The existing tools that support the development of smart networked products are not providing the full measure of value they could. Product OEMs, third party services providers and enterprise users need a unified solution framework that strips out unnecessary complexity and costs and, ultimately, leverages intelligence in devices, networks and cloud-based services.
We have attached a new white paper about an innovative software platform from Eurotech that we believe has the potential to significantly change how solutions for smart connected devices are designed, deployed and managed.
This story is about the intersection of embedded software tools, intelligent device networking and cloud computing services that together have the potential to create a new “superset” of value in the marketplace. Each of these technologies inherently have standalone value: embedded tools enable smarter more feature-rich products, device connectivity fosters information sharing and awareness and cloud computing offers significantly easier to use and lower cost data management. While there is unique value in each of the innovations, it is the combination of all three technologies that will allow computing to inform real-world physical systems but only if they are cleverly integrated.
These critical technology elements have all evolved in separate cultures. Today, M2M is really a story of “piece-meal” technologies cobbled together from disparate supply-side vendor segments that have, for the most part, never really spoken, communicated or learned from each other.
Their histories are informed by mostly myopic behavior, characteristically:
Embedded Software Tool Players: Software increasingly dominates the engineering process in consumer and industrial products as small as smart phones, as commonplace as washing machines and automobiles, and as large as farming equipment and airplanes. The primary challenge the embedded software tools players have is being overly focused on developing cheaper, easier to use software to make products smart. What they have not focused on is thinking about how these products will eventually be used in a networked context.
Network Service Providers: Today’s discussions of smart systems focus almost exclusively on communications — the “pipe” — and very little on the data and information values. Focusing on the communication element alone as ‘first-order’ business value steals the limelight and potentially eclipses the real revolution — utilizing both embedded software tools and connectivity to liberate information from sensors and intelligent devices to leverage collective awareness and intelligence.
IT Equipment Players: From an IT perspective, today’s corporate IT function is a direct descendent of the company mainframe, and works on the same “batched computing” model—an archival model, yielding a historian’s perspective. Information about events is collected, stored, queried, analyzed, and reported upon. But all after the fact. That’s a very different thing from feeding the real-time inputs of billions of tiny “state machines” into systems that continually compare machine-state to sets of rules and then do something on that basis. For many years now, connected devices and IT systems have been two very strange bedfellows, but with the advent of low cost easier to deploy IT services via cloud computing, all this is about to change.
The tools we are working with today to make products “smart” were not designed to handle the scope of new capabilities, the diversity of devices and the massive volume of data-points generated from network interactions. These challenges are diluting the ability of users and developers to efficiently and effectively manage development of new smart systems. The fragmented nature of software offerings available today and the growing complexity of M2M applications make it extremely difficult to build effective M2M applications.
This is where the new values of Eurotech’s platform really come into focus – integration of the key system elements required to build a complete end-to-end connected device solution. We believe the company truly understands that all three technologies need to be interwoven and mutually supportive. We believe success only goes to the player that effectively utilizes the combined potential.