In this interview, we spoke with Ben Norman, an IoT Solution Architect and Lead Course Author at PTC.  Ben instructed several courses at LiveWorx 17 including “ThingWorx Fundamentals,” “Building a Business Case for IoT,” and “Choosing your IoT Education Path.” In his position at PTC, he spends his time researching questions such as: What is the future of IoT?  What does the industry need to invent that hasn't been invented yet?  How can we chain systems together and generate business value with them?  Better yet, how do we teach people about this more effectively?  Ben is part of a team dedicated to creating high-quality, media-rich, educational experiences, developing the software needed to make IoT education easy.

What are the current industry hotbuttons/trends you’re seeing?

It would seem to me that the more folks I talk to at tech events, the more it is clear that the industry at large is still very much investigating and/or making the transition to IoT.

How does PTC’s ThingWorx solution fit with these trends and address industry issues?

PTC's ThingWorx is the most complete IoT solution for these companies making the transition to IoT. It enables them to have a pathway to get their products transmitting data over the internet to the cloud, monitor and control those connected products from the cloud, perform data analytics against the data being collected by agents running on those products.  On top of that, they can develop applications using the mash-up application builder built into Thingworx, to visualize the collected data. Along these lines, there is a big demand for education around IoT, and we’re seeing that around the academic industry. We’re seeing universities such as Tufts and MIT now offering IoT courses for their students. Because of the increased demand for education, this lead PTC to develop our own online education platform where we’ve published a few courses on IoT. Now that we have launched IoT University, companies can begin their educational journey into IoT online, at their own pace, for free. We will continue to release educational experiences to help individuals get up to speed on IoT and how to build well thought-out solutions.

What are some common questions you received during your session?  Any particular areas of interest from attendees?

We didn’t receive too many questions from participants about the industry at large, however there was a common theme in that a good number of students were current PTC customers investigating and/or making the transition to ThingWorx.

Did you receive any feedback from attendees on their overall LiveWorx experience?  If so, please describe.

Folks were very excited about Jim Heppelmann's keynote and seeing all of PTC’s software working together for massive business impact.

Where do you see things heading, industry-wise or product-wise?

I feel like with the advent of more advanced analytics and ThingWorx building those features into the platform, it will become easier for companies to tap into the insights gained from analytics.

If you'd like to learn more and attend in-depth, hands-on IoT trainings, register for LiveWorx 2018, June 17-20 in Boston!