When you feel the need for speed take the direct approach by choosing an ODM

January 23, 2024

IoT use cases succeed or fail based on whether they can enter the market at the optimum time. No one wants to be late to the party but IoT development is complex and is often influenced by factors outside of the control of IoT organizations. Short-circuiting this by choosing to work with an original design manufacturer (ODM) can shorten time to market and enable you to focus on your core business, writes Joe Peterson, CEO of Ikotek USA, Inc.

Billions of devices are now connected and tens of billions more are poised to enter operation in the next few years. Competition is intense and IoT organizations need to develop appealing new products and service propositions that enable them to carve out market leading positions that make sense of the significant investments that are required. This affects both start-ups trying to bring new concepts to market first and established companies looking to dominate the digitization of an established product sector.

To successfully – and rapidly – introduce IoT products and devices, organizations need to devote time and money to building device design and development teams. For many, this is not what they want to spend time and money doing. For example, a rapidly digitizing maker of hair styling products wants to focus on its digitized business, not on building an IoT design team that understands the complexities of cellular or low power wide area networks. Similarly, a start-up with a transformative idea can’t wait while it learns the performance characteristics of different antenna types or modules. The risk of someone else getting to market first is too great.

Can’t get there from here?

The good news is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Organizations of all types can offload these tasks to an original design manufacturer (ODM) or an electronics manufacturing service (EMS) provider. These types of service provider can address discrete process challenges or bring their in-depth knowledge of a geographic market or an industrial sector to bear on device development. However, these only address parts of the device development and design process, what really speeds up development is a global ODM that can handle multiple processes from design through manufacturing, testing, validation and launch. Essentially, the customer’s idea is turned into reality by the ODM, allowing them to focus on their core expertise.

Ikotek, a US-headquartered IoT ODM aims to streamline product introduction for IoT companies both large and small. The company is focused on delivering system level and full product designs to customers and on ensuring products are certified. Ikotek’s goal is to be a one-stop-shop for design, development, certification and manufacture on a global basis for companies in the mid-market.

This approach is particularly attractive for companies that only sporadically develop solutions. Think of an aftermarket telematics manufacturer or a smart meter maker that plans to keep a connected product in the market for four or five or even ten or twenty years. That cycle means it’s impractical to continuously keep a development team in place. Instead, they can outsource to an ODM provider who is already up to speed with the latest innovations, and that can support it across all the different disciplines of design, development, certification and manufacture.

With an ODM you can get to market faster, be sure you’ve selected the optimum technologies for your use case, tap into the economies of scale they can access, and remove the headache of recruiting and retaining an in-house IoT development team.

Joe Peterson
CEO, Ikotek USA, Inc.