The Connected Effect

The Internet of Secure Things

Posted by Brittany Calvanese

May 19, 2014 11:31:00 AM

By Rob Black, Axeda

Here at Axeda we just finished a very successful Connexion 2014 conference where global thought leaders in the Internet of Things (IoT) gathered in Boston for our multi-day event. IoT securityOne of the themes that I heard again and again from practitioners of IoT is that their security story needed improvement in order to assure customers that their IoT solution could be utilized safely. There is a lot of noise from the entertainment world and popular press about killer pacemakers and spam-sending-refrigerators that has crowded out the less sensational reality that  -- IoT Security is not fundamentally different from network security, and there are a plethora of strong security practices that can be readily applied to IoT.

Many customers who are deploying IoT are frustrated by the resistance that some IT and security departments exert when an IoT solution can clearly help them solve business challenges for their deployed machines. Lack of connectivity is not the solution to a security problem, and that thinking should be turned on its head. If companies are concerned about security and compliance here are the questions that they should ask. These questions are based on real-world events that our customers have observed and not based on theoretical thinking.

  • How can you be certain that machines are being used for their appropriate business purposes and not for gaming or other (worse) personal activities?
  • How can you ensure that the appropriate policies have been applied to the machine? Are policies applied in a consistent manner or does it depend on the technician and date of machine provisioning/servicing?
  • What is your update strategy should a software vulnerability be found on thousands of your machines? Does your plan involve running around with a USB stick to every machine?
  • How do you connect to the machine for remote service support? Do you use web meeting tools? Does that mean that the remote user has an elevated level of access? Are the changes audited?

If your answers to the questions above are unfavorable perhaps you should consider using an IoT solution to help you solve your security and compliance problems. Connectivity and diligent management is the key to successfully managing devices in your enterprise. Axeda has helped many customers to examine and address the challenges listed above. For instance the ability to log every significant action at the device level can help organizations to ensure compliance with regulations and protect against rogue employees utilizing remote desktop applications to perform non-authorized activities on business critical machines.

Once you have decided to pursue an IoT solution, there are a number of steps required to ensure that it is secure. The first and most important step is to get senior management buy-in. While this might not be the most obvious path for technically minded folks, it is the one that can help you to solve a number of problems long term. Senior management needs to be sold on the business value of this project. If there is sufficient business value then they can help you get the appropriate resources to address security or other requirements that might be a part of the project.  They can help to move obstacles that may be in the way of a successful project.

Before getting the buy-in, however, management may ask for an assessment of a particular IoT solution. Since an IoT solution is comprised of so many parts, we break it down into seven key segments to more easily perform analysis for security purposes:

  • Device
  • Inside the firewall software and communications
  • Outside the firewall communications
  • Cloud operations
  • Cloud platform
  • Cloud development
  • Cloud applications

Over the next several blog posts we’ll dig into key security topics utilizing the above framework and provide you with an understanding of what you can and should expect from an IoT vendor, and which challenges are better addressed from within your own organization.  If you can’t wait until the next post, check out our security white paper in the interim. Stay tuned!

Bio:
Rob Black is Director of Platform Product Management at Axeda where he overseas the direction of the Axeda Machine Cloud Platform. In addition to his expertise in Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M), Rob has extensive experience in security, web services, and cloud solutions. Rob’s product management and product marketing background includes positions at RSA Security, 3Com, and Vertical Communications. Rob received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from Washington University in St. Louis in Computer Science and System Science and Engineering. He is the inventor of three security related patents and is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Topics: Axeda, Axeda Connexion, Internet of Things, IoT security

Making Internet of Things Connections at the Axeda Connexion 2014 Conference

Posted by Brittany Calvanese

May 12, 2014 9:41:00 AM

By Jeff Kaplan, THINKstrategies

The increasing attention and accelerating innovation in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) marketplace was clearly on display at the Axeda Connexion 2014 conference May 6-7 in Boston. The event brought together over 600 attendees from more than 150 companies Axeda Connexion 2014worldwide to share perspectives and best practices regarding how to capitalize on the rapidly expanding consumer and commercial opportunities created by the IoT.

Axeda has been at the forefront of the IoT movement as a pioneer of the previous generation of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. In the same way the vision of the ‘connected world’ has expanded from connected devices and systems to a broader set of connected objects and services, Axeda’s mission and product portfolio has also widened.

