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Mister Beacon Episode #187

Unlocking the Potential of the IoT: Inside Rigado's Gateway to Smart Connectivity

April 16, 2024

Join us on the latest episode of the Mr. Beacon Podcast as we delve into the world of IoT connectivity solutions with Steve Gorretta, the VP of Marketing at Rigado. Rigado specializes in providing comprehensive software and hardware solutions for IoT, facilitating the seamless connection of billions of devices to the cloud.

Steve sheds light on Rigado's Cascade Bluetooth gateway, a hardware solution designed to efficiently manage and throttle data transmission to the cloud. By filtering and allowing only essential data through, this gateway not only optimizes data usage but also helps save on cloud costs while providing a layer of security for businesses.

Drawing from his extensive experience at Cisco, Steve walks us through the complexities of IoT deployments. From discussing the deployment process to determining the requisite number of gateways based on space and location accuracy needs, Steve provides practical perspectives on IoT implementation.

The conversation touches on the role of IoT solutions tracking items throughout the transportation and delivery processes, offering a glimpse into the potential transformation of the grocery industry in the coming months and years.

As we look towards the future, Steve highlights the challenges surrounding the sophistication and scalability of software applications essential for making sense of IoT data. Join us as we explore the evolving landscape of IoT deployments and the pivotal role of innovative solutions in driving efficiency and sustainability across industries.

Steve’s Favorite Songs:


  • Steve Statler 0:00

    Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast. It's great to have you here. It's been a while since we've done one of these shows, we've taken a break. Today, we're going to be talking about IoT infrastructure, the gateways that connects these trillions of things that we expect to go online over the next few years. And the way it's managed. And this, these are the kinds of details that really become important when you start to deploy at scale. And so I'm really pleased to have Steve Gretta of riguardo. And we've had riguardo on the podcast before, but things have moved on a lot since since that episode, so it's time for an update. This is Episode 199, of the Mr. Beacon podcast. So we're coming up for the 200th episode, if you have any other subjects that you want to see covered, if you have companies that you think we should be talking to then then let me know. We're here to share information and to learn and to have fun in these conversations. And this is a conversation that was great, Steve and I get into strategy, what's happening in IoT, we do a thorough explanation of the riguardo offering. And we look at where it fits and what the use cases are. So it's a good one. Enjoy. The Mr. Beacon ambient IoT podcast is sponsored by Williams, bringing intelligence to every single thing. Steve, welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast. It's great to have you on. Thanks

    Steve Gorretta 1:53

    for having me, Steve. I'm looking forward to this really enjoyed listen to episodes before me and always welcome a conversation like this.

    Steve Statler 2:02

    Well, you you may have even heard your your colleague on the show. I don't know how long ago it was probably two or three years ago, I guess. So I'm pleased to have Ricardo back on full disclosure, riguardo and Willie, are working together being deployed as we speak in a very large retailer. But we started talking before there was any partnership. And I think what you're doing is super interesting. This whole business of how do you manage very large networks of IoT infrastructure is really critical. As we scale from the internet of expensive things to the Internet of everything to Ambien, IoT, I think you guys are really smart, you found a very interesting niche. And you have a really interesting strategy, interesting products. So let's dive into it and tell us you know, what's the what's today's pitch on what you do? Sure,

    Steve Gorretta 3:10

    so, regatta provides a conductivity solution in the form of software and hardware. In some cases, that helps connect all these millions, billions, someday trillions of endpoints in IoT to the cloud and also makes that manageable. We like to think that we're making Iot more like an IT service in an IT managed service, just like you would have for Wi Fi and in other connectivity applications. IoT, as you know, has been kind of the Wild West with with not enough standards. And, you know, a lot of implementations that, you know, have map security vulnerabilities or might not scale, they sort of stalled out at the concept phase. And we like to bring this layer of management and conductivity flexibility, so that not only do the solutions work, but they're sort of future proofed for additional use cases in the future that customers might want. Excellent.

