Companies must build sustainable IoT solutions not just for today, but for the next decade says CEO, Gert Botha Hive Technology


Dubai head-quartered Hive Tech-nology believes in accelerating the delivery of custom connected applications for end customers to realize the potential of Internet of Things / Internet of Everything.

On an India visit; Gert Botha, CEO and one of the Founding Members of Hive Technology spoke on the company’s rationale to bet big on India. “In developed countries IoT related projects is ‘work in progress’ with payback time for these technologies around two to three years.

But it is two to three months for that same technology in developed countries like India,”says Botha at Hive Technology.

What are the definite opportunities you foresee with Hive Technology in India?

There are a lot of additional devices surfacing in the enterprise networks. But the big problem with IoT is the lack of unified protocol while integrating peoples’ identity seamlessly into the network. This is a colossal opportunity as we are specifically focusing on India market. IoT implementation projects in developed countries is ‘work in progress’ with payback time of two to three years.  But it reduces to two to three months for that same technology in developed countries like India.

We are introducing Hive technology which can really be a value add to IoT and the new technology landscape. Our new thinking is a different paradigm as the companies need not discard their legacy IT infrastructure and thus they can derive value from our solutions from day one.

Are you implying developing countries like India are a lucrative market for IoT solutions?

Definitely. We can build IoT project right from the start and we believe it also gives an immense opportunity for the country as well to lead the technology wave. The industry’s biggest issue is IoT related technology and its compliance with standards. We have configurable solutions to comply with various industry standards. The bottom-line is that tech providers have to take a quantum leap and think ‘out of the box’. That’s what Hive One ID delivers.

So, what’s it that’s so out-of-the-box about One ID?

It is mainly ahead because as at this point of time we don’t see any competition. There is nobody that can provide single identification for object and person that works across multiple verticals’ applications. All other identification technologies provide the configuration on the reader that collects data for specific applications and for all types of identification linked to a vertical application.

We have developed a totally secure wireless technology that enables single identification across multiple applications, known as Hive One ID. One identity on a horizontal basis makes more sense for big data as it can be quickly integrated into the company’s’ infrastructure. The concept of smart cities too is based on horizontal intervention.

How have you fared so far globally and what industry verticals do you cover? 

Our biggest and ideal client is the government sector as it is seen as a trusted entity issuing policy decisions around technologies like IoT. Once a citizen possesses a national identity that complies with the technology the value chain below in the ecosystem will follow soon. We realize banking is a good vertical though it’s a bit harder to crack as they need different technology than what we offer due to their legacy systems. But we have customized solutions for this segment. And of course smart city and smart community environment offer huge potential for us.

Our biggest and ideal client is government sector as it is seen as a trusted entity issuing policy decisions around these types of technologies like IoT. 
We are now in era of apps but the apps – as per various research companies – will disappear in the next six to ten years. We will deal with algorithms. The world is still not asking the question on how to actually identify people and objects through these algorithms. That’s why we made Hive One ID because the networks need ambient type identity instantly as people walk into the room.

IoT is fast becoming Internet of Threats. How have you baked-in security into your technology?  

Our basic identity product has multiple sensors attached to it. It can be used to monitor products as well. With our identity piece, we have integrated a whole new way of transmitting data in a proprietary format from device to reader. The reason is not only security so that you can you can’t sniff through the air but also to optimize the communication.

Secondly, each device itself has a unique ID developed in the background. It creates an e-signature or it works like a counter. We can – if needed – recreate a new device in that place but it will not be the same. This differentiating factor from a security standpoint with our technology is very important as that’s where existing technologies fall flat.


The next level of security is the usage of that unique key to encrypt the data sent to the database. Unless you can decrypt or understand this device, you can’t predict the next transaction and one cannot encrypt the data.

What’s your list of Dos and Don’ts for enterprises to looking to deploy IoT?

The key aspect is getting onto a common infrastructure. We see the companies using different things for different purposes as the stage is moving towards consolidation. Available technologies like Wi-Fi and bluetooth are a given. A common reader that works across the same infrastructure is the need of the hour and that’s why Hive One has the same readers tracking and accessing people and objects.

