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Steel Manufacturing Leader Adopting Industry 4.0 Production Monitoring With Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring

Guest Author : Margie Steele     What do cars, appliances and our homes have in common? They all require metal as a component. Steel production is labor- and equipment-intensive with high energy costs and expensive raw materials. A leader in the steel industry is adopting a better way to quality, profitability and increased production using Oracle’s IoT Asset Monitoring. A major steel manufacturer wanted to focus on their hot strip mill process to understand issues that impact production and quality. The hot strip mill process takes a slab, which is the output of the casting process, and reduces the thickness to less than 1” that is used for cars and other consumer items. If you think back to when you were a child and played with playdoh, you would take a roller and roll it over the playdoh until it was a thickness you wanted. The same applies here as the slab is reheated to a malleable temperature then run through incrementally tighter rollers to reduce the thickness. At the end of reduction, it goes into coils which look like giant toilet paper rolls. The steel travels hundreds of feet per second and there are almost 200 sensor attributes such as temperature, side guides, and the tension of the rollers that can detect issues. Common quality issues that can result are that the coils do not catch on the “toilet paper roll” and the metal will pile up because it does not roll. The coil could also telescope which is when it does not roll evenly and one side is tighter than another which telescopes the roll. They can also get staggered side edges if the side guides are not adjusted or ripples in the product if rollers do not have the proper tension. There is also the potential for worker safety issues depending on the manufacturing problem that occurs. All of these almost 200 sensor attributes are able to be detected electronically and evaluated as production progresses. The steel industry utilizes a number of data collection systems for controlling processes which are highly sensored to capture the attributes so they can understand their processes better. When a pile up occurs, reviewing the values of sensors can point to the root cause. However, this is backward looking – what if you could detect that a sensor value was starting to vary from its required value? Even more important, what if there were groups of sensors that when combined together, gave significant meaning? This project for monitoring the hot strip mill did just that – found causal factors for issues and attributes that correlated. Now that the causal factors were determined, using IOT Asset Monitoring, we were able to predict 30-90 minutes before an issue occurred with 85% certainty regardless of whether a single attribute or combination of attributes were the cause. Now corrective actions can be put in place to stop the manufacturing issue from happening whether it be an adjustment to equipment, maintenance, or changing production specifications. In the steel industry, maintenance costs can be as high as 10-15% of the cost of production.  If you perform maintenance too early, you waste money because it wasn’t needed but if you wait too long, you end up with broken, expensive equipment. So maintenance is like the Goldilocks story - when is it just the right time? The above predicted issue that is causing production problems might be maintenance based. A future corrective action to the breakdown would be to have IoT Asset Monitoring create maintenance work orders for the equipment based on current equipment status from the sensors. As a side benefit, the maintenance would be performed at that “right time”. Stopping production for repairs is costly because of lower output. However, because there is a window of opportunity (30-90 minutes) before predicted breakdown, you have the ability to perform the corrective maintenance between production orders or a time that reduces impact to output. Prediction models for failure based on built-in asset reliability algorithms are embedded in IoT Asset Monitoring but there is flexibility to add new or product-specific algorithms.  The ability to take action to resolve the issue is a key factor to the success of this project. Since there are many potential causes to pile ups and problems in the hot strip mill, determining the precise corrective action to take is just as important so integration to maintenance, production, and quality systems is needed. If IoT Asset Monitoring has a prediction, the follow-up action is crucial whether it’s to alert someone to change a side guide, change the speed of the rollers in the control system or to create a maintenance work order in the maintenance system. This means that for all of the correlations that indicate a pile up, you must create a rule on how to handle that issue. This IoT project was just in one area of a single facility. There are many other steps in production in which IoT can be leveraged as well as non-production areas such as inventory tracking, shipping, fleet to deliver, quality testing and facility maintenance. The benefits that real-time monitoring and predictive technology will bring to this steel manufacturer are more than just in production and maintenance cost savings but also in meeting performance and customer delivery expectations, reduced claim rates, and in worker safety. Maybe the Goldilocks saying that it’s not too early and not too late but it’s “just right” is this steel company’s fairy tale come true.

Guest Author : Margie Steele     What do cars, appliances and our homes have in common? They all require metal as a component. Steel production is labor- and equipment-intensive with high energy costs...

Your Machine Giving You Bad Vibes? Using Industry 4.0 Technologies to Monitor & Analyze Industrial Machines

Waking Up On Time – And Going To Sleep in Clean PJs - Thanks to Electric Motors The electric motor was invented in the 19th century. This was a critical invention because physical work can be converted from electrical energy. If you woke up to a vibrating alarm on your mobile this morning, you can thank a little motor spinning inside your phone to synthesize a vibration in your phone.  Another common place that you will find an electric motor in your laundry washing machine and dryer (one of the very first application of the electric motor). The invention of the electric motor was a key component of the industrial revolutions (we are in the 4th), where it impacts manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing.  And today, electric motors has become a national interest in the form of electric vehicles, made hugely popular by companies such as Tesla. Electric Motor Generating Bad Vibes Electric motors comes in two major flavors: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). Both types of motors are used in industrial machinery. The AC variety usually provides power (drilling, compressor, cooling), whilst the DC variant usually provides position (high precision robotics, belt, pick-and-place).  Inside the electric motor, a component called the bearing is critical to the performance to the electric motor. This critical component can easily be impacted by 1) manufacturing defects in the bearing 2) defects in mounting the bearing into the electric motor or 3) gradual bearing damage during operation of the electric motor. If the bearing in the electric motor does not perform up to specification, this can lead to vibration. Vibrations are bad because 1) reduction in quality of the product being produced by the machine with a vibrating electric motor 2) noise generated from a vibrating motor distracts & wears down workers and 3) eventual failure of the industrial machine, caused by electric motor vibration. How does one reduce the negative impact of a vibrating motor?   An AC Motor, Sensors, Cloud Gateway, IoT, AI - Industry 4.0 on a Table     In a recent joint demo between Hitachi and Oracle, we showed real life examples of how  Oracle’s IoT Cloud & Oracle AI for Manufacturing Cloud, implemented using Hitachi’s Consulting industrial expertise, can provide an Industry 4.0 solution today. In this demo, we start with an electric motor, extracted from an industrial machine.  Since the AC motor is really the heart of the an industrial machine, we wanted to monitor and analyze it for anomaly. We start our Industry 4.0 deployment from there. In the picture below, a 3-axis motion sensor is magnetically attached to the AC motor. The sensor transmits x,y,z data via a built-in WiFi to the gateway. The gateway then sends the sensor data to the cloud (to both Hitachi & Oracle). Once in the cloud, we can use powerful, yet easy to use analytics and AI.     Is Your Machine Vibrating Badly? Monitor with Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud   The 3-axis vibration sensor is magnetically attached to the AC motor. Being able to quickly attach a sensor (thanks to magnets) is key to make instrumenting an asset (the motor) easy. This particular sensor can sample vibrations from the electric motor at a rate of roughly 4 KHz (4,000 samples per second). The higher the frequency, the better the data.  Once the data arrives in the Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud, how does it handle this high stream data rate? By using the popular Apache Kafka pub/sub framework to accept, process, and store the high bandwidth incoming stream of IoT sensor data. Analytics is handled by Apache Spark, the popular framework for Big Data analytics (in this case, lots of little data that is unstructured) analytics.  With these as foundation, combined with the beautiful and easy to use app provided by Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud, you can see insights on all of your assets instantly.       Anomaly Detection Built Into Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud Shown below is a modified time series representation of data from the sensor (a big chunk of the analysis is performed in frequency domain). Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud not only can accept a high rate of data input, it also has built in analytics to look at the raw sensor data and detect anomaly in the data. For example, if a bearing is bad in the AC motor, it will vibrate in such a manner that the x-axis sensor will trigger an anomaly alert. In order to detect that a certain vibration characteristic is bad, the anomaly detection system needs to be trained. There are two methods to train the anomaly detection model in Oracle IoT Cloud – 1) automatic anomaly training or 2) user-defined anomaly training. Automatic anomaly training is statistics based – just provide a set of normal sensor data collected from the past, define a training window, then set the normal operating standard deviation. User-defined anomaly training is human (usually very seasoned and can hear problems from a mile away) judgement based – the human trainer looks at past sensor data, highlights the data that is anomalous, and the highlighted region becomes the pattern to trigger an anomaly.   Is The Vibration In Your Machine Making Bad Products? Analyze Using Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing You know that vibration in industrial machinery can lower quality of the final product, increase noise level in the factory, and be a harbinger of machine failure. But how do you know exactly the impact of vibration to your final products? Using Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing, you can find out “how many products had poor quality when the vibration level exceeded upper limit”. In this example, the final product is a GB006 Gearbox. Using AI Apps for Manufacturing, 13.42% of the final product (Gearbox GB006) had chaffing issues, which usually leads to poor quality product. Because of the data collected from both the vibration sensor and the quality system, AI Apps for Manufacturing found that vibration is a key contributor, with an 89.90% confidence.   IoT & AI Discovered a Bad Bearing With IoT (3-axis vibration sensor attached to the AC motor) and AI (collecting data, detecting anomaly), a problem in a deeply embedded bearing can be discovered BEFORE production is unexpectedly halted. Before IoT & AI, it was difficult to detect that an industrial machine is beginning to malfunction. If you suspected that something was wrong, production has to be stopped, the machine taken apart, and hopefully you found the problem. But now with IoT & AI, problems in industrial machine can be monitored in real time and actions taken before product is negatively impacted.     Conclusion The electric motor is the workhorse and heart of industrial machines, found in both old and state of the art manufacturing facilities. Like a heart, it is critical to monitor it fully to see how it is doing and predict if it will fail. IoT can be used to sample data from the electric motor. AI can be used to detect anomaly and reveal impact of vibrations in the electric motor on quality of the final product. Having the expertise of Hitachi Consulting, building a solution on top of  Oracle IoT Cloud & Oracle AI Apps for Manufacturing, will enable you to quickly adopt Industry 4.0 benefits.    

