With more devices than ever connected to the internet and to each other, the world of networking today has progressed far beyond traditional human-to-machine communications. Everyday consumer objects are being turned into communication end points in this well-connected world to create what is commonly referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).
Many organizations are buying into the IoT but then struggle to evaluate the value and priority of the range of products and services available. Most traditional manufacturers do not have the connectivity and data expertise required to quickly and successfully implement a ready-for-market IoT-connected product. One pioneering company helping them bridge this gap is FAVORIOT, a company founded in 2017. It offers an IoT platform developed to support the integration of data from sensors and actuators on the internet so collecting and storing data from IoT devices becomes much easier. The platform also helps developers in building vertical applications without worrying about hosting and managing heterogeneous IoT devices.
The Inception Story
The idea took shape at the end of 2016 when both Co-founders Dr. Mazlan Abbas and Dato’ Wei Chuan Beng wanted to do something they thought would help family members take care of their elderly parents who lived alone at home. They wanted to monitor their whereabouts and health while maintaining constant communication without them carrying a smartphone.
With an experienced team of IoT specialists led by another Co-founder, Dr. Gopinath, and the combined experience of 3 years developing the core IoT platform, they continued for another 1 year building a Smart Healthcare for Senior Care called Favorwatch. The product has now been expanded to cater for Hajj/Umrah Pilgrims – and is called “Raqib”.
“As a Founder, we must find the right co-founders who have similar vision, passion, and commitment. Initially, as an unknown Startup, we had to quickly get the FAVORIOT brand into the public eye to attract investors. Personally, I have participated in many speaking engagements and also aggressively promoted FAVORIOT on all social media channels. We are now known to be the leading IoT Startup in Malaysia. Team members have come and gone but we ensure that this does not disrupt our vision by hiring younger blood that shares our journey, talent, and motivation.”– asserts Dr. Mazlan Abbas
Initial Hiccups and Strategies for Success
It has always been difficult to find the right traction and the right market segment. FAVORIOT faced many challenges, especially in finding a profitable business model and a practical way to reach the market, especially because they are a small team but have a global vision. Furthermore, IoT is still in its infancy. FAVORIOT help businesses through early stages of their business transformation by identifying the business case and the required technology components. With FAVORIOT IoT Middleware, they can rapidly build IoT solutions within weeks instead of months.
FAVORIOT’s Range of Services
There are 4 core products offered by FAVORIOT:
- Raqib is the latest service from FAVORIOT to solve the problems of pilgrims going to Mecca to perform their Hajj and Umrah. Problems such as missing pilgrims in foreign places, the danger of disease outbreaks, and the complexity of managing a huge number of pilgrims can cause anxiety to family members back home. Raqib provides a wearable device for pilgrims that can be monitored through mobile apps by their family members or through a Pilgrim Monitoring System for Hajj authorities or travel agencies.
- Favorwatch for elderly persons who live alone when their caregivers or children are at work. They are prone to falls that can cause injury or death. Patients with Alzheimer’s might get lost on their way home. Favorwatch provides a solution for the working children to monitor their parents at home and get alerts in case of an emergency such as fall or if they travel outside a designated area. Favorwatch also measures their health vital signs.
- FAVORIOT IoT Middleware is a core component in building IoT solutions such as Raqib and Favorwatch. However, the platform also allows other IoT developers to create their own applications by subscribing to the platform. More than 17 universities locally and globally, including some private training centers, have created a new talent pool of IoT developers in the country who understand how to create IoT solutions rapidly using the tools provided by the platform.
- Favorsense is a solution to help build better cities and communities through better engagement by providing a crowdsensing application that delivers complaints to the proper channels. It offers a better workflow to resolve and track issues, including monitoring the service level agreement.
Keeping Pace Industry Trends
The world is now moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. IoT will become one of the key technologies in this revolution. FAVORIOT is in a very good position to become an industry leader. In fact, many organizations, especially universities, come to them for advice in terms of generating the right talents.
There are no competitors providing a solution similar to Raqib for Hajj and Umrah. It is a single device solution which benefits four stakeholders, namely the pilgrims, their family members, Hajj authorities, and travel agencies. It’s a well-defined market that will never end.
The IoT industry is highly fragmented; there is no ‘one-man shop’ providing a complete IoT solution from connectivity to data insights. In the future, FAVORIOT is expected to enhance its products with the latest technology such as AI and Blockchain. FAVORIOT aims to be a regional player and is currently in talks with overseas partners.
By leveraging their strategic partner network, investors and existing customers, FAVORIOT will penetrate new markets and grow their customer base. Its history of strong customer-use cases provides FAVORIOT with the credibility it needs to expand into new markets and also gives them the foresight to build more customer-centric features