Our IoT Heroes: Jan Sönnichsen - Product Manager

Jan Sönnichsen is a product manager with extensive experience in the field of Industrial IoT. The industrial engineer works at the link between product management and product ownership. He explains what triggers him professionally and what are the most interesting challenges developing an app ecosystem in the area of computer vision and machine learning.

What were your main reasons and motivations to join Security and Safety Things?

The most important criterion for me was the mission of Security and Safety Things. I see an enormous market opportunity in the development of an ecosystem for video surveillance. With the developments in AI especially in image recognition, the software part is becoming more and more important. Enabling tailored AI solutions for specific customer needs is extremely exciting.

Moreover the team and the culture – on the one hand, the start-up mentality in which I feel very comfortable, and on the other hand the expertise and the opportunities industries veterans can offer –made it an easy choice. Last but not least the long term commitment from Bosch and the openness to new partners really supports our mission.

What are the central values in your working environment?

Getting started and taking things into my own hands has always been important to me. So I depend on open communication, thinking without boundaries and motivated colleagues how are willing to push things forward! I've always wanted to develop user-centric products that enrich other people’s lives. This means not only listening to the management and decision-makers but more importantly, working closely with end-users and fighting for their stake on the table during the entire development process.

What is the difference of Security and Safety Things to your previous start-up experience?

At my last start-up, I started at an early stage with only a few colleagues having only prototypes of an intelligent glove to offer. At that stage, we had a single shot on a new product – an all-in decision. For this kind of mission, you need a simple idea and product to increase the chances of success.

The mission of Security and Safety Things – building an OS and platform for video surveillance – is much bigger! You need great endurance, credibility within the market and customers who trust you sustainability. You need to convince many partners, especially manufacturer and developers and integrators to join. For a classical start-up with little to no funding nor a good name in the industry, the mission would most certainly too big to be successful.

What are the most interesting topics you will work on here at Security and Safety Things and what will be the hardest tasks to solve?

I like to transform complex technical issues into simple applications with a clear business case. This is usually a bigger challenge than it looks from the outside. My goal is not to be the best developer – but I see my strength in inspiring colleagues, transporting a clear vision of the product and making sure everybody can focus on the next goal. Our primary goal for the next months will be to inspire all stakeholders. We will bring together innovative companies to create solutions with an essential joint benefit for the end customer.

The biggest challenge will be the parallel scaling of all stakeholders. There are so many players that we have to bring to the platform simultaneously and without friction losses: developers, integrators, hardware providers and last, not least end customers.

We will have to manage many topics in parallel so that the ecosystem can develop in the best possible way.

What do you see as the main trends in IoT in a business context?

IoT is on the way to become “the backbone” of many technology-driven B2B markets. I think it is a long term development rather than a disruptive process, but in the long run, it will shape industries similar to e-commerce has shaped the B2C market. IoT platforms which by “nature” provide inter-connectivity between previously proprietary systems will probably reduce the importance of HW. Cheaper sensors will lead to an inflationary roll-out of devices which enables new use cases not focusing on traditional security monitoring.

For me, the obvious way to manage the massive data streams is edge networking and real-time local data analysis which will also push the boundaries of AI running on the devices and analytic tools to generate knowledge from metadata.

In addition, the market for IoT systems is very likely to fragment in the next years specifically addressing the different needs of separate B2B markets before a consolidation phase will take place. Whoever supplies the most vital ecosystem through scale or by addressing industry-specific requirements has a good chance to withstand the consolidation phase.

The major tech companies are heavily investing in IoT Platforms, but the B2B market is much harder to scale and companies most likely cannot copy their success stories from the B2C market. In my opinion, it is the perfect time to be in the IoT market and I am looking forward to work on making Security and Safety Things an IoT success story.

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