Waking Up On Time – And Going To Sleep in Clean PJs - Thanks to Electric Motors The electric motor was invented in the 19th century. This was a critical invention because physical work can be converted...

Driving Digital Transformation in Logistics Using IoT

If society were a living organism, then logistics would be the red blood cells transporting critical (and sometimes not so critical) goods from one place to another. This reliance on well-functioning logistics networks has become even more important with the digital consumer’s growing need for speed and buying power. But this growing demand means that logistics networks are stretched thinner than ever. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 paper on Digital Transformation in Industries, the logistics industry has introduced digital innovations at a slower pace than many other industries. The report adds that this slower rate of digital adoption brings enormous risks that, if ignored, could be potentially catastrophic for even the biggest established players in the business.   The logistics industry has introduced digital innovations at a slower pace than many other industries The growing adoption of modern Transportation Management Systems is a great step towards digitization of logistics planning and optimization. Oracle Logistics Cloud, a cloud-based transportation management system, in collaboration with other components of the supply chain allows enterprises to seamlessly plan and optimize the complete order-to-fulfillment process. Using Oracle Logistics Cloud, hundreds of companies worldwide have achieved efficiencies greater than 15-20% in their logistics operations amounting to savings of millions of dollars. There are, however, some significant blind spots in transportation that continue to drive major inefficiencies in logistics operations. The most critical and common transportation blind spot is the lack of real-time visibility into current status of shipments. While digital consumers have become accustomed to anytime, anywhere access to information, the same experience and quality is not yet common in the B2B segment and especially in logistics. Many shippers are at the mercy of high-latency EDI updates or manual track & trace to get status on their shipments. This problem is even more acute if the shipper has specific needs such as temperature or humidity sensitive shipments. By the time the shipper has received accurate, actionable status on the shipment, it is often too late to avoid penalties or poor customer experience. Even enterprises running their private fleet of connected trucks often have the same transportation blind spots because of the silo’ed nature of telematics systems that are not integrated with transportation management systems.   Delayed shipments directly translate into lost revenue, higher operational costs and lost productivity. Delayed shipments require receiving warehouses to constantly reshuffle their dock reservations, suffer lost productivity of warehouse workers and incur additional operational costs because of increased work hours. Shipment damage might get detected only upon delivery resulting in lost revenue and negative impact on the downstream supply chain processes. Private fleets operators could lose opportunities to consolidate shipments and end up running more trucks in order to meet commitments.   The good news is that recent technological advances in IoT and analytics combined with dramatic decreases in sensor and communication costs, now enable the perfect digital platform to effectively address the challenges mentioned above. Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud provides a cloud-based IoT logistics application for asset-owning shippers as well as non-asset owning shippers to track their shipments in real-time, while making analytics-driven insights available to their logistics managers within their transportation management systems.   Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud in collaboration with Oracle Logistics Cloud provides a complete digital transportation platform for shippers allowing the following benefits:   Always-on shipment tracking Reduce downstream impact and ensure successful deliveries with timely actionable insights and real-time notifications for ETA changes and deviations from plan   Easy tracking methods  Pick a tracking method that best fit the use case. Leverage your existing telematics investments, use the packaged mobile app or bring your own trackers   Quality Assurance Reduce business loss from damages during transportation by monitoring conditions such as temperature, humidity, and vibration, among others Immediate value Rapidly deploy alongside on-prem Oracle Transportation Management or Oracle Logistics Cloud to drive significantly higher value from your digital platform investments   Extended Visibility Extend transportation visibility across the complete supply chain for a highly responsive order-to-fulfillment process   Digital transformation in logistics is already underway and soon will no longer be a differentiator but a “must have” for any logistics operation. Do not get constrained by the limitations of legacy EDI and track & trace methods. Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud lets you get started with minimal risk and low investment, and scales with your business needs.   In upcoming blog posts, we’ll dive into details of Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring.      

If society were a living organism, then logistics would be the red blood cells transporting critical (and sometimes not so critical) goods from one place to another. This reliance on well-functioning...

