Robert Spicer (vyzVoice): from IoT evangelist to trusted partner
IoT data collection and analysis specialist vyzVoice is coming into its own as companies grasp the need to take data-driven decisions, says CEO Robert Spicer. Created in 2010, the company is now able to offer clients answers to urgent issues such as device security and data privacy.
How has vyzVoice evolved with the rising profile of the Internet of Things?
Our IoT data collection and analysis system will be installed in seven commercial buildings in the coming weeks, reflecting our success in meeting the challenges posed by the market and demonstrating our ability to adapt. There are many factors, but most important is that companies now understand the need for digital transformation, whether they are active in insurance, office building management or manufacturing. CEOs and CIOs realise they need to make data-driven decisions; the market is waking up as everyone starts asking the right questions. Over the past few years, we have acted as evangelists for the IoT, but now companies are addressing us as a trusted partner to help them meet their specific needs. It is very exciting, but creates challenges for our team as each industry has its own ideas and specific requirements. Nevertheless, we have demonstrated our ability to remain flexible and adapt to a growing market in which scalability is now the main challenge.
«Over the past few years, we have acted as evangelists for the IoT»
What are the most important issues facing the IoT today?
As CEO of a data company in 2017, the two areas that take up most of my attention – and keep me awake at night – are device security and data privacy. Imagine: a hacker getting into the fire system could prevent it from functioning properly, resulting in human casualties. Regarding data privacy, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation will take effect in May next year, and I need to ensure compliance on the part of my company, but also of my employees and customers. In fact, the market is only just waking up to the benefits of the IoT in these areas. As is the way at vyzVoice, we are a market leader in data privacy and device security. We have established a ‘trust of things’ model with three partners covering manufacturing, public infrastructure and applications related to compliance, enabling authentication of all devices and users in order to authenticate any piece of data passing between them, thereby assuring GDPR compliance.
What are your goals and ambitions for the future?
Our vision is to become the foundation IoT infrastructure for commercial buildings in Europe. Our secure state-of-the-art installations can become the basis for the development of rich services for a broader set of customers. By becoming the first IoT player compliant with privacy and security requirement as well as smart energy regulations, we are confident we can set the standard for testing, inspection and building certification. And new opportunities are arising as we grow. For example, vyzVoice was one of just 16 participants invited to join the European Commission’s Heart project to re-invest the distribution transformers at the core of urban electricity grids. Because the European market is subject to such stringent regulatory requirements, if you can be compliant here, you’ll be compliant everywhere.