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B+B Smartworx Connects Network Edge Intelligence to the Industrial IoT

By Laura Stotler February 10, 2015

Last month, B+B Electronics changed its name and business model to become B+B Smartworx. It was a logical move for a company that has spent decades focusing on intelligence at the edge of the network, but more importantly, the rebranding is a reflection of a massive shift in the marketplace when it comes to industrial adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT).

“What we really saw over the last couple of years in the market is a rate of change like we’ve never seen before,” said Mike Fahrion, director of IoT and edge intelligence product development at B+B Smartworx. TMC Group Editorial Director Erik Linask got a chance to speak to him at ITEXPO Miami 2015 last month. Fahrion added that the company was previously focused on connectivity at the edge of the network as it relates to M2M devices, and that has evolved into a broader focus of integrating IT technologies and connectivity with operations technologies.

B+B Smartworx aims to add the most value it can as a hardware vendor, with the goal of bringing intelligence to the edge of the network. And while the company always has been, and still is a hardware manufacturer, they are now focusing on software as well in an effort to increase intelligence at the network edge.

“There’s a broad awareness now, we’re not in the very front edge anymore of recognizing that IoT is more than press and media hype,” said Fahrion. “There’s real opportunity in the industrial IoT, these platitudes of eliminating unplanned downtime, better use of assets and resources are really beginning to be realized.”

Fahrion said that by deriving intelligence from the edge of the network, customers can glean value while also benefiting from reduced complexity throughout the entire activity stack for industrial IoT. The company’s partners are pleased with the rebranding, since even the largest companies struggle to navigate the complex connectivity stack required to power industrial IoT.

“We see our role as very much to make it as easy as possible to grab data from devices at the very edge or even beyond the edge of networks and bring it up to that application layer,” said Fahrion. That role has been the basis of important partnerships with a number of technology and platform providers. The partners provide the applications and dashboards for PaaS and SaaS as well as analytics, while B+B delivers vital connectivity and intelligence from edge devices.

The company is well positioned to become a vital part of the industrial IoT connectivity stack. Last month, B+B announced its Connected Intelligence Global Partner ecosystem to enable a variety of companies to connect intelligently with each other. The goal of the ecosystem is to help partners build effective IoT apps for end users that operate efficiently as well as communicating well with each other. With partners like ILS Technology, Skkynet, KORE and Mobius Networks, the network is rapidly growing to encompass the technology and networking sides of the IoT space.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

IoTevolutionworld Contributing Editor

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