Startup Waylay – The Ultimate Rules Engine For IoT?

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Piet Vandaele, Waylay's CEO, spoke to us about his vision for the Internet of Things and reaching 100,000 connected devices on one deployment, a milestone:

How would you describe Waylay in a few words?

Waylay is a cloud-to-cloud integration platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). What that means in layman terms is that we are an abstraction layer above traditional IoT platforms – we connect IoT solutions with IT applications and cloud services.

On a company side, we are a B2B technology scale-up based in Gent (Belgium). Our customers are typically B2B enterprises that have identified a specific use case of IoT for their business and are employing Waylay to turn it into reality or are struggling with getting true value from an initial IoT deployment.

Startup Waylay Aims To Be First Multi-Billion Connected Devices Platform

Veselin Pizurica (CTO) & Piet Vandaele (CEO)

What inspired you to create the platform? How did you discover the need for it?

Like all truly revolutionary ideas, the vision behind IoT is beautifully simple – just take any “thing” and connect it to the Internet. Turns out, connected things are not that valuable if they don’t connect to anything else that people and businesses use on the internet. So very soon companies rolling out Internet of Things solutions started discovering that integration with existing IT systems, mobile front-ends, and business processes are critical elements to valorize their IoT investments. This is why we have created the Waylay orchestration platform – to solve this problem by providing scalable and reliable interoperability and integration across multi-vendor IoT solutions and enterprise IT systems.

You describe yourself as the developer of “the ultimate rules engine for IoT” through integrating IoT to IT. What’s the process like and what can be achieved with it?

Waylay’s IoT aggregation and orchestration platform indeed embeds a patented rules engine technology. It allows combining streaming IoT data with data at-rest in IT systems in a visual programming interface. The real strength of the platform is that it has been built as an enterprise-grade system that provides scalable and robust lifecycle management of integration logic. Whether you would like to alert your customers, create an asset alarm log, update ERP records or create a work order in your field support system, Waylay is the right solution for you.

Are you using your solutions internally? How does that affect the viewpoints of the development team?

So far, we have operated with a very thin line between services and R&D, such that the complete team feels first hand how our technology is being used in practical use cases. By the way, the Waylay office is undoubtedly the most connected office on earth.

As IoT and the idea behind it become more and more ubiquitous, startups are pushing to get into the industry driving competition. What makes Waylay stand out of the crowd? What is the key differentiator?

We come to the market with a different story and although we offer our technology as a “platform”, we are not what is currently understood as a classical IoT platform. IoT platforms today focus on secure device onboarding, storage, and visualization. We bring state-of-the-art integration capabilities on top of that. Our patented rules-engine enables powerful automation that go way beyond what is currently available on the market. To unleash the power of the Internet-of-Everything (IoE) you must connect people, devices, software applications and online services. Just connecting “things” in a closed system that works in parallel with everything else will not provide enough value for money. Waylay is a service orchestration platform that seamlessly connects all the dots.

What is the biggest challenge that the company has faced?

We have founded Waylay based on a vision of what the future of IoT will look like and what challenges companies deploying IoT solutions will be facing in this future. As with all visions, the present has yet to catch up. Customers are just starting to experiment with IoT projects and although most already see the potential for their particular businesses, actual implementations have not yet picked up speed. But we believe it is not long before we will see IoT cross the chasm in the technology adoption lifecycle into the majority phase.

What is the most memorable moment throughout the history of Waylay?

We are a young company, so every milestone we reach is strongly felt and appreciated. The most recent one would be reaching 100k connected devices on one of our deployments and the same week being named a cool vendor by analyst firm Gartner, Inc. That was a good week at the office.

If there is one thing you could wish for in improving the European startup ecosystem – what would it be?

Get rid of the many different European subsidy programs and put the money into a big European investment fund managed by professionals.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

Dare to be different. If you are in a new market like IoT, it is very easy to go with the flow and develop a platform that is very similar to a lot of things that are already out there. However, it will be easier to find customers if you dare to be different.



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