Chances are you can’t go 5 minutes without coming into contact with some sort of device that has software interacting with hardware. Whether it’s an iPhone, Amazon’s Alexa or FitBit these embedded systems have seen explosive growth in recent years, however this is only the beginning. With the roll out of 802.11ax, 5G and Wifi developments, it appears that IoT will continue this voracious growth in the years to come.
Alan: Welcome back joining me today is Rajesh Subramaniam, he is the founder and the CEO of EmbedUR systems Rajesh welcome to today's show.
Rajesh: Thank You Alan thanks for having me here
Alan: So for the listeners Rajesh can you give your background starting from your education level, your experience prior to EmbedUR and in what brought you up for the inspiration of this company.
Rajesh: Again first of all thanks to you and thanks to everybody in the studio for giving me an opportunity to be here. It's great to be back here and talking to you. 1994 is when I came came into the country actually- 1992 is when I came into the country. Grew up in India, Southern part of India in a city called Chennai and I went to school there master's- I did my bachelor's in electrical engineering moved to the United States '92 to '94 finished my master's look to the Silicon Valley and this was the time when there were a lot of startups around Silicon Valley. Telecom was booming, internet was a big thing, Netscape... I mean I still remember the days where people used to use Gopher and then Netscape and then Google and was a huge transformation. I was looking around, got a few jobs in multiple corporations and I eventually thought that there's an ideal opportunity being in Silicon Valley to be able to make a difference in the industry that I was working in. And as a result with two other colleagues of mine decided to start EmbedUR Systems. I had built two startups and a big company and I had the mindset where you know I've been through a big company I've been through a small company, maybe this is a time to go out on my own and start and see how it progresses and so we started EmbedUR Systems in 2004- July and the focus was going to be supporting service providers and basically telecom and data networking equipment vendors and so-called OEMs and being able to provide virtual R&D and product engineering for them. So that is how I got started.
Alan: Now when you started did you actually have clients lined up or did you just start with a concept, a plan a vision and then say we'll figure that out later?
Rajesh: There were no customers first. So we had this grand vision of starting and we had a business plan and we laid out certain metrics and we said we're going to try this for nine months or ten months to begin with. So the goal was to start, we put together a plan in August of 2004/September of 2004. This plan was well formulated and in Jan of 2005 we took it to action and we said let's stick with this plan for seven to eight months and let's see if we sign up customers. So we started approaching customers and eventually we signed up our first customer on July or August. So six to seven months was real hard work and being focused- follow one course until being successful so it was waiting it out and making sure that we find the right customer to be able to start the process of building the company.
Alan: What was it like getting your first customer?
Rajesh: Oh it was like winning Super Bowl you know. I see players just hitting the turf and they're crying and you know it was it was like it was a testament to staying the course, persevering always wins. I'm still having goose pimples the moment i think of that experience because it was- you end up doubting yourself through time and you have responsibilities. I mean i had two kids who were really small, my younger one was two years old, my elder one was five years old and I'm going like- am i doing the right thing here? I don't have a paycheck, after being used to this semi monthly paycheck coming in, I don't have a paycheck and I'm going like, is this going to work out? But then I said this is my opportunity, I got to go big and try it and when the first customer came in it was like "yes." And it was it was phenomenal.
Alan: Now the majors specializes in embedded systems,
Alan: and for the listeners can you explain what is an embedded system?
Rajesh: So an embedded system most of the time there are a lot of these electronic devices that you buy from Best Buy from Amazon from different stores, Target wherever and you look at it as an electronic box, it's a big black box but there are a lot of things that happen within the box. There's a Silicon in it which is basically processors and other hardware that is manufactured by these big silicon companies, example like Intel, Qualcomm, Marvell, Broadcom and many others and they all have to be designed in together and there is some special software that goes in to this system to build the capability of the system. So if you buy a Fitbit- I mean it's got electronics and it's got software in it. If you buy a router from Best Buy- it's got electronics in it it's got software in it. And if you buy any other device which is an electronic gadget it's a combination of all of this. To us we call this an embedded system which has its own processors, its own peripheral electronics and its own software and all these come together to make this one big box.
