Lets look at the state of the IoT right now bottom line,theres not a standard thats so prolific or significant that youre making a mistake by not using it. What we want to do, then, is pick the thing that solves the problem that we have as closely as possible and has acceptable costs to implement and scale, and not worry too much about fortune telling the future popularity of that standard.

Now when coming to Internet of Things (IoT) , The IoT movement repeatedly talks about platforms, but those definitions dont align with any ofUber, Medium or Android. The first issue is interoperability. And none of these align with each other either.

An external dimension for building platforms is to enable interaction with the outside world and make it as accessible and usable as is possible.

is anIndustrial IoT platformfor tracking, monitoring, analyzing devices. The Meshify suite of tools provides all the features needed to deploy, monitor, control, and analyze the results of an IoT solution. Despite being a young technology business, it has a growing portfolio of clients with industrial-oriented companies, including Henry Pump, Sierra Resources, Stallion Oilfield Services, Gems Sensors & Controls and MistAway Systems.

External dimension platforms compete for both users and developers

An extensible codebase of a software-based system that provides core functionality provided by the modules that interoperate with it, and the interfaces ( aka Application Programming Interface (APIs)) through which they interoperate. In effect this system abstracts a number of common functions without bringing out the complexity of building and managing them , for the users .

New digital technologies and the relentless focus on core competencies have pushedcompanies to outsource a lot of their activities, leading to commodization and increased competition. Barriers to entry for copycats are lower than ever, therefore maintaining differentiation overa long period of time is now virtually impossible, despite trademarks or

To be clear, no single stack will win, although there are likely to be dominate stacks in particular industries.

As the platform racecontinuesto mature for the IoT, we found a great post by byThierry Lillettethat looks into the platforms,ecosystemsand products. Good reading for any IoT and digital professional. Originally postedhere.

What is a Platform why there are only a few platform leaders ?

A final caveat is that Z-wave is a single source supplierthe radios are made and sold by Zensys, so you have to buy it from them. Zigbee has a certification process, and there are multiple suppliers of the radio, from Atmel to TI.

And allow for aa seamless integration into the back-office environment which is essential to the enterprises business operations.

Is it prolific enough to where you should absolutely use it?No, it hasnt reached that level, and it wont likely reach that level. What it is right now is a convenient standard for device-direct-to-cloud where we dont control both ends because it gives some measure of a common language that we can agree on; however, the thing to keep in mind is that most of the time it does in fact need additional documentationwhat properties are being read/written and what the exact implementation looks likeultimately, youre not getting out of a lot of work using MQTT.

Given the multitier architecture and the attendant complexity it will be a while before a small group of winners starts to bubble to the top . Some of the also-ran aspirants may focus on domains and address a specific part of the ecosystem in which to play or in the industry segments like home or industrial to justify their presence .

– What are the range and bandwidth requirements?

Here one important aspect to be remembered is a Platform may not be ready to provide solutions to contextual and domain specific problem statements. Applications built around the platform do that, these applications help get the Return on Investment ( RoI ) from the platforms .

The Bazaar of IoT platforms- The reasons & who would be the winners wading through the maze ?

Guest post byPreston Tesvich. This article originally appearedhere.

So we see protocols and standards are driven through their origins from communication technologies ( we see Telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon leading here ) , in the data storage area ( we have Amazon , Google leading the way ) , in the application side ( Azure from Microsoft and Thingworx from PTC being the prominent ones ) . Companies which has a library of business use cases with them given the dominance they have in their respective businesses (namely Bosch , GE , Honeywell ) have the ambition to build their community based platforms .Then we have a host of start ups who run a platform per a business use case they address .

Industrial cloud platforms have a much deeper focus on operational technology than consumer platforms. They are designed to allow data gathering throughout manufacturing production processes, in order to improve performance as well as predict failures before they happen. Here are three industrial cloud platforms by long time industrial companies:

Stepping back different people have different views and meanings of the word platform. To get a view of the diversity of platforms we have:

Theyve ruled the roost with their 802.11 series. B then G then A, and now we have AC. 802.11 has been really good at being simple to set up and being high bandwidth. It doesnt care about power consumption, its more concerned with performance because its meant to be a replacement for wires. Almost 2 years ago, they announced 802.11 AH which theyve branded asHaLow, which attempts to address power, range,and pairing concerns of classic WiFi. Most WiFi devices are not headless (headless -no display or other input), they have a rich user interfacemeaning we can login and configure them to connect to WiFi. Pairing headless devices has been a very tedious process.With HaLow, theyre solving two problemshow do we get things on easier, and how do we decrease the expectations (particularly power) of the device running the radio. Its too early to know what type of traction this will get, but IEEE has a great track record at standards adoption.