CIOs need to get away from applications and basically manage the data at a local level before it gets to the database. If something goes wrong at that level, then the data can’t go to the optimal stage where the actions are triggered.

And lastly the fact that the most (other) available technologies are non-secure as there is very little solid security on IoT. There are many funny examples of how people hack devices and often do stupid things with IoT. Imagine what happens if someone crashes a fully IoT car and one can’t unlock the door. Hive One ID besides being a technology to transmit and manage data has an algorithm on a processor which provides a unique method of identifying things.

Gert Botha Hive Technoogy 2

Moving forward you will see enterprises managing multiple devices on their networks. lot of devices in corporate network from mobile Wouldn’t adding Hive One ID add one more layer of complexity?

I don’t think it is an addition as most companies currently have some sort of identity card for their employees. We replace that card with something more powerful and more advanced that works across everything – people and objects.

We can offer this product to any manufacturer of electronic equipment as an identity system for their products. We are also in discussion with some mobile manufacturers. We do believe the mobile could become a person’s ID. Or at least secondary ID for electronic interactions through the same identity structure.

We do believe the mobile could become person’s ID. Or at least secondary ID for electronic interactions through the same identity structure – Gert Botha,CEO.Hive Technology

What kind of RoI does your product provide and what’s the TCO?

Our current partnerships are aimed to take the product at low cost to the market and make money on the services provided to use the products. We have seen that entry barriers in markets wherein everybody makes most money on devices and the overall proposition becomes very expensive. Our model remains completely different and hence Hive’s solutions deliver RoI and TCO very well.

Any plans to set up your manufacturing hub in India?

We definitely view India as the country with great skill sets and it provides a perfect environment to build products that can be exported globally. That’s why we chose to launch in India as the second country after setting foot first in Dubai. We see great potential to integrate our technology into the products and export the solutions globally out of India.

Besides Dubai, we have projects implemented in Ireland through one of our partners. And we have deployments across South Africa which is our company’s R & D headquarter.

How are you leveraging Cloud? Do you witness more customers demanding local datacenters for their data in their countries or cities?

Hive One ID is totally a cloud solution and hence it’s super important to secure the data. The customers can have their own ecosystem off the internet. Our clients in most cases are also transferring data through cloud application sourced through us to third party data centers.

We get queries from a few government agencies to keep the data within the country. But government clients are now waking up to the idea that it can’t be any more about a server in the corner. Cloud is a reality especially for integration lot of data and applications. For example smart city infrastructure can’t happen on the local server.

Single identity of people becomes the single data set for an organization. Our technology does that differently as the particular IP address can be added to that identity. This evokes trust in the person to share his data to other applications. The future will be something like Facebook. The person’s profile will have complete control of the data and the moment the person is identified on the network they can share the data.

What is the current state of IoT and how do you see it maturing in the future?

IoT today is about purely connected devices making life complex with add-ons like wearables. There is no practical tactic to harmonize all of them. There is no single way of understanding the life-cycle of objects and people at the back-end. The moment the industry wakes up to the idea of a single way to integrate into everything, IoT will become more popular.

Another issue is around the clarity of IoT standards across various OEMs’ technologies in the industry. I believe we should do well in that area. For a new technology, we often try to stifle development of standards. One must look at a development lifecycle which is more dynamic and then the set standards will mature over time in sync with IoT.

The wave where technology is becoming more pervasive is exactly where we fit in with products designed to identify people and objects (vehicles, PCs etcetera).  We are not going to ride the IoT wave all by ourselves at all. We are talking to technology vendors like Cisco, MS, Dell to provide them a technology that helps them to build holistic IoT solutions.

Everyone developing too many solutions – good and stupid – in IoT space.  And doesn’t that sound scary?

 It’s a new learning space for people to experiment good and stupid things. However companies should build sustainable IoT solutions not only for today but for the next ten years. The App bandwagon will witness a rework and a change in product roadmap as IoT world becomes algorithm based in the future. Hence we built the foundation that addresses possible pain points of customers on their IoT journey in the future too.