    Steve Statler 4:14

    Well, there's a lot to unpack there. I would love to talk a bit about that whole standards question and the way the management frameworks are going, generally, what do you see in that landscape? We've got giants like Cisco with spaces who are moving in this direction. And you know, where you fit in and where you see the industry going, but let's make sure we do a thorough update review of the offering. And I liked I was interested in the point you made the fact that you have a hardware solution, but it's not always there. It's also a software solution, can you Why would you sum Have you hardware, why not? Other times,

    Steve Gorretta 5:02

    we like to talk about unified networks, unified IoT networks, meaning you can have multiple types of endpoints, sensors, electronic shelf labels, different devices, that are all running in one common network infrastructure. And in some cases, that means a dedicated gateway and IoT gateway. In our case, we work a lot in Bluetooth low energy. So we have Bluetooth gateways that customers use. But more and more, we're seeing customers want to leverage existing network infrastructure, they might already have a Bluetooth radio or have some other IoT interface that they want to take advantage of. And really, every implementation is different, even within a customer. And some sites, they might have Wi Fi access points that can run our software in a container that facilitate all these capabilities. And other cases, they might not have something or they need something new, that's a dedicated network to do that. And so in our case, when we really focus on is, what is the topology that they're going for? What is their IT policies allow? What type of devices are they connecting, and then some cases, they might use hardware from us in the form of, of our cascade gateways. But increasingly, they might just take software and deploy it on their existing devices, or even a Telematics Gateway. And the trucks that are moving around the country, for their product,

    Steve Statler 6:29

    or cascade has a very Northwest Field as a product name, what do they look like and tell us a bit about, you know, what the features are of the hardware?

    Steve Gorretta 6:40

    Yeah, hold one up here. For those that are actually seeing the video. You know, this, this Cascade Gateway here, it's about the size of the smoke detector, smaller than a Wi Fi access point. And this particular model typically connects to the to the cloud to the internet using Ethernet, or LTE, could use Wi Fi as well. But most of our customers use it with Ethernet, because you can power it with Ethernet as well. So you sort of get a two for one there. And then it connects, it basically works as a Bluetooth connectivity device for all the sensors in the network. So it can connect 1000s of different endpoints, whether they're Willie tags or electronic shelf labels, leak sensor, leak detectors, motion detectors, air quality detectors, so it has edge compute on it, that we run our software on, obviously out of the box, and that it's managed by a cloud application, we have so many customers will deploy this Cascade Gateway in spaces where they are deploying these new IoT use cases, if they don't have ethernet handy, and they want to use LTE that that's an option as well.

    Steve Statler 7:50

    Okay. And simplest level, it seems like the gateway is a way of converting Bluetooth traffic to Internet Protocol traffic. And, but you have some different connectivity options. And you can it sounds like the there are multiple, you can be a gateway for multiple things. So you could have an infrastructure that has electronic shelf labels, tags to do asset tracking or inventory tracking. And I'm assuming you can also be a gateway for condition monitoring sensors that are looking at refrigeration units or motors. How many? How many different protocols or devices do you support seems like you've almost got like an app store for those different things that need a gateway? Yeah,

    Steve Gorretta 8:52

    there's, there's a whole library that we worked with, we call them recipes, device recipes, sort of similar to device drivers, or apps. And a lot of is based on the OEMs, the partners we've worked with that have deployed in customers, and they come to us with the device and say, Hey, here's our sensor, and the customer wants this. Can you help us onboard it? What are the value that we're bringing here is there's really two things. One is taking these kinds of unmanaged BLE, sensors and devices that don't have any real intelligence on they're just passing packets up into the cloud. And we're hoping to throttle that, to make sure that it's not, you know, you know, sending so much data that it has a cost element into the cloud or over the mobile connection, if that's the case that gets out of control. So we help optimize the amount of data that is being consumed by those IoT use cases. And then we also bring flexibility to have a variety of use cases though the economics of IoT, especially this commercial IOT space that we're in don't typically just hinge on one use case, really what customers want to do is be able to deploy this technology, maybe they have a couple of use cases in mind right away refrigerator monitoring, asset tracking. But they also want to see, you know, a future proofed solution where they can add things, you know, down the road, and just by creating a new software recipe from riguardo, and rolling that out into their installed base of gateways or other network infrastructure, get that value. So that's really what our special sauce is, we don't build sensors, we don't make the application that is, you know, displaying sensor data in front of the end users anything like that we're really a data on ramp for those devices into the cloud. And then we make sure that it's all managed, and it ready for all the compliance things we know that those IT teams love to

    Steve Statler 10:52

    have. So what does it take to write a recipe? Who writes it? How many do you have?