This is enabled through three layers comprising the Network ( to connect participants to the platform), Technology Infrastructure ( to help create and exchange value ) and Workflow and Data ( thereby matching participants with content , goods and services ) .

Sentience is the recently announced cloud infrastructure by Honeywell Process Solutions. It is a secure, scalable, standards-basedOne Honeywell IoT platform, that will be able to accelerate time-to-market of connected solutions, lower the cost-to-market, and enable new innovative SaaS business models. It will have the ability to run global security standards embedded throughout the solution and make applications that are plug & play and scalable.

Three Main Services of Cloud Computing

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Posted byPreston Tesvichon May 14, 2018 at 5:37pm inPlatforms

used for applications development, and providing cloud components to software. A PaaS makes it quick and easy and to develop, test, and deploy applications. Customers cant control or manage the underlying infrastructure, but they can control the applications and configuration of application-hosting environment. GEs Predix, Honeywells Sentience, and Siemenss MindSphere are PaaSs for industrial applications. Software development firms such asCumulocity,Bosch IoT, andCarriotsare also provide PaaSs for industry.

Posted bySomjit Amriton August 17, 2017 at 1:00am inPlatforms

Lets be real: IoT adoption is slow, but why?

To answer the above question, lets start with a very brief overview of cloud computing to put industrial cloud platforms in their proper context. Cloud platforms are one of several services that cloud computing providers offer, with the main ones being: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

is an open platform, based on theSAP HANA (PaaS) cloud, which allows developers to build, extend, and operate cloud-based applications. OEMs and application developers can access the platform via open interfaces and use it for services and analysis such as the online monitoring of globally distributed machine tools, industrial robots, or industrial equipment such as compressors and pumps. MindSphere also allows customers to create digital models of their factories with real data from the production process.

Industrial Cloud Platforms by Software Development Firms

No all IoT Platforms are Platforms in the truest sense !!

With a impressive usability and user interface .

Other protocols live higher in the stack and remain agnostic at the network layer. The most well known of these is probably Qualcomms Alljoyn effort. They have the Allseen Alliance, although their branding is a bit murkyAllplay, AllShare, etc. Weve seen some traction with it, but not a ton–the biggest concern that its fighting is that its a really open ended protocol, loosely defined enough that youre really not going to build something totally interoperable with everything else. Thats a big risk for product teams. If there arent enough devices in the world that speak that language, then why do I need to speak it? That said,LIFXimplemented it, and it worked really well for them, especially since Windows implemented it as well. Now its part of Windows 10theres a layer specifically for AllJoyn stuff and it seems to do well. Theres evidence with AllJoyn that you can bring devices to the table that dont know anything about each other and get some kind of durable interoperability. However, at a glance, it seems complicatedthe way authorization is dealt with and the way devices need to negotiate with each other.There really isnt runaway adoption.

Will this market consolidate around a few big-name platforms, or will a lesser known provider be the winner and take all?

When you think about consumer cloud platforms, which ones come to mind?Amazon AWS,Microsoft AzureandGoogles Cloud Platformare likely to be at the top of your list. But what about industrial cloud platforms? Which ones rise to the top for you? Well,GEs Predix,Siemens MindSphere, and the recently announcedHoneywell Sentienceare likely to be on any short list of industrial cloud platforms. But they arent the only ones in this space.Ciscos Jasper,IBMs Watson IoT,Meshify,Uptake, and at least 20 others are competing to manage all those billions of sensors that are expected to encompass the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Which one do you think will end up dominating the market?

A real problem that remains to be solved is that companies, particularly product teams early in the journey, are unaware of the landscape of their unknown unknowns. Training can help illuminate the landscape.

Platforms instead of products: the new normal

More like:LoRa vs. SIGFOX.With these protocols were looking at how to connect things over fairly long distances, such as in smart city applications. LoRaWAN is an open protocol thats following a bottoms-up adoption strategy.SIGFOX is building out the infrastructure from the top down, and handing APIs to their customers. In that way,SIGFOX is more like a service. Itll be interesting to see the dance-off between these two as the IoT is adopted in these more public-type applications.

