The Industrial Internet of Things FEATURE NEWS

No SMH'ing at SMC in IIoT

By Maurice Nagle November 22, 2016

As the world waits for the IoT to reach maturity and amass the type of presence projection after projection predicts, there are some in the industry that say the IoT is nothing new – just a fancy term for automation. One person in particular is SMC (Sierra Monitor Corporation) President and CEO Varun Nagaraj, who at the Editors Day Silicon Valley explained this is business as usual for him and his team as they’ve been enabling automation in the industrial setting for 10 years.

Over the years, Nagaraj explained, SMC has shipped millions of its IoT gateways to customers – primarily in the industrial segment, i.e. smart cities and buildings.

Nagaraj said that there’s “…a lot of hype about IoT and IIoT space but there are only a handful of people who have really cut their teeth in the real world.” SMC’s experience speaks for itself.

The journey began with connecting things inside buildings to other things inside buildings, with all of these components being brought together in a central management system. Initially, SMC’s gateways were for protocol translation – so the fire panel could speak with the sprinkler system, for example.

The next step was the ability to connect to the cloud. Nagaraj noted that for many companies this was the starting point, a secure cloud connection, and he continued to note that in order to make the promise of security it is mission critical to manage both ends of the data pipeline.

Next comes the somewhat controversial topic of fog, or edge computing, which offers distributed control. Nagaraj stated, “…certain things are done better locally…on a facility premise, it makes perfect sense to add logic, nature, history and even doing analytics.”

One of SMC’s key differentiators in the IoT is the ability to speak with “various families of devices,” so when planning comes in to play it is no surprise to see firms look its way. “Over the last 4-5 years the burden of integration has been pushed to the OEM,” so for SMC, “business has shifted from integrators to OEMs,” Nagaraj continued, the future could be much different – multi-billion dollar mega projects, for example.

While it still does business with hundreds of integrators, as noted above there is a shift in sales, as the number of OEMs leveraging the SMC is on the rise. Coming from its strong ties with integrators, SMC provided cloud connectivity and a “toolkit” for Hyatt when it was looking to refresh operations. Its positive OEM relationships made SMC a key component in Levi Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, where 20-30 of its gateways are helping to enable one of the most technologically advanced (and connected) stadiums in the world.

From the data center and the enterprise to airports and stadiums SMC technology is leveraged all over the IIoT landscape. Those looking for a platform with real-time cloud access and a partner with years of expertise in the burgeoning IoT; SMC is not a firm to SMH at.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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