Homaira Akbari joins the board of Banco Santander

Madrid, September 27, 2016. The Board of Directors of Banco Santander has agreed to name Homaira Akbari as an independent member of the Board. Ms. Akbari was nominated by the Bank’s Appointments’ Committee, filling the vacancy left by Angel Jado who has resigned from his position. Her appointment has received the necessary regulatory approvals and will be put forward for ratification at Banco Santander’s next general shareholders meeting.

Pictures in high quality (ZIP 9,81 Mb)
Following Ms. Akbari’s nomination, the Board of Directors of Banco Santander will increase its diversity, with greater international and sector representation. The bank will now have six women on the board, or 40% of its members, among the highest presence in international banking. The Board will continue to have 15 members of which a majority (eight) are independent.

Homaira Akbari has dual American and French nationality, earned a Ph.D. in particle physics from Tufts University and holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. She has had an extensive corporate career in France and the United States. Ms. Akbari is CEO of global advisory firm AKnowledge Partners, which specializes in The Internet of Things, Security, Big Data and Analytics. She is a board member at several technology companies as well as the French service and utility company Veolia Environnment.

Banco Santander’s Group Executive Chairman, Ana Botín, said: “The Bank is very proud to have Homaira join our board of directors. Her skills and professional experience will be extremely useful for Santander as we move ahead in our digital transformation. Her broad cultural and professional background will make us a better bank”.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to Angel Jado for his commitment, dedication and the significant contribution he has made to the Bank. Over the years, his advice and strategic vision were very valuable to the board and to me personally”. Mr Jado was a member of the board of directors in two different periods throughout the Group’s history, from 1972 to 1998 and from 2010 to 2016.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and among the top banks on a global basis. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 12,500 branches and 190,000 employees at the close of June 2016. In the first half of 2016, Santander made underlying profit of EUR 3,280 million.

IoT Magazine Cover Article features Dr. Homaira Akbari

More with Homaira Akbari

By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC

In this issue’s cover story, Homaira Akbari talks about how health care will be the next big vertical for the Internet of Things. That’s because the IoT, she points out, can be used for everything from patient monitoring to asset tracking.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s possible in health care using the Internet of Things. At a past IoT Evolution event, one speaker talked about IoT ingestibles that allow doctors to see inside their patients’ bodies for diagnosis and treatment.

IoT devices can also be attached to the outside of our bodies to address health issues – and I’m not just talking about fitness trackers, and glucose and heart monitors. For example, a company called Ekso Bionics has created the Ekso GT, an FDA-approved exoskeleton for people with spinal cord injuries or those who have suffered a stroke. This is essentially a robot that is strapped on to the user’s body in an effort to help the patient gain mobility and strength.

“Ekso GT enables functional based, intensive, over ground gait training and is designed to support the re-learning of correct step patterns and weight shifts, potentially mitigating compensatory behaviors,” the company explains.

This product is available today, in Canada, most European countries, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States, and it’s being offered by more than 150 rehabilitation institutions.

Speaking of movement, I didn’t include this part of our discussion in this issue’s cover story, but Akbari and I also talked a bit about how the IoT will enable companies that have traditionally sold products to expand into the business of selling services. That, of course, moves these businesses from a one-time sale scenario into a recurring revenue model.

Printing company Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is an example of a company that is moving in that direction. The German company in May announced its selection of PTC’s ThingWorx technology to enable it to remotely monitor and service more than 25,000 printing devices and software modules. ThingWorx helps power Heidelberg Remote Service, an offering that is today used in 50 countries with as many as 3,000 remote sessions per month and through which the company can resolve more than 70 percent of issues.

“We have successfully connected over 10,000 machines and 15,000 systems with the new

solution and as the global leader in our market, we can give our customers excellent support,” said Uwe Galm, vice president, system service and head of operations at Heidelberg. “With the ThingWorx platform, ongoing consultation as needed, and regular function and security updates through PTC Cloud Services, we are well positioned for the future.”

While plenty of companies have put in place successful IoT implementations, Akbari noted the challenge they face in doing so due to the fragmentation of the IoT marketplace. The fact that some companies have had to put together IoT solutions with piece parts of different vendors’ solutions, and that there is no standardization in the IoT, has resulted in lost time and money for some early adopters, she said. For example, one company had already spent $20 million on developing an IoT solution that failed to meet requirements before they engaged Akbari to help get on the right track. The problem, Akbari explained, was that the company had built some parts of the solution itself, and those parts were not performing well, and it selected platforms that were not capable of interfacing with other systems at a reasonable cost.

