By Bill Zujewski
The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is red hot… it stole the show at CES, the world’s largest Consumer Electronics event. It is grabbing the headlines with stories about Google, Nest and the connected home and “Wearables”, one of the poster children for the internet of things. The IoT buzz is hitting the blogosphere with new views on the future connected world we will live in.
One observation… IoT has leap-frogged Machine-to-Machine (M2M) as the new buzzword. Is there a difference between IoT and M2M? Yes. Axeda defines M2M as the communication between a machine or device and a remote computer. M2M is about connecting a device to the cloud, managing that device, and collecting machine and sensor data. In essence, M2M is about connecting and communicating with a “thing” where a thing can be a machine, device or sensor…. Basically anything that can send data.
IoT goes beyond M2M… beyond computers connecting to things. IoT represents things connecting with systems, people and other things. To be clear, here are our definitions:
- Things – Includes machines, devices, sensors, consumer products, vehicles, etc.
- Systems – Include business applications, ERP/CRM/PLM systems, analytics systems, data warehouses, and control systems
- People – Includes workers and consumers; employees, partners and customers
Axeda provides an IoT Platform for orchestrating data between things, systems and people. Our IoT platform is the technology that enables things to connect to the cloud and then interact with business systems, people and other things connected to the cloud. What might be confusing is that part of our platform includes M2M capabilities for connecting to things and managing devices, but our platform also includes the key capabilities to integrate systems and people and implement IoT solutions. Some of our key IoT Platform features are:
- Extended Objects – To store any data; Includes the ability to go beyond machine/device data and store data related to other business objects like accounts, cases, policies, configurations, warranties, service requests, and rate plans
- Associations – To define a data model that associates business information with devices and associates sensors with physical objects; For example, Axeda can associate an OBD tracking device with a vehicle, driver and insurance policy and store that complementary information natively in the Axeda platform
- Groovy Scripting Engine – To provide a development environment to handle business logic in our platform. The scripting engine also provides an easy way for developer to write scripts that interact with other external systems and applications.
- Web Services – To provide APIs for accessing data and software application services in Axeda
- Scripto – To provide API’s for sending non-device data to Axeda. This could include sensor and device information from other IoT solutions or business information from enterprise systems. This essentially enables the mash-up of web services from multiple systems with Axeda as the central point of integration.
- Message Queue – A secure way to interact with other systems and clouds in an asynchronous way
Net/net: Axeda provides an IoT platform that includes M2M capabilities. In my next few blogs, I will discuss customer examples of IoT solutions. Unlike other platforms hyping what’s possible in the Internet of Things, I’ll share with the readers, real world customer success stories of Axeda integrating things, systems and people to deliver innovative new solutions that change business outcomes.