    Steve Gorretta 10:59

    So typically, will we often create the recipes on behalf of a customer because we're really good at it? We, we've been doing it a long time, there are tools that customers can make their own. And we've started to see some of that as we've gained momentum in the market. But they're pretty straightforward. You know, they're think of them as sort of configurations of behavior, you know, how often should we send data into the cloud for this device? When should we report? Certain health metrics are what metrics should we alert on if there's a problem? So that it's, you know, depending on the complexity of the device, a recipe could be very simple might just be temperature data. Or if it's something that has more complex configuration, or we need to send data down to like a electronic shelf label can be more advanced. And in terms of how many we have, I mean, there are dozens and dozens of devices, different flavors that we help customers install. So think of it on on that order. The good thing is is repeatability, typically OEMs will have a family of devices. And the recipes will be similar between them, but we can adjust them based on the make and model and what those things do.

    Steve Statler 12:18

    What are they written in? You mentioned a container, what's that all about? Oh,

    Steve Gorretta 12:24

    so the container is our software, we call it edge Connect, which is this piece that actually sits on the edge and, and helps bring all this data, you know, from the edge into the cloud. And that runs in Docker, typically. So more and more, you're seeing edge compute devices, things like Wi Fi access points, telematics gateways, larger edge compute platforms that support Docker, where you could run a containerized software like our edge connect into. And we've done a number of those integrations. And that's great, because you can take a very robust IT qualified solution, like a Wi Fi access point in the enterprise, that is, you know, highly controlled, secure, and add this type of capability from riguardo, without having to do a complete requalification of of every aspect of the system. A lot of times they like to do that anyway, but Docker provides that kind of sandbox for us to run in. And we manage all that through a network management application we call edge Direct, which is akin to how you would manage, say, a Wi Fi network, you know, you have a list of devices and policies and profiles, you can upgrade them, you get health alerts, there's an API to send it to a single pane of glass upstream. And so like I said, we've tried to bring an eight seed managed nature to IoT here with with our solution. Pretty good.

    Steve Statler 13:59

    So what what does the landscape look like in terms of Wi Fi gateways and other devices that are supporting Docker? I mean, it seems like we're going from appliances that kind of had a monolithic firmware stack to kind of another compute platform that's available to to kind of offload things and make things more flexible. Sounds like a good idea, but it also sounds like it might make things more expensive on the edge devices. Could you have a Docker container on a Wi Fi access point, or do you have to have like a little computer that's acting as a controller? Where are those sitting?

    Steve Gorretta 14:44

    It I would say a lot of the the big inflection point that we saw was Wi Fi six, the Wi Fi six standard and the updating of a lot of networks to Wi Fi six over the last couple of years has brought in a new generation of have hardware platforms that have tons of compute power and can host, you know, can run Docker and Docker images. And the infrastructure providers that the leaders in the Wi Fi p space wanted that so that they could try to turn that equipment into basically, an app store, you know, something more than just Wi Fi access and internet connectivity. So we're definitely riding that wave. It's but you know, that those deployments take time, right, it can take years to turn over all the infrastructure. And so it's better. That's why it's been a mix of companies that want to deploy dedicated Bluetooth gateways, for instance, dedicated networks, because it's just faster to get, you know, that hardware out there sometimes. But those that have updated and have access points that support Docker, are definitely seeing the benefits, they see how easily they can just add this in software. And you know, the cost to deploy a new network, a dedicated network is quite high, if you have to run, you know, Ethernet or run power to to an endpoint versus just using something that's already in the ceiling. So it's gradually happening. But But I think Wi Fi six, most vendors seem to have embraced that with Wi Fi six, and most of them have low power wireless capabilities in the hardware already, typically Bluetooth low energy, which we like to use.

    Steve Statler 16:31

    Yeah, that seems to be pretty ubiquitous. Now the Bluetooth and the Wi Fi access point, which is always a bit confusing when you're explaining this to people who aren't familiar with that. But so does Cisco, the big three, Cisco Aruba, juniper, do they all support Docker containers?

