Senet and myDevices: Collaboration Evolves Connected Things

By Special Guest
Cynthia Artin, Special Correspondent
August 23, 2016

Senet and myDevices last month announced a new technology partnership bringing a little extra spice to Senet’s rapidly growing LPWAN U.S. network with the Cayenne “drag and drop” developer platform.

This is another “ecosystem” announcement in a steady stream of similar partnership launches coming from around the IoTsphere, and we wanted to learn and share what makes this particular match relevant, so caught up this week with Chief Technology Officer of Senet, Dave Kjendal.

Senet is unique in that they are actually building and operating an LPWAN network, complete with Points-of-Presence in over 100 markets, on track to double that in 2017. In short, their LoRa network technology improves the way devices connect over very long ranges (approximately 15 miles) without killing the batteries in those devices, claiming many devices can remain connected for up to 10 years without needing to be replaced. The operational and economic benefits are obvious.

myDevices provides the “on-ramps” with their IoT platform, along with software developers use to connect their devices and applications to “the cloud,” or in this case the Senet IoT network. Together the companies are helping businesses and systems integrators building IoT solutions to initially create prototypes and proof-of-concepts, and eventually scale those over what Senet envisions as a national network in the U.S. with global expansion over time.

“It is critically important to bring together a lot of players across the technology stack to unlock the real value being created in the world of connected things,” Kjendal said. “No single company at this point can provide end-to-end solutions so ecosystems and partnerships are continuing to define the landscape. Platforms like Cayenne are really important in making the data that’s being measured accessible to the average consumer of that data. Platforms also serve as interpreters between different technologies moving up the stack, homogenizing them to make them more standardized.”

We asked about specific use cases and deployments underway, and while Kjendal was not at liberty to share specifics given confidentiality agreements in place, he did hint that smart buildings are a key focus for both companies. “We see an almost limitless set of opportunities. From the dashboard perspective, we are getting tremendous interest around real time monitoring and alerting in factories and warehouses, with apps that make the operation of facilities much more efficient, and supply chain management much tighter.”

Senet was drawn to the “developer intuitive” tools Cayenne provides, and while Cayenne is not open source, it is “free to use for developers and meant to display what’s possible for the engine they’ve built underneath it. Without an engine, and without analytics and reporting, it’s impossible to commercialize even the best IoT innovations. While we were assessing many of the IoT platforms and tools out there, and there are many good ones, we were deeply impressed by how quickly we were able to set up a dash board and set up rules and actions, then transfer that to any number of applications. These tools can be used by solution providers and systems integrators or directly by enterprises, which we have seen in action, on the Senet network.”

While the Senet and myDevices partnership was positioned as a duo, there’s an orchestra growing behind them, with other LoRa partners stepping up to harmonize the technology stack. “Collectively we are working on some demonstration capabilities we can share with the market including other partners. Silicon/sensors, device, network and applications make up a powerful quartet for example.”

Kjendal indicated more announcements are on the horizon, “with different sets of players depending on where the interest lies, or where the regional demands surface. Initially, as an ecosystem, we are demonstrating the power of the combinations of technology, while building specific vertical industry and customized solutions over the next few months.”

Over 30,000 engineers and developers have registered to engage with the Cayenne platform, and Senet looks forward to bringing their LoRa network technology to those concerned about things like battery life. “Our philosophy is very much aligned with myDevice’s philosophy. We both believe that the bar to entry for new ideas and innovations, for new developers, for companies looking to enter into IoT needs to be very low. We are doing everything in our power to make it easy for customers to try it, like it and then move forward into a commercial roll out.”

Senet has its own “freeware” with a developer tool set that allows for up to 10 devices connected to the network, using Senet’s public network and developer gateways..

We asked Kjendal how Senet plans to maintain their growth and double the size of their U.S. network in 2017. 

“One of the tools we think is critical to network growth is to time growth properly. We will continue to build where there is demand – locally – and we will be going out with myDevices and other ecosystem partners into towns and cities to engage with the local communities there, supporting start-up incubators and innovators. Companies like Uber have shown that starting locally and growing nationally and globally works.”

When asked about their decision to go to market as a network operator – a service provider – Kjendal said, “We are a new breed for sure, and our willingness to take that risk, to dream big, is paying off. We offer a service provider grade experience with all the usual requirements – uptimes, security, reporting, billing and operations systems -  but without all the traditional telco baggage.  We are more flexible, more creative, and we are having the time of our lives helping really cool companies jump-start their IoT initiatives with innovations born and bred by the ecosystem we’re proud to be a part of.”

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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