At the recent Object Management Group (OMG) Technical meeting in Cambridge, MA, USA, PrismTech SVP for Corporate Development, Steve Jennis presented on the subject of “Data Distribution Service (OMG DDS) – Aligning OT and IT to Deliver the Potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)” at its special Putting IIoT to Work Event.
The presentation highlighted the four mega trends that are driving IIoT adoption, specifically: (1) the continuous decline of the cost of Internet-connected sensors, (2) the vast amount of money being invested into the IoT by both large and startup companies focused on the development of devices, gateways, software, cloud, fog nodes, analytics and HMI technologies, (3) almost ubiquitous Internet connectivity and (4) the high adoption levels of smart phones, tablets and other BYOD devices.
The presentation also discussed how the OMG DDS standard can support the creation of new end-to-end IIoT systems that provide the potential for innovative new products and services, higher levels of productivity and environmental benefits.
Finally Steve showed how PrismTech’s Vortex, the leading commercial and open source implementation of the OMG DDS standard, is being used as a data-centric cross-platform enabler for OT / IT integration between edge, gateway, cloud, mobility etc. and how it is helping deliver OT and IT alignment, and thus the IIoT.
Open Systems Media EVP, Richard Nass features PrismTech Corporate Development SVP Steve Jennis on their latest segment of “Five Minutes with…” interviews.
Steve talks about getting the right data at the right place and time for maximum value, how to handle the mass amounts of data that the IoT can bring in and how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) differs (and is similar) to the more well known consumer IoT.
“We help people to extract business value for the Internet of Things because its really the data that is the heart of the value add.. and getting the right data at the right time, at the right place so that applications or analytics – or end systems can perform their application magic on the data to generate new insights or optimization opportunities… or productivity opportunities, create new services – it all depends on getting the right data to the right place at the right time” Steve Jennis said.
PrismTech SVP, Steve Jennis will be presenting on “The Potential of the IoT: How will it change our business lives”
Date: 16th September 2015 to 17th September 2015
Location: Houston, TX, USA
The Internet of Things is revolutionizing oil and gas. The era of lower oil prices is here – making it crucial for operating companies to focus on operational efficiency and resource utilization. Energy companies are increasingly looking at how to harness their data across their supply chain by connecting their “things” – the people, processes and assets. Huge investments have already made in technology across operations – now the key is to leverage these investments to create new efficiencies and cost savings.
This is the first conference in the world to focus on how oil and gas companies can use IoT to make their operations:
This conference is the perfect platform for technology innovators to educate the market about how their solutions can be the panacea to their technology challenges.
IoT in Oil and Gas is not a talk-fest. It is not a series of product pitches. It is a outcomes-driven gathering of innovators and buyers that will focus on:
Real world case studies from operators and service companies already seeing the benefits of IoT.
One to one meetings and networking through our unique Conference Connect platform – before, during and after the events.
IoT in Oil and Gas will be focusing on the key areas of:
Industrial control networks
HSE and process safety
The conference is a must attend for technology, engineering and automation professionals wanting to keep pace with rapidly developing technology.
Jennis to provide analysis on Industrial IoT vs M2M and SCADA during the Industrial Internet Consortium’s June 23 event
Steve Jennis, PrismTech’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, will be a guest presenter at the upcoming Industrial Internet Energy Summit in Houston, TX. Jennis will discuss “The Industrial Internet vs. SCADA and M2M – What’s different, what’s new and what you need to know.”
Coordinated by the Industrial Internet Consortium, the complimentary day-long Energy Summit is scheduled for June 23 at the Hewlett Packard campus at Lone Star College in Houston. It features presentations by industry leaders who will discuss the impact and opportunities of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) in energy, including topics related to security, the digital oil field, preventing catastrophic failures through preventative maintenance, how to get started and case studies.
Open architecture IoT solutions offer the potential for the energy industry to move from single function and proprietary centralized managed systems to new multi-function distributed control systems. They can enable coordination between grid-edge technologies and centralized systems, improving grid efficiency and reducing integration costs. This enables vendors to improve their products and, ultimately, help customers pay less for the electricity they consume.
