In the expanding universe of the Internet of Things (IoT), Favoriot has carved its niche with a clear focus – IoT training. But why the emphasis on training? The answer lies in the challenges posed by offering an IoT platform-as-a-service.
1. The Reality Check of an Empty Platform
An IoT platform’s potential remains untapped if there are no takers. When Favoriot first ventured into offering its IoT platform service, the uptake was dishearteningly minimal. A dominant reason? The brand ‘Favoriot’ was a new kid on the block, unfamiliar to the tech-savvy crowd and students who leaned towards platforms they recognized like ThingSpeak, ThingsBoard, Blynk, or Azure.
2. Identifying the Gap in the Market
We noticed a pattern. The Malaysian market had more resellers of IoT products than genuine product creators. For a nation aspiring to transition from a consumer to a producer, this spelled stagnancy. There’s a gaping chasm between importing technology and producing it. To bridge this gap, the nation needed talents capable of pioneering their own IoT innovations.
3. The Favoriot Pivot to Training
Recognizing this void, Favoriot decided to channel its energies into IoT training. From basic tenets to advanced nuances and IoT data analytics, we designed a comprehensive training regimen. The introduction of Professional Certificates was a game-changer, amplifying the professional credibility of participants.
Today, over 15 Malaysian universities have integrated the Favoriot IoT platform into their curriculum, predominantly in final year projects. Some institutions are even contemplating introducing Favoriot’s Professional Certificates, testament to its industry relevance.
4. Expanding Beyond Training
Does Favoriot’s vision culminate with training? Emphatically, no! Our IoT platform has been embraced by diverse sectors, from manufacturing and agriculture to smart cities. The training was the catalyst, the spark that ignited IoT adoption across Malaysia.
Our journey at Favoriot is characterized by adaptability. We saw a need, recalibrated our strategy, and are now playing a pivotal role in Malaysia’s IoT talent evolution. As we look ahead, our commitment remains unchanged: empowering the nation through state-of-the-art IoT solutions and training.
In today’s business landscape, diversifying revenue streams is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity. When we initially introduced the Favoriot IoT platform as a service, our vision was singular – a subscription model. Yet, the journey unfolded layers of potential we hadn’t initially perceived.
1. Subscription: The Starting Point
Our journey began with the primary notion that users would subscribe to our platform for consistent access and updates. It was a straightforward revenue model, and it worked.
2. IoT Training & Certification: Leveraging Expertise
Soon, we realized the potential of intertwining education with our product. The IoT domain was booming, and a knowledge gap existed. We stepped in to offer IoT training, capitalizing on the platform itself as the main tool. This approach gave users hands-on experience. Furthermore, with the Favoriot professional certificates, we created a brand-centric credibility in the IoT sector.
3. On-Premise Licensing: Meeting Diverse Needs
Recognizing the diverse needs of different businesses, we shifted from solely an online subscription model. Some firms desired the reliability and control that came with on-premise solutions. So, we offered a perpetual licensing model, catering to those who wanted the platform within their infrastructural bounds.
4. Hardware Bundling: Enhancing Product Value
As the IoT universe expanded, we saw manufacturers eager to streamline their user experience by bundling their hardware with reliable software. By integrating their hardware with the Favoriot platform subscription, we achieved a synergy, creating a more comprehensive product for the end-user.
5. Tailored IoT Solutions: Expanding Horizons
Our final eureka moment was identifying the need for industry-specific IoT solutions. Companies approached us with unique challenges, and we saw the opportunity to tailor our platform to fit diverse verticals. This not only opened new revenue channels but also positioned Favoriot as a versatile, adaptive, and solution-centric platform.
Conclusion: The Core and the Expansions
Favoriot started as a singular platform but evolved into a nucleus around which myriad revenue streams revolved. From IoT education to product development and solution deployment, Favoriot became synonymous with versatility in the IoT domain. Our journey is testament to the fact that a single product, when viewed with an innovative lens, can sprout multiple avenues of income and value creation.
Favoriot IoT Platform is the third IoT product that we developed. This is the turning point of our business – To IoTise Every Business.
It took us nearly two years to build our first IoT product – Raqib. Mainly because we have so many things to do, and we are very new to this kind of IoT entrepreneurship.
