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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2017

Turning the Needs into Solutions with End-To-End IoT Design Services: Yodiwo

thesiliconreview-alex-maniatopoulos-ceo-yodiwo-2017The trend of industrial automation and business intelligence systems is to move from closed systems to open technologies of sensors and actuators. A plethora of companies developed machine learning, computer vision and predictive analytics cloud services, which can easily be applied to historical data but not on real-time data streamed by Things. There are discontinuities in the design process of systems that handle data flows from the sensors through cloud services and analytics and up to widgets in web and mobile applications.

Such limitations discourage decision makers to embrace the Internet of Things for improving their business operations. These observations motivated the diverse team of a Swedish company called Yodiwo, to invent a platform for IoT application developers, where open technologies of devices and cloud services are abstracted and easily orchestrated with the use of an advanced Graphical User Interface and Yodiwo came up with this amazing platform called Cyan. 

The journey of Yodiwo so far

Yodiwo was founded in 2015. It is an IoT technology enabler with a unique framework for bridging things and applications over the cloud. The first Yodiwo Platform Enabled Solution was called Yodigram, a system that provides valuable in-store insights based on analysis of photos and videos taken from the points of interest. Yodigram leverages the computer vision library of the platform which is a major asset of Yodiwo for real time analysis of images and video streams. The development of Yodigram proved that with its platform the company could deliver complex and scalable Business Intelligence systems in a fraction of time and with the least possible set up cost.

Yodiwo has an open communication channel with its partners that develop IoT applications but also with the end customers whose businesses are taking advantage of the platform enabled solutions. Input from both types of stakeholders has always been valuable for Yodiwo and played a significant role in the evolution of its products. 

During its initial days, the company faced the reluctance of investors to financially support an IoT platform business plan, but the founding team had strong belief on the game-changing role the platform could have for the massive deployment of IoT applications. A key decision the team made was to have a mock-up of their platform ready as early as possible, even by taking the risk to keep resources out of the development of the actual platform for a while. Yodiwo succeeded to generate leads and gain traction with the platform mock-up.

Consistent growth of the organization

The people in the organization play an important role in the growth of the organization and they are the biggest asset. The agility of the whole team and its efforts for continuous improvement is a key factor for the growth. The company’s culture is dedicated by trust, belief and respect among the team members. The diversity of the people is also one of the core strengths of Yodiwo. Different backgrounds are essential for a platform that requires excellence in connectivity, analytics, cloud programming and even user experience. Yodiwo have 30 people in 2 regions, Sweden and Greece. The Swedish company has presence in USA, Africa and Japan through its agents who report to their Business Development Director supported by the engineering team. 

When Yodiwo started a venture, especially in a niche market, it accepted that the likelihood of success is low but it has managed to leave behind the valley of death. The liability to the employees, the investors, the partners and the customers were increasing and Yodiwo had no other choice than pursue the company’s growth.

A day at work

At Yodiwo, the day starts in the kitchen during coffee making, chatting or criticizing events of the previous day in a distant view, a stress relieving process that builds team spirit. Then, it let the managers have the daily scrum meetings with their groups before a short executive team meeting takes place to review the issues that need immediate attention from more than one business unit. Meetings with partners and customers may be held at any time, even before or after office hours due the time zone differences. The rest of the time is devoted to market research, plans for improvement of processes and product portfolio, preparations of upcoming events and trips, writing of proposals, financial status check and HR matters.

Future milestones to be achieved

Yodiwo have announced and prototyped, together with its partners, a product family of IoT gateways which covers all the range of IoT applications. The code name of the family is Wisper and consists of 3 members: Lite, Eco and Pro. Until now, the company used to offer cross platform software able to run on off-the-shelf devices and will continue to do so. The new device will fill in the gaps Yodiwo have seen in the IoT gateway market. Yodiwo will bridge device manufacturers with the providers of cloud intelligence and will jointly develop solutions with high economic impact for the end customers.

The technology of the company has gained traction of many key influencers of the IoT industry. The target of the company is to create a global organization, well-recognized for its high-quality and innovative products and solutions.

Knowing the leader  

Alex Maniatopoulos, CEO:

Alex is a visionary entrepreneur, passionate with the connectivity of things in favor of applications that improve daily processes. He got his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Patras in 1997. Alex also worked as a director for Atmel and then Samsung LSI division, he took a note of how ironically disconnected the world of connected devices was. That engendered the idea of a platform to accelerate the development of Internet of Things applications, which led to in the inception of Yodiwo.

“We allow our users to connect different network devices and sensors and turn them into ready-to-use functions, create IoT user stories on a visual canvas, and transform their users’ data into actionable items and achieve business efficiency.”