IoT World 2019 Preview: Tracks, Speakers and More

Zach Butler, portfolio manager for the IoT World event series, previews the May event in Santa Clara, drilling down into tracks, speakers, vertical networking and the associated developers’ conference.

Sue Troy

March 18, 2019

7 Min Read
IoT with woman using a laptop on a coffee table

The Internet of Things World conference brings together stakeholders in the IoT space to help advance project implementation and reach ROI. The event examines IoT from both a vertical industry perspective and a horizontal technology perspective. In this video we talk to Zach Butler, portfolio manager for the IoT World event series, about what’s in store for attendees in Santa Clara May 13-16. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

Sue Troy: Hi there I’m Sue Troy, senior content director for, the companion website to the Internet of Things World event series. And I’m here today with Zach Butler, who runs the event. Welcome, Zach.

Zach Butler: Hi Sue. Thanks for having me.

Troy: So, the big flagship IoT World 2019 conference is coming up in Santa Clara May 13- 16, and we wanted to sit down and get a preview from you of the event and find out what’s in store for attendees. Zach, what are the main tracks that are going to be taking place at IoT World?

Butler: This year across the event there’s going to be nine different tracks per day, and they cover things that folks around industrial verticals, consumer verticals and also the horizontal … topics like connectivity, edge computing, security and AI. And also this year we’re building out a developers conference at the show for the audience that is designing and delivering the future products in IoT.

This year we’re expanding a lot into the industrial space and there’s obviously an evolution in our market where industrial markets are really driving the innovation in IoT. Last year we had one industrial track, which went across both days of the conference. This year we’ve expanded that out into four industrial tracks to focus on the industries that make up the industrial IoT (manufacturing, energy, utilities, supply chain logistics, smart buildings, smart cities infrastructure for example). So there’s much more content around those industrial verticals this year.

Troy: What about the keynotes? Who’s going to be on the big stage, and what are they going to be talking about?

Butler: The keynote is really becoming a big bill at IoT World. Over the last couple of years we’ve had some of the leading names in IoT and enterprise IoT on the stage that’s got really, really, really great coverage and press coverage throughout the world.

This year, we’ve got CEOs from companies like Avis Budget Group. Siemens, LoRa Alliance, Itron. CIOs from Dell Technologies, Daimler Trucks North America, the City of San Jose. CTOs from Proctor & Gamble, CVS Health, the City of Las Vegas, Software AG, and chief innovation officers from Kimberly-Clark, the City of Columbus, Ford Motor, for example. Some of the topics that are going to prevalent throughout the keynotes: There’s obviously a lot of things going on about how companies are getting an edge with their digital future. Content around actual effective IoT integrations, so how … you make a rapid open and secure [integration]. The deployment of digital twins and the convergence of … IoT and AI [to] drive real transformation for enterprise. Also, more convergence around IT and OT and how IT is having to reach into different lines of business to create truly unified IoT systems. And obviously with 2019 being the year for 5G, there’s content around how 5G developments and network developments are driving IoT connectivity standards.

Troy: You mentioned the IoT developer conference, which is co-located with IoT World. On [the] IoT World Today [website] we frequently run into confusion or ambiguity around the phrase IoT developer. What makes somebody an IoT developer?

Butler: I think developing for the IoT is such a critical piece of the puzzle because with so many different platforms in such a broad kind of tech stack, the development … skills for IoT really have been rewritten. And it’s requiring new skills to be able to successfully develop products and IoT solutions. So we see the developers conference as the home of the people who are designing and actively developing the components for IoT solutions.

[Internet of Things World is the intersection of industries and IoT innovation. Book your conference pass and save $350, get a free expo pass, or see the IoT security speakers at the event.]

And these people in this community have always been around the show, they’ve always been part of the show but we think it’s really important now to start evangelizing the developers to become a more prominent part of IoT as solutions are becoming more vast and complex. The role for developers is really becoming more complex too. So we see the role of the developers as a critical piece and really the area of the show for the design work and the development of the solution.

Troy: [Does] this includes software developers and hardware engineers?

Butler: I think IoT — just like when we talk about the shift from an IT to OT topic — when it comes to developers both hardware, software, front end [and] back end are all required to … develop … commercially viable IoT products. No longer in technology do we work in silos. When it comes to IoT, that is spanning right across enterprise and right across markets. It’s requiring developers to work together and to evangelize each other to create these end-to-end solutions. Whether that’s through partner programs or integration into enterprise, everyone needs to be at the table to make it work.

Troy: And then, let’s talk a little bit about vertical markets. So as the IoT market is verticalizing, how are you helping each of those industry verticals network and learn from each other at IoT World?

Butler: So we see IoT World as the intersection of where those industry verticals and the IoT technology and innovation meet. So obviously the conference is very much verticalized with six of the nine tracks that are running per day being a specific vertical market. Whether that’s for industrial or a consumer industry. But we think this year we need to do more to bring those vertical markets out into the exhibition and meeting with that solution’s ecosystem. Whether that’s in kind of mass verticals at once or in one-to-few, much smaller, groups.

So each vertical at the show this year will have its own networking function that span across the two days at specific time. So, for those people that either represent that vertical, where they want to meet with other people like them and share those lessons learned or if they’re looking to engage with that vertical and find out the exact requirements for that vertical for the IoT solution, they can do that there.

And then also within our conference program this year, we’re actually going to be bringing our conference attendees out of the conference room and into the exhibition during the conference times. We’re hosting three a day, so six across the event, industry vertical exhibition tours. So, we’re saying to our vertical audience, “Let us do the hard work for you. Let us plan your diary so that you can meet the exhibitors that represent your verticals in one go.” So, we’ll be bringing the attendees out into the exhibition and around the exhibition meeting vertical-specific suppliers, so they can minimize their networking time and then maximize their learning time.

Troy: Are there any vertical specific parties happening? Or no?

Butler: So the vertical networking sessions are happening throughout the events so there’s going to be six per day that cover each industry vertical. And hopefully the sun’s shining because we’re planning on them being on the terraces.

Troy: OK, so that’s all we have time for today. I am looking forward to seeing you in Santa Clara, Zach, and thanks for taking time to talk with me today. And hope to see many of you at IoT World 2019 in Santa Clara, May 13-16.

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