Internet-of-Things Accelerating Order Orchestration

Your Favorite Gadget Works Because a HEPA Filter Kept Particles Out of the Fab Nearly every consumer gadget has a little black square integrated circuit (IC) chip that acts the brains & heart of the gadget. These little black square ICs are manufactured in factories called “semiconductor fabs”. IC chips pack a lot of electronics into one small package - which means that a single particle of dust in the air will render the entire IC chip useless. That is why the air inside the semiconductor fab has to be very clean – so clean that it is more pristine than surgical operating rooms. The air inside the semiconductor fab is kept ultra clean with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which keeps very small air particulates out of the semiconductor fab. To illustrate how hard a HEPA filter has to work, let's take an Apple iPhone X as an example. The Apple iPhone X contains an “A11 Bionic” IC chip that is the main processor for the phone. This IC chip has critical dimensions of 10nm – which is around 10X smaller than fine air particles, and roughly 200X smaller than the width of fine hair. Air particles or debris such as hair will render an IC chip useless - sometimes not immediately but painfully over time.   A HEPA system (in addition to other measures)  will help minimize the chance that air particles will land an IC chip and kill it.   Using IoT to Monitor & Predicatively Alert Filter Condition Because the quality of an IC chip is related to the cleanliness of semiconductor fab, which is a direct function of how clean the HEPA filters are, filters are tracked carefully. One way to measure of the efficacy of a filter is to use IoT that can monitor assets. With IoT, either a light based (to test the opacity of the filter), time based (how much time have the filter been in operation), or air flow based (how much air flowed through the filter) can be used as a metric to see how clean the filter is. Because it is IoT, the sample is performed at real time and when the dirtiness-metrics hit a preset level, an alert can be send to the technician to re-order. But that is only the start. If the data from the IoT is sent to an analytic platform, a prediction about the state of the filter can be made to order well in advance of its failure. Ordering in advance can provide several benefits, including cost advantage (more time to shop for a filter), logistics advantages (can pick the best rate to ship the filter), and resource advantages (plan early to have the technician be available to install the filter, preventing lines down). The IoT platform can also be connected to the filter purchase order system to automatically order the filter, making best of the prediction by the IoT platform.       Order Management - Orchestration of Filter Purchase Some HEPA filters, such as class 1 filters, are not as commonly found as the lower class filters. So if you are manually ordering this filter, your might have to call multiple suppliers to find the filter. For each supplier, you need to tell them the filter model, ask for availability and price, and then ask for delivery and arrival time that is suitable for your receiving dock and technician. If the supplier is unavailable (doesn’t answer the phone, does not have an online system, online system does not have real time inventory), you need to leave a message and wait. But if you have an Order Management system, all of this headache is gone. Your order will be orchestrated through the system to see who has it, price, when it can be delivered. To boost automation one step more, your IoT system can trigger the purchase of one of these filters automatically. Now begins the shipment.         Shipment Acceptance & Installation of Filter As the filter is delivered from the supplier to your semiconductor fab, having advanced notice of the arrival of the filter will help to have the receiving dock ready, the right technician available (certified to work on the HEPA system), the proper conditions already setup (isolate area to minimize manufacturing disruption). IoT again can help to provide the advanced notice. IoT technology can be used to track the geo-location of the shipment, and this information can be shared with the shipment receiving so that they can be ready to prepare the filter so that the qualified technician can install it.   Order Management Saves the Day, IoT Saves the Day Even More The scenario above described the process for one HEPA filter. What if you had hundreds of filters? What if you had another hundreds of these “perishable” types of supply – such as raw materials, spare parts, indirect spend materials, or even capital equipment? The powerful combination of IoT (detect something needs to be re-ordered) and Order Management (pick the best option to re-order) enables you to simultaneously reduce downtime and reduce cost.    

Your Favorite Gadget Works Because a HEPA Filter Kept Particles Out of the FabNearly every consumer gadget has a little black square integrated circuit (IC) chip that acts the brains & heart of the...

Internet Of Things

What’s new in Oracle IoT Production Monitoring – Summer 2018 edition

Continuing with the “What’s new” series, we will look at what’s new in Oracle Production Monitoring Cloud over the last 3 months across three key innovation themes. For the uninitiated, Oracle IoT Production Monitoring (IoT PM application) monitors the performance of your factories at different levels, starting from a global perspective to then drill down to the health of specific machines. It gives you real-time visibility into your production process and helps you diagnose and predict production issues so that you can increase the uptime of your factories. It also helps you schedule maintenance so that you can minimize the disruption to your daily operations. Digital Thread IoT Apps enable frictionless hand-off across different stages of the supply chain, beginning with design & production to transport to field use.  The integration with Oracle Manufacturing Cloud is now available. Why is this important? Oracle Manufacturing Cloud enables engineers to quickly define the necessary data for their plant hierarchy, and create work definitions and design production process. With this new integration, Oracle IoT PM app can download work orders from Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, associate specific machines with the work orders, and view work orders in the factory view. As a factory manager, you can load the production plan by work orders and track their progress. The integration with Oracle Maintenance Cloud is now available. Why is this important? Using Oracle Maintenance Cloud, now it’s possible to import machines from the SCM Maintenance Cloud into Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud Service. When an incident is created against an imported machine in Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud Service, the incident automatically translates into a work order in the SCM Maintenance Cloud. For example, if a threshold rule triggers an incident when a device associated with a machine is overheating, a work order corresponding to the incident automatically gets created in the SCM Maintenance Cloud. Incidents can be triggered by a business rule in reaction to an event (machine has overheated), by proactive detection of anomalies behavior (machine may overheat) or by predicting the future state of the shop floor machine (machine will overheat in 48 hours from now). Digital Twin Digital Twin can provide exceptional value to the enterprise. By acting as proxy to the physical (& capital-intensive) equipment, digital twins offer complete insight into equipment performance. But, don't limit yourself to the notion that Digital Twin visualization is of a specific piece of equipment; our focus is to create the Digital Twin of the manufacturing operation - this includes twinning (if that's a verb) of shop floor equipment, work orders, maintenance schedules to understand the entire manufacturing operation. IoT PM App now determines the optimal preventive maintenance schedule that addresses high probability machine failures while minimizing product delivery delinquencies. Once we have figured out optimal preventive maintenance schedule, we overlay it in a different color from the current maintenance schedule. The recommendation also includes data on failure probability and loss of production. Customers can now assign alternative or additional machine resources to work order definitions to recover from or avoid production disruption. Built-in Machine Learning & AI IoT PM App detects anomalies and predictions to track and predict machine and factory behavior. Customers can view the anomalies for a factory to identify any unusual behavior that might affect the performance of your factory. They use predictions to identify risks, carry out proactive maintenance of machines, and avoid product delivery delays. Predictions also help to create and meet your production plans. We have a developer preview of Oracle Analytics Cloud integration. Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud Service now lets you sync factory, machine, and metric data with Oracle Analytics Cloud. Using this new data in Analytics Cloud, you can find the answers that you need from key IoT factory and machine data displayed in graphical formats. Predictions help warn you of impending asset failure in advance. Preventive maintenance can help save the costs associated with asset breakdown or unavailability. Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud uses machine learning to looking for categorical (ex: logistical regression) and continuous (ex: linear regression) predictions. Customers can now use prediction values in rules to trigger incidents, warnings, asset actions, or alerts. Huh? ELI5 example is a prediction (temperature of an injection molding machine will exceed 40F in next 24 hours) that can trigger a new incident (open a new work order in Maintenance Cloud). Customer code metrics are now available. Customers can now start with either OOTB KPIs/metrics (factory and machine metrics) or enhance them with custom metrics. These custom metrics could be defined declaratively (available before) or through custom code (what we are now talking about). Spark programmer can use custom code metrics for domain-specific metrics that require the computations to go beyond the set of expressions provided by the common analytics services. A custom code metric lets you provide the Spark implementation for computing the results. As a factory manager, you can detect anomalies for data streams where the data is not normally distributed (non-Gaussian distribution). A normal distribution exhibits the following breakdown: 68.3% of the data set is contained within 1 standard deviation from the mean. 95.4% of the data set is contained within 2 standard deviations from the mean. 99.7% of the data set is contained within 3 standard deviations from the mean. However, data collected from industrial equipment is not always distributed normally. Non-normal distributions are common and happen much more than some may think. As soon as new and changed features become available, Oracle IoT Applications instances are upgraded in the data centers where Oracle Cloud services are hosted. Customers don’t need to request an upgrade to be able to use the new features—they come to users automatically.

