June 3, 2015

#IoT Panel at EMEA Oracle User Group leaders Conference

So last year the leaders from the several EMEA Oracle User Groups met in Sofia, Bulgaria, and this year (2015) it was time for Lisbon to be the chosen city. People from 47 different countries, representing 75,000 Oracle Users. An amazing senate!

I was invited to moderate the panel, just before I take off to Budapest for yet another exciting Budapest Data Warehouse Conference. Glad I could juggle my diary to be in Lisbon, because the discussion was one of the best ones I had about any IT subject in a long time.

The panel was comprised of 3 Oracle User Group leaders representing Denmark (Sten Vesterli), Latvia (Andrejs Vorobjovs) and Armenia (Richard Bezjian) plus the Digital Champion for Portugal at the European Commission (and VC Angel) António Murta. It was a blast to hear the IoT examples from both the panelists and the audience:

- Sten talked about his RFID enabled socks and meat temperature sensors for BBQs

- António talked about remote patient assistance, inumerous healthcare applications and the ability to buy clothes without trying them (a man-only issue, he said, and I agree!)

- Andrejs gave tons of examples on how IoT solutions are being used at the Latvian User Group conferences, to get stats about everything, even coffee consuption or more serious issues like keep attendees in the right rooms on the right time.

- Richard talked about the sour system sensors and a very interesting way to collect them with a drive-by vehicle.

- Ann-Sofie Often from the OUGN, gave a smashing example of how Zeep is helping her improve her swing!

- Danny Gooris, living in the Brussels area, with some of the worst traffic jams in continental Europe, gave a smashing example of a wake-up app that would adapt the hour to wake you up, depending on the amount of traffic between your home and the office. Not to be applied to those of you who work from home :)

Then the conversation went to more tedious serious subjects like sprawl of standards, protocols and the inadaptation of the current technology to cope with low voltage sensor data collection. Richard even went further as to speak about the six (6) phases of IoT:

- Sense

- Transport

- Store

- Analyse

- Control

- Share

Nice way of putting it. Any IoT framework needs to account for all these phases and probably more. Richard refered to these as ways to assess the maturity level of the IoT solutions or the adoption of them. He mentioned a company called SIGFOX that possesses a network created specifically for IoT.

And then the subject of security and privacy came to the surface like oil on water. António Murta quoted some scary notes from a former FBI agent book, saying that a person's Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is worth much more than credit card information amongst the cyber black market. António noted that you can change your credit card number, but you cannot change your DNA and medical information.

We closed the discussion talking about what would be the impact of IoT on the future of communities and in particular the ones represented in the room. Sten had a very straigh-forward vision, staying that nothing will change. DBAs will manage more data and developers will still make apps. Richard on the other hand said that this is a fantastic opportunity for new technologies to arise and for the User Groups to start discussing their impact.

All and all, I really enjoyed the discussion, and I'm concious that if given more time, the panel would have gone for at least another hour, but nevertheless we touched some very interesting subjects and rose some intriguing questions that will surely make the panel discussion resonate beyond the room.

I would like to thank Tom Scheirsen for the invitation and all the panelists for participating.


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