    Steve Gorretta 16:53

    Yeah, in some, some form or fashion, they all do. It depends on the particular models. And I don't want to, you know, speak to talk about their roadmaps necessarily, but they'll have varying degrees of what they'll support and, and also different policies in terms of how open it is, right? It's one thing to have a framework that you can run code, and it's another thing to really try to become a, an application store and have a partnership program that allows for that. So what we find is that a lot of this is tends to be heavily customer driven, meaning that the, in the end, it's the enterprise that either the retailer or whoever, you know, whoever's campus that device sits on, that, ultimately is going to control what gets installed on their devices. And, and so all those Wi Fi vendors, they're at different stages of their evolution in terms of opening that up and inviting partners in. And so we have, you know, relationships with all of them. And we're in the early days right now, this unified IoT network, and as you are finding the right fit for the use cases, and the return on investment for deploying those solutions. Yeah,

    Steve Statler 18:12

    I was amazed what a difference it makes having one of the largest customers on your side, I mean, I guess intuitively, we all understand it's good to have a big customer asking for something. But I compare the the months even years spent on business development calls between us, you know, 250 person company, and these massive Wi Fi Access Point vendors, and we had cordial conversations for years, but then you have one of the really big retailers pick up the phone and say, we need you to improve your support for this vendor. And you know, what would take five years can take five minutes with the right phone call? It's incredible. Yeah,

    Steve Gorretta 18:54

    I sympathize. I mean, I've been on that side of it. I was at Cisco and and I've been at other networking companies. And I understand you know, how their priorities work as well. And, and it's nice to partner and do interesting things together. But at the end, it's the customer that's going to win the day. And so I've experienced both sides of it. And the exciting thing is that there are enough catalysts now in the market to actually deploy these new type of smart technologies that we're getting, you know, customer traction behind it. And the vendor ecosystem is starting to come along. And that's, that's what makes this really exciting.

    Steve Statler 19:37

    So do want to talk about the practicalities and what you see the landscape for some of these big deployments, what does that look like density of units and so forth. But before we go back there, one of the things that's been on my mind is where are we at in terms of standards around management? Because I remember way back when it was all about a SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol. And then there were a set of network management tools. And if you supported SNMP, you could fit into that framework. And you could have interoperability between some of these big management consoles and other vendors. What's happened there? And what are the standards that are people using today? Can you blend what you're doing in with a Cisco species? Or how does it work? Yeah,

    Steve Gorretta 20:26

    you can? A lot of it, you know, not Yeah, it was I was there in the days of SNMP. And then the broadband side had transitioned over TR o 69, and different standard ways of managing and devices in the IoT space, it's certainly been more of a free for all, there's there hasn't really been an overarching standards body that's come in and says, Here's how devices should work. Now, some of the, the major cloud vendors have stepped in and created, you know, their own version of that, right, you had AWS with Greengrass, and Azure has created their own device, device and properly device certification program. And we certainly jumped in on both of those, because you want to be compliant and work in that ecosystem. And that's actually been very good for us. But I think a lot of it is actually just moved upstream. Steve, I mean, what up, what we see is we have our device management system that talks to our, say, our edge Connect software, our cascade gateways, and it can see the sensor devices on their behalf. But more and more, a lot of that control is moving upstream into either vendor owned or a lot of times customer built solutions where they have their own, you know, control their own operational OSS tools. And the standard is really become security, you know, the InfoSec testing of your platform to make sure that it's not going to get compromised, and make sure that you have an API that can get the data northbound into their system. So we spend less time worried about a endpoint a standards body for an endpoint management system, and more so about reliability and resiliency of our platform that is collecting data over a standard, say n Qt T, but is also feeding information northbound. I think I think that's just how things have evolved, there's never going to be one real IoT management standard, you have to be flexible, because in that, in the meantime, customers have created a lot of their own management platforms, and they just want to see it all in one place.

    Steve Statler 22:43

    So do you interface with Cisco spaces? Or was that essentially a competitor?