“M2M (machine to machine) and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) are relatively narrow, tactical applications compared to the potential of the Industrial IoT,” explained Jennis. “Industrial IoT platforms, such as PrismTech’s intelligent data connectivity platform Vortex, provide the performance and capabilities needed to support turning data into insights and business value for every computing platform (legacy, edge, gateway, cloud) and across all domains (OT verticals, domain boundaries and generic IT services).”
Vortex is based on the Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) open standard and builds on proven technologies to provide an efficient solution for device-to-device, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud Internet scale real-time data sharing. It is a crucial enabler for systems that must reliably and securely deliver high volumes of data with stringent end-to-end QoS facilitating its ability to deliver the right information to the right place at the right time.
Analysts and forecasters are predicting extremely high market growth rates for the IoT and often they are referencing enterprise/industrial applications rather than consumer products. But how can these predicted growth levels be justified when for many years islands-of-automation and domain-specific integrated systems have already provided valuable tactical OT and IT solutions for enterprises? Whether SCADA, corporate IT applications or tactical M2M systems, these solutions have delivered a self-contained return-on-investment (RoI) from their operational benefits. So one may be tempted to ask, “How is enterprise IoT different and where is its RoI to justify these impressive growth forecasts?”
The business value of enterprise IoT is based on a premise that there is a huge amount of potential value in the data generated by existing systems (legacy sub-systems in IoT terms) and newly connected Things (sensor networks, brilliant machines, mobiles, gateways, etc.)… if only it can be unlocked through ubiquitous data availability for apps and analytics to extract new and actionable insights. Let’s look at some specific examples where new data accessibility can produce new value and good RoI:
For OEMs and system vendors the focus of the IoT will often be on enabling new products, new services, and an enhanced customer experience. The ability to generate in-operation data from products, access and analyze them remotely (by other devices, a Smartphone app, by a cloud service, etc.), and generate new insights into product performance, integrity, energy consumption, utilization, etc. gives vendors the ability to more closely align their offerings with their customers’ business needs and add new services (and thus new revenues) to their portfolio. The IoT can thus revolutionize the way a required business solution is delivered and dramatically increase user-friendliness, interoperability and the efficiency of post-sales customer service. At PrismTech we see many OEMs moving quickly from offering stand-alone products to selling connected systems and the valuable data they generate and services they enable. The quest for sustainable competitive advantage (and fear of falling behind) will fund OEM investment in the IoT and provide the RoI projections that executives require to fund new product and system development.
One such example is in power generation and distribution. In 2013 US utility giant Duke Energy formed the “Coalition of the Willing” (COW), a consortium of grid technology vendors focused on the promotion and adoption of an Open Architecture approach to standardizing the way grid-edge technologies are integrating together.
After successfully demonstrating in real-time how different grid devices could talk to each other and reducing the feedback control process from minutes to less than 10 seconds, the energy industry has really started to take notice. This work is also helping address the key issue of intermittent availability of supply when deploying renewables as part of an integrated generation system. Thus users and device OEMs are collaborating and using the IIoT to unlock new value from device data generation, connectivity and interoperability. From products to systems.
For End Users the focus will often be on operational efficiency and the potential for significant productivity gains and cost reduction. With operational assets (devices, machines, people, buildings, street furniture, etc.) producing more real-time data… and new apps, analytics and interoperability providing the ability to convert them into actionable insights and superior coordination, the scope for operational gains of many percentage points has been identified in industries as diverse as manufacturing, energy, transportation, healthcare, cities and critical infrastructure. Projected savings driven by superior energy efficiency, resource utilization, staff deployment, capital asset longevity and reduced cycle times will fund End User investment in the IoT and provide the RoI projections that executives require. Already the City of Nice and its residents are seeing real benefits from improved city mobility. By having real-time access to car park space availability data via mobile devices, drivers are taking much less time to park and parking income from reduced fraud is up by 35%. This in turn is helping improve traffic flow and has reduced congestion by 30%. Air pollution and noise levels have been reduced by 25%. In the future, better city management will see savings of between 20-80% in areas such as street lighting and waste management while improving overall environmental quality.
Applications running on edge-devices, gateways, enterprise servers, cloud services and mobiles are all valuable data sources and sinks in an IoT world. But new software platforms are needed to connect and leverage all these sub-systems to maximize the business value-add of Enterprise IoT.