To accommodate this diversity the safest definition of platform would be as :

The ones which will win the battle of supremacy would have cracked the codes of

In most of the cases if the external dimension is well evolved then the internalities come with the efficiencies by default; with respect to design quality , selection of interfaces leading to interoperability , robustness of infrastructure , seamlessness in workflow and data streaming .

Now let us address the question is the why of plethora of platforms in IoT .

The other consideration with these two is that they are both routed mesh networks. We use one node to communicate with another node using intervening nodes. In other words, we can send a message from A to B to C to D, but in practice weve sent a message from A to D.As routed meshes, each node understands the path the message needs to take, and that has an in-memory cost associated with it.While Z-wave and Zigbee have a theoretical limit of 65,535 nodes on a network (the address space is a 16-bit integer), the practical limit is closer to few hundred nodes, because these devices are usually low power, low memory devices. The routing also has a time cost, so a large mesh network may manifest unacceptable latency for your use case. Another consideration, especially if youre launching a cloud controlled consumer product, is that these mesh networks cant directly connect to the internetthey require an intervening bridge (a.k.a gateway, hub, edge server) to communicate to the cloud.

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Posted byDavid Oroon April 17, 2016 at 9:01pm inPlatforms

Lets say youre in the planning phase of an IoT project. You have a lot of decisions to make, and maybe youre not sure where to start:

does the provision processing, storage, networks, and other basic computing resources. The IaaS is used to deploy other services (i.e., PaaS and SaaS), as well as web applications. Customers dont manage or control the IaaS, but they are able to access to the servers and storage, and can operate a virtual data center in the cloud. There are a lot of IaaS providers. The biggest ones are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace Open Cloud, and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. (GEs Predix platformfor the Industrial Internet will be available to run on Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud.)

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In the coming years it could be reckoned that there would be a shakeout in the market and the platforms could veer around key broad based use cases of remote monitoring and environment conditioning , predictive maintenance and process automation .

When Thread announced their product certification last year, only 30 products submitted. Another thing to note about Threads adoption is that the mesh-IPv6 problem has been solved before–theres actually a spec in Bluetooth 4.2 that adds IPv6 routing to Bluetooth, but very few people are using it. Although Nordic Semiconductor thought it was going to be a big deal and went ahead and implemented it first, it just hasnt come up much in the industrythat happened Q4 2014 and no ones talking about it.

Some would suggest that it is a full protocol to do communication from a device to a server, but its not quite that. MQTT is used as a data format to communicate to something, and that payload can be sent over any transport, be it WiFi, mesh, or some socket protocol. What it tries to solve is to define a way to manipulate attributes of some thing. It centers around reading and writing properties, which lends itself very well to an IoT problem. It certainly saves development time in some regards, but depending on how strictly youre trying to implement it, it may cost you more development time. As soon as you one-off any part of it, you have to document it really well, and at some point you approach a time and cost factor where implementing your own payload scheme may be a better option.

Will There Be A Dominant IIoT Cloud Platform?

So the genesis of the plethora of platforms in the multilayered solution stack of IoT . This adds to complexity and hence no one player can be a leader across the layers as on date .

Browsers (Chrome and Firefox) ,smart phone operating systems (iOS and Android) , blogging (Word Press , Medium) .Social Media titans (YouTube, Facebook) and evenInstagramare described as platforms.Uber, Airbnband their ilk are widely described as marketplaces, platforms or marketplace-platforms. Web services (Google Payments, Amazon Elastic Cloud) and gaming consoles (Xbox, Apples ipod Touch, Sony Playstation). One interesting point to be noted that in each category the market is mostly duopolistic .

That radio choice has big impactsnot only is it a heftyline item on your BOM on its own, its also going to determine the resources that the device needs as well. For example, if you have a WiFi radio at the end, theres considerable CPU and memory expectations, whereas if we have BLE or some mesh network, itll need a lot less. Theres infrastructure scaling costs to consider as well. If we go WiFi: is there WiFi infrastructure already in place where this is being deployed? How reliable is it? If were starting from scratch, whats the plan for covering a large area? That can become very costly, especially if youre using industrial grade access points, so its important to consider these effects that are downstream of your decision.

is apredictive analyticsSaaS platform provider that offers industrial companies the ability to optimize performance, reduce asset failures, and enhance safety. Uptake integrates data science and workflow connectivity to provide high-value solutions using massive data sets. In 2015, it entered into a partnership with heavy construction equipment manufacturerCaterpillarto jointly develop an end-to-end platform for predictive diagnostics in order to help Caterpillar customers monitor and optimize their fleets more effectively.