    Steve Gorretta 22:49

    We can we've done work with Cisco spaces, you know, there, there's a there's a lot in there in that portfolio for them, you know, they a lot of that is focused on, I would say the enterprise Wi Fi management and command and control Wi Fi client endpoints. And they've just started touching on IoT with it. But you certainly if you we've had customers that have used that solution, and said, Hey, we would like to, you know, collate, locate that with IoT sensor data? And of course the answer is, is of course. But one thing that we're mindful of, and what we've seen is that large enterprises often have a multi vendor management solution and access point solution, nobody just buys one brand of access point because they want to have some vendor, they want to have leverage, they want to have flexibility and, and de risk and in certain, look, you know, certain geographies that may be advantageous to have one vendor or the other. So we've actually added capability to send the sensor data and the management data to different places, at the same time, or depending on what location it is, we can send it to one management system or the other. And so we call this kind of multi pipeline capability. And it's been a good selling point for us, because it allows you again, to have that flexibility of vendors and and whether it's on the access point side or on the cloud side.

    Steve Statler 24:22

    Do you see BMC doing anything in this space? They've have a legacy of systems management.

    Steve Gorretta 24:30

    Yeah. So so some of those systems managers? Yeah, there's a there's a big move, I would say two or three years ago, we were in more in the smart building space. And in the smart buildings space. You had this kind of interesting intersection of a lot of Wired technologies and building management systems. You know, Johnson Controls and those Schneider that had a lot of incumbency in the buildings and we're starting to put sensors in actuators and on Wired interfaces and then companies like regatta and other you know wireless companies are coming in and saying actually, there's a different way to do this, you should, you should consider this. And so we've actually done some integrations with those buildings control systems. But honestly that that market has moved more slowly, you know, is there's a bigger picture issue obviously, with corporate real estate and offices and, and where the investment is going in there versus what we see is a real big growth area, which is retail and grocery. So it's the workout of skating to where we see the puck going right now.

    Steve Statler 25:39

    I agree, that is where the pucks going. And there's just so such challenges in terms of food safety, legislation, compliance, FDA FISMA, 204, labor shortages, the need to have more effective omni channel better on shelf availability, I mean, it gets to both the top and the bottom of the of the financial reporting, saving and making money. And you can do that if you have real time visibility of inventory. And if you're going to do that, then then you're going to have a lot of infrastructure in the store. So let's go back to that and talk about what does a deployment look like if I'm gonna have a big box store or Best Buy or Walmart or something like that? How many of your gateways? Am I going to like the need? And what does it look like to deploy them? Yeah,

    Steve Gorretta 26:38

    it's it looks a lot like when you're deploying a Wi Fi network, you know, you size it, you know, okay, here's the square footage of the space, here's the type of space it is, is it is it fairly open, is it closed, how many floors is it, and Bluetooth Low Energy actually has a fairly similar range profile to Wi Fi, you might not think so because we think of Bluetooth audio and your headsets and you know, you can't go very far but Bluetooth Low Energy has a fairly longer ranges, it's a low bandwidth, the, you don't need as much bandwidth as, say Wi Fi. And so you know, every a few 1000 square feet will get covered by one Bluetooth gateway. And so you know, depending on the size of the store, you might, you could have a few 100 gateways deployed around to create really good coverage, that number goes up if you want to get into location services, because then you're talking about using multiple gateways to sort of triangulate the location of a device. And so you tend to add more for that. But for just typical coverage, to see all the devices, you would look at it like a typical Wi Fi access point, which is going back to the AP side of things, which is why it also makes sense to sometimes use that existing infrastructure. But as you mentioned, we're we have a deployment going on right now and a very large retailer. And you know, it could be 200 gateways in a store 250 gateways in the store, just to be safe.

