Interoperability as Growth Catalyst

Imagine you are transported in a time-machine, to a far-away island where every single person speaks a completely different language than the other. Forget about Google Translate, not even internet existed during that time.  You slowly start to realize the hard truth of being unable to communicate with any person to meet your daily needs. From as simple as getting a glass of water, to finding a place to stay or even to being understood as well as understanding others.

Other than chaotic noise, no meaningful action could take place to help a single person achieve their goals, let alone their basic needs! Each person was like an individual human island, completely cut off and isolated from one another even though physically they were co-located.

Luckily now, the smart “things” around us will not end up in this situation. Over the years some of the best minds in the industry spent time and energy trying to make these “things” talk to each other to help make human lives better and smarter. Thus, a smartwatch can talk to a smart golf stick and help you improve on the next swing, a kid’s wearable can talk to the parent’s smartwatch to notify of their current location – the possibilities are endless!

In today’s burgeoning IoT ecosystem, we can see diverse players entering the market at an unprecedented pace unheard of in any other industry. Coming from multiple verticals (auto, wearables, commercial etc.) and addressing different needs of the ecosystem – applications, hardware devices, software management, OEM, reseller etc.Picture1

A new “thing” that hits the market and has its own proprietary protocols, can only be talking to itself and nothing else – pretty much like the humans in the island we discussed earlier.

It’s imperative that interoperability – be it at the application layer or at the communication layer – is molded into the DNA of any new IoT “thing” or solution that wishes to enter the ecosystem. Treating interoperability as a de facto requirement encourages each player in the ecosystem to focus on what it is best at. For example, application vendors can focus on creating interesting solutions to improve human life, without bothering about device to device or device to system incompatibilities. Hardware vendors can focus on improving the inter play of their devices within a diverse ecosystem, and so on, resulting in the evolution of a healthy “things” ecosystem.

The economic importance of interoperable solutions can be inferred from a recent McKinsey report[1], which quotes “interoperability could deliver over $4 trillion out of an $11 trillion economic impact” that IoT solutions generate by 2025  – a whopping 40% weightage to overall potential.

Lochbridge is a firm believer in leveraging industry standards for creating interoperable solutions in the IoT space.  The various ingredients making up its flagship end-to-end IoT Acceleration Suite have embraced various IoT standard protocols head on and leveraged its powers to deliver value add in the IoT Solutions space.

Earlier this year, we were part of the OMA summit [2] in San Diego, California where we had the opportunity to validate interoperability of our Device Management Platform, which is a critical part of the IoT suite. The Device Management Platform, proved to be a winner with stellar performance results in the marathon 4-day interoperable tests against 10 different industry vendors during the event.  It also stood out for its intuitive GUI workflows which helps one to carry out complex software update campaigns, diagnostics and other management functions on heterogeneous device types, using industry standard protocols over a secure channel.

The Device Management Platform plays a pivotal role within the Lochbridge end-to-end IoT suite. Our solutions span the entire ecosystem from device management to enterprise integration to analytics at-scale. In addition, these solutions support key IoT use cases across industries including automotive, healthcare and manufacturing, among others.  One key feature of the Device Management Platform is its impressive flexibility, providing secure software update management and remote diagnostics across a plethora of IoT devices. Other than its flexibility, the platform provides the scalability and reliability to handle billions of IoT transactions. On a technical note, the OSGi based platform implements OMA DM 2.0 and LwM2M 1.0 specification for device management with the Core Gateway handling all major IoT protocols including MQTT, REST, CoAP, DTLS and AMQP with a plug-and-play architecture. Through our participation in the OMA TestFest, we also proved the industry-standard compliance and interoperable nature of our solution

Lochbridge also believes in giving something back and is actively participating in the evolution of future revisions of some of the IoT industry standards [3][4].

We believe that creating and promoting industry standards based solutions is a key factor that will help drive a healthy IoT ecosystem which in turn will amplify the value creation in human life through the smart “things”.

 

[1] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-technology/our-insights/an-executives-guide-to-the-internet-of-things

[2] http://openmobilealliance.org/oma-releases-results-of-lwm2m-testfest-and-opens-next-testfest-registration/

[3] https://github.com/OpenMobileAlliance/OMA_LwM2M_for_Developers/issues/106

[4] https://github.com/OpenMobileAlliance/OMA_LwM2M_for_Developers/issues/87

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