In light of this, many IoT solution providers have moved to put together 95 to 98 percent of what customers need for an IoT deployment, Akbari said. But the ideal IoT marketplace scenario, she added, would be to have a collection of players that each focus on a core competency, but whose different solutions could easily integrate with one another and with customers’ legacy systems. She referred to this idea as the move to horizontal models.

Some industrial equipment has been in existence for 70 years, and it’s going to stick around a while, added Akbari, so you can’t force feed these companies all the pieces of an IoT solution, and you need to be able to integrate with that legacy embedded base. To this point, Akbari offers elevator KONE as an example.
KONE earlier this year announced its selection of IBM as an IoT partner. IBM’s Watson IoT Cloud Platform will enable KONE to collect and store equipment data, build applications, and develop new solutions empowered by the newly connected elevators and escalators. But Akbari said KONE has elevators that were put in service as far back at 1912, which she added shows the complexity of IoT and the requirement that it address a variety of equipment and systems even within a single customer deployment.

IoT Evolution Conference and Expo Announces Special Panel with IoT Investment Leaders

IoT Evolution Conference and Expo Announces Special Panel with IoT Investment Leaders

Leading Internet of things event explores the IoT startup landscape and the potential for unique investment opportunities

Norwalk, CT—May 10, 2016—TMC and Crossfire Media announced today the special panel discussion, Money & Management: Is it Better to be Unique or Unicorns? at IoT Evolution Conference and Expo, being held July 11-14, 2016 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. IoT Evolution Expo is directed at companies interested in understanding how to develop, integrate and deploy Internet of Things (IoT) strategies. This special panel discussion will take place at 9:00am on Wednesday, July 13th.

“We have windows of opportunity in IoT that include new networks, new sensors and new solutions,” said Carl Ford, CEO, Crossfire Media, executive director of content, IoT Evolution. “I am excited that this panel is going to take us past the headlines and show how existing companies and new opportunities converge into great investments.”

With over 140 different Startups worth $ Billion, the experts in the Money & Management: Is it Better to be Unique or Unicorns special panel discussion will explore what the difference between the haves and the have mores is even when business plans are similar. These investment experts will discuss what makes compelling business cases. Are unicorns passé? Are there still unique investments opportunities, or is there nothing new under the sun?

Panelists include:

  • Homaira Akbari, President & CEO at AKnowledge Partners
  • Mike Walkley, Managing Director, Senior Equity Analyst at Canaccord Genuity Research
  • James Brehm, Founder and Chief Technology Evangelist at James Brehm & Associates
  • Michael Lenoce, Managing Director at MVP Capital
  • Michael Crawford, Partner at Q Advisors LLC
  • Jeff Belk, Managing Director at Velocity Growth Fund

IoT Evolution Expo is supported by Super sponsor, AT&T, Diamond, sponsor KORE, Platinum sponsor, Eurotech and gold sponsor Ingenu.

Media Contact
Barry Harley

IoT Expert, Dr. Homaira Akbari, Confirmed to Speak at IoT Evolution Expo





Monday, August 17, 2015, Dallas, TX – Dr. Homaira Akbari, an award-winning thought leader in the security, Internet of Things (“IoT”), mobile and software sectors will be a featured speaker at the 2015 IoT Evolution Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Business leaders are quickly understanding the importance and impact that IoT can have on their organization,” says Homaira Akbari, President and CEO of AKnowledge Partners. “They want to learn the benefits, challenges and trends so that they can take the next step towards integrating a successful IoT strategy. The Evolution Expo is a great place to do that. I am honored to be included in the list of subject matter experts scheduled to speak this year.”

Akbari’s presentation will take place on August 19 at 9:30 AM. In her panel speech, “Swimming with the Sharks: Finding Investors to Back Your Future,” Akbari will share insights into the investment trends and risks in IoT that will impact venture capitalists and private equity firms alike in areas such as IoT horizontal platforms, vertical applications, network and cloud connectivity, and security.

About IoT Evolution Expo

The IoT Evolution Expo Hall includes a showcase of the leading IoT and M2M solutions providers plus numerous networking and informational events to keep you meeting and talking to the industry’s leading minds and IoT strategists.

To learn more about the IoT Evolution Expo, click here.