    Steve Statler 28:06

    Very interesting. And you touched on the mobile piece, which I think is fascinating. Up until now the state of the art has been all about tracking the tractor, the front bit of the truck, and then the trailer, you know, where are all those trailers, but now we're talking about having real time visibility about what's in the trailer. And it's, and it's, on one hand, it's like, that's a big step, stop illuminating and seeing every single thing that's in the back of a trailer. But once you do that, you end up having this incredible platform that you have so many use cases, you know, Miss loads, have I put the right thing on the right truck? Right, am I taking the thing off at the right stop if I'm delivering to multiple stores, multiple restaurants then if I have store number ones or to go to store number two, then the repercussions are like threefold store number ones customers are really unhappy store number ones, managers really unhappy because less revenue, lifetime value of customer store number two gets product they don't know what to do with. So that's a bunch of expenses on manpower and then they have probably wastage issues if it's perishable products and then the distributor doesn't get paid because no one that ordered it got what they wanted. And so and then we haven't even started talking about what's the condition of the things on the way from the DC to the store and then you're, in some cases, your ability to start to measure the yield and utilization of the truck and the fact that you can see certainly get ground truth as to is this truck running full or empty or half full. And in some cases that can drive you to completely change the way you manage the transportation network. And that has implications in terms of smaller trucks, less trucks, shorter distances, less labor, power, less fuel. So I really think it's one of these things where the initial case is kind of hard, because everyone looks at the single app, that's going to be the one that justifies putting the infrastructure in the truck. But once I see a kind of inflection point where suddenly, all trailers will be connected, and you'll be able to see everything in a trailer, and everyone will think, Well, I can't believe there's a time when I couldn't see where the item was. And but I don't know. So I'm giving you a very positive view of this use case. Do you want to agree, disagree, qualify? The picture I just painted?

    Steve Gorretta 31:03

    Well, I certainly agree. I mean, we sort of take for granted that, you know, as consumers, we can now track a package from its source to destination, you know, when it gets delivered to our house, and bringing 10 more levels of complexity, where you want to start to see not just where it is, but also what is the temperature of it, has it been moved, has it been moved accelerated in a fashion that could damage it, you know, in what's the air quality been where, where that if it's produce where it's been the whole time. So we got into this years ago with with vaccine cold chain monitoring, we had large farmers, pharma clients, that we're starting to use this technology to take, for instance, a COVID vaccine, every point from production to the point where you, you receive that vaccine, it is monitoring multiple times a second to make sure that it doesn't go through temperature exclusion. So I kind of always felt like that was there. But what I still I was still impressed. And surprised to see the first time where we actually had some of these large trailer trucks with a bunch of goods on them and location information and, and all the data from 1000s of different pieces in those trucks coming into a dashboard that you could just sort of get a sense of, of health of it. And there's so much work that has to go into getting business value out of that data. But it's pretty exciting for us to be in the middle of that as a conduit or to get online. And then also, you know, look at other aspects like the truck itself. You know, there's there's a whole telematics industry that looks into tire pressure, and, you know, cab safety and all these different elements. But those things don't need to be completely distinguished from each other. They can all run in a unified network. And we're starting to see some some interesting burdens there as well. Yeah.

    Steve Statler 33:09

    Very good. Well, we've covered a lot, anything that we haven't covered that we should have talked about in terms of what you're seeing in this Internet of Things, landscape.

    Steve Gorretta 33:23

    Well, I just wanted to add on to you mentioned, you listed about seven or eight things that are happening in the retail supply chain market that I think are just really fascinating. And you ever got a we, we are not. As I mentioned, we don't build like the end to end solution for any one vertical. We play in hospitality we play in pharmaceuticals, retail and grocery has sort of pulled us in as a center of gravity. Because of those things you mentioned, there's so much going on there. But I'm really fascinated to see what happens in the next eight to 10 months, as some of these deployments actually start. And there's particularly in grocery, there's just so much happening there. So much focus on food waste, so much focus on prices, right? Even you look at, you know, people's perception of the economy, so much of it comes down to, you know, the price of milk that they buy, and that gets impacted by how much waste occurs. So it's it's really exciting for us, our team is really energized by this. And, you know, you were willing to have done a lot of work to bring this to the forefront. There's some exciting technology there. And we're excited to be a part of that.

    Steve Statler 34:38

    Yeah, well, it definitely takes an ecosystem and what you folks do is really important part of that ecosystem. You know, from my perspective, the bit that is still very much up in the air is the application side of it, in my opinion, because a lot of the deployments we're doing with the very The largest, most sophisticated companies who essentially write their own software, and if they don't have the software, they often just buy the company that is cheaper to buy the company then then have the completely maxed out ridiculously large software as a service charge that they would get for the scale that they're at. And, you know, that's great. But I don't think I am not seeing the packaged enterprise applications that are really ready to scale this to beyond the tier zero, the very top tier two, the tier one and the tier two. And I think that for me one, because it's all at the end of the day, it's all about apps where we can have the best network, the best infrastructure, the best smart tags. But until you have apps that it's very difficult to simply unlock the value. And in my opinion, the first move is there around food, food safety. So that's an area we've focused on yet. It's