Continuing with the “What’s new” series, we will look at what’s new in Oracle Production Monitoring Cloud over the last 3 months across three key innovation themes. For the uninitiated, Oracle IoT...

Internet Of Things

Noble Plastics Continuing Industry 4.0 Journey – With IoT Asset Monitoring

Industry 4.0 has provided the guiding principles to guide how to implement a smart or intelligent manufacturing. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the key components of an Industry 4.0 factory. Why? Because IIoT allows for full visibility into everything about manufacturing. The more sensors that is instrumented, the more “eyes” and “ears” you have to manufacturing – and sooner you can detect problems – and fix it.  Oracle has refined the approach to deploying IoT – by focusing on business problems first. We call this “IoTying” your business. The approach takes a “top down” approach to deploying IoT – that is, start with a business problem and see what IoT can do for you - as opposed to the traditional way of “bottom up”.  Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring is one of our most popular IoT Apps due to its versatility in tracking anything (stationary or moving). Let’s take a look at one customer's adoption of Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring to monitor production machines. “Shot and Shipped” in the U.S.A. Noble Plastics, based in Louisiana, is a product realization company. They specialize in using injection molding manufacturing to create a wide diverse range of products, from the “cone of shame” to “government usage”. Being a leader in this field, Noble Plastics aims to run the production floor “lights out”. This will enable them to meet tight delivery schedules not possible if the production floor was running only during human hours. But running “lights out” has its challenges. Several issues arise: 1) Machines start to drift, creating sub-standard products 2) Machines start to fail silently, especially with the absence of workers 3) Data collected from the machines is not used to improve manufacturing. Noble Plastics Continuing the Industry 4.0 Journey Noble Plastics began to explore technology and options to enable them to run “lights out” – one of the benefits of Industry 4.0. Noble Plastics was already adopting Industry 4.0 principles with the deployment of FANUC robots. So a solution to enable them to run “lights out” had to be compatible with the existing infrastructure. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) became an area of interest for them to explore. Requirements for the Industry 4.0 Journey When Noble Plastics and Oracle began to explore how IIoT can help,  Easy to connect Intuitive Analytics  & Machine Learning Mobile notification   Easy To Connect IoT sensors and actuators are the eyes, ears, mouth, and hands of an Industry 4.0 system. They need to be able to connect to cloud service through any means (protocol) possible.  The wide range of devices means that there is a wide range of communication methods. While some devices can be running an embedded microcontroller with Java embedded, other devices might talk to a gateway server that supports a full RESTful API communication stack. An IoT Cloud Service needs the flexibility to be able to communicate with a wide range of IoT sensors and actuators to talk to a cloud service.  Oracle IoT Cloud Service provides a wide of communication protocol (https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/iot-cloud/index.html) – from Java to JavaScript to old school C POSIX. Intuitive Analytics & Machine Learning In order to manage a factory to ensure highest output and efficiency, it needs to be instrumented, monitored, and managed. The IoT sensors, instrumented in strategic locations throughout the factory, provides the real time data. But without proper analytics, the data will be stored unharnessed. What is proper analytics? In the IoT context, properly analytics is being able ingest and process time series data – such a missing data and out of range data. And once the data is processed, and easy to view dashboard needs to be able show key KPIs that is configured for the needs of particular factory floor (output, yield, quality, OEE, etc). But that’s only the start of what you can do with data.  Being able to mine the data from IoT, machine learning can be applied to predict when a factory machine will breakdown, or predict when yield will drop. Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring provides all of this built-in. The additional benefit of using Oracle is that business rules can be created to automatically create a Service Ticket or create a Work Order to automate keeping the factory running “lights out”. Mobile Notification Another challenge with running “lights out” is that once you can detect (or predict) that the machine has (or will) fail, what can you do about it? With mobile notification, anyone of interest can be automatically notified.  A technician can be sent status of the production machine. The production manager can be sent the output level of the production machine. A quick assessment can be made to determine if the technician needs to be sent at 3AM, or if the production machine can be tended to at a better time – without impacting output. Oracle Mobile Cloud enables mobile notification to two of the most popular mobile platforms – iOS and Android. Industry 4.0 Results As a result, Noble Plastics was able to Monitor and reduce manufacturing cycle time Analyze streaming part counts and error status in real time Send real-time alerts to technicians mobile Provide higher customer experience via supply chain transparency Decrease reaction time with integration between IOT to ERP For more information on Noble Plastic’s adoption of Oracle IoT, please watch this video.

Industry 4.0 has provided the guiding principles to guide how to implement a smart or intelligent manufacturing. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the key components of an Industry...

Meet the Fantastic 4 Oracle IoT Apps

IoT Being Deployed In Modern Supply Chains Internet of Things (IoT) have multiple applications, with supply chain (planning, procurement, manufacturing, logistics) being in the forefront of adopting this technology. For example, Industry 4.0 initiatives have created smart and intelligent factories, powered by Industrial IoT (IIoT). And due to the strong synergies between IoT and the needs of modern supply chain, Oracle has focused its IoT effort on supply chain with multiple customer success. Here is a quick overview of the four Oracle IoT powered apps: Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud: Real time asset management is starting to provide companies the competitive edge to achieve more with less. With Asset Monitoring, you can track any asset and achieve ROI in days by increasing asset utilization, decreasing down time, reducing maintenance runs, eliminating stock out, which can even prevent theft. In some of our engagements, assets under consideration include remote vending machines, expensive medical equipment, and service robots. Need to boost revenue from your assets? Asset monitoring can do that by allowing asset owners to sell asset subscription services. Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring: Modern e-commerce dictates the need to track shipments – from the distribution center (or even factory) to the customer.  Customers are especially keen on the last mile delivery – which necessitates the tracking of the vehicle that delivers to the final destination. With Fleet Monitoring you can track real time status of your fleet, such as real time location. But location is only the start. You can track current fuel levels using the Fleet Monitoring app. You can actively monitor your fleet such as vehicle idle time (driver sleeping on the job) or geo-fencing violations (driver deviated from planned course). And with machine learning built in, you can predicatively maintain vehicles, optimize logistics, and reduce fuel consumption – all while improving customer satisfaction. Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud: Highly automated production is being adopted around the globe, with many of them running in the dark, 24/7.  It was this desire that drove the need for Industry 4.0. With Production Monitoring, real time factory data (either from IoT sensors or integration with existing MES systems) is collected, filtered, and analyzed for anomalies in real time. That data can be integrated with business logic to send a notification, alert a production manager to plan for contingencies, or trigger an inventory manager to start looking for surplus to cover the production shortfall. Oracle IoT Connected Worker Cloud: How do you ensure that your worker health and safety policies conform to both regulatory compliance and corporate obligations? With Connected Worker, you can track the location (3rd floor, room 12), status (not on break, last movement was 3 minutes ago), and condition (heart rate elevated) of monitored workers. When working in hazardous environments, geo-zones can be entered into the app by workers in real time. This will warn other workers to avoid the hazard zone. The app will track workers who don’t have status updates, as well as detect lone workers in high risk areas.  Digital Twin, Digital Thread, AI in Every Oracle IoT App Oracle Internet of Things Applications deliver a world-class set of IoT applications for enterprise assets, production lines, transportation fleets, and mobile workers. Get smart with predictive machine learning algorithms and quickly extend core SCM, CX, HCM and ERP processes—with real-time IoT data and insights. These are achieved with these core technologies built into the Oracle Internet of Things Apps: Digital Twin – provides a virtual reality model of your assets so that you know exactly what is going on with the asset. A production manager in factory can use a Digital Twin of the injection molding machine to track real time data (up time, temperature, output, yield) and business data (acquisition date, next maintenance date, owner),simultaneously in the same view. The Digital Twin can also predict machine failure (based on real time data), and make recommendations based on past repair procedures. Digital Thread – direct integration of IoT data with any business systems to provide IOT insights directly to your business processes & systems, where it can make an impact to the top and bottom lines. This technology offers pre-built integration to Oracle SCM & CX apps, you can “click-and-connect” IoT data to these apps, or you can connect using Oracle Integration Cloud Service. Not using Oracle? We support RESTful API to connect to any other business systems. Intuitive Analytics, Machine Learning, Adaptive Intelligence – powerful yet simple - built into the platform and directly gathering deep insights from your IOT data. This innovation allows supply chain professionals to natively handle tricky time series data, filtering, anomaly detection, and display. Customers may build and tune predictive models, or select from many that already exists, then start leveraging the power of machine learning to digitally transform manufacturing, maintenance, and logistics processes. Take an IoT Quick Tour All of the above IoT applications are in production today. If you want to learn more, please take a quick click-through tour of these applications at Oracle IoT Quick Tours.  

