recently announced the discontinuation of their IoT platforms. Given the maturity of technological and digital infrastructure, this decision is not exactly surprising. Google stated that customers' needs would be better served by a network of partners specializing in IoT applications and services. Similarly, following Google’s announcement, IBM also advised Watson IoT platform users to switch to alternative services before the discontinuation of its platform post-December 2023. Telco giant Ericsson also sold its IoT accelerator to Aeris Communications at the end of last year. As a result, other IoT platform providers like MindSphere, Oracle IoT, Particle, Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT Core, and Azure IoT Central may need to make crucial and significant decisions on how to advance their platforms. Over the next year, major players may face a crucial decision and a significant opportunity to move to an IoT solution that’s built to meet their needs for years to come.

As more end users strive to have better management of their data and operations, they are more and more affected by geopolitical changes and the choices made by large solution providers. By adopting a platform that is compatible with any device or cloud, companies can quickly develop new solutions. Diversifying their product range and adhering to open standards can also safeguard the future of the organization. The recent shutdowns of Google and IBM's IoT platforms demonstrate the significant impact that changes in the technology industry can have on a company's ability to continue operating smoothly.

Implementation Strategy Will Be Key


To really understand the challenges that companies are looking to solve with smart and connected devices, it’s critical to first understand the market forces at play. Supply chains today are facing a massive skills gap, compounded by a low unemployment rate and record levels of employee turnover. These two factors have contributed to the current market movement from building everything in-house to looking for partners to improve efficiency or provide relief. The more ready-to-deploy capabilities that solution providers can offer, the faster they can solve critical pain points. The popularity of low-code/no-code tools is a testament to this as it will help companies implement IoT solutions into their organizations by allowing line-of-business teams to operate without the need for IT involvement. This enables non-technical users to be more hands-on, while scarce specialists can focus on standardizing across all new applications and doing the complex work that differentiates the company. These tools help businesses overcome the current technical skills gap and deliver real-time insights directly to decision makers.

Integration with complementary platforms will be key for Qualcomm as a result. An early integration will be with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, which will allow customers to design a solution to meet their specific business needs. It will help companies that use its chips to keep tabs on goods as they move through the supply chain. Although this is a massive step, more initiatives need to be taken to show how the Aware platform stands out in an already saturated industry. The goal should be to enable IoT deployments to reach their full potential to solve common supply chain issues of ecosystem fragmentation and system complexity. Differentiated, yet critical use cases, such as cold chain logistics, returnable asset tracking, and condition monitoring, must be addressed. A clear implementation roadmap that shows a clear value proposition and integration with key partners will undoubtedly be critical.