    Steve Gorretta 36:10

    a great point, Steve, I mean, for awhile, I feel the IoT industry was really centered around these builder platforms, right? You can, here's an IoT platform, you can go in, you can create your dashboard, you can, you know, set up a data endpoint, and here you go, you've got to, you've got a proof of concept, you've got a pilot ready in a couple of days, and we were a part of that motion. But a lot of them stall out at the proof of concept, because those application don't really scale that well. And the people building them, we're not people that manage a grocery store day to day, for example, or manage a warehouse or a construction site. And, and so there's definitely been, I think it's sort of all dressed up not yet ready to go for some of the data that's coming in, in the sensors. But we need the applications and and companies that can come in. And that's really what I look for when I go to some of these shows like NRF, and grocery shoppers, I'm always curious to see who's actually building the applications that are going to leverage this, and certainly a lot has been made about AI, and how that's going to impact that I think that there's an interesting convergence between IoT and AI, obviously, that we could probably spend a whole nother show on. But I agree, you know, we're, we're trying to do our part, which is be that data on ramp, and make it easier for customers to to get those things ready. But you know, someone has to be there to actually take that data and turn it into some business value.

    Steve Statler 37:47

    Yeah, I think it's fascinating. And my thought is some of those food safety apps may end up having a lead because they have a way of monetizing something, their apps are being driven by legislation. And today, it's about tracking, shipping events receiving and shipping events to satisfy the FDA. But in doing that, they then also have a platform that can potentially report on the cold chain, which is about reducing waste. And, you know, maybe they can layer on other applications. And much of the rest of the application industry is not down at the certainly not down at the item level, or even the case level. They're tracking at the pilot level. So I think there's an opportunity for the smart app developers to you know, build a position of strength and then land and expand out before the the monolithic giants, the saps and the Oracles get there, but who knows, maybe one of them is watching this show and has a project that's going to be ready to go to

    Steve Gorretta 39:00

    give us a call. Right?

    Steve Statler 39:02


    Steve Gorretta 39:03

    we're happy to help. Very

    Steve Statler 39:04

    good. We'll see. Thanks for this. I think we know a lot more about your product. But beyond that, the landscape of ambient Internet of Things where which is seeing this, this huge growth and I feel like we just finished the main course. And next bit of our conversation is dessert, which dirty secret wondering recorded. So thanks so much for for for a really interesting discussion, and we'll move on to the next chapter.

    Steve Gorretta 39:32

    Sounds great. Thanks, Steve.

    Steve Statler 39:33

    So Steve, you're based in Portland, Oregon, one of my favorite cities. I lived there for 10 years. Started off just off of the pearl district on Flanders. Yeah,

    Steve Gorretta 39:47

    right area.

    Steve Statler 39:47

    Where are your offices based?

    Steve Gorretta 39:50

    We're on the other side of the river just an on the east side. Certainly their convention center the motor center and I myself all also in southeast but, you know, Portland's a pretty small, small town you can you can almost walk around the whole thing, neck Dunoon. So it's it's pretty easy to navigate. That's

    Steve Statler 40:10

    what I love about it is small enough to be accessible but big enough to be really interesting and was fun neighborhoods. So how what's the state of the city these days? It's had a lot of bad publicity every time I've gone there then yeah, there's been issues but I still love it. Where is it in the the upswing downswing? Do you think as far as the growth of high tech and livability that was that part of that magnet for people coming to the city to set up startups when they were kind of in Bay Area? Recovery mode?

