Fishers-Based IoT Company Has Vision for the Future

Writer  /  Kara Kavensky
Photographer  /  Brian Brosmer

“Forward thinking” only begins to describe ClearObject and clearly defines its leadership.

In a world of smart devices, connectivity between these devices is the next logical step. The “Internet of Things” is defined as “the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” We may not be fully aware that we are surrounded by this in our daily lives. This may apply to your alarm system for a home or car, a remote that controls lighting or an autonomously driven vehicle. It’s projected that by the year 2020, 25 billion objects will be connected, including 90 percent of cars*.

ClearObject moved their headquarters to Fishers due to the shared vision by Mayor Scott Fadness.

“Mayor Fadness provides us with a virtual playground here,” shares ClearObject CEO and visionary John McDonald. “We relocated here because Fishers is driven to grow companies in the IoT space.”

This year, the City of Fishers announced an IoT Lab, the first of its kind in this state. By showing that the city is willing to take risks in the IoT space, it allows ClearObject to explore possibilities. Fishers is focused upon allocating resources to invite other people into the area to work and grow.

ClearObject, originally named CloudOne, began as a cloud service company in 2008. That same year, John was working for IBM. A client, the fast food chain McDonald’s, wished to move their software development to a “cloud” via a third-party company. There was a problem with this proposal, as it violated IBM’s operating agreement. Working through this challenge with a vision of where operating systems were progressively headed, John facilitated the first IBM cloud contract to the cloud for McDonald’s.

The third-party company ran the cloud, which figured out a way to isolate and create a type of cloud, or “island” architecture, enabling a cloud of one, thus the company’s original name, CloudOne. John joined CloudOne as their CEO.

The leap to IoT was a natural next step. CloudOne’s first wave of significant growth towards the IoT space occurred during 2012 to mid-2014 with client Cummins Engine. Cummins had built into their engines a system that sends data to a private cloud, connected via expensive connective diagnostics, including live telemetry.

“Any Cummins engine, while out on the open road, can send a message to the fleet operator at any time,” McDonald says. “Cummins tracks 13,000 diagnostic codes every day, which is the largest IoT solution on the planet.”

Purpose driven in solving the data collection issue with Cummins, the team at CloudOne had pioneered something that had yet to be labeled as IoT. Through this successful project, CloudOne realized that they needed to rebrand officially as an IoT company, thus pivoting to ClearObject, with the tag line, “Where IoT is made.”

So, what is next for ClearObject? They are still hosting legacy applications and providing cloud services, only now they do it with an eye on IoT solutions. Given their track record with progressive solutions, they are the ones creating the future, and Fishers is providing the ideal playground.

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*Predicts 2015: The Internet of Things,” Gartner, January 2015

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