About AKnowledge Partners, LLC

AKnowledge Partners, LLC, is a global advisory firm providing high-impact consultative strategies, solutions and advice to the world’s leading executives, Fortune 1000 companies and private equity firms.  AKnowledge Partners services have guided clients in the technology sectors of The Internet of Things (IoT), Security, Big Data and Analytics. For additional information, visit www.aknowledge.us.


Media Contact
Brittany Mills

Veolia Appoints Dr. Homaira Akbari to its Board of Directors


Monday May 18, 2015, Dallas, TX – AKnowledge Partners, LLC announced today that Veolia (Paris Euronext: VIE) has appointed AKnowledge Partners President and CEO, Dr. Homaira Akbari, to its Board of Directors effective April 22, 2015. Dr. Akbari was favorably voted into the Board of Directors by Veolia’s shareholders due to her strong background and global expertise in the Internet of Things (the “IoT”) and the future impact that IoT will have on existing business models of large organizations.

Veolia Group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 179,000 employees* worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2014, the Veolia Group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 60 million people with wastewater service, produced 52 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 31 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia recorded consolidated revenue of €24.4 billion* in 2014 Black jack.

AKnowledge Partners President and CEO, Dr. Homaira Akbari, will serve a four-year term expiring at the end of the 2019 shareholders’ meeting convened to approve the financial statements for the period ended on December 31, 2018.

For the Combined Shareholders’ Meeting announcement from Veolia, click here.

(*) 2014 pro-forma figures, including Dalkia International (100%) and excluding Dalkia France.

About AKnowledge Partners, LLC

AKnowledge Partners, LLC, is a global advisory firm providing high-impact consultative strategies, solutions and advice to the world’s leading executives, Fortune 1000 companies and private equity firms.  AKnowledge Partners services have guided clients in the technology sectors of The Internet of Things (IoT), Security, Big Data and Analytics. For additional information, visit www.aknowledge.us.

Media Contact

Brittany Mills


Homaira Akbari on ‘The Internet of Things: The Fourth Industrial Revolution’


Dr. Homaira Akbari

AKnowledge Partners President and CEO Homaira Akbari will share her expertise on the ‘Internet of Things’ at a technology industry roundtable presentation on March 6 in Paris, France. Akbari will share how the internet continues to impact the global economy and what it will mean for businesses and consumers long-term.

For the last two decades, there have been a large number of technological disruptions: the boom and growth of the Web followed by wireless enablement, followed by Web 2.0, followed by mobility. The next technological disruption will come from the ‘Internet of Things’ which many believe will result in an industrial revolution. According to experts’ prediction, by 2020 the number of things connected to the Internet will reach 50 billion and over 3 trillion value will be created. While the first models of the ‘Internet of Things’ have been in existence for more than three decades, it is not until now that the ‘Internet of Things’ has given birth to massive deployment of smart systems, which will ultimately have a disruptive impact on the way we live, collaborate, and conduct business.

About Homaira Akbari

Homaira Akbari leads AKnowledge Partners, LLC, a global advisory firm providing high-impact consultative strategies and advice to Fortune 1000 companies and private equity firms in the sectors of The Internet of Things, Security, Big Data and Analytics. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Gemalto N.V. (GTO: EN Paris and GTO: EN Amsterdam), Covisint Corporation (NASDAQ: COVS), and Landstar System, Inc. (NASDAQ: LSTR).


AKnowledge Partners CEO Set to Speak at M2M Evolution Conference


Homaira Akbari

Homaira Akbari, President and CEO of AKnowledge Partners, will speak in a roundtable session at the M2M Evolution Conference on Thursday, January 29, 2015. This year’s conference program will focus on topics that inform and educate the audience of the latest technologies, current and future regulatory policies, new verticals, new applications and all of the hottest topics in the Machine-to-Machine industry.

Homaira’s session begins at 5 p.m. in Room B121/122 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida. She will be joined by several corporate executives from the banking, communication and technology sectors. The Conference is trending to become the leading educational and networking event in the Machine-to-Machine industry. It runs Tuesday, January 27 through Friday, January 30.

To learn more about the 2015 M2M Evolution conference, visit www.m2mevolution.com. If you would like to attend, enter the 20 percent discount code SOCIALSPEAK during online registration.

About AKnowledge Partners

AKnowledge Partners, LLC, is a global advisory firm providing high-impact consultative strategies, solutions and advice to the world’s leading executives, Fortune 1000 companies and private equity firms.  AKnowledge Partners services have guided clients in the sectors of The Internet of Things (IoT), Security, Big Data and Analytics. For additional information, visit www.aknowledge.us.