IoT Being Deployed In Modern Supply Chains Internet of Things (IoT) have multiple applications, with supply chain (planning, procurement, manufacturing, logistics) being in the forefront of adopting...

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Every Oracle IoT App

Viji Krishnamurthy Ph.D., Director, Product Management, Internet of Things Cloud IoT Growth Driven by Industrial IoT   Over the last couple of years, we have seen multiple reports on the growth of connected devices and the expectation of business value creation with IoT. While each study has its own way of measurement, we can be convinced of the following: Number of connected devices are growing from ~20B now to over 75B by 2025. While there is significant IoT market share in consumer applications, Industrial IoT is expected to be more than twice the value of consumer IoT with applications in Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics, Agriculture and Healthcare. Examples of Industrial IoT applications include Predictive Maintenance, Remote Patient Monitoring, Self-optimizing Production, Automated Inventory Management, Smart Meters, Connected Cars, Distributed Generation and Storage, and Fleet Management. Successful deployment of these applications require addressing complex intertwined business goals of multiple global business participants based on data sources that include devices and enterprise applications. Typical industrial IoT deployment has thousands of sensors and enterprise data sources that span the supplier, manufacturer, logistics and warehouse participants. IoT’s benefit lies at the core of analyzing these data in real-time to derive business value. Due to the interdependency of data and participants’ actions along with the volume, velocity and variety of data, IoT’s benefit cannot be derived without AI. This is why, every Oracle IoT SaaS application is built with AI at its core. “Data Scientist In A Box” - Painless AI Oracle IoT SaaS applications are built for domain users such as factory managers, supply chain planners, fleet or warehouse managers. Given that the majority of Industrial IoT users aren’t from a data science background, AI in Oracle IoT SaaS applications are built with following specific design principles: Derive real-time decisions by automatically identifying influencing features from data sources. Automatically identify patterns in influencing features and their contribution to business event of interest. Adapt and improve decision science models by continuously analyzing device, data and user actions. Self-learn based on new data as well as adaptively learn based on domain user interaction. Automate decision making by triggering appropriate work flows in enterprise applications as well as edge devices to immediately derive benefit to business goals. Typical IoT application in the market requires users to select the data sources, identify features and select the algorithm with algorithm specific parameters as well as the data preparation techniques. This places enormous expectation on the user from both skills as well as sheer volume of data thereby limiting the use of IoT. At Oracle, based on our interaction with industrial customers, we have designed our IoT applications with “Data Scientist in a Box” that automatically identifies influencing features and their patterns with respect to business events. When a domain user indicates the business event of interest for anomaly detection or prediction or action recommendation, Oracle IoT applications automatically evaluate appropriate AI pipeline of algorithms to generate a comprehensive data science model that is stored and scored with every new data. AI pipelines are designed with AutoML that selects appropriate chain of algorithms, Auto-Tuning that optimizes hyper parameters and Auto-Selection that helps to select most influencing features. As a result, AI in Oracle IoT applications helps the domain user to derive the value of IoT data directly and in real-time. What Is Inside “Data Scientist in a Box”? Industries have been applying data science for decades in many areas including supply chain planning, process optimization, fleet utilization and pricing. IoT data analytics differs sharply from these traditional data science efforts in the fact that it can’t be a periodic manual effort. Given the interdependency of devices and actions, IoT data is expected to change over time and therefore, IoT data analysis can’t be periodic and manual as in traditional data science efforts. Knowing this, AI in Oracle IoT applications is designed with both “Self-learning” and “Adaptive-learning” methods. AI in Oracle IoT applications track the accuracy of identified anomalies, predictions and recommendations over time to automatically trigger appropriate AI pipeline for re-training to regenerate data science models. In addition, AI in Oracle IoT applications adapt to the inputs provided by the domain users via Digital Twin. Specifically, domain users that include factory manager, equipment technician, maintenance manager and process engineer can record their input on IoT data as well as results of IoT data analytics via Oracle IoT applications’ Digital Twin interface. Oracle IoT applications have multiple user interfaces including AR, VR, mobile app and voice assistant devices. AI in Oracle IoT applications automatically adapt these user inputs to represent domain user knowledge in data science models thereby making the model closer to real behavior of industrial systems. AI + Digital Thread = Automated Intelligent Workflows IoT’s benefit in industries rely on real-time implementation of actions recommended by IoT analytics. If every IoT analytics recommendation requires user’s involvement then, we would have simply moved the problem from industrial systems to personnel thereby prohibiting us from deriving the benefit of IoT. Therefore, AI in Oracle IoT applications not only derives optimal actions, but also helps in automating work flows to execute those actions for agility. This is achieved in Oracle IoT applications in two specific ways to address the actions executed on the edge devices and enterprise software. If the action is executed on edge device, conducive to the capability of edge device, AI in Oracle IoT applications can off-load the real-time identification of events and action recommendation (called scoring) to the edge device through a combination of Digital Twin and Software-Enabled-Edge. This enables agile operational adjustment of edge system to maximize its performance while the Oracle IoT cloud application performs data science model updates in near-real-time to send to edge system as necessary. In case the action is executed on an enterprise software system, AI in Oracle IoT applications utilizes the data and knowledge of business entities in those applications via Digital Thread thereby creating global recommendations and triggering appropriate work flows. Specifically, AI in Oracle IoT applications utilizes data from Digital Thread to enterprise applications such as supply planning, maintenance, manufacturing, transportation logistics software and triggers appropriate exceptions, notifications, chat bot or service work orders as required to implement actions. Conclusion In summary, every Oracle IoT SaaS application implements AI to make IoT benefits immediate, comprehensive and practical. For more information on Oracle IoT applications and to request demo or to try for free, visit https://cloud.oracle.com/iot-apps.

