IoT service provision and connectivity for devices at scaleProfiles
Jan Suleiman is the Global Director Solution Engineering at 1NCE: He leads a team of experts working across the globe to engineer and support customers on best practices and utilizing the 1NCE Technology for IoT connectivity and software services. Before entering this role, he was the IoT Product manager for the company. So he speaks expertly about how connectivity and software drive business value for the company and the key trends in the company’s sectors.
Jan spent time designing 1NCE’s connectivity platform and was part of the company’s decision to extend beyond connectivity to providing IoT software tools. He says, “Looking into the right IoT software tools to offer was a huge focus for the engineering group for the last three years.” In his current role, Jan supports solution architecture development for customers and manages the team of experts who help their customers to accelerate and be successful and exchange technical knowledge and best use cases and practices across the regions.
More than just connectivity as a service
1NCE is an IoT service provider of connectivity and services. Jan describes this as a base for integrating and managing data flows back to a cloud platform. It also involves managing protocol-to-protocol conversations, optimizing what and how data can be captured and sent, and building an intelligence layer on top of that data for rich analytical insights and services for location management, geo-fencing, and energy management. A key goal for the latter is to decrease energy use in battery-powered systems over the lifetime.
Focus on tiny devices at scale
There is a big focus on mass-scale tiny devices. They must keep them up and running on a global scale. Primarily 1NCE supports single-purpose devices that could run embedded Linux but are more likely to run RTOS or Arduino. These devices have small footprints, such as a tracking device for telemetry data or movements of containers, a smoke detector in a facility, or monitoring the entrance doors to a premise.
Jan says there are tremendous applications in the smart home for these tiny devices, from smart security cameras to remote garage doors. There are many use cases in this space. 1NCE is pure business-to-business and will support the solution providers to deliver to the OEM or help an innovative product startup to roll out and scale their offering to a mass market.
Every device gets some software update, especially devices running over many years that should have an updating capability; there are modem firmware updates, and then the embedded application runs on the controller itself. 1NCE is currently working on offering an OTA solution by the end of 2023. The focus for 1NCE is on the application layer, and they do not touch the OS in the routers and gateways.
Value of IoT
Jan believes that investments in IoT by companies have several benefits:
Creation of new streams of new revenue: Established industrial companies can develop new digital services. In many cases, these companies may have been leaders in their mechanical engineering niches for more than a hundred years. These could be large printer manufacturers serving every printing company in the world, and they need to evolve their business model to digital services. They already have the best product; they lead the market, now what can they do next? The intelligent and creative step is to create a connected version of that market-leading product so they can offer pre-emptive and predictive maintenance services and contracts.
Decreasing costs for focused industrial companies: This involved using an IoT device to aid predictive analytics to reduce maintenance costs.
Increasing the quality of the customer experience: For example, an EPOS terminal or a security camera service provider could directly connect these devices with customer services. Customers can do their setup to connect to their Wi-Fi or depend on it. Suppose the service provider can use end-to-end infrastructure to control the quality of the product or solution they provide. In that case, it puts them in a very advantageous position to command a higher price and get a better margin. Customers may be willing to pay more for this better experience.
To conclude, Jan addresses security in IoT devices: it still needs standardization; it is a playground; some will do it very well, some not, and there is a lot in between. A proper standard framework like GDPR has yet to be created. IoT devices are still open and harder to handle. 1NCE uniquely uses the essential elements of the sim card in every device; it is one of the most secure embedded elements you can have. A chain of trust comes from this element for authentication and access, and it can be exposed up to the application level.
We wish Jan and his colleagues well in their mission to provide secure IoT services and connectivity at scale.
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