The IoT ecosystem is maturing and the entire IoT module/device connectivity to the cloud is now managed by IoT platforms. The IoT platform space is getting crowded as players have just started to capitalize on this blue ocean opportunity. But there is enough room for every IoT platform to grow and be successful as we see millions of enterprises in the private as well as the public sector kickstarting their digital transformation initiatives to connect sensor-based assets and devices to either save money or earn money.
A good indicator is Counterpoint Research’s Global Cellular IoT Module Forecast, which shows the IoT module market’s growth in volumes as well as revenues. In a couple of years, revenue almost doubled to reach ~$6 billion in 2021. We expect more than 3.5 billion devices to have cellular IoT connectivity in 2025.
As we go further down the value chain, the growth of IoT platforms in terms of cloud and edge IoT capabilities is also a testament to this IoT-led digital transformation. Leveraging Counterpoint Research’s proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Rankings and Evaluation) framework, we have evaluated the leading 20 IoT platform companies driving this growth and helping the industry understand the capabilities required to develop an ideal IoT solution. Moving into this new decade, we also expect a healthy M&A activity to address several capability gaps between incumbents and start-ups identified by our research.
IoTerop is one of the companies contributing to the IoT ecosystem with its LwM2M solution to simplify, standardize and accelerate massive IoT deployments. As an emerging player in the IoT device management space, IoTerop, co-founded by former Intel executives in 2016, offers IoT development tools and device management software to help customers build efficient IoT solutions. IoTerop also works with different standards bodies and alliances to ensure IoT is secure, standardized and interoperable. Establishing standards ensures that devices communicate with each other on a global scale, eliminating the need for customers to develop costly proprietary technologies.
IoTerop Evolution from Development Tools to Platform
This form of embedded technology solution allows enterprises to commercialize their connected solutions, such as smart streetlights, smart meters, logistics tracking, industrial safety and security devices, quickly without hiring a team of developers and specialists. The company’s cloud-based device management platform allows control of all IoT devices at once and offers state-of-the-art security and firmware updates.
Analyzing IoTerop’s portfolio, the company offers three solutions that customers can choose based on their requirements:
- IOWA Device Management SDK
- ALASKA Device Management Platform
- NEBRASKA CoAP-as-a-Service
IOWA Device Management SDK – Offering a Flexible, Secure Device Management Platform
IoTerop’s ultra-compact IOWA enables organizations to build robust device management services, including security, connectivity, over-the-air firmware updates, and device interoperability. By relying on LwM2M, the standard used today by carriers to manage more than 100 million M2M devices.
IoTerop’s competitors such as ClearBlade have device management software with very small footprints (in MBs). But IoTerop has gone one step further with an unmatchable small memory footprint at only <30KB Flash and <5KB RAM. IOWA is the most compact and lightweight M2M implementation today. ClearBlade’s edge software agent supports x86 as well as various ARM processors. However, IOTerop’s DM software support x86 and ARM plus RTOSes (FreeRTOS, Zephyr, etc), which is an added advantage. One of the reasons IOWA will stand out is that in addition to the standardized device management services, one can get benefits like reduced device costs, energy consumption and network utilization, improving return on investment and total cost of ownership on their project deployment.
- It gives the flexibility to configure any device on any network remotely and securely.
- The state-of-the-art Lightweight M2M standard already supports tens of millions of devices, pragmatically combining industry-accepted standards and practices.
- The lOWA solution is industry proven as it is certified by Ericsson, AT&T, Verizon, semiconductor players and industry leaders, and provides advanced security features like authentication and encryption.
In conjunction with ALASKA, IOWA supports IoT strategy by providing open, standardized and economically rational architecture from device to cloud. However, there is a huge opportunity for IoTerop related to the edge security aspect from edge to cloud perspective. IoTerop has the opportunity to expand its focus beyond energy and utility to the transportation, retail and consumer verticals and other edge-focused IoT deployments.
