Finalist | waylay (Belgium) – the amazing potential of PaaS

02/20/2015  |  CODE_n Alumni, CODE_n15 Startup CONTEST, Interview

waylay is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that is purpose-built to design, simulate and deploy automation and predictive maintenance use cases for IoT and connected devices. We talked to Piet Vandaele, managing director of our CODE_n finalist about his vision for the young company and the broad functions of their solution.

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Where did your idea for the company come from?

Piet Vandaele (waylay):

Back in late 2013, we looked at state-of-the-art IoT solutions and noticed that a lot of emphasis was being placed on connecting devices, getting device data to the cloud, storing and visualizing that data, and perhaps allowing manual remote control of devices via smartphones. A typical example would be an application that tracks energy consumption and provides you with a nice overview of your historical consumption and a way to remotely control your thermostat via your smartphone.

While all of that is valuable, it does not immediately make you more efficient and save you time or money. Hence, we decided to build waylay, based on the vision that there should be an invisible cloud-based layer of intelligence that automates a number of tasks and decreases the level of human interaction.

waylay’s name originates from the verb “to waylay”: Our platform lies in wait for various information streams, combines and cogitates on those information streams in a sophisticated way, and then takes action.

For which kind of audience is your product or service intended and what problem is it solving?

Piet Vandaele (waylay):

waylay is a visual tool for automating smart connected device solutions. It seamlessly combines data from devices, applications and online services and enables better real-time decisions via smart reasoning. With waylay’s PaaS platform, OEMs, integrators and solution providers move beyond data aggregation and visualization and create intelligent applications that save time, money, improve customer service or enable new business models.

With its solutions, waylay targets:

  • IoT platform providers that need a state-of-the-art rules and decision engine. We strongly believe that waylay is complementary to a lot of the current IoT platform offers that mainly concentrate on scalable data aggregation, storage, data visualization and in some cases analytics.
  • IoT solution providers, including integrators and mobile app developers: companies that have a services business model and pick best-of-breed technology components on the market
  • Service providers, including those that provide services around a broader class of connected devices (smartphones, smart TVs, etc)
  • Product companies extending their product range with an IoT-based service offering and who are looking for technology to enable remote monitoring and predictive maintenance

Tell us a bit about the company’s founders like their professional or industry background and the origins of the founding idea.

Piet Vandaele (waylay): The company was started in early 2014 by Veselin Pizurica and me, Piet Vandaele. We’re both two former employees of Alcatel-Lucent and were involved in the remote management of DSL routers and networks, where the emphasis was on real-time monitoring of individual devices and DSL lines.

Based on our experience in telecoms, we foresaw a similar evolution in IoT. We anticipated that once data gets to the cloud and is visualized, you will want to decrease the level of human interaction and have a level of intelligence that takes decisions in the background, with limited or no human involvement.

Which use cases are the most popular ones at the moment and what else is possible with regards to the functionalities of your solution, ones that people might not have fully discovered yet?

Piet Vandaele (waylay): waylay can be used across many verticals (layers of industry), it can for example send alerts when machine parameters get out of range, or automate the settings of an air conditioning unit based on the weather conditions, or predict when it’s time for the next maintenance schedule, or when to harvest crops.
It does this by cleverly combining data from sensors, devices, software applications and online services and acting upon the result of a real-time analysis.
Currently, waylay is mostly used in building automation and for optimizing the maintenance of remote machinery, but we believe it also has substantial potential in proactive customer care, where continuous sensor and data readings make it possible to analyze and resolve problems in the background, even before customers start calling you on the helpdesk.

See waylay live on the CODE_n Stage on Wednesday, 18.03.2015.