IoT Time Preview: The Cloud


IoT Evolution, the leading media brand for the Internet of Things (IoT), has published a book outlining more than 150 of the leading trends in the IoT industry, entitled “IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things.” The book, written by IoT Evolution Editorial Director, Ken Briodagh, seeks to explore the factors that have shaped the recent past of the developing industry and use those to predict the trends that will drive the next period of growth. Each of the trends is explicated and illustrated with a case study or product review that supports each position.

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.

Chapter 19: The Cloud
Trend: Storage is still the ballgame
The Importance of Cloud Storage

Big data is the currency of the IoT economy, and the Cloud is the bank. In a world where companies are trying so hard to target consumers based on niche interests, community affiliation, and even personal search history, being able to parse data for actionable insights is priceless. Yet is becomes hard to derive these insights without the storage capacity to hold it all, and the processing power right next door to analyze it.

Cloud storage allows the enterprise to keep data where it’s needed , safe and ready for processing on command. A variety of vendors exist that can offer the storage, bandwidth, backup, and security to meet business needs. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Box, Dropbox, and Amazon S3 are among the most well-known. Others include Zoolz, JustCloud, OpenDrive, Mozy, Zip Cloud, SOS Online Backup, IDrive, and Sugar Synch. For those that think cloud storage is complex, it’s not. Think of it as a modern-day file cabinet. With a secure partner offering backup and tight security protection you’ll always have the ability to leverage your customer data and polish the diamond that would otherwise have remained undiscovered and unrefined.

Trend: Cloud as customer service engine
Oracle Introduces Service Cloud for Unlocking IoT Data

Oracle introduced a solution designed to help enterprises leverage insights from the IoT in order to power smart and connected customer service experiences. In essence, the solution is a packaged integration between Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle IoT Cloud, and it uses data analysis to enhance customer experience, increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. This IoT Accelerator, as it’s called, is an open source integration that also includes implementation documentation to make it easier to configure, extend and deploy more quickly.

“The Internet of Things is fundamentally changing the way consumers interact with brands and in the process, it is creating volumes of data that organizations can leverage to transform the customer experience,” said Meeten Bhavsar, SVP, Oracle Service Cloud. “By delivering a packaged integration between Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle IoT Cloud, we are able to accelerate the time to value, while lowering the complexity of IoT projects. For brands, this also means they can easily take advantage of IoT data and make it actionable across engagement channels to deliver exceptional customer service experiences.”

This is part of the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud Suite. CX is designed to help organizations improve experiences, enhance loyalty, differentiate their brands, and drive measurable results by creating consistent, connected, and personalized brand experiences across all channels and devices. The Oracle IoT Cloud enables customers to connect to any device generating data, perform real-time and predictive analytics on device data and extend business processes within enterprise applications. With Oracle IoT Cloud, users can rapidly build IoT applications for preventive maintenance and asset tracking using pre-built integrations with Oracle Platform as a Service, Oracle cloud applications and third-party applications.

Trend: Tools to simplify abound
Accelerite Concert IoT Platform Now Available on Microsoft Azure Cloud

Accelerite, a provider of software for simplifying and securing enterprise infrastructure, has announced its Concert IoT Service Creation and Enrichment Platform (SCEP) can now be deployed on the Microsoft Azure cloud. The platform is designed to accelerate time to market by simplifying coding and enabling rapid development of service-oriented IoT applications (SOIAs). It facilitates efficient integration of third party web services APIs into a Concert IoT SOIA, and enables partners to monetize the data and insight generated from the IoT application.

For example, a large scale farming operation may initially deploy IoT sensors to reduce water consumption and improve crop yields. Once that data is collected, it would be of great value to partners seeking to offer additional solutions, such as fertilizer or seeds customized to a targeted locale. Concert IoT provides the API management, payments and partner settlements needed to create and monetize a growing, revenue-generating IoT application ecosystem.

“Concert IoT will greatly accelerate the creation of innovative apps and rich new, vertically-focused IoT platforms built on Microsoft’s Azure public and private cloud implementations,” said Dean Hamilton, GM, Service Creation Business Unit, Accelerite. “These new platforms will empower IoT vendors across a wide spectrum of consumer and enterprise vertical markets to create their own IoT application partner ecosystems to continually deliver additional value.”

In addition, for compute and storage requirements, Concert IoT leverages Microsoft Azure’s IoT Hub for secure device on-boarding and device data ingestion, Stream Analytics for real time filtering and event detection, and HDInsight and Cortana AI for analytics and machine learning using the data.

