The Internet Of Things Best Kept Secret

December 14, 2014

“The Internet of Things is more about the things than about the Internet,” Jim Heppelmann, President and CEO of PTC, told me recently. “The Internet is not going through a radical transformation,” he explained. “It’s evolving. But the step-function change is happening in the things.”

PTC may well be the Internet of Things’ best-kept secret. It is a $1.36 billion company with 28,000 customers worldwide, known primarily (by those who know it) as a pioneer in computer-aided product design and development. But in the last five years, under Heppelmann’s leadership, PTC has been going through a transformation, not unlike the products it helps its customers create, operate, and service.

“Creating, operating, and servicing smart, connected products is what the Internet of Things is all about,” says Heppelmann. Products are created today very differently than in the past, with the help of “a whole new technology stack,” Heppelmann maintains. “Today, part of the product is hardware and part of it is software and part of the software is in the product and part of it is in the cloud and the cloud has a whole new computing architecture. You need a data center before you can sell the first widget now.”

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