Internal dimension led platforms focus on internal productivity and efficiencies and focus on users. Here the development is internally sourced and is essentially built for internal use . The external dimension led platforms focus on the supply (developer side) and the demand (user side) . Essentially they are sometimes termed as two-sided platforms .The development beyond a point is crowd-sourced and they enrich the platform and the platform reaches out to them through APIs.

– What is the cost for the radio?

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– How many nodes are going to be supported in the network?

Thats the body of standards that need to be addressed. Theres a ton more, but we dont see them as exciting for the IoT today.

In our opinion, the biggest misconception we find: Isnt there going to be one standard to rule them all? Theres no future of that, and its not just because were never going to all agree on stuff as an industry, its because in many cases different standards arent solving the same problems differently, they are solving different problems. So understanding that, we can now look at what each protocol attempts to solve and where they live on theOSI model, or the stack.

It can be seen clearly that a typical architecture of an IoT solution is multilayered. The layers to simplistically put would be Device to Device ( this involves hardware and firmware with Low Range Communication ) , Device to Server ( which would again involve hardware and communication ) and server to server ( which would mean that cloud based application and long range communication would hold the key along with network , data storage and data visualisation ) .

So, it first comes down to technical constraints:

In any segment you must have seen that the winners are a few ( atmost 2 or 3 , aspirants may be many, who progressively wither away ) .The reasons has been presented above with respect to design quality , interoperability, infrastructure robustness and seamlessness in workflow and data flow and the last but not the least excellent and friendly user interface . Not many can master all the 4 aspects .These help acquire a critical mass of customer base which keeps growing and a duopoly of sorts is created in the market space .

In this article, we focus on a framework of how you can think about this problem of standards, protocols, and radios.

The goal is to enable interactions between producers and the consumers

Also starting at the network layer, Zigbee and Z-wave are the big incumbents everyone likes formesh networking. They attempt to solve two problems: provide a reasonable specification to move packets from one place to another on a mesh network, and actually suggest how those packets should be structured; so, they both reach up higher in the stack.And thats the part hinders their futures.For example, Zigbee uses a system called profiles, which are collections of capabilities, such as thesmart energy profileor thehome automation profile.When a protocol gets so specific as to say this is what a light bulb does its pretty difficult to implement devices that arent included in the profile. While there are provisions for custom data, youre not really using a cross-compatible spec at that pointyoure basically off the standard as soon as youre working with a device not defined in the profile.

An up and coming standard thats built on top of the same silicon that powers the Zigbee radio. It solves the problem of mesh nodes not being able to communicate directly to the cloud by addingIPv6 support, meaning that nodes on the network can make fully qualified internet requests. Theres a lot of weight behind this standard. Google seems to think its interesting enough to make their own protocol (known as Weave) on top of it. And then theresNest Weavewhich is some other version of Google Weave. As it stands, it takes a long time for a standard to really take hold– you can immediately see how the story with Thread is a little muddier, which will not help its adoption. Its also solving a problem that it just doesnt seem that many devices have. Lets take sensors as an example. Do these low power, lightweight, low cost, low memory, low processing, fairly dumb devices NEED to make internet requests directly? With Thread, each node now knows a lot more about the worldwhere your servers are for example, and maybe they shouldnt be concerned with those things, because not only do the requirements of the device increase, but now the probability and frequency of having to update them in the field goes way up. When it comes to the actual sensors and other endpoints, philosophically you want minimize those responsibilities, except in special cases where offline durability, local processing and decision making is required (this is called fog computing).

Will there be a dominant Industrial Cloud Platform? Its hard to say at this point. GE Predix is hoping for 500,000 connected devices by the beginning of 2017, while C3 IoT is said to have70 million devicesconnected to its platform already.

This definition brings in the 2 dimensions of a platform. One that would be for internal use and the other for external use .

One thing Thread does have going for it is that it steps out of defining how devices talk to each other, and how devices format their datadoing this makes it more future proof. This is where Weave comes in, because it does suppose how the data should be structured. So basically a way to look at it is that Weave + Thread = direct Zigbee/Z-wave competitor. We havent seen anyone outside of Google really take an initiative on Weave, other than Nest who have put a good marketing effort into making it look like they are getting traction with it.

