Dell OEM: Taking IoT by the horns
According to Dell OEM Solutions Area Vice President in APJ, Glen Burrows, spending on the Internet of Things (IoT); defined as revenue from hardware, software and professional services that are directly attributable to IoT solutions and services; will be one of the fastest growing segments in the Asia Pacific technology industry by 2017.
Malaysia is also expected to be amongst the fastest growing markets by then, based on research by Frost & Sullivan.
Burrows said, “Dell continues to disrupt the IoT space with new innovations. Customers are looking for partners to enable their IoT strategy, and Dell OEM has the capabilities and right relationships with channel partners to help them evolve their business.”
He also shared how one of the primary challenges that IoT presents is the difficulty in effectively managing an infrastructure that continues to add devices of varying sizes, types and functions to its roster.
This complex challenge requires a tech partner to be able to manage growth for the organisation that wants to leverage the Internet of Things for their business.
The Dell IoT Gateway and being future-proof
Burrows talked about a gateway solution Dell recently launched that enabled customers to kick start their IoT development projects.
He described, “Gateways are small, wireless or connected devices that collect, help secure and process sensor data at the edge of a network.”
They are also equipped with processing power to perform analytics at the edge, reducing latency for data-based decisions, such as managing energy consumption or triggering a call for proactive equipment maintenance. This reduces the time and cost associated with transferring data to the cloud or data centre.
Burrows shared “There are many technology advances shaping the industry today, and even more innovations being introduced to prepare the market for the next wave of computing.”
According to him, while much of these technologies are still being defined, Dell and its strategic partners are focusing on and developing solutions that address their customers’ complex needs today. A few areas that Dell OEM has been creating solutions for are:
- The Internet of Things (IoT), an ecosystem where sensors, devices and equipment are connected to a network and can transmit and receive data for tracking, analysis and action. Designed to be future-ready and scalable, the Dell IoT Gateway is based on an open architecture that complies with industry standards, giving customers the flexibility to develop IoT applications for multiple operating systems, including Wind River Linux, Ubuntu and Microsoft Windows IoT.
- The Smart Office, the transformation of an existing building(s) into one that creates efficiency
- Industrial Automation – turn-key solutions for industries needing “industrial grade” technology.
In Asia Pacific, Dell OEM has had some recent successes in helping customers realise the opportunities from IoT. One example is Chitale Dairy, a dairy farm in India which partnered with Dell OEM to implement a high-speed, highly available network to support a massive growth in operations and automation of its milk production process.
Chitale Dairy is able to eliminate delays that impede its daily delivery schedule, and achieve better efficiency in its milk production operations, with Dell’s networking solution.
Dell is also working with Saijo Denki, one of the largest air conditioner manufacturers in Thailand, on an ‘Intelligent Air Conditioner’ project for small-to-medium data centers. As the only technology partner for this project, Dell provides OEM support to help Saijo Denki leverage IoT to integrate intelligent data aggregation sensors and data analytics solutions on the backend of each air conditioner unit.
This enables customers to better monitor usage patterns and manage their electricity consumption.
Security in the era of the Internet of Things
Businesses are aware of the security implications of increased attack surfaces as a result of IoT.
Burrows said, “Customers tell us that security is their number one concern. Since it will be hard to secure IoT devices as endpoints we need to take up a renewed focus on securing the data itself.”
This is because with IoT, data needs to move freely through the ecosystem and be accessible at various steps along the way. That requires the development of new methods for securing the data that allow its free flow to the right locations.
Burrows concluded, “This will likely require evolved types of encryption and new challenges for wrapping (securing) data.”