Businesses are more actively adopting the Internet of Things. An IoT platform serves as a mediator to unite all of them in one system. Combining many of the tools, such a platform stores, analyzes and manages the plethora of data generated by the connected assets. The most popular IoT platforms are still the solutions by the leading vendors such as Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. But there are lots of other good options on the market. Here, we provide a review of the best Internet of Things platforms 2018.
Google Cloud IoT
Google launched the IoT platform on the basis of its end-to-end Google Cloud Platform. Currently, it’s one of the top Internet of Things platforms. Google Cloud IoT is a set of integrated services:
- Cloud IoT Core — to capture and handle the device data
- Cloud Pub/Sub — to ingest event streams from anywhere for real-time stream analytics
- Google BigQuery — to do ad hoc analysis
- Cloud Machine Learning Engine — to apply ML
- Google Data Studio — to visualize data making reports and dashboards
- Cloud Functions — a serverless environment to trigger automatic changes, build and connect cloud services
The main components of Cloud IoT Core are:
- A device manager — to register devices with the service, monitor and configure them
- Protocol bridges (MQTT and HTTP) — to connect devices to Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud automatically integrates with the Internet of Things hardware producers such as Intel and Microchip.
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SAP is the leading German software company. In 2017, it launched Leonardo as a purely IoT platform. But later, it was relaunched as a “digital innovation system” in order to integrate more emerging technologies in one place, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, advanced analytics and blockchain. Since one technology is not enough to deliver good outcomes for customers, this integral approach is really worthwhile. When technologies are viewed and implemented jointly, it’s easier to support businesses in any digital aspect and accelerate time to value.
SAP Leonardo is predicted to be the leading platform for the Internet of Things 2018. The platform offers accelerator packages. An accelerator is a fixed-price package tailored to specific industries and functions. It comprises methodologies, the necessary licenses, development and design services. Accelerators help customers create apps from the initial prototype to the final solution.
SAP Leonardo offers two services:
- Ready-made applications (e.g. SAP Service Ticketing)
- Microservices and APIs (e.g. the SAP Streaming Analytics microservice) that can be integrated into the customer’s own applications
Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
Cisco IoT Cloud Connect is originally an offering for mobile operators. This mobility-cloud-based software suite is on the list of the best Internet of Things cloud platforms. It allows customers to fully optimize and utilize networks, provides real-time visibility and updates every level of the network.
Its core feature s include:
- Voice and data connectivity
- SIM lifecycle management
- IP session control
- Customizable billing and reporting
Cisco has experience in creating the agricultural Internet of Things solutions for the National Farmers Federation in Australia.
Its core competencies are:
- Gateways and edge devices manufacturing
- Management and monitoring through the Cisco Jasper Control Center
- Launching IoT apps through the Development Center
- Providing security through IoT Threat Defense
Bosch IoT Suite
The German IT company Bosch has become a full-service provider of connectivity and the Internet of Things with its own open-source IoT platform. Now, it can compete with the big players such as Amazon and IBM.
The Bosch IoT Suite is a flexible open-source Platform as a Service (PaaS). Bosch focuses on efficiency and safety and provides cloud services for typical IoT projects. Prototype applications can be quickly set up and deployed within minutes. Software developers can operate them at high availability.
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Salesforce specializes in customer relations management. Salesforce IoT Cloud is a service running on AWS infrastructure. It is powered by Thunder — a real-time event processing engine. This is a good solution for customers who want to monitor their connected devices online and make instant decisions.
The advantages of Salesforce offering are high speed, simple point-and-click UI and the easy-to-use and more meaningful user experience. Even non-technical users can easily derive benefits from digital projects.
Another important feature is MyIoT — a declarative interface for building apps on top of connected assets data.
Japanese IT vendor Hitachi with its Lumada is also on the list of the best IoT platforms 2018. Lumada is a comprehensive service as it includes the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. Therefore, it delivers the most advanced opportunities to turn data into intelligent action, solving customer problems before they occur.
Lumada focuses on industrial IoT deployments, which is why it can be run both on-premises and in the cloud.
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General Electric Predix
General Electric launched its PaaS Predix, which aims at the industrial market, in 2016. Predix offers connectivity and analytics and creates digital industrial applications for sectors such as aviation, healthcare, energy and transportation. The apps allow customers to use real-time operational data from connected assets and make faster decisions.
- A catalog of app templates that are used off-the-shelf with your data from connected devices
- A low-code Studio that helps non-technical users build industrial IoT apps
Customers can manage connected devices using Predix as a dashboard and create virtual models (digital twins) of assets to predict and optimize their performance.
Predix runs on the major public cloud infrastructure providers. For instance, GE created Predix-ready devices in partnership with Verizon, Cisco and Intel. Recently, the company partnered with Apple to bring Predix apps to iOS devices.
Choosing an IoT Platform
There’s no definite answer to this question since there’s no one best platform suitable for any digital project. The choice will always depend on the specific requirements of your business.
Large enterprises are more likely to turn to giants such as Amazon or Microsoft. Their offerings are the most established, but also the most expensive. Smaller companies may find more cost-efficient options that will nevertheless perfectly meet their requirements.
If you need help choosing a platform, contact SaM Solutions’ specialists. Our development teams have experience in building IoT applications and can advise you on all related issues. We know the pros and cons of various platforms, and will easily be able to recommend the appropriate option for your digital strategy.