“Accelerite’s support for Microsoft Azure environments within its Concert IoT service enabling platform offers value to the expanding community of Azure users and partners. Concert IoT is meant to serve as an enabling layer that rides “on-top” of the expanding set of IoT features Microsoft can now deliver via the Azure IoT suite,” said Brian Partridge, VP, 451 Research. “The API management and monetization services that Concert IoT brings to Azure environments will be crucial to unlocking value for developers and service providers as the IoT industry matures.  Microsoft’s incumbency across all vertical industries and the growing market share of Azure in cloud services made it a natural target for prioritized support from Accelerite.”

Trend: Financial services
Pitney Bowes Selects Aria Systems for Cloud-Based Billing

Pitney Bowes has deployed Aria Systems’ cloud-based monetization platform as the billing and monetization component of the company’s new Commerce Cloud Platform. This Commerce Cloud is designed to enable quick and agile operations of commerce, from the digital to physical, to give users a full range of shipping, mailing, ecommerce, location intelligence, customer information management, customer engagement, and payment solutions. Aria’s cloud billing and monetization platform enables Pitney Bowes to quickly update Commerce Cloud solutions and make possible more frictionless billing processes.

“Aria Systems is an industry leader with an enterprise-grade solution that helps Pitney Bowes continue its 96-year tradition of delivering business innovation in a timely and scalable manner,” says Joe Schmitt, VP and CIO, Pitney Bowes. “With Aria, we can quickly launch, change, and add Commerce Cloud services to rapidly meet evolving demand. This flexibility helps us provide the continued innovation clients have come to expect from Pitney Bowes.”

Enterprises like Pitney Bowes rely on Aria’s cloud-based monetization platform to take billing and monetization management out of the traditionally lengthy IT queue, and place it in the hands of the business owner. The Line of Business can then make changes in days, instead of months or even years, to quickly cater to customer demands for new connected service offerings with superior flexibility. For Pitney Bowes, this means the Line of Business can launch new offerings and services in a fraction of the time, without tying up internal IT resources.

Trend: Constant evolution
SAP Expands HANA Cloud Offerings

With its arms already elbow deep in the IoT data management world, SAP is reaching for even more of the goodies, judging by the nearly constant SAP HANA expansions. The company said it is focusing on a “things to outcome” strategy and the feature additions are designed to help clients capture the real value from IoT executions by connecting the things to the enterprise. That will, SAP says, provide better insight and lead to proactive action toward outcomes that customers want.

“SAP is helping customers map their journeys through digital transformation, and the IoT has the potential to drive the largest segment of growth in new business value,” said Tanja Rueckert, EVP, LoB Digital Assets and IoT, SAP. “We offer the right solution infrastructure and are committed to building the strongest, most comprehensive ecosystem for the IoT in the industry.”

The new IoT offerings from SAP include: remote data synchronization that seeks to guarantee data consistency between the edge database and the platform database; dynamic tiering as a tool to manage multitier database storage according to the value of the data with the aim of lowering costs in Big Data scenarios; SAP HANA Vora which uses an in-memory computing engine for Hadoop to improve analytics; and the IoT SIM management connector for SAP HANA, which allows cellular IoT device connectivity management with a user interface based on the SAP Fiori user experience.

Trend: Systems that link Edge to Cloud
IoT Platform to Link Gateway, Cloud and Edge with Custom Features

Mentor Graphics has made available a platform for IoT implementations, and it features customizable gateway hardware and software, cloud services, and edge devices. The customizable IoT gateway System Design Kit (SysDKTM) solution is designed to combine hardware and software to reduce risk and shorten time-to-market. The new Edge-to-Cloud security is set to support secure convergence in the gateway, thanks to its pairing with ARM TrustZone technology.

The Mentor IoT solution, as it is known, is a made up of the customizable SysDK, a cloud backend, and runtime solutions on which to build a wide array of IoT edge devices. Thanks to its support for everything from 8-bit microcontrollers to the latest 64-bit microprocessors, it can handle almost any M2M deployment, up to an including those requiring more than 100,000 gateways, each supporting dozens of edge devices, Mentor says.

The Gateway SysDK reference hardware uses an ARM Cortex-A9 based i.MX 6 series applications processor from Freescale Semiconductor and the base reference software includes a Linux BSP. Security for the system comes through gateway partitions using ARM TrustZone. Amazingly, Mentor says that a new system can go from concept to production in as little as eight weeks. The Mentor cloud solution enables companies to remotely provision, monitor, collect data for analysis, and manage gateway and device deployment securely through a web interface or a mobile application. The cloud backend can integrate multiple cloud service providers, and enables management of server life-cycles using automation templates including easy-to-use and customizable dashboards.

Mentor Graphics also enables the development of IoT edge devices that span application segments.  The Mentor Embedded Nucleus real-time operating system is already working more than 3 billion devices, and when paired with this new suite, the company is set to create solutions made unique to any customer’s needs.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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