IoT Platform Build vs Buy Discussion with Dima Tokar from MachNation

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In this episode of First Things First, I chat with Dima Tokar, co-founder of MachNation, an industry analyst firm exclusively focused on IoT. MachNation specializes in understanding enterprise, industrial, and B2B IoT applications. They test and research IoT platforms, middleware, and services to find the best ways for organizations to build and bring their IoT solutions to market.

The Story:
A Multi-Billion Dollar Company Dreams of IoT

Dima brings us a story of a multi-billion-dollar company in the transport and services sector that had some big goals for IoT. But alongside those big goals were some significant challenges.

MachNation helped the organization decide which IoT platform was right for them and assisted them with successful implementation.

The Lesson:
The Road to IoT Success is Paved with Flexibility

Though not all IoT solutions need a platform, everyone can learn from Dima’s story:

  • To make any IoT project successful, you need to test the technology.
  • It’s also vital for organizations to maintain flexibility when developing and deploying new IoT solutions.
  • And finally, organizations need to keep the developer in mind when choosing IoT technologies if they want their project to be successful. Make sure that the developer has what they need to succeed.

About Our Guest: Dima Tokar

Dima Tokar is a co-founder and head analyst at MachNation, a leading IoT research firm. He specializes in technology analysis, product management, and product marketing of IoT platforms, software, and services. Before MachNation, Dima worked in technology and marketing management positions at Verivo Software and Fiksu.

You can find Dima on Twitter: @DimaTokar First Things First LinkedIn First Things First Twitter

To get more information about MachNation, visit Things First LinkedIn First Things First Twitter

Show Notes

Don’t miss some of this episode’s memorable moments:

0:35 – Meet Dima Tokar, co-founder of MachNation, and learn more about what his organization does.

4:17 – Dima sets the background for his IoT implementation story, describing the organization, the IoT application, and the challenges of implementation.

6:20 – Dima discusses the challenges of implementing an IoT platform into your organization and explains how MachNation can help.

9:40 – We learn the two main IoT goals for this European transport and services company.

14:35 – Dima speaks to the lessons that this organization learned in developing their IoT solution.

17:30 – Dima discusses the importance of setting realistic expectations for your IoT solutions.

20:00 – Find out the important role that developers play in the success of implementing any IoT solution.

24:00 – Dima’s final takeaways – Test your technology, remain flexible, and make sure the developer has what they need to succeed.

27:30 – Where to find MachNation and how they can help your organization.


“We sort of joke about the amount of research and time people put into buying a new dishwasher or new appliance for their kitchen or a new car. But when it comes to making a multi-million-dollar decision for your organization, sometimes the amount of research, testing, and comparisons that take place is much, much less, which is kind of scary but also a little bit comical.”

“At the end of the day, everybody’s learning. We don’t have a playbook for IoT where you do things by the playbook, and then everything sort of just works out. And so as a result, small companies that are deploying IoT, large companies that are deploying IoT – they all end up learning something in the process.”

“When building your first IoT solution, second IoT solution, or in fact, any IoT solution, it’s important not to expect everything to go smoothly from day one. And I think coming in with realistic expectations about how things are gonna go, planning accordingly, and setting the right expectations internally as well as with your customers – that sort of sets you up to be successful.”

“Don’t forget about the app developer. They’re usually not in the room when certain technology decisions are being made, but that means that someone else in that room, someone else who’s making the decision about which vendor to go with or which solution to select, they have to understand the role that the app developer will play.”

“Adding IoT makes your business in some ways more complicated. Now you’ve got an IT system, you’ve got technology in the cloud and at the edge. And it doesn’t make things simpler just by implementing IoT, so you have to keep an open mind.”

“During development and deployment, be flexible about how things go… Evolve as you are building the IoT solution based on those new requirements that come in, based on new information that comes from the market, and allow this to be somewhat of a moving target… If something comes out slightly different than initially expected, then maybe it’s for the better.”

About Our Sponsor

First Things First is sponsored by Telit, a global provider of wireless connectivity modules, platforms, IoT operator services and professional services. Telit supports thousands of direct and indirect customers by enabling hundreds of millions of connected ‘things.’ With almost two decades of IoT innovation experience, Telit delivers secure, integrated end-to-end IoT solutions for many of the world’s largest brands, including enterprises, OEMs, system integrators, and service providers across industries.