Industrial companies arent the only ones developing industrial cloud platforms. Theres already a long list of industrial cloud platforms available from software development firms. Here are a few worth mentioning:

There have been words verbalised like Being Platformed as well and a host of books on the significance of platform in the Technology world. I will not go into the virtues of platform. I would dwell on how the leaders in respective segments are a few ( a maximum of 3 ) while in the IoT world we seem to have by some counts 170 of them ( McKinsey ) to 400 of them ( Beecham Research).This is definitely a bewildering array to go through and investigate .

is aPaaSthat enables organizations to leverage data telemetry from sensors and devices, data from diverse enterprise information systems, and data from external sources (such as social media, weather, traffic, and commodity prices) and employ advanced analytics and machine learning at scale, in real time, to capture business insights for improved operations, enhanced customer engagement, and differentiated products and services. C3 IoT is led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Thomas Siebel. It has closed deals with theU.S. State Departmentand the French utilityENGIE SA, based on C3 IoTs focus on machine-generated data.

Posted byRob Tiffanyon June 6, 2018 at 2:06pm inPlatforms

These days it feels like any successful company, especially the so-called unicorns (aka private companies with over $1 billion valuation) are not selling aproductbut leverage aplatform. Beyond the Silicon Valley lingo, there is also a growing body of work in the literature dealing withplatformbusinesses and businessecosystems.

delivers cloud-based applications to a user via a web browser or a program interface. The advantage of a SaaS is that you dont need to run or install specific applications on individual computers, which not only saves time and money, it also simplifies maintenance and support. Common SaaS examples include:Google AppsandCisco WebEx.Siemenss Industrial Machinery Catalyst on the Cloudis an example of an Industrial SaaS (usingAWS infrastructure).

An internal dimension for building platforms is to ensure all necessary modules interoperate , and

The Crowded Cloud of Industrial Platforms

And thenCSRcame along and implemented a mesh standard over Bluetooth. Take all the advantages afforded with BLE, and then get all the benefits of a mesh network. The Bluetooth Mesh is flood mesh, meaning instead of specific routing to nodes, a message is sent indiscriminately across all nodes. This scales better than routed mesh because theres no memory constraints. Its a good solution for many problems in the IoT and at scale is probably going to be the lowest cost to implement.

The Integrity and Intrigue of IoT Platforms

Table 1: The List of Industrial Cloud Platform Providers

Posted byDavid A. Houghtonon May 5, 2016 at 12:52pm inPlatforms

Among the words, phrases and acronyms in the Tech worlds Platform seems to be a word which seems to grab the headlines. If one listens to any pitch from a start up venture it would be not uncommon to get the platform pitchin at least 1 out of 2 proposals. A lazy search on Google on the Top 20 Tech weary words fetched me the result that platform was 3rdin the list . (

The Buzz of Platforms and the Bazaar of IoT Platforms

You really just cant compete with the amount of silicon being shipped based on Bluetooth.10,000 unique SKUs were launched in Bluetooth in 2014. Other than WiFi, theres nothing that compares in terms of adoption. Bluetooth was originally designed for personal area networks, with the original standard supporting 7 concurrent devices. And now we haveBluetooth low energy(BLE) which has a theoretically infinite limit.BLE did a ton to optimize around IoT challenges.They looked heavily at the amount of energy required to support a communication. They considered every facet of low energy, not just the radio– they looked at data format, packet size, how long the radio needed to be on to transmit those packets, how much memory was required to support it, what the power cost was for that memory, and what the protocol expects of the CPU, all while keeping overall BOM costs in mind. For example, they figured out that the radio should only be on for 1.5ms at a time. Thats a sweet spotif you transmit for longer, the components heat up and thus require more power. They also figured out that button cell batteries are better at delivering power in short bursts as opposed to continuously. Further, they optimized it to be really durable against WiFi interference because the protocols share the same radio space (2.4GHz).

Successful platforms have the ability to support the variety of business use cases in the present and have strive to build the design to evolve over time and be to an extent future ready .

Welcome to the Internet of Things Podcast. In this introductory podcast, Rob Tiffany walks you through basic IoT concepts in order to give you a baseline level of knowledge to build upon.

is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) specifically designed for industrial data and analytics. It can capture and analyze the unique volume, velocity and variety of machine data within a highly secure, industrial-strength cloud environment. GE Predix is designed to handle data types that consumer cloud services are not built to handle.

Posted bySomjit Amriton August 10, 2017 at 3:10am inPlatforms

Posted byDavid Oroon November 18, 2016 at 4:40pm inPlatforms

This post originallyappearedhere.

The framework of course depends on if your deployment is going to be internal, such as in a factory, or external, such as a consumer product. In this conversation well focus on products that are launching externally to a wider audience of customers, and for that we have a lot to consider.

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