Viji Krishnamurthy Ph.D., Director, Product Management, Internet of Things Cloud IoT Growth Driven by Industrial IoT   Over the last couple of years, we have seen multiple reports on the growth of...

Internet Of Things

What’s New in Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring - Spring 2018 edition

At Oracle IoT Cloud, we pride ourselves on delivering product innovations at a fast pace. In fact, we release new capabilities monthly.  Here's what's been developed in Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud over the past 3 months (Q4 of Oracle FY18). We've added features across three key innovation vectors. 1. Digital Thread IoT Apps enable frictionless hand-off of data across different stages of the supply chain -- beginning with design & production and including transportation and field use.  We have also integrated IoT Apps with Oracle Engagement Cloud. Why is this important? Engagement Cloud provides a seamless service management interface that allows organizations to capture and track service requests, collaborate between sales and service, and follow-up with customers efficiently.  Customers electronically monitor connected assets for potential faults and issues and automatically create a service request in Engagement Cloud for proactive follow up by customer service teams. A dispatched agent is then able to review diagnostic data from the device directly from the service request page. This integration is two way, so when the service request is closed, the IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud will know about it immediately. Integrations with Service Cloud, Maintenance Cloud, Application Builder Cloud Service have been released in the past. 2. Digital Twin Digital Twinning can provide exceptional value to enterprises. By acting as proxy to the physical (& capital-intensive) equipment, digital twins offer complete insight into equipment performance. Customers can now choose what sensor data they wish to visualize from a connected asset. The attributes that are chosen, from the ones available in the device model, are made available for the assets in Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud. Sensor data could either be coming from a connected physical asset or from its digital twin Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud Service now integrates with third-party map provider HERE maps. 3. Built-in Machine Learning & AI Customers use Oracle Asset Monitoring Dashboard to monitor asset performance through the combination of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or metrics, including Rules, Incidents, Warnings, Alerts, Predictions, and Anomalies. Predictions help warn you of impending asset failure in advance. Preventive maintenance can help save the costs associated with asset breakdown or unavailability. Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud uses machine learning to look for categorical (ex: logistical regression) and continuous (ex: linear regression) predictions. Customers can use prediction values in rules to trigger incidents, warnings, asset actions, or alerts. No business is unique, so the KPIs need not be unique. We now offer new, simplified interface that lets you build the expression for your computed metrics that you can then add to your Dashboard or Map. The enhanced expression builder lets customers use sensor attributes in computed metrics Oracle IoT Applications updates its releases as soon as new and changed features become available. Our application instances are upgraded in the data centers where Oracle Cloud services are hosted and customers don’t need to request an upgrade to be able to use the new features—they come automatically. Visit us online to learn more          

At Oracle IoT Cloud, we pride ourselves on delivering product innovations at a fast pace. In fact, we release new capabilities monthly.  Here's what's been developed in Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring...

Introducing Oracle Internet of Things Connected Worker Cloud

By: Prasen Palvankar | Senior Director Product Management Introduction After successful launch of our Asset Monitoring, Production Monitoring and Fleet Monitoring Internet of Things Cloud applications, we are excited to announce our new IoT application for connecting workers to the IoT cloud to manage worker safety. Connecting a person using IoT? What’s that?? The common understanding about IoT (Internet of Things) is that it’s about “Things” – inanimate objects in the physical world networked with and interacting with their digital counterparts. Of course IoT goes beyond just connecting sensors and devices. For an enterprise, its about making a meaningful difference in the way a business is run by reducing downtime, increasing equipment efficiency, increasing product quality and so on. My colleague Supreet Oberoi discusses this in his excellent blogs on Asset Monitoring  and Production Monitoring using IoT. Monitoring and tracking equipment, machines etc. definitely add value to business as it enables most efficient and effective use of your valuable assets.  But these are not the “most” valuable assets a business has. It’s the people who use these machines and equipment to produce goods and services that generate revenue for the business.  Keeping these most valuable assets safe is of highest importance to any business and IoT can actually help with that. Using wearable technologies coupled with a powerful IoT platform like Oracle IoT Cloud, businesses can now connect their workers to the enterprise information systems to ensure highest level of safety, health and productivity. What’s a Connected Worker? Connected Worker is a person that has real-time, context-specific and actionable information based on data about himself and his physical environment, that allows him to do his job safely and as efficiently as possible.  Worker safety stands out as a key value proposition for a Connected Worker solution and that’s what Oracle IoT Connected Worker Cloud focuses on. Worker Safety “The ultimate cost of occupational disease is human life. It impoverishes workers and their families and may undermine whole communities when they lose their most productive workers. ”   -- International Labor Organization (26 April 2013 Press release) This quote succinctly states the impact of loss of human life due to occupation diseases. Although this quote is about occupational diseases, it equally applies to work place accidents. Worker health and safety is of importance across all industries and occupations. In some industries, such as construction and mining, this is a significant problem. For instance, according to an OSHA study in 2014, 20% of all worker fatalities occur in the construction industry. To ensure safety and reduce severe injuries and fatalities, regulatory agencies like OSHA mandate safety procedures be put in place. But policies by themselves do not prevent accidents. What you need is technology that can identify and act on potential dangers, provide real-time alerts and deep analytics that help prevent such incidents. Better worker safety means reduced down time and increased productivity. Also, a sustained high level of worker safety can potentially reduce insurance costs. This is now possible with Oracle IoT Connected Worker Cloud. A Connected Worker solution that uses wearable technologies, combined with environment and tracking sensors and backed by a powerful IoT platform with integrated big data analytics, effectively reduces, and to a large extent prevents, safety related incidents. Managing Hazards Figure 1 Cordon-off  hazardous work locations Take for instance a construction worksite where an area is cordoned off due to toxic fumes. No worker should be in close vicinity of that area until the hazard is cleared.  With Oracle’s IoT Connected Worker Cloud application, the worker will not only be notified about this new hazard, but will also be warned via his wearable if his path is expected to land him in the vicinity of the hazard.    Figure 2 Oracle Connected Worker Mobile Application provides real-time notifications of potential hazards A recent interaction with a large logistics provider revealed challenges with worker safety in big warehouses. Large containers and number of moving fork lifts etc. can create for dangerous situations.  A connected worker with the ability to “see” beyond what’s physically visible and be warned of potential dangers is, by an order of magnitude, safer in such work environments. Similarly the ability to monitor, in real-time, a worker’s location and his movement allows pro-active response to “man-down” situations. Accurate and real-time location information of each worker also means better emergency evacuation assistance to affected workers. Figure 3 Real-time position information allows for providing a higher level of workplace safety   Safety Enforcement Every organization has safety policies that cover regulatory requirements. Organizations may also go beyond the mandated safety procedures and enforce their own policies. Using Oracle IoT Connected Worker Cloud, these policy enforcements can be declared as rules using the business-user-friendly rules editor. These rules are then applied to real-time data streaming in from the sensors that the worker is wearing as well as data coming in from any environment sensors in place. Figure 4 Business-user-friendly rules editor   Diagnostic Analytics When an accident occurs there may be a number of factors that may be contributing to the incident. Each accident may seem unique, but there may be underlying patterns that can help identify key contributing factors across different accidents. For instance, it could be the combination of time of the day, the machine tools being used, the air quality, the ambient light and combinations thereof. Its difficult to identify such patterns without deep analytics and machine learning. Oracle IoT Connected Worker Cloud is built on top of a the proven Oracle IoT Cloud Enterprise platform which provides built-in support for big data analytics that allows Oracle IoT cloud applications to provide such advanced analytics. Figure 5 Incident Metrics Wearables Support Oracle Connected Worker Cloud provides out-of-the-box support for using a smart-phone as a sensing device. In addition, it can also use wearable sensor boards from mbientlab(https://mbientlab.com/ for detecting motion, abnormal motion (such as a fall) and environment readings such as ambient light, pressure etc. Support for a wider range of wearables such as smart glasses, smart helemets, smart watches are being added. Additionally, underlying IoT Enterprise Cloud platform provides rich APIs that connecting new devices and wearables with ease.   More Information The Oracle Internet of Things Connected Cloud is available now and you get pricing and other information on cloud.oracle.com.

