Innovating IoT: An Exclusive Interview with KORE’s Chief Product Officer Steven Baker – IoT Business News

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Steven Baker, KORE

In this exclusive interview, IoT Business News sits down with Steven Baker, Chief Product Officer at KORE*, to discuss the company’s groundbreaking achievements, recent technological advancements, and strategic initiatives in the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) landscape.

From the acquisition of Twilio’s IoT connectivity business to the development of cutting-edge eUICC technology, Steven provides insights into how KORE is positioning itself as a leader in the market. He also shares success stories, highlights partnerships, and outlines the company’s future plans, offering a comprehensive overview of KORE’s vision and impact in the IoT space.

IoT Business News: Can you elaborate on KORE’s most significant achievements in the IoT space over the past year and how these have positioned the company in the market?

Steven Baker: The acquisition of Twilio’s IoT connectivity business unit has brought KORE an unparalleled combination of carrier IMSI and eUICC product capability. It has also positioned KORE with a highly scalable route to market with a self-service, developer-centric model enabling KORE to capitalize on the OEM drive for built-in connectivity during the manufacturing process.

Over the last year KORE has also launched the Pre-configured Solutions (PCS) business unit focused on delivering high-value IoT enablement services incorporating connectivity, hardware, and managed services into pre-configured bundles that reduce the complexity of deploying IoT applications.

KORE has also reached over 19 million IoT subscriptions in service making KORE one of the largest IoT MVNOs in the world.

What are the latest technological advancements that KORE has integrated into its IoT solutions? How are these innovations enhancing your offerings compared to your competitors?

One of the most recent technological advancements KORE has released is an eUICC technology called the Local Profile Management Applet. The KORE LPM Applet enables a host CPU to manage previously downloaded eSIM profiles locally using AT commands. This capability can be used to implement device-initiated fallback, device-initiated failover, resiliency, and similar advanced capabilities. The LPM applet combines the simplicity and reliability of M2M orchestration with the flexibility and power of local profile management, in a manner that’s forward-compatible with the SGP32 IoT standard. The applet interface is based on the SGP22 ES10 standard ensuring developers who use it get to keep their investment as they eventually migrate to SGP22 and SGP32 solutions.

Could you share a recent customer success story that highlights the effectiveness of KORE’s IoT solutions in transforming their business operations?

A key element of KORE’s ability to positively impact our customer’s business operations is through our multi-country, managed service and logistics solutions. KORE has a long history serving Healthcare OEMs and DMEs with critical healthcare logistics solutions. Recently, two KORE customers in this space experienced a 40% reduction in annualized new inventory spend by leveraging KORE’s reverse logistics, sanatization, and redeployment of pre-used equipment including custom device configuration enabling a single device to support multiple business lines.

With increasing concerns around IoT security, what steps has KORE taken to enhance the security features of its solutions?

KORE’s eSIM technology includes support for IoT SAFE. IoT SAFE establishes the SIM as the ‘Root of Trust’ to enable chip-to-cloud security. This technology can be configured during SIM manufacturing making it both scalable and simple to leverage using standard (D)TLS standards. It obviates the need for post manufacturing device provisioning which can be difficult to both provision and maintain when requiring periodic security updates over time.

How do partnerships shape KORE’s strategy in expanding its IoT solutions? Are there any recent or upcoming collaborations that we should be aware of?

KORE’s partner portfolio spans 30+ MNOs worldwide as well as many professional and managed service providers. These partnerships enable KORE to pull together nearly any combination of connectivity, hardware, and service to solve IoT challenges. KORE also has strong relationships with multiple cloud providers including most recently with Google. Recently, KORE also added partners with multiple third-party service providers to augment our manual and professional service portfolio to enable our vertically focused pre-configured solutions.

What markets does KORE plan to target in the near future? Are there new industries or regions where you see significant growth opportunities for your IoT solutions?

From a regional perspective, KORE has traditionally had a significant presence in North America and has been growing in the UK and EU with localized sales, logistics, and support teams. KORE’s carrier partner ecosystem is expanding in 2024 enabling KORE to focus more on the APAC region, and more specifically China.

From a vertical market perspective, KORE’s current PCS solutions target 3 vertical areas including enterprise Fixed Wireless (FW), Connected Health, and Fleet Management. These solutions are deployed throughout North America and are expanding into the UK, Europe, and Latin America in the coming months. KORE is also currently trialing an Industrial pre-configured solution.

How is KORE leveraging its IoT technology to promote sustainability within its operations and among its clients? Are there specific initiatives or projects that exemplify this approach?

KORE launched an initiative to reduce waste and support sustainability by reducing the size of card bodies in its SIM shipments, which ties into “IoT for Good” – a key initiative here at KORE that leverages innovations in IoT such as SIM and connectivity to enable us to live greener and longer, all while making informed, intelligent use of our global resources. Since the commercial launch of SIM cards three decades ago, approximately 4.5 billion SIM cards are sold and shipped each year industry-wide, accounting for more than 560,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 18,000+ tons of plastic waste annually. While the SIM card has reduced in size over the last three decades, the packaging the card body that holds the SIM has not. The KORE initiative reduces the card body by 50% and, relating to SIM cards, is expected to:

  • Reduce shipping costs by 50% due to the weight reduction
  • Reduce KORE’s carbon footprint by 16%
  • Aid customers in reducing plastic waste by 50%

Looking ahead, what are the next big steps for KORE in terms of product development and market strategies? Are there any upcoming innovations or technologies that you are particularly excited about introducing to the market?

KORE is evolving our eSIM technology to incorporate the SGP.32 (IoT) standard and increasing our coverage footprint with in-country coverage in the APAC region. OEMs worldwide will be seeking ways to leverage iSIM technology to open up new service potential and simplify logistics and provisioning at scale.

KORE also continues to evolve our AI modeling with new initiatives around it for managing IoT real-time operations and logistics analysis and monitoring as well as custom AI solutions for individual use cases requiring intelligent automation at scale.

* About Steven Baker, CPO, KORE Wireless: In his role at KORE, Steven leads the Pre-Configured Solutions teams in delivering KORE’s Healthcare, Fleet, Industrial, and Business Internet solutions. Over his 36-year telecommunications career, Steven has specialized in wireless and optical network technologies and has filled individual and leadership roles spanning product, marketing, business development, and software engineering. Steven has authored multiple cellular and optical network patents during his career.

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