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IoT Device Management vs. IoT Platform

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a big word. The IoT ecosystem consists of devices, big or small, networks, protocols, connections, clouds, databases, etc. Essentially, the IoT ecosystem can be broken down into several significant components or building blocks, with thousands of vendors offering solutions for each of these blocks.

Here are the major IoT building blocks:

  • Connectivity – devices or objects become IoT manageable after they connect to the Internet, directly to a cloud or via IoT gateway.
  • Device Management – the part of the IoT platform that enables provisioning and authentication of the devices, remote configuration and management, monitoring and diagnostics, and software (or firmware) updates and maintenance
  • Applications – IoT applications or dashboards that enable IoT visualization and control
  • Security – vendors that keep IoT solutions secure
  • Data and Analytics – IoT component that collects, stores, and analyzes data.

When IoT Platform is not precisely a platform

Often, when people say “IoT Platform,” they really mean “IoT Application”. IoT apps enabling limited IoT functionality are usually enough for basic IoT scenarios. They can connect devices and sensors to the cloud, monitor and collect data, and provide IoT project visualization. We see quite a few such IoT platforms offered by hardware manufacturers that introduce these platforms in addition to or as part of their hardware offering.

Basic IoT Platforms are sufficient for small to medium-sized IoT projects, but large-scale IoT scenarios require advanced IoT functionality. Device Management component is a must when the IoT scenario requires a connection, management, and integration of thousands of IoT devices and sensors.

Why IoT Device Management?

The IoT Device Management enables provisioning and authentication of the devices, remote configuration and management, monitoring and diagnostics, and firmware or software updates and maintenance.

Imagine a large IoT project. Thousands of devices, numerous hardware vendors, multiple connectivity protocols – how do you make all of it become IoT manageable? IoT Device Management providers usually provide advanced features that enable the management of various types of IoT devices and sensors on a unified platform. Friendly Technologies, for example, is utilizing its Smart Layer™ technology to translate between multiple protocols and manage all types of IoT devices via its unified One-IoT™ Device Management platform.

IoT service providers are interested in generating revenue and maintaining profitability from selling their IoT services. When it comes to reaching and maintaining the profitability of IoT projects, the primary way to achieve this goal is to avoid the lock-in by a specific hardware vendor. IoT providers must have the freedom to choose the best of breed devices and sensors that do not generate dependency that can lead to profitability decrease in the future.

Another example of a significant IoT deployment challenge that IoT providers face is dealing with loads of manual work to make devices and sensors IoT manageable – customization, creating configuration files, development, homologation, testing, etc. This manual work can quickly turn into immense costs. Automated provisioning of the IoT devices that helps avoid such expenses is another advanced feature that only experience IoT Device Management providers can solve.

Here is a comparison of the basic (generic) IoT platform and advanced IoT Device Management Solution:

At Friendly Technologies, we aim for maximum automation and ease of use with no or minimum required professional services. We have acquired extensive experience with large-scale deployments in low ARPU markets with large numbers of devices. Our carrier customers can profitably compete in the LPWaN low ARPU market. Our IoT Line of products includes IoT Device Management, a full Smart Home solution, and embedded IoT clients.

Friendly Technologies applies an open standard approach, enabling its customers the freedom to choose any hardware vendor.

Main Features of Friendly One-IoT™ Device Management Solution:

  • Automated provisioning
  • Sensor and gateway management
  • Manage multiple protocols on one platform: LwM2M, MQTT, TR-369 USP, OMA-DM, CoAP, and others
  • Device diagnostics and repair
  • Remote device configuration
  • Group management
  • FW control
  • Monitoring and data collection
  • Event triggering
  • Unified API
  • Admin & Technician portals

Would you like to schedule a demo of Friendly’s One-IoT Device Management solution? Are you looking for additional information? Please, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be in touch shortly.