By: Prasen Palvankar | Senior Director Product Management Introduction After successful launch of our Asset Monitoring, Production Monitoring and Fleet Monitoring Internet of Things...

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Oracle IoT Cloud Apps Rollout in Mexico City

After the official launch of Oracle IoT Cloud Apps at Modern Supply Chain Conference 2017, we received a stream of requests for information - from potential customers, system integrators, and device makers. Many of them did not know Oracle offered an IoT solution. And most of them did not know that Oracle offered IoT originally as a PaaS – and also now as a SaaS.  This intrigued them.   Mexico and Its Shift to High End Assembly & Manufacturing So perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the Oracle IoT rollout in Mexico City was a standing room only event. IoT has gained the interest of manufacturers (sometimes also called Industry 4.0) to be able to track manufacturing output, monitor the status of machines in manufacturing, and predicatively call for maintenance.   With Mexico's strong manufacturing base,  the country has become the third largest source of imports into the U.S., with a total 2-way trade of $579 billion. And that number should change as BMW gears up to produce its popular 3-series car in Mexico by 2019.         Introducing the Three Oracle IoT Cloud Apps Here is a brief description of the three Oracle Iot Apps: Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud provides real-time insights from connected assets to drive predictive maintenance, optimized SCM, and improved customer experiences. You have an ultrasound machine that is constantly being moved around? Use IoT Asset Monitoring to track its location.  Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud enables manufactures to adopt Industry 4.0 principles easily with best-in-class production monitoring for factory, product, and machine. Is production yield lower than expected?  You can track real time yield by site, by machine, and by product line. Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud gives the predictive power of IoT to know when any connected vehicle needs service, adjust logistics operations, and avoid downtime.   Feeding Real Time Visibility into Supply Chain Management Cloud The beauty of these IoT Cloud apps is that they have a direct and proven connection path to Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud. You want to link real time asset up-time data from Oracle IoT Asset Monitoring Cloud to Oracle Maintenance Cloud? Click a button. You want to connect real time factory yield data from Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud to Oracle Manufacturing Cloud? Click another button.  How about tracking real time delivery ETA into Oracle Logistic Cloud? Yup, another click.     Real Time Business Insights Don’t Stop at SCM: CX, ERP, HCM, EPM But the feed of IoT data  doesn't stop at SCM. Oracle IoT Cloud apps can easily be connected to Customer Experience Cloud Suite, Human Capital Management, Enterprise Resource Management, and Enterprise Performance Management.  Think of all of the business transformation that can happen with real time data in all of these siloes – customer sentiment demand forecasting, employee motivation management, feedback driven development, business asset performance analysis.   Making IoT Easy & Useful To Adopt The three Oracle IoT Cloud SaaS applications allows business to easily tap into the power of IoT for immediate business usage – instead of just focusing on the technology. The Oracle IoT Cloud also connects easily with Oracle SCM Cloud with a few clicks of the button – giving your supply chain apps real time insights. With its clear focus on making IoT easy to connect and adopt, Oracle will enable enterprises to transform their business immediately.  For more information, please visit https://cloud.oracle.com/iot-apps.

After the official launch of Oracle IoT Cloud Apps at Modern Supply Chain Conference 2017, we received a stream of requests for information - from potential customers, system integrators, and device...

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Creating a Modern IoT Ecosystem

Prototyping for IOT is Challenging Over the last few years, as we have built and supported IOT solutions in the market, we discovered that cost to prototype a solution was higher compared to “traditional” new technologies.  There are implications to nurturing technologies where the cost to validate is high – think, will you try out a new club if it had a $200 cover charge. Right ?! Similarly, having a high cost to prototype an IOT solutions leads to many companies to postpone their IOT initiatives. A typically IOT stack has multiple moving components – devices, device protocol, gateway, device management, cloud service, analytics, etc.  If a company is in its advanced stages of having an IOT maturity model, deliberating on each choice may seem like a worthy endeavor. But when we are testing new ROI models with IOT, getting started cheaply and efficiently is the requirement of the day. Besides the technology and vendor fragmentation that exists in the IOT marketplace – device connection, analytics, device management, solution and app development  - that is solved by Oracle’s IOT Cloud Service, there are additional reasons for the expensive “cover charge”. I will cover two key reasons in this blog post. Custom Development for Standard Tasks In a typical deployment, research staff members in an enterprise use hobbyist kits and devices to build and sell a vision about how IOT can be used in an enterprise. However, when it comes to developing real-world prototypes, these “kits” do not suffice. No CIO will fund a project to monitor its multi-million dollar cold supply chain based on sensors that cannot be deployed in the field. What typically follows in a lengthy and an expensive task of finding the right sensors for the job. Many times, such sensors do not exist, so we have to design custom sensors for the job. Imagine that you want to go from San Francisco to Cupertino, and we have to design a custom car, since each car was designed to travel on a specific highway. While this is a highly inaccurate analogy, that is how CIOs funding the IOT projects end up feeling. “Are we the first people monitoring temperature for moving cargo”, they ask? “No, but you are moving meat, which has different cargo monitoring requirements”, reply the device vendors. True, sensors deployed in the field will require custom work to be performed around ruggedness etc. However, the IOT implementation teams are left with two choices – either, prototype using a cheap kit and re-implement for production (which invalidated the goals of prototyping), or prototype with expensive custom-developed devices. What is required is the ability to prototype with commercial off-the-shelf devices and have the confidence that the prototype code can be “lifted and shifted” to production-grade devices without significant redesign. In other words, what is required is developers use the same technology stack to implement prototypes in an agile manner, and then deploy their code into production environments running on the same stack, reducing costs to deploy and risks of missing product requirements. Different Development Stacks For Slightly Different Tasks Many enterprise IOT use cases revolve around monitoring environmental conditions for monitoring cargo, facilities, fleet, worker etc. Most of these use cases involve tracking traditional environmental parameters such as temperature, accelerometer, light, humidity etc. So, the vendors providing device solutions for environmental monitoring should ideally provide one device and one set of APIs to monitors all these variables, right? Well, it is not that easy, at least today with most vendors. Let’s take the example of monitoring temperature.  There may be one vendor with its own stack to monitor temperature from 100-500 degree F and another vendor with its own stack and APIs to monitor between -20 to 50 degree F. This makes sense from the point of view of physics (and the hardware used). I would not use my personal thermometer (to check if I have a fever) to measure if my steak is cooked. However, from developing enterprise applications, the need to support different technology stacks and APIs to populate a Java object (based on the range of values for a field) sounds completely counter intuitive, and breaking the principles of abstraction! There are two ways the device industry is trying to solve the problem. First, by implementing standardization (e.g., all temperature devices will expose the same API). Hmm. The other and more practical approach is vendors supporting multiple devices that span measuring a wide range of temperatures, but supporting the same API to make it easy for the software developer – nice! Oracle Selects Partners To Simplify These Problems At Oracle, we partner to make developing IoT solutions simpler and better. One of the most important criteria we use to select our partners is by determining if the partner solution is built from the vantage of an enterprise software developer. For example, does the solution expose APIs in a modern language? Would it force a system integrator to learn about embedded systems, registers, and control systems, or has the vendor taken the steps to simplify the integration with enterprise apps.  Does it support seamless integration with device management solutions such as the one from WindRiver or Dell? Similarly, we promote vendors that have a broad range of devices supported by the same stack in their portfolio. Remember the example of monitoring perishable cargo? With our partners, an application developer can develop solutions that monitor temperature of perishables or molten zinc on the same stack and API. Even better, with Oracle IOT technology partners, I can use same APIs and stack to monitor related variables such as temperature, humidity, light and motion. The device world is evolving to support well-known design principles such as having consistent contracts between different classes such as an app and a device. We are doing our share to support partners engaged in modernizing their stack experience. For more information about our partner ecosystem, please visit https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/iot-asset-monitoring-cloud/partners  