Alan: I'm visiting here today with Rajesh Subramaniam and Rajesh I need to take a quick break and we'll be right back after these messages.
Rajesh: Thank you Alan
Alan: Welcome back I’m visiting here today with Rajesh Subramaniam he is the founder of EmbedUR and Rajesh in the previous segment we talked about embedded systems and how they applied to electronic devices what's the fastest area in the industry of embedded systems today?
Rajesh: Well there are a lot of different things that have happened over the last five to eight years. If you where to look at it the Internet of Things as a big vertical that's growing really really fast; sensors, electronics, variables and Internet of Things associated with all of these is a very fast-growing segment. And on top of that we have devices- especially wireless which is just grown and continues to grow when I'm talking about Wireless I'm talking about licensed spectrum wireless, unlicensed spectrum Wireless and the combination of all of this is led to a big infrastructure growth as well in terms of traditional switching equipment has become important and that is growing fast. Data center businesses are going fast, cloud is growing fast as a result all of this is pushing more devices into the market and the growth segment is looking huge. So to answer your question, IOT is a big thing that's proliferating across the board and and since we are specialized in Wi-Fi which is unlicensed spectrum Wi-Fi that is a growth segment that we're seeing which continues to build momentum and continues to grow across the world.
Alan: So when you look at the development of this new technology the 5G house that can affect your industry?
Rajesh: I think as technologies as new technologies come in they always create disruptions. For us there are a lot of growth indicators and growth factors so this machine-to-machine the moment the 5G and the 4G and LTE revolution took place what you call m2m or machine to machine communication increased tremendously. So as a result when this communication increases tremendously there are applications, the killer apps that come into play. So we believe that this is going to enable more IOT, more growth in IOT, because at the end of the day you need to be able to communicate over the Internet and 5G and all of this technology and even Wi-Fi, there's a new standard that's come out called 11aX and that's going to be launched probably later this year by many different companies around the world and all of this put together along with 5G and licensed and unlicensed Wi-Fi is only going to increase the velocity with which these IOT or Internet of Things devices are going to proliferate the market.
Alan: You know when you look at net neutrality I guess the FCC is starting to get involved with with things and give me some background, what's going on there?
Rajesh: I think but a lot of different views about this topic and every person shares a specific concern or a viewpoint-
Alan: What is it?
Rajesh: I mean net neutrality is basically saying do all of us have equal rights to be able to use the internet or the capacity with which we consume content and can somebody prioritize and monetize it differently for different services. And there are a lot of arguments for and against, but I believe we should leave it I mean being a capitalistic society I believe that the companies that have invested in the infrastructure are the ones that should be able to at least reap the benefits of all this huge infrastructure investment that they put in and as a result there should be some consideration towards these big corporations service providers especially all the people who are put in all of this infrastructure together to be able to reap the benefits and then taper it off so that everybody gets an equal piece of the pie once that investment remark cost is amortized across a span of several years.
Alan: So in example here, if say PG&E puts all the power lines up someone comes along and says, 'the power lines are up I should be able to use-'
Rajesh: Exactly this it's our game now you it's fair game now I should be able to use the power lines, I mean everybody uses it so it doesn't make sense I mean PG&E is for a profit for for-profit business yeah and at the end of the day PG&E has to monetize it so the moment they monetize it yes there's always talked about big corporations pay themselves first before they take care of the customers but incentivize the people who have invested money in it to be able to put back more money into the business and its really better for customers in the long run.
Alan: So in in this world of capitalism it's it makes sense to let people continue to monetize.
Rajesh: Exactly and the moment if people step in and participate in arguing who gets what then it becomes complicated.
Alan: Okay I'm visiting here today with Rajesh Subramanian, I need to take another break and we'll be right back after these messages
Alan: Welcome back I'm visiting here today with Rajesh Subramaniam and we're talking about embedded systems and the state of the industry and them I want to turn the page of the future of the internet of things what do you see all this going?