Over the past few years, Axeda has broadened its focus from helping its customers and partners more easily connect remote objects, devices, systems and services to enabling them to better manage and ultimately monetize the value of their connected worlds as well. It has also shifted its technical focus from hardware-oriented to software-driven solutions, and moved from primarily on-premise to Cloud-powered solutions.

Today, Axeda’s IoT portfolio includes three major components to address three key IoT requirements:

  1. Connect – Middleware
  2. Build – Platform
  3. Manage – Analytics

At the Connexions 2014 conference, Axeda unveiled five new offerings that strengthen its ability to satisfy its customers and partners’ needs in these three areas:

  1. Axeda Connected Builder which moves IoT agent mgmt to the Cloud.
  2. Adaptive Machine Messaging Protocol to provide a standard language for IoT.
  3. Machine Streams for streaming high volumes of data in IoT networks.
  4. Connected Asset Management for Salesforce.com to improve customer support, sales and marketing effectiveness.
  5. Axeda community.axeda.com to encourage greater peer-to-peer collaboration and information sharing of IoT best practices.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Axeda story is the ecosystem of customers and partners it has built. AT&T has been a strategic partner for many years and played a prominent role at Connexion 2014. In fact, the two companies co-hosted a special luncheon on the first day of the conference for the industry analysts attending the event where they shared information about the growing number of customer success stories they are generating together across a variety of vertical markets.

Oracle, Intel, GE, Salesforce.com, Deutsche Telekom and Broadcom also gave keynote presentations at Connexion 2014. In addition, the conference expo included Wipro, Dedicated Computing, Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Appirio, Software AG, TeraCode, CaseBank Technologies, HP Vertica, Integron, Lantronix, Mitsui Technologies, Option Wireless Technology, SAS, ServiceMax and Venetia Systems.

While there was plenty of excitement about the boundless opportunities created by the IoT, there was also a healthy amount of practical perspective about the technical, organizational and market barriers to success that still exist.

First, there is no single standard or vendor that can satisfy the end-to-end requirements of most IoT deployments. Therefore, industry collaboration and integration is essential for success.

Second, there are just as many security vulnerabilities as there are network connections in IoT deployments. Many product innovations and policy decisions will be required to combat the rising security threats.

Third, many organizations must understand how the IoT redefines their customer relationships. Capturing and properly utilizing a new level of customer data carries tremendous responsibilities in addition to creating incredible new business opportunities.

Axeda’s Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Product Strategy, Bill Zujewski, suggested during his keynote presentation that these challenges make it imperative that the IoT vendors and the industry as a whole adopt policies to ensure their products and business practices are in harmony with their customers’ needs to alleviate their concerns. In his view, “harmonize” is the latest level of value created by the rapidly evolving IoT market.

Topics: Axeda Connexion, Internet of Things, IoT Conference, Boston, Jeff Kaplan, THINKstrategies

Insights from Leaders in IoT at Axeda Connexion

Posted by Brittany Calvanese

May 7, 2014 7:42:00 AM

By Steve Hilton, MachNation

At the end of an industry event, we at MachNation like to reflect on some of the insights generated by event participants. In this environment of weekly IoT/M2M events it is not easy finding unique nuggets of wisdom, but occasionally we do. Let's discuss a few insights from discussions and presentations on 6 May at Axeda Connexion 2014.

  1. "Integration is the killer app for IoT," according to Bill Zujewski, CMO of Axeda. This seemingly innocuous idea is packed with importance. While some are often looking for a single application or device that will create disproportionate business value in the IoT ecosytem, they are misguided. The real value of these IoT solutions rests in the integration of device data with back-end business applications in the re-definition of business processes. These integrations can have profound implications on enterprise costs, innovation and new services development.
  2. Minimizing vulnerability to the "bad guys" is critically important in IoT. Security isn't just the responsibility of the CSO, as we have learned recently from the firing of Target's CEO in response to a massive security breach of customer data.  Numerous speakers brought-up the topic of IoT security and its importance. Since many IoT solutions have been deployed by operations technology (OT) staff without too much involvement from the CSO's organization, it becomes even more important to consider the end-to-end security implications of IoT solutions from device, OS, application, connectivity and application integration perspectives. The importance of OT in the IoT decision-making process is one of MachNation's hot topics for 2014. Bringing in some of the well-founded practices from traditional security auditing is one way to drive standard security practices in the deployment of new IoT solutions.
  3. Responsiveness to data creates competitive differentiation and business value. Peter Utzschneider from Oracle highlighted this issue clearly in his keynote address. Enterprises must use IoT data to increase responsiveness across organizations. This responsiveness can be seen in departments as varied as logistics, customer care, field services, maintenance, sales and marketing. Speed, agility and fact-based decision-making create enterprises that outperform their peers.
  4. Intelligence in end-point devices is needed. This point was raised several times during the event. Whether that intelligence needs to sit on the device or on the network is arguable. However, I believe it is true that we need more intelligence logically closer to end-point devices. More intelligence closer to the network edge allows for better, faster, more reliable and more distributed decision-making. It gives us more ability to impact, change, modify and re-direct things/people at the edge of the network. These changes alter the user experience at the edge. In some cases (for example, monitoring an oil pump along a supply line), altering the user experience at the network edge is less important. However, there are other cases (for example, a connected vending machine) where altering the user experience at the network edge is tremendously valuable.
The ecosystem of partners attending Axeda Connexion was strong. Bringing together system integrators, application vendors, platform providers, services providers, communications operators, device manufacturers and chip manufacturers is no small task. But bringing them together with enterprise end-users creates strong value for the entire ecosystem.

