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Choosing the Right Industrial IoT Solution for Your Business

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How IIoT Solutions Are Accelerating Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is no longer just a buzzword, it is already here; in these uncertain times, industrial companies are increasingly leveraging Industrial IoT solutions to drive a digital transformation in their business. By unlocking vital data from their industrial assets, companies can enable remote asset monitoring, real-time monitoring, remote industrial asset tracking and a slew of other capabilities.

These capabilities have allowed companies to save costs, differentiate their products and services and, in some cases, transform their business models altogether. IIoT-enabled data is enabling companies to:

Connected services

Offer connected services. Industrial companies looking to connect their assets in different parts of the world.

Strategic insights

Unearth strategic customer insights and actionable intelligence on product usage

Predictive maintenance

Transition from a preventative maintenance to a predictive maintenance model thereby reducing truck rolls and optimizing the deployment of maintenance personnel

Transform business

Switch from a traditional business model where industrial assets are sold as a one-time capital purchase to a recurring revenue model where the assets are leased out and customers are charged for usage

What are the Important Considerations in Choosing an Industrial IoT Solution?

From IoT hardware, M2M connectivity, to device and connectivity management software, cloud APIs and edge processing capabilities – there is an entire IIoT infrastructure that constitutes the foundation of every IIoT application. This Industrial IoT infrastructure sits at the convergence of:
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Operational Technology (OT)

Monitoring, control of industrial assets and the acquisition of sensor data

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Information Technology (IT)

Enterprise systems and cloud applications

IIoT Hardware and Connectivity

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IIoT Hardware

IoT devices such as routers and gateways, and modules (in cases where connectivity needs to be embedded into the industrial asset) need to be ruggedized and fulfill requirements that are unique to industrial environments. For instance, consider power constraints – the lack of access to mains electricity in industrial environments requires these devices to be power efficient. Likewise, these devices need to have the ability to extract data from older industrial assets that may be using legacy communication protocols. The ability to extract and normalize data regardless from industrial protocols (whether that is Modbus, CANopen, etc.) is therefore critical.

IIoT applications are distinct from other types of connected services, and hence their technical requirements are distinct. It is important to learn more about these requirements and develop a more comprehensive criteria for selection, before deciding on which device to choose.
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IIoT Connectivity

In the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cellular-based deployments typically connect to the network using a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) originally designed for mobile phones and other consumer devices. But connectivity for IIoT use cases has different requirements and is used in a different business context. Using traditional SIMs for IIoT applications increases complexity and is not an effective long-term solution to connecting large quantities of industrial assets. Indeed, using traditional SIMs for IIoT connectivity can result in:

  • lapses in coverage,
  • interruptions in data transmission, and,
  • ultimately, expensive service calls to rectify the issue.
Further, using multiple service providers helps with coverage, but adds significant complexity and cost in managing multiple vendors, SIMs and platforms. Industrial companies looking to connect their assets in different parts of the world ought to consider a worldwide connectivity solution that comes with multi-operator coverage around the world, global pricing and can deliver reliable performance.
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Data Orchestration: Getting the Data You Need When You Need It

Even if a company manages to get all of its IIoT infrastructure in place and working efficiently, it still has the problem of handling vast volumes of data processed from thousands of devices. By processing data at the edge before it is sent to the cloud, companies can limit their connectivity costs and reduce latency, which is especially important when it comes to mission-critical IIoT applications.

Further, industrial companies need to look for a solution that allows their cloud developers to change data processing rules at the edge on an ongoing basis. This is of critical importance as companies often figure out the optimal formula for shaping their data transmissions only after they have deployed their devices. Usually, processing rules are hardcoded at the edge; changing them requires development and compilation of a Firmware Over The Air (FOTA).

The ability to easily change edge device rules and configurations, and update the applications when needed, can be a major advantage. It allows companies to ensure that only the data that is relevant is sent to the cloud – both now and in the future.

Interoperability Between OT and IT

One of the biggest constraints in any IIoT project is the lack of interoperability between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT).

Simplifying complexities

While OT requires specialized skills in embedded development, the IT function is the realm of cloud developers. With both these worlds using entirely different sets of technologies and tools, it has become critical to bridge the gap between them to ensure a successful IIoT transformation.

Thankfully, recent innovations in the IIoT have come a long way in simplifying these complexities. For the first time, industrial companies are able to focus on what matters most – their data – instead of worrying about the technical nuances of connecting their IT and OT infrastructure.

Bridging the IT-OT Gap in Your IIoT Project

What if industrial companies could connect and integrate a remote industrial asset into a cloud-based IoT application in the same simple fashion as the customer would treat the integration of payment processing functionality from a vendor like Stripe, or the integration of sales management functionality from a vendor like Salesforce.com?

In this report by noted M2M analyst Sam Lucero, he considers how all-in-one edge-to-cloud solutions can circumvent the technical complexities involved in bridging the gap between OT and IT.

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Beyond POC: Bringing the IIoT Application to Market

According to IoT Now, 75% of Industrial IoT (IIoT) projects fail at the proof of concept (POC) stage. There are a range of factors to blame:

  • the complexities in integrating hardware with software;
  • the technical and operational complexities involved in building an IIoT infrastructure from scratch;
  • unclear ROI and inordinate delays involved in bringing the IIoT application to market.

Accelerate Your IIoT Project’s Time-to-Market by 9 Months

Industrial IoT (IIoT) projects can be prohibitively expensive and prone to long delays. But there’s a radical new approach to building and scaling IIoT applications that’s rewriting the IIoT playbook: According to a recent research report by Forrester, companies using this approach can not only accelerate their IIoT application’s time-to-revenue by 9 months on average, they can also realize an average 88% ROI on their IIoT investment. This report by Forrester Research considers how industrial companies can scale their IIoT application beyond the proof of concept and commercialize it.

Simple, Scalable and Secure: Why Sierra Wireless is the Right Industrial IoT Partner for Your Business

Atlas Copco, MANN+HUMMELL, Veolia, Girbau and some of the world’s leading industrial companies rely on Industrial IoT solutions by Sierra Wireless to spearhead their data-driven transformation. From devices, connectivity, device and subscription management tools to all-in-one edge-to-cloud solutions, Sierra Wireless offers products and services to extract, process and transfer critical machine data from your industrial assets to the cloud. Whether you want an all-in-one Industrial IoT solution or build your own solution, Sierra Wireless offers a range of choices to bring your Industrial IoT application to market.

All-in-One Industrial IoT Solution

Use Sierra Wireless Octave™, the all-in-one edge-to-cloud solution, to connect your industrial assets to the cloud. Octave integrates all the components of your Industrial IoT infrastructure into one solution so you no longer have to build your IIoT application from scratch.
Without Sierra Wireless Octave, it would have taken two more years to complete our IoT project.

Pierre-André Galy
CEO and Co-Founder

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The Atlas Copco Story: Connecting Air Compressors to the Cloud

Find out how Atlas Copco, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of air compressors, partnered with Sierra Wireless to support its remote monitoring service – SMARTLINK.

Simplify and Scale Your Industrial IoT Transformation

Whether you want an all-in-one Industrial IoT solution or build your own solution, Sierra Wireless offers a range of choices to bring your Industrial IoT application to market.

Use Sierra Wireless Octave™, the all-in-one edge-to-cloud solution, to connect your industrial assets to the cloud. Octave integrates all the components of your Industrial IoT infrastructure into one solution so you no longer have to build your IIoT application from scratch.

> Check out Octave

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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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