For several years, M2M platforms have provided reasonable solutions for connecting machines to cloud services (actually it should be M2C, as M2M platforms generally do not support peer-to-peer device communications). But these platforms have struggled to create large markets or provide strategic enterprise-wide solutions. They have mostly been restricted to providing vertical/tactical applications — in effect self-contained ‘stovepipe’ systems.
But to fully exploit the potential of the IoT, data must be free to flow to wherever in the system it can add value, e.g. between ‘edge’ devices for control purposes, to gateways for data aggregation/ingestion and local analytics, to cloud-based applications for Big Data analytics, to enterprise systems for OT/IT alignment and supply-chain integration, to mobiles for on-demand data delivery to employees (see Figures 1 and 2). The promise of Enterprise IoT is the new value created through ubiquitous data availability (and its processing by applications into actionable insights), but this means a new generation of platforms is required to provide the data-connectivity to support a new generation of distributed IoT applications.
One of the biggest differences between traditional M2M and Enterprise IoT systems is that ‘horizontal’ as well as ‘vertical’ data-flow must be supported. Vertical silos of data do not provide the potential to add value beyond a specific sub-system, so a fundamental feature of next-generation IoT platforms will be a data-connectivity layer that supports system-wide data-delivery as required: the right data, in the right place, at the right time, system-wide.
There are many potential ways (control, analytics, dashboards, event processing, mobile apps, etc.) to exploit all this newly accessible IoT data, but it needs to be delivered to the appropriate application in a timely manner wherever in the system that application may reside (on an edge device, gateway, enterprise server, tablet, or in the cloud). Only then can the data be converted into new ‘actionable insights’ and thus new business value.
To provide this underlying capability, a data-connectivity layer needs to be deployed across all nodes the in the system — at least all the nodes that are required to share data (publish and/or subscribe). An enterprise version of Twitter for Things, in effect.
In simple terms, the diagrams in Figures 3 and 4 show, respectively, how this layer can be deployed both in the cloud (to support cloud services) and on devices (Things, servers, PCs, mobiles, etc.). They also show potential sources of the applications the platform connects (end-user developers, ISVs, SIs, OEMs).
[Note that the data-connectivity layer supports not only inter-node data-sharing, but also data-sharing between the application components of the IoT platform itself, i.e. inter-operability between platform services (such as IDEs, edge-device management, API management, analytics engines, etc.) as well as between Things].
You may have heard the question, “Is data the new oil?” It even made its way into Forbes nearly two years ago. Well, is it? In the context of creating new business value from the Internet of Things (IoT), the answer today is both yes and no.
Yes, data contains huge potential value and, of course, it is much more plentiful and accessible than oil (and about to become much, much more plentiful). However, it is simply raw material that needs to be delivered to the right place at the right time and “refined” there (by applications) to create new business value, e.g., additional revenue streams (services as well as products), resource optimization (for both capital and human assets) and environmental benefits (waste reduction, energy efficiency, etc.).
There is little new about “islands of automation.” Data has been “refined” for decades to produce operational (OT) and corporate (IT) value at the tactical level. However, the IoT offers the potential for completely new levels of business value by providing a corporate data-connectivity backbone to deliver the right data to the right place at the right time, enterprise-wide and inter-enterprise.
The IoT can thus be applied to:
Liberate valuable data from legacy and new sub-systems (via gateways)
Directly or indirectly add new connected edge devices and machines (new Things as data sources)
Provide global-scale connectivity at reasonable cost (via the Internet)
Support new application deployment and analytics anywhere in the system (e.g., on devices, gateways, enterprise systems, cloud services, mobile)
Generate new insights and business and societal value from these distributed and instantly accessible applications and analyses
Data connectivity for under-explored valuable data
Tactical OT and IT systems obviously add value to enterprises and have provided good solutions in areas from process control to SCADA to ERP to corporate payroll since at least the 1970s. These self-contained applications provide a good ROI and solve real operational problems, but they also tend to be domain specific, often utilize proprietary technologies and lock their data into “vertical stovepipes.”
As such, they do a good job but in a limited way. They do not fully exploit the potential of the data they generate since they do not liberate that data for sharing and analysis wherever in the enterprise new insights and value can be generated. For example, they do not support distributed analytics, cross-domain integration or global-scale data access.
And as enterprises deploy literally billions of new connected Things during the next few years, this problem (of underexploited valuable data) will become dramatically worse unless a new data-connectivity approach is taken.