Topics: Axeda Connexion, IoT Conference, Steve Hilton, MachNation

And the Axeda Connexion 2014 Keynote Speakers Are…

Posted by Bill Zujewski

Apr 11, 2014 10:26:00 AM

We are happy to formally announce our star lineup of keynote speakers at this year’s Axeda Connexion, our annual IoT and M2M conference coming up May 5-8 in Boston’s Innovation District. Our keynote speakers include special guests and industry experts; presentation themes will highlight how companies such as GE, EMC, Tyco, Roche, Intel, and Salesforce.com are integrating IoT into their corporate strategies and customer interactions.

cx14 elekta video ON
Watch the Axeda Connexion Customer Insight video featuring Elekta.

The Axeda Connexion 2014 keynote speakers include:

  • Todd DeSisto, Axeda President and CEO
  • Joe Andruzzi, The Joe Andruzzi Foundation
  • Alan Atkins, Wipro Vice President and Global Head of M2M
  • Brian Bedrosian, Senior Director of Embedded Wireless, Broadcom
  • Markus Breitbach, Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Deutsche Telekom
  • Peter Coffee, VP of Strategic Research, Salesforce.com
  • Rick Lisa, Group Sales Director, Intel
  • Paul Rogers, Chief Development Officer, GE
  • Mike Troiano, Vice President, Advanced Mobility Solutions, AT&T
  • Peter Utzschneider, Vice President Product Management, Oracle
  • Alfonso Velosa, Research Director, Gartner

This year’s conference will be our ninth event to date and it’ll bigger than ever. What else can you expect at this year’s event? We have a great agenda planned from an IoT Developer Boot Camp to our Customer Breakout Sessions.  And for a break from the action… attend a networking reception at Harpoon Brewery or join our group outing to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park.  The full agenda to the conference can be found here.

IoT is transforming the way companies do business. You don’t want to miss out on the IoT event of the year! Register here.

Topics: M2M, Axeda Connexion, IoT, IoT Conference, Keynote Speakers, Boston

Axeda Connexion 2012 – Continuing the Conversation

Posted by Dan Murphy

Jun 29, 2012 12:02:00 PM

AxedaConnexion2012Logo resized 600

Our 7th annual Axeda Connexion event is now in the history books, but the impact is far from over.  With nearly 400 attendees from our community of customer, partners, and those just getting started on M2M initiatives, the M2M Event of the Year showed a market that is ripe with opportunity.

For those of you who were unable to make it to the event or for anyone who would like to revisit the content, we have a comprehensive event overview posted on our website.  It includes the opening video and keynote address from Axeda CEO Jack Sweeney.  

The plans for Axeda Connexion 2013 are already in the works – stay tuned for news next month on dates and location!

Topics: M2M, Axeda Connexion

Get Serious about M2M

Posted by Dan Murphy

May 6, 2012 10:16:00 PM

Axeda Connexion 2012 is only a month away and we are challenging our community of users to “Get Serious about M2M.”  What does this mean?

A solution maturity curve is emerging in M2M that is taking the value of connected product data beyond the remote service, support, or tracking of assets.  Companies that were early in bringing their products online are now realizing that the real “gold” in M2M is taking that data and integrating with enterprise systems such as CRM, ERP, or data warehouses — optimizing critical business processes and essentially M2M-izing their organizations.

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Connexion 2012 will feature more than 30 content sessions focused on reinventing the product experience and optimizing enterprise-wide business processes with M2M data.  More news coming out this week about the roster of industry all-stars that we have assembled, but you can check out the latest agenda here.