Since Raqib is an end-to-end solution, we need to identify the partner for the hardware since we can’t build the wearable in-house. Furthermore, the devices need to send data and connect to our IoT platform, create a mobile app, and develop a CRM system.
In 2018, we started with a simple trial, and later in 2019, we were able to have our first few customers using the solution during their trip to Hajj.
As per the second IoT product, Favorsense, we built it within a year and quickly introduced it to the market. We received a lot of feedback which we used to improve the solution.
But then, we also realized that we already had our third IoT product, i.e., the IoT middleware itself, while building the rest of the ioT products. Still, we never thought of offering this solution to others. We have begun to get user feedback by allowing users to use it for free until we started charging them in March 2019.
The Problem Statement
When we built our first IoT product, we learned that it is such a massive effort and takes a lot of resources – time and money. The same goes for our second product.
We decided if somehow we could collaborate with others to develop other IoT solutions by using our platform. We thought that the country had many IoT talents ready to build its IoT solutions, and we were wrong!
There are not many takers who can jump straight into the IoT world and build their IoT products. That’s when I realized the country is lacking this kind of talent? Where are they?
I am fortunate to be in many local Universities as their Industrial Advisory Panel or Adjunct Professors. That’s when we realized many of the current syllabi did not cover structured content about IoT. However, many universities are excited to get their students to select the IoT as their Final Year Projects (FYP). Still, unfortunately, many of the students have to learn on their own.
In the industry, they have started to get more interested in how IoT impacts their business but are unsure how to build or deploy their innovative solutions using IoT.
Even the whole ecosystem of IoT in Malaysia is not very strong because there are not many players as yet.
For Favoriot, we see this as an opportunity because our IoT platform can become the enabler to learn IoT and be used in commercial IoT deployment.
How Big is the Market
According to Mordor Intelligence, the IoT market reached $761.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $1.39 trillion by 2026.
There are four (4) components in building end-to-end IoT solutions – Sensors, Connectivity, IoT platforms, and Applications. We have touched a sweet spot, i.e., to become a preferred IoT platform for any IoT deployments.
In 2020, the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and many industries were affected by the lockdown—the idea of using emerging technologies to solve social distancing issues. Thus, the time for the IoT market to grow is about to begin.
The IoT Solution
The reasons why we want to offer our IoT platform as the third IoT product are as follows:
In every IoT deployment or project, there will be an IoT platform component. The idea is to deploy IoT solutions without involving high cost by using a Cloud-based IoT platform.
We are not able to build and customize to all user requirements.
We want to create a platform where the students can also use in their IoT projects.
This platform also can be used for Laboratory experiments.
Thus, the platform needs to be open and easily used with user-friendly APIs
The middleware comprises security, business rules, and notification engine and supports various protocols such as MQTT, CoAP, and REST.
Offer this as Platform-as-a-Service to allow as many users to subscribe to the platform and create their own innovative IoT applications easily while maintaining the ownership of their data.
Have the ability to charge the user in various subscription Plans such as Free, Beginner, and Developer Plans. Furthermore, we can also have a customized package and make it available on-premise.
Build a Generation-IoT (Favoriot) community that can share and learn each other’s projects and success stories.
Complete documentation, tutorials, GitHub, and forums are made available.
Initially, we started offering the free package to the Universities in early 2019; we noticed not many active users. Many of them use other competitive platforms such as ThingSpeak, ThingsBoard, or Blynk.
We realized that due to the unfamiliarity of the Favoriot platform and not many tutorials regarding the usage, we decided to compile as many use-cases, step-by=step tutorials made by some community members and upload them to our Favoriot YouTube channel.
I take the opportunity to introduce the Favoriot IoT platform in many of the invited talks, conferences, or webinars. Coupled with contests and special offers and bundled with training packages, we have reached more than 115 countries worldwide and more than 5300 users.
We started with users subscribing to the platform themselves, but now we have begun engaging with corporate users by having customized solutions.
The Growth Point
We have reached a stage whereby talents who graduated from the Universities are equipped with the knowledge of building IoT projects (and using the Favoriot IoT platform) more structured.
These new talents will become the catalyst for the growth of IoT in Malaysia and other countries around the world.