ALASKA Device Management Platform
IoTerop launched its cloud-based ALASKA device management platform in 2020 for full IoT lifecycle management from bootstrapping to decommissioning. ALASKA can be integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure for data reporting. Each large-scale deployment requires specific services to manage operational costs. Nobody had created a device management platform optimized for the most constrained devices and low-power WAN. IoTerop has solved this pain point to reduce operational overhead costs with its ALASKA solution.
- In terms of adaptability, ALASKA preferably runs on IoTerop’s public AWS platform, but one can run it on-premises on any cloud platform.
- The solution comes with micro-service architecture which can be scaled as per requirement.
- With IoTerop’s OSCORE standard, the solution provides advanced security with key provisioning, and end-to-end encryption and authentication optimized for constrained environments.
A few IoT platforms such as ClearBlade and FogHorn (acquired by Johnson Controls) pivoted to an edge-focused platform strategy, developing a single IoT software stack that can be deployed at the edge, on-premises and in the cloud, which includes data ingestion, data processing and edge orchestration. The edge-first platform has tremendous potential for growth because of its focus and innovation in the ML/analytics arena with capabilities and opportunities to white-label the platform to other IoT players that lack advanced edge ML capabilities. This is a great opportunity for IoTerop IOWA clients to evolve and add those ML/analytics.
NEBRASKA CoAP-as-a-Service – Offering Greater Flexibility for Additional DM Features, Network Agnostics
NEBRASKA is a subset of ALASKA, IoTerop’s device management platform supporting LwM2M. It provides flexibility to append additional LwM2M device management features after CoAP client implementation, which is built on top of AWS.
CoAP is a transport protocol optimized for the most constrained devices and networks, minimizing bandwidth requirements and easing integration with the internet.
NEBRASKA is especially useful for low-power devices that heavily rely on battery life. The customers using solutions from the NB-IoT device fleet can make use of the CoAP broker solution regardless of their choice of mobile network operators (MNO) or mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).
The hyperscalers rely on MQTT today because it is very capable. But it is simply not efficient enough for modern LPWAN IoT solutions which often use less data and have power constraints. CoAP for low-power networks increases reliability while allowing easy integration with existing internet technologies.
CoAP-to-Cloud MQTT Bridge with Implementation of NEBRASKA
Ecosystem Partnerships – Expanding Footprint Across Value Chain
IoTerop has been building an ecosystem of partners with various OEMs and component/device manufacturers to deliver its IoT solutions.
Some of the recent key partnerships in various application segments of IoT are as follows:
- IoTerop and Nordic Semiconductor are working with a smart city solutions provider, Urban Control, for a street lighting project based on the Nordic nRF9160 multi-mode NB-IoT/LTE-M System-in-Package (SiP).
- IoTerop is offering smart LwM2M implementation based on ST Microelectronic’s STM32 MCU for industrial and transportation use cases.
- Thales is working with IoTerop to leverage IOWA LwM2M device management services to reduce resources needed to bring secure, efficient and future-proof IoT solutions.
- Quectel’s BG95 module is implementing IoTerop’s IOWA LwM2M solution targeting smart meters, smart street lighting and asset-tracking applications.
- Unlike its competitors like Pelion, IoTerop must look forward to expanding partnerships on both ends of the value chain with component players/module vendors and influential cloud/infrastructure players in the IoT market.
- There is scope for IoTerop to diversify with more hardware partners and build a marketplace that offers IoTerop-integrated IoT hardware.
- IoTerop aims to solve the biggest pain points of IoT deployments, such as security, standardization and interoperability.
- IoTerop’s platform has evolved into three major components – IOWA device management SDK, ALASKA device management platform and NEBRASKA.
- IoTerop will help drive the massive IoT deployments with its cost-effective solutions. With its lightweight footprint and cloud-based device management platform, it will take a step further for the scaling of IoT application use cases. Its solutions are also standardized with the Open Mobile Alliance’s Lightweight M2M device management protocol, which is specifically designed to support IoT deployments using low-power WAN (LPWAN). It will give IoT device ODMs and IoT device integrators great choices while designing the IoT devices and creating future-proof solutions.
- The competition in the IoT device management market is immense but there is enough room for platforms such as IoTerop which are bringing unique capabilities and solutions that solve some critical pain points.