And in case you missed it.  Axeda’s EVP of Product Strategy & Marketing, Bill Zujewski was on the Peggy Smedley radio show last week talking about this very topic.  Hear his thoughts on what it means to M2Mize a company by listening in to the replay.

Topics: Axeda Connexion, M2Mize

Machines - Embracing The Network Effect – Part 2…

Posted by Dale Calder

Jun 22, 2011 10:55:00 AM

“The more users connected to a network, the more valuable that Network becomes”, Metcalf’s Law… 

This was one of my key themes from my Axeda Connexion 2011 keynote.  

For the past 13 years, the M2M industry has been focused, almost solely, on connecting things.   If you go to an M2M conference, listen to a M2M webinar, or read an M2M article, the topic always drifts to connectivity.

  • What type of communication to use?
  • How much data to send?
  • How much does the data cost?
  • Wireless, wired?

It drives me nuts…

When I was preparing my keynote, I kept wondering why there was a myopic focus on connectivity in M2M, when it’s clear that the value happens on the other side of the pipe (the user) …   See Metcalf’s law above.

Then it dawned on me … we focus on connectivity, not only because it is required, but also because for most of those 13 years, there really wasn’t a good way for connecting users to a M2M system.

So I used my pulpit at the Axeda Connexion to explain what I coined, the “Cloud Phase” of M2M.   In the Cloud Phase consumption of M2M data becomes the focus and connectivity is assumed.

In discussing this phase, I first went into why the cloud is such a key enabler.   Directly from the keynote, my description of cloud: 

Cloud computing contains the following three elements: 

1)     It’s Everywhere
2)     It’s Elastic
3)     It’s Consumable

I think of it a lot like electricity. None of us know the magic of power creation or distribution, but we do know that we can plug something into an electrical outlet and it just works. 

The cloud is a lot like that …  Data is located in a place where it can be aggregated, analyzed, and distributed. Its ubiquity enables massive consumption of information on an unimaginably large scale.

I then discussed cloud as the key enabler to the unleashing the power of the network effect in M2M:

“It is the wide consumption of M2M data and its millions of users that will create the virtuous cycle that will enable the M2M industry to become the next Social Networking of technology…. “

Finally, I discussed how the network effect is ruling the future of the Internet.   I discussed how M2M unleashes a network effect so powerful and large that in the future it will dwarf even Facebook in “connectedness” … 

Sean Parker, the guy who is most famous for starting Napster (but richest from his involvement with Facebook!) stated in a recent interview: 

 "Companies that harness the power of networks will dominate the future of the Internet." 

The more I thought about the quote, the more brilliant I thought it was. With Facebook, we all act as a hub for our own networks of interconnected friends. In M2M, that hub is the device. The key to the M2M industry generating the type of value that Facebook is unlocking is to extend the personal networks of those devices to as many users and uses as possible.

Let’s do a little back of the napkin math … What if 50 billion devices were the hub of 100 human and business interactions. That would be tantamount to a network with 5 trillion users. Remembering Metcalf’s law, I would contend that the leverage and value creation that can be unlocked from this network would dwarf what we are currently seeing even from social networking…” 

I concluded my keynote with a challenge to everyone… 

I challenge each of you to look to your markets & your organizations, and think about how you can use the M2M cloud to drive massive M2M network effects on top of your connected products.

In the end, we are all part of an industry that will reshape the fabric of the world.   Connected products, connected not only to the company that sold them, but to the world of users, application writers, and each other, will reshape how our global infrastructure operates and how we interact with the products we use … Ultimately improving our quality of life… 

I can’t wait…

Topics: M2M, Connected Products, Axeda Connexion, cloud

The M2M Event of the Year - Less than a Week Away!

Posted by Dale Calder

Jun 3, 2011 9:45:00 AM

Axeda has assembled an armada of M2M industry experts, customers, press, and analysts who will convene in Boston next week for Axeda Connexion 2011.

With keynotes fromAxeda Connexion

  • Eric Goodness, Research Vice President, Gartner
  • Chris Hill, Vice President for Advanced Mobility Solutions of AT&T
  • Wayne Ward, Vice President Emerging Solutions, Sprint Nextel, and
  • Yours truly, Dale Calder, Founder Axeda

Combined that with sessions from leading companies, such as:

  • Brinks
  • NCR
  • Roche
  • Welch Allyn
  • Among others

 And for good measure, add an Industry Leaders Panel Discussion, “50 Billion Connected Devices by 2020, Hype, Fact, or Fiction?” 

