March 17, 2017

N.io hires executives from Time Warner Cable and Dell EMC

Startup says its software could accelerate Internet of Things in supply chain.

By Ben Ames

Technology startup N.io Innovation LLC has hired a pair of high-profile tech executives from Time Warner Cable and Dell EMC, as the Internet of Things (IoT) software provider prepares to launch its platform for industrial and logistics users by 2018, N.io executives said last week.

N.io hired Sven Gerjets as chief product officer and Christopher Ratcliffe as chief marketing officer, the company said. Gerjets had previously served as chief information officer at Time Warner Cable and held other technology management roles at AT&T, Symantec, DirectTV, and Pearson. Ratcliffe worked most recently as Dell EMC's senior vice president of marketing for Core Technologies, following similar jobs at companies ranging in size from Fortune 10 to startups, N.io said.

Broomfield, Colo.-based N.io, which pronounces its name "Neo," said the new executives will help spread its digital transformation platform (DxP) product beyond its current customer base in the industrial, agriculture, telecom-media-entertainment, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) verticals. New applications for N.io's software could include key logistics applications such as smart supply chain optimization, artificial intelligence, telematics, wearable technology, auto-ID and RFID, and location-based services, according to a research paper published by Boulder, Colo.-based consulting firm Harbor Research.

The company needed to add the new executives to sustain its fast growth and prepare to launch for wider markets, N.io CEO Doug Standley said in a phone interview. The company is growing from $5.5 million in revenue last year to an estimated $15 million for 2017 and expanding its payroll from 37 employees to a target of 60 to 75 by the end of the year, Standley said.

That fast pace of expansion shows that the privately held company is poised to make an impact in the logistics and retail space, Gerjets, the new chief product officer, said during the interview. "There's no better time to market to drive business value; companies have to modify their supply chains to compete with Amazon, and this product was designed to allow CIOs to keep up with the pace of the Internet of Things," Gerjets said.

N.io's software could be applied to the supply chain sector to speed up transactions and improve product visibility, the company says. N.io's software, for example, could be used to program strategic nodes (such as smart sensors, auto-ID readers, or loading dock scanners) to make nearly instant "decisions" instead of transmitting bulk data back to a centralized cloud for analysis first.

That approach could help IoT users overcome challenges, according to the Harbor Research report, called "Designing The Future of Connected Systems." "The N.io platform anticipates [IoT] developers' and users' toughest challenges—from interoperability and latency to database dependency and user complexity—as a group of problems that can be addressed by a single, unified, scalable software solution," the Harbor Research report said.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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