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Bosch’s Thorough Transformation Into An IoT Company

Stephan Otto
Sep 20, 2016 · 3 min read

Bosch is a company with a heritage of manufacturing excellence and is associated with quality products all over the world. One of the reasons why the company has been relevant over a long period of time is because it has invested in its business and kept on pace with the latest technological improvements.

Now, this has meant a focus on the Internet of Things.

Bosch has not approached the Internet of Things like most other companies. It understands that making a smart device is more than just fitting a Bluetooth receiver in the device. The process started almost seven years ago when the company recognized that the internet was going to take over communication protocols in the time to come.

It knew then that this possibly presented it with an opportunity to transform itself from a purely manufacturing outfit to one that provides services as well. The services business is a natural extension for Bosch since it already deals with customers and sells them its products.

By including software that continues to add to the experience even after the sale has been made, the company can establish a long relationship with the customer and distinguish itself from the tons of other manufacturing companies.

Of course, the challenges in transforming from a company that manufactures hardware to one that writes high-quality software is not straightforward. Bosch has tried to build its capability through acquisitions of smaller companies that have expertise in this field and by hiring a large number of software engineers as well.

It now has close to 15,000 software engineers on its rosters helping it to make some of the software that will ship in IoT devices.

As of now, the company has started to ship a few IoT-focused devices. There is a fleet management system for connected cars, a line of smart home devices as well as other things in the pipeline about to be released soon.

According to Bosch, the company wants to ensure that its smart devices are adding something tangible to the life of its customers or increasing efficiencies in the factory. The company has also chosen to build all the software capabilities by itself to control every part of the process.

These capabilities include the cloud and server side management side of things as well, something that the smaller players cannot even hope of doing. Also, security is one area that the company is taking very seriously.

There are numerous instances being pointed out of IoT companies being called out for including extremely lax security protocols and doing just the bare minimum to secure its customers.

Building all of this capability means spending a large amount of money into areas which traditional Bosch executives may not be so comfortable with. Senior executives have spoken candidly about the matter and said that there has been a bit of a tussle in ensuring that both sides of the business get equal importance.

Bosch is hoping that this attention to details and quality will help its products stand out from the crowd. In fact, it is betting its future as an IoT company on it.


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