You end up with a very exciting and stimulating couple of days.   There will be no other place in the next twelve months where you can learn more about the state of the M2M industry than at Connexion.  And attendance has almost tripled from last year’s event! 

For my keynote, I plan to discuss the similarities between M2M and Facebook.   I look forward to seeing you there…

Topics: M2M, Connected Products, Axeda Connexion, machine-to-machine

Firefly, Middlemen, Cloud & M2M

Posted by Dale Calder

May 20, 2011 3:58:00 PM

I was watching an old science fiction show, Firefly, this weekend with my Fireflydaughter and heard the following: 

About 50% of the human race is middle-men and they don't take kindly to being eliminated”

Now I have no idea if this proclamation is based on fact or just a number made up by the scriptwriter, I assume the latter, but it resonated with me anyway. 

What if computing and automation could eliminate this layer of organizational inefficiency - ENTIRELY? 

Now, I know what you are thinking, computing has been trying to eliminate the middleman for over 30-years — with failed results I might add.   Each successive generation of computing has built upon the challenges and shortcomings of the previous.   Mainframes led to mini computers that in turn led desktops.   Client / server systems let backend systems and desktops work together.   The web made it all easier.   But each of these forms of computing fell short of producing the kind of innovation that enabled the elimination of the middleman.

That brings me to cloud.   In this new era of cloud computing we have some unique ingredients that open the door to value creation beyond what we have seen in our lifetime.

Cloud computing is flexible and open.   All the types of computing up to this phase were characterized by propriety software systems with archaic ways of extensibility and integration.  Tried to extend you SAP system lately?  Ouch!

Cloud computing has at its foundation Web Services.   Web Services are open and flexible ways to have things talk to each other.

Cloud platforms are now infinitely extensible.   These cloud platforms can:

  • Listen to anything – machine, process, business system, human. 
  • Trigger rules and code to run that analyze real-time streams of information.
  • Provide you with the ability to store information in any way you want it.
  • Enable you to develop code and web services that are stored as data within the cloud system itself.  

In short, you can interact with and extend the system to do anything you want.  All on top of a world-class professionally hosted and operated cloud platform.

I am so excited about this development because now for the first time, you have the perfect business orchestration platform.

Middlemen, beware, your days are numbered. 

Shameless plug of the day – Axeda has a platform that does just this - check it out at www.axeda.com or if you are more curious join us at Axeda Connexion (June 7-10) for a deep dive…

 

Topics: M2M, Axeda Connexion, cloud

We Have Seen the Light – and its Name is CLOUD!

Posted by Dale Calder

Jun 25, 2010 2:54:00 PM

Microsoft Pickets Salesforce.com at Cloudforce

It made me think!   Why is Microsoft picketing salesforce.com.  Could it be that they don’t like what the cloud is doing to their business?  Could it be that cloud computing will demolish IT as we know it?   Could it be that Microsoft has figured out that they are a dinosaur?   Hmmm…

Today millions of people and an entire ecosystem of companies selling billions of dollars worth of goods are involved in an activity that history will paint as the rough equivalent to “sticking a needle in your eye.”  

 Picture this:

  • You allocate a significant percentage of your people and dollars and have them work on things that are out of your core competency
  • Once you have done that, start buying parts that you have to put together, operate, and be totally responsible for
  • And for the cherry on the top – you will have to pay the companies that sold you the bag of parts just to pick up the phone when you call

Sound like a good deal?

No way! Yet, I would say that is a fair description of the global IT market as it is today – and it’s painful!      

Benefit can be derived, but high costs, risks, and distractions to your core business are CRAZY OUT OF CONTROL!

The way I look at it, IT in its current incarnation is going the way of the dodo bird.   The global pervasive network called the Internet allows us to consume our IT in a better way – hosted and operated in the cloud by companies who make it their business to do it well.  And the best part, if you don’t like it, you change.   No bag of parts, no big capital expenditures to hold on to, no regrets.  You can even call them without having to pay something extra.   It’s all good.

Over the next 10 years – the “old” tech companies will either completely reinvent themselves or perish!   This is their buggy whip-to-automobile moment.   Cloud is it – it’s cheaper, better, and easier.   

So to Microsoft – I am sorry – we will not go back to the old ways.   We have seen the light – and its name is CLOUD!

Topics: Axeda, M2M, Connected Products, Axeda Connexion, Platform-as-a-Service; PaaS; Axeda Platform, Axeda Platform, cloud, cloud computing; SaaS

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