Leveraging an open IoT platform to accelerate innovation

Every decade or so, a technology shift occurs that has an impact far beyond its original design. These groundbreaking technologies can affect industries and applications that were never conceived of by their founders. The mobile phone is an example, which morphed into the smartphone and created a massive mobile development and application industry.

IoT represents such a sea change, not only in technology, but in how we work, play, and live. IoT isn’t just a tool for technologists or businesses – it has become a part of everyday life.

IoT is more than a single technology, or even a single philosophy. Today, there are thousands of potential uses, and it is being incorporated into products from manufacturers across all segments. Thousands of developers are creating connected products, introducing an entirely new category of technology, not just an application.

As such, the biggest hurdle to IoT innovation is not the hardware development. It is a relatively easy task to embed sensors and microprocessors into virtually anything. The challenge is to create a single application to control everything, with an architecture that provides whatever the developer needs, from the infrastructure to an open development platform that allows IoT connectivity across millions of devices.

An IoT platform ought to connect more than a single IoT device, or a group of devices from a single manufacturer. It should connect an entire ecosystem of devices. A home may have dozens of devices from multiple manufacturers, so a truly IoT-enabled smart home must be created with a multi-vendor perspective in mind. More importantly, IoT requires an open platform to host and manage devices.

The present state of IoT includes multiple standards, and connecting them is often problematic. To facilitate development in this environment and connect devices from multiple vendors, it is necessary to have a unified platform to support different protocols and standards and unify all data into a single interface.

Recently, iYogi launched the Digital Service Cloud Open IoT Platform, the first enterprise grade IoT platform from India. Built on Microsoft Azure, the platform is proven to scale to millions of devices. Innovators can use the platform to deploy, monitor and automatically manage their products across millions of end users, easily integrate their products with the growing IoT ecosystem, and use its advanced analytics capabilities to build and fast track their global growth strategies.

Digital Service Cloud overcomes the barriers to commercial success for IoT developers, and is especially aimed at IoT startups and innovators who have created innovative IoT solutions, but require a technology platform, a scalable infrastructure and a comprehensive application stack.

Digital Service Cloud is a platform-as-a-service with an open platform, free to use, that developers can tap into. It includes an infrastructure-as-a-service component and an open development platform for IoT applications. The infrastructure is highly scalable, and can be used by developers to connect their devices, monitor, and manage them.

Once a pre-programmed ‘chip’ is embedded into a product and an API installed, users can stream real-time data to monitor usability, performance and consumer behavior of data events in various formats. A dashboard allows companies to view events by device and also upload “offline” third party data to map this against device data for deeper insights and intelligence. Users can configure a rule engine to define operational and business processes from simple to complex rules.

Each time an event is received, an automatic trigger is actioned, initiating a response from designated respondents, and this may include: the manufacturer, a sales vendor or even a customer service representative.

The Digital Service Cloud IoT platform enables complex business information and reports to be created, correlating data received from diverse events – across the entire customer based using an offline product and device that was uploaded. The platform makes sense of big and small data with visualization capabilities and tools to derive predictive and trend analysis.

Thus, Digital Service Platform is the back end that enables developers to launch viable commercial IoT businesses and is essential to drive innovation.

Guest Post by Inder Mohan Singh, VP at iYogi.