    Steve Gorretta 40:48

    Yeah, certainly isn't where it was, say five or six years ago, where Oregon was one of the most move to states in the country for a couple of years. And, and a lot of friends and colleagues are moving up here, low cost of living, you know, high quality of life. And you know that that all changed, you know, given some, some changes to the Oregon tax code on corporations and the pandemic. And things really kind of took some of the wind out of the sails. And were at one point, Portland itself downtown Portland was a recruiting tool for companies, if you had an office in downtown Portland, you would recruit off of that. And now instead, as it ebbs and flows, now, it's kind of out towards the suburbs where there's more space, you know, it's easier to put in a manufacturing or a data center or something like that. And some of the challenges with the the downtown scene and retail have really hit so it's, it's a bit of a downswing. I think eventually, hopefully, it'll come back, as Portland often has in the past. And in terms of startups, there certainly still a good startup culture here in Portland, companies doing interesting things, I like to include riguardo in that conversation, and there's always, you know, a need for talent. And that's, you know, what we're always looking for and companies that are maybe larger entities that want to a satellite Development Center or want to, you know, pick up a company that's doing something interesting. Still look to Portland, I think,

    Steve Statler 42:21

    yeah, I have a huge amount of respect and affection for that city. So let's get into the music choice. What was the hardest part for our guests? Sure. What were the three songs that you chose? And why? Yeah, so

    Steve Gorretta 42:35

    my, my my three songs, I'm going to go through a couple of different areas, actually. So as a as growing up in the 80s, I wanted to start with something from that era as a kid loved the movie Back to the Future. And hit song from Huey Lewis in the news Power of Love came out in sort of a typical ad song with a classic 80s movie, a lot of fun and great way to kick off a movie and Huey Lewis, really cool guy by all accounts. And so wanted to start off with something fun like that.

    Steve Statler 43:07

    I love that and that that DeLorean is still iconic. And I saw it when I was at Universal Studios. Yep, that too, we two weeks ago, and I feel like it's getting a second life through the Tesla cybertruck. It's essentially the DeLorean only on steroids. So I'm very glad that you had an 80s track there. What's your second one? Okay,

    Steve Gorretta 43:35

    so second, let's, let's go back a little bit. And I know you've had folks on you know, a lot of a lot of good Beatles mentions, I love the Beatles love British Invasion, a lot of those bands. But I wanted to counterbalance that with something from the Beach Boys. So we'll start we'll go in with the Beach Boys and I get around, which is, you know, one of their big hits from the 60s and I love the sound love the harmonies. It's another one that's, you know, pretty catchy and also sort of kicked off a little bit of a rivalry between the Beatles and The Beach Boys, I guess mostly friendly, but I thought it'd be nice to balance that out a little bit of just every time that song or a song from those albums comes out. It just kind of feels like summertime on the West Coast and and so I want to pick that one. Yeah,

    Steve Statler 44:25

    that rivalry was was real by all accounts and kind of that creative competition. It's a bit like the creative competition that we have in our industry. I certainly look at what other folks are doing and it inspires me and drives me to raise our game. So very good. And number three, number

    Steve Gorretta 44:48

    three, we'll go more recent and something I consulted my kids on which is Panic at the Disco nine in the afternoon and I really You know, this is from kind of the mid 2000s. But they, you know, hit they had, which I actually took my daughter to her first concert a couple of years ago, their final tour, they played the song, you know, again, another catchy one probably made famous in the Rock Band video game, people were playing that all the time, modest hit on the radio, but just a good good song fun song. And you always have those memories of taking your, your kid to their first concert and seeing their reaction to live music and how, you know how it just enthralls them. And so decided to go with that.

    Steve Statler 45:35

    i Yes, I have deep in my memory banks, I took my youngest son, Sam to a Depeche Mode concert up in LA. And we were the only people that weren't wearing black leather. And he was so young that he actually fell asleep in the middle of an incredibly noisy track. But it's been a bonding experience for us as well. So I completely get why you chose that one, too. Well, those are three great choices. See, thanks very much for those and thanks so much for coming on to the show. Steve,

    Steve Gorretta 46:08

    thanks for having me on was a lot of fun, be in touch.

    Steve Statler 46:13

    Well, I hope you enjoy that conversation as much as I did. I always think these podcasts are good when I feel like I could sit down with our guests with a martini and a nice meal and continue the conversation. And that's definitely the case here. I want to thank Aaron hammock for editing the episode. And thanks and farewell to Brooke Ellsworth in TripIt intern who has done a lot to help me in organizing the distribution of these books. Going back to finish college and we wish her well and thank her and most of all, we thank you. I really really appreciate it your interest loyalty engagement, especially if you've gone this far in the podcast is something that I really value. I hope you're continuing to support us with your active listening. Until next time