A lot can happen in 365 days. That was certainly true for Digi in 2019. Our global team of more than 500 employees continues to drive IoT innovation and reshape its future in the process. With a customer-centric approach to delivering solutions that shift the paradigm and outcomes for its customers, Digi brings innovative products and services to fulfill its promise to deliver mission-critical connectivity just about anywhere in the world.
Here is a review of Digi's top highlights from 2019.
We kept a fast pace of new product introductions (NPIs) throughout the year. A big hit in 2019 were the seven new Digi XBee Tools, including MicroPython programmability to enable easy, smart edge capabilities and the Digi XBee Interface Board (XBIB-C), a full-feature development board primed for rapid prototyping and development.
Two more embedded product introductions in 2019 included the expansion of the Digi ConnectCore® family with the Digi ConnectCore 8X and 8M Nano. These highly integrated SOM platforms are both based on NXP® i.MX technology and round out the ConnectCore family, which now offers a full-range of SOM products and pricing.
2019 brought plenty of NPIs in the router and networking product categories as well. We delivered new purpose-built routers, including the FirstNet Ready™ Digi WR54, the Digi IX14, an industrial grade router, and the versatile Digi EX15.
In our networking solutions, NPIs included the next generation of the popular Digi AnywhereUSB® server, Digi AnywhereUSB Plus, and three new SKUs for the Digi Connect IT family of console servers for secure, remote out-of-band management of IT assets.
Digi dramatically enhanced our software offering in 2019. In addition to significant software releases supporting embedded Digi products, Digi Remote Manager®, the engine that drives device management and provides significant security capabilities for Digi devices, graduated to version 3.0 in June.
Digi Remote Manager now includes a comprehensive set of connectivity tools, networking features, analytics and edge computing capabilities. These features enable IoT solutions managers to quickly and easily determine the operating status and location of all their remote digital assets and deploy rapid updates, anywhere in the world. It also provides compelling value in the form of secure IoT networking for enterprise network managers and service providers who need to incorporate security and networking best practices into a single IoT management solution.
Bringing the best connectivity and management solutions to customers was greatly enhanced with the acquisition of Opengear, announced in the final weeks of 2019. Joining forces with Opengear allows for a broader delivery of critical IT infrastructure management solutions, including failover-to-cellular and out-of-band management tools.
As CEO Ron Konezny stated at the time of the acquisition: “Joining forces with Opengear gives customers an expansive, high-value, technology portfolio that is hardware enabled and software defined. Both companies have a deep commitment to our customers and will continue to invest in product development to deliver business- and mission-critical solutions.”
Along with the Opengear acquisition, Digi was busy integrating teams and products from its 2018 Accelerated acquisition. Customers will now find the CORE™ technology, initially developed by our enterprise router team, incorporated into many of our industrial and transportation routers as well.
In January, Digi International headquarters moved from its long-time location in Minnetonka, Minnesota to the beautiful and modern Excelsior Crossings in Hopkins, occupying two newly-remodeled floors of the 700 building. CEO Konezny explained the rationale for the move as a practical and symbolic representation of the always-evolving Digi, which continues to take leaps forward after 35 years in business. The new HQ brings additional collaborative space and tools, and will propel Digi’s innovation and customer focus to the next level.
Digi’s new HQ is also a showcase of IoT innovation, with fun, interactive demos like customer NuMedia’s virtual greeter, Angie; Digi’s smart transit demo pod; and best of all, the XBeer™ demo that unlocks every day at 4 p.m.
The new HQ space has proven to be a great place to host customer events, including our annual IoT Conference kick-off reception. We invite all of our customers and partners to visit.
In June 2019, Digi hosted its second annual IoT Conference with more than 400 guests in attendance, and then held a second IoT Conference in October in Spain with nearly 200 attendees. This private, invite-only event is quickly becoming the “must-attend” event for Digi customers. Why? Digi loads the day with insightful and thought-provoking keynotes and in-depth sessions, more than 30 hands-on demos in the IoT Zone, reveals new products, and showcases the best of IoT at the customer awards during a gala dinner.
Dr. Ajay Agrawal, author of Prediction Machines, was a crowd favorite. As founder of University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab, Agrawal led guests through an examination of the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine prediction, taking into consideration how companies set strategies, how governments design policies and how people can plan their lives in an AI-enabled world.
The most rewarding aspect of the business journey for any enterprise is the success of its customers. In this regard, 2019 was a banner year for Digi. Customers like Otis Elevator worked with Digi to make elevators smarter – using Digi technology to ensure elevators operate at maximum capacity during peak hours, as well as supporting Otis’ predictive maintenance requiarements.
Evoqua is changing the water treatment industry with its Digi-enabled solution by leveraging predictive analytics to deliver a proactive service model. AddÉnergie is revolutionizing charging infrastructures with intelligent solutions. Its four major electric vehicle charging networks in North America all reliably connect with Digi solutions. KEP – Kessler-Ellis Products designs, manufactures and services industrial process automation and control products. With its complete IoT solution built with Digi, KEP is able to measure steam required to heat and power major cities.
2019 Minnesota Tekne Award for IoT.
The market has also recognized Digi’s strong IoT position with a 20% growth in its share prices. “The company, which really started to gain traction in 2018, has achieved its highest price since the tech-bubble days of 1999. Only this time, the underlying performance is driving interest in the Hopkins-based wireless company that provides 'internet of things' products and services,” said columnist Neal St. Anthony in his November 23 write-up.
With so much accomplished in 2019, the future for Digi does seem bright. A continued emphasis on customers’ IoT success and the focus on products and services that help customers meet their needs has strong roots. Look for 2020 to bring even more value for customers.
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