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  • Development of IoT Gateway Solution to bring a secure, easy access to buildings data and things
  • Development of IoT Gateway Solution to bring a secure, easy access to buildings data and things

    Client : A multinational technology hardware and software giant, in the top 15 of Forbes’ World’s Most Valuable Brands.

  • Development of IoT Gateway Solution to bring a secure, easy access to buildings data and things
  • About the client

    A multinational technology hardware and software giant, in the top 15 of Forbes’ World’s
    Most Valuable Brands.

    Business & Technology Context

    Gateway devices have existed for decades, a bridge between field devices and their networks
    or cloud. Of late, an increase in the number of smart devices, especially in industrial
    automation and smart buildings, has resulted in an exponential increase in data. The
    complexity is compounded by multiple data communication protocols and introduction of
    new smart devices with latest protocol revisions.

    The client was searching for a technology development partner who understood the current
    challenges and could help develop a next-gen IoT gateway for the building industry.
    A critical part of the requirement was to understand data security, storage and management,
    reimagine data representation and support advanced analysis

    Challenges

    • Data collection and aggregation from different types of smart devices using diverse data
      communication protocols
    • Technology upgrades and new technologies to handle large volumes of data and ensure
      fast system performance
    • Convert data received from multiple devices in different formats to a common format or
      protocol that supports advanced analysis and is easily understandable to the end user
    • Combined expertise in wired and wireless protocols to eliminate location constraints and
      enable data accessibility over the web
    • Technologies and communication protocols must support two-way communication,
      between device and application and vice versa. This will ensure that decisions based on
      data analysis can be implemented swiftly and smoothly

    Solution

    Softdel helped their client design a next-gen IoT gateway to handle large volumes of data
    and increased levels of complexity, delivering faster performance, seamless integration and
    supporting analytics to unlock the value of raw data.

    • Connectivity and data collection
      Though technology remains the same, it has been updated to the latest standards. Softdel
      IP protocol connectors support connectivity and communication with BACnet and
      Modbus compliant devices. Introduced connectivity for devices using KNX protocol
    • Unlock the intrinsic value of data
      Added components to convert raw data to a new data format, Project Haystack, that can
      be easily understood by end users such as building engineers, maintenance technicians,
      etc. This representation also supports advanced analysis as it acts as an interface to
      analyze patterns and represent historical data. Added functionality to associate location
      with data, improving the ease and relevance for analytics engineering
    • Web accessibility
      Combined expertise in ethernet wired protocols to connect devices to the gateway, and
      wireless protocols and technologies such as WiFi and Project Haystack to enable remote
      monitoring and control
    • Two-way communication
      Utilized JSON and Rest API to expose data to cloud applications. Added an interface for
      the application to send commands to the end device through the gateway. This allows
      the external entity to operate end devices in native format for BACnet and Modbus
      independently, or operate using Project Haystack

    The product has undergone rigorous performance testing, scalability testing and security
    testing before being released to market.

    Security

    End users are provided functional access to the gateway so that they can connect
    proprietary and third party applications to rest above the IoT Gateway. The gateway’s
    architecture prevents end users from breaking the code since component placement and
    communication or interaction are cloaked. This helps retain the client’s IP and ensures
    competitors cannot replicate their IoT gateway. It also gives end users the confidence that
    access to the system and its components is limited, so that no spy agent can be inserted
    into the gateway to intercept or modify data.

    The clients strong security culture, combined with every end user’s concern about data
    confidentiality, has produced a unique security design to ensure:

    Security of inter-component communication:

    • Internal components are not exposed and access to data for internal components is
      restricted
    • Communication between internal components is secured

    Secure communication between devices and gateway and vice versa

    • All data is encrypted
    • Outside access to the gateway is permitted only for authenticated entities

    Support
    Softdel supports the client throughout the product life cycle, retaining charge of the code
    map and owning responsibility for fixing any issues that may arise.

    At present, the client has released the product to its early access partners and received a
    favorable response. Global launch of the product is planned for 2019.

    As the global implementation partner, Softdel will be the contact point for the final customer
    and end user. This includes supporting installation and resolving customer implementation
    issues if any

    Technologies

    Business Benefits

    • Scalable infrastructure to accommodate different device types and additional protocols
    • Product life cycle support for implementation and protocol revisions
    • Enhanced security covering multiple levels; authentication, authorization, secrets
      management, secure communication and IP protection
    • Data consolidation, storage and representation to unlock the value of raw data and
      support advanced analysis

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