Rajesh: Oh wow this is a great question what is happening is devices are becoming commodities I mean if you really think about that Silicon Valley is stepping up the game in terms of taking innovative approaches to software and how we solve problems. Devices are going to be a commodity business by which I mean- monetization is going to start coming down in terms of profitability on devices which means innovative solutions, cloud computing, being able to provide algorithms in the cloud understanding human behavior and solving problems based on behavior and data being collected is the next big thing that is taking shape. So securing data, collecting data, analyzing data, mining data, having algorithms then tested for the data and creating patterns- these are the big things that are happening today and if you look at the cloud technology, Amazon with Amazon Web Services, they have been in the forefront of this. This is a genius move and I'm just completely amazed with the vision that Jeff Bezos had when he first started this whole Amazon Web Services and they've put a lot of other companies out of business and what that what this does is gives anybody access to a huge compute platform where I can run specific algorithms and shape behaviors and then control multiple things in different facets of life on a daily basis and that's where this is going.
Alan: What do you see is the most beneficial application.
Rajesh: So I was talking to somebody, there are a lot of different applications, I was talking to this this person from a chip company he's a very very senior leader and he was talking about, how we can use Wi-Fi technology where these AP's that are sitting in your house can't read the different aspects of your heartbeat and sense your heartbeat and if the heartbeat slows down can immediately trigger a alarm to the cloud which then triggers a health monitoring system to be able to come in and in fact enable you to stop heart attacks or even create a time interval where the response time is completely accelerated and save lives. I mean so many different things are happening where all of this data like I said- being able to collect data and being able to analyze data, health, transportation automation, industrial- I mean every aspect of life is going to change based on what we do. The autonomous cars- again it's all about how the car moves, what sensors you have, collecting all the data and this huge compute engine then directs the car to do the right thing.
Alan: Do you see a definite leader in the area of artificial intelligence as this industry is coming out?
Rajesh: There are many different companies again, there are multiple verticals in terms of what we see, of course Tesla has already done a lot of things with this autonomous car self-driving cars and Google was coming in and Apple is already coming in with lot of different innovation, so I wouldn't say there's one single company that's building this but again the company that's provided the platform in the infrastructure is Amazon and they have come up with Alexa and they've kind of tried to pivot the whole industry there and it becomes very important I want to make a point here. If the internet was not as fast as it is today, none of this would have happened, because it goes back to the fundamental philosophy where you got to have a strong and a big pipe. The pipe was enabled with fiber, light, 10 gig, multiple gig fast transportation. Once that was enabled infrastructure. Amazon came in, many other companies followed suit, cloud computing and infrastructure. Now we have the base platform set in and every vertical now has an opportunity to participate and create a difference.
Alan: Where do you see embedded systems going 5 years into the future here?
Rajesh: Like I said, we've been working on hardware and we've been working on software as well but our hardware revenue stream has decreased tremendously so we do maybe 1% or even zero I would say in the last two three years and it's all significant software where we believe we can add a difference in this old system ecosystem, is where we build software. So open networking, software-defined networking, open devices, being able to compute at the cloud and making the devices really thin so the devices are manufactured out of the country focus on low price but bring in monetizable value by creating sub subscription services and then enabling different applications on top of that. That's where we see this growing and that's where we're trying to pivot EmbedUR where to go.
Alan: These chips seem to be getting smaller and smaller...
Rajesh: Absolutely, I mean an SOC system on a chip- I mean everything is smaller now- I mean every device is getting smaller it's more compact but it does a lot more.
Alan: Been visiting here today with Rajesh Subramaniam and he's a founder and the CEO of EmbedUR Systems, so where gesture someone was interested engaging your services or getting a hold of you how do they go about that?
Rajesh: They can visit us at www.embedur.comand then there's an email, they can fill in a form, it goes to our marketing department and then they would reach out and support and take any calls and see how we can support our future customers and prospective customers.
Alan: Thanks for being at today's show.
Rajesh: Oh thanks a lot Alan, thanks for having me here.
Alan: We'll be right back after these messages