By Joe Guy, COO, Spyglass
The IoT platforms market is exploding. According to a 2017 IoT Analytics report on the state of the IoT platforms market, over 450 companies currently have offerings across all industries. However, the market is still nascent with less than 7% of platforms having more than $10M in annual revenues.
For manufacturers evaluating their options across so many choices of platforms, how do you choose?
We’ve assembled the top 4 areas to consider when looking at an IoT platform:
- Many of the vendors and their platforms are intended primarily for large, global deployments. Though several vendors have solutions that are intended to scale small to large, many are designed for large-scale enterprises and have pricing models that reflect that.
- Many platforms offer a SaaS model that allows for faster implementation and minimal hardware and software licensing upfront costs – so there is little to no capital expenditures. Cost is based on consumption of services and application features employed.
- Even with predominately SaaS models, there are still system management and monitoring and regularly housekeeping to be undertaken. This can be taken in house or outsourced as a managed serviced.
- Communication – devices need a network on which to connect and communicate
- Messaging – particularly for industrial settings, guaranteeing messages from devices are delivered is key
- Registration and Management – each device needs to be identifiable along with location, purpose, measurement capabilities, etc. and this information needs to me maintainable. Firmware and other updates and information will need to be placed on devices from time to time. Ideally this registration and management can be handled remotely and automated.
- Devices and gateways need to be secured from both outside network threats as well as physical access (as appropriate).
Operational solutions (Digitize)
The platform should facilitate integration with other enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, WMS, etc.)
Consider pre-built solutions like remote monitoring, asset management, OEE, condition-based and predictive maintenance, connected field service, process automation, billing, etc. In many cases, it’s important to look at the health of the software and hardware partner ecosystem for the platform so you can leverage pre-built integrations.
Hot and Cold Paths for Data
- Hot path for real-time analytics and alerting
- Cold path for trend analysis, deeper insights from artificial intelligence and machine learning, automated decisions
- A variety of storage options appropriate for scale, cost and use of data
Reporting and Analytics
- Classic reporting
- Advanced visualization and analysis
- Context sensitive options – from executive suite to factory floor environments to roaming managers
This is why we created Spyglass Connected Factory – an IIoT platform powered by Microsoft IoT Hub that enables manufacturers to start small, think big and go fast with IIoT. With Spyglass, you can avoid unplanned downtime, improve product quality, and balance production – one factory at a time. To learn more, Watch our Spyglass Video.