Prototyping for IOT is Challenging Over the last few years, as we have built and supported IOT solutions in the market, we discovered that cost to prototype a solution was higher compared to...

Introducing IoT Production Monitoring

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 14.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre} In my previous blog, I explored the modern supply chain experience that’s continually pushing for a more real-time manufacturing experience. Reflecting on the innovations in IoT, I talked about the benefits that a factory manager or VP of Supply Chain gets by deploying the Oracle IoT Production Monitoring application.  When we designed the IoT Production Monitoring application, we wanted the factory manager to be able to answer questions like:  • Am I on track to deliver my products?  • Are my factories and machines used to their capacity?  • Which factory, product, or machine needs attention? • What creates the best performance of a factory or machine, and how can I improve that performance? • Where’s the bottleneck? • What product deliveries are at risk? We wanted the line of business owner to be able to answer questions such as Will I meet the forecasted demand? We wanted the VP of Supply Chain to be able to identify production trends soon enough to make good business decisions. We considered it critical to build the application architecture based on the viewpoints of a factory manager, a line of business owner, or a VP of Supply Chain, not on the viewpoints of the software architect with no experience in supply chain logistics.  We used four core principles to design and implement our application. But first, to understand the rationale behind these principles, let me explain a term often used in supply chain circles.  What’s a digital twin? Let me give you a little frame of reference.  When I think about my car (my asset), I think about Zuffenhausen where the car was born. I see the miles on the car, hear its noises, and notice any leaks. More important, when I take the car to be serviced, I don’t just rely on the mechanic’s diagnostic dongle for him to learn about my car. I give the mechanic as much context and history about the car before he enters the work order into his system. Why you might ask? To get the best overall experience, that is service result, there must be a combination of the machine (dongle) diagnosis with the car’s actual life cycle (when parts were changed, did the car get into an accident, how long have I been hearing its noises, and so on).  Let me explain how my car servicing description applies to a typical modern manufacturing in the supply chain process.  The factory manager creates her production schedule from data about the product definition (BOM), forecasts, and historical yields from each of two factory sites. She examines the production of these sites, San Antonio and Boston, because she has to pick one of them for an upcoming customer order. Historically, the San Antonio site has been more reliable in meeting its deadlines, so she leans toward selecting that site. What she doesn’t know is that the San Antonio site met its deadlines by skipping maintenance schedules and the machines are about to break down, potentially seriously affecting schedules.  This is where the digital world of production planning can provide the factory manager with critically important insights about the state of the factory assets in her physical world. But if this manager relied wholly on digital information about her factory assets (products, production plan, routes, and so on), then she would have incomplete operational visibility into her tangible world. This could compromise her ability to meet business forecasts. The best chance for success is to combine the digital insights about the timing of the purchase of raw materials, the automatic creation of repair and servicing work orders, and the scheduling for asset maintenance with this factory manager’s awareness of the concrete manufacturing world. OK, so what’s a digital twin? The fusing of an asset’s digital and physical metadata to get a richer situational awareness has been part of the supply chain and IoT forums for some time. Perhaps it was best described in the paper published by Michael Grieves at the University of Michigan in 2001, calling for the creation of a Digital Twin <link to paper>.  Some vendors, including our competitors, have attempted to address the supply chain need for a digital twin by simply maintaining the payload of a device as a JSON document or a Java object.  Useful? Yes. Digital twin? Not really.  These vendors assume that if they just provide a JSON object such as this to the app developer, then they get complete situational awareness. { “sensors”: [ {“id”:”0x77c3f” , “value”: “0.777736”} {“id”:”0x4a92a” , “value”: “2e+4”} ] } This isn’t enough.  We realized that there are four principles that we had to incorporate into our application design: 1. Demolish barriers between the physical and digital assets. 2. Provide situational awareness in manufacturing. 3. Simplify KPI development, but don’t go too far. 4. Don’t make the application stand apart – integration is key. Principle 1: Demolish barriers between the physical and digital assets. Our first design goal was to simplify the experience of understanding how the factory performance affects the production goals. Our application had to be able to explain to the VP of Supply Chain how an unexpected downtime from a particular line in a particular shift would affect her ability to meet the global demand forecasts.  In addition to tightly integrating with Oracle’s supply chain suite of applications, our application exposes REST end points to integrate with third-party applications. We designed a system where physical KPIs (such as a pick rate) can be mapped to production plans and routes.  We built an IoT application that not only measured machine data and predicted machine behavior, but also integrated with SCMs semantics for routes, plans, and products. We refused to build a silo product that had boundaries that exist only in applications, not in supply chains.  Principle 2: Provide situational awareness in manufacturing. Remember the butterfly effect? Even small changes to one machine’s downtime can affect the company’s global ability to deliver on a big order. For example, a workers’ strike in a zinc mine (an angry butterfly diving at the mine workers, perhaps?) in a remote region can affect global margins and forecast for a galvanizing enterprise.  Providing situational awareness was a very ambitious goal – one that we achieved. We didn’t set out to develop an app that showed just sensor payloads in a slick dashboard. To provide rich situational awareness, we had to capture the relationships between the different manufacturing sites in an enterprise, different factories at a site, different lines in a factory, different machines in a line, making different products with different machines, variables in people and process, and on and on. Sounds easy, right? Using our app, a factory manager can now compare performance in real time between two factories and identify the cause of bad productivity, even down to the level of whether or not one machine on a line is properly tuned. Remember, I said in real time. Our app tracks lineage, that is, it can identify all products developed under specific environmental conditions (important for process manufacturing).   By capturing the semantics that exist in enterprise SCM products and merging those semantics with real-time IoT data, we’ve produced a richly instrumented supply chain where many existing dark spots get eliminated.  Principle 3: Simplify KPI development, but don't go too far. Your enterprise might not have extensive IT resources so maybe your business has to settle on applications that contain oversimplified, generic KPIs. Maybe you don’t have enough personnel with sufficient expertise in the latest, most innovative technologies. Even if they try to define new KPIs (to get business insights) using the new and innovative technologies such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Machine Vision, Augmented Reality, and so on, perhaps they soon find themselves in over their heads. To prevent this, we distilled the best practices in asset monitoring to provide outstanding, prepackaged KPIs. Your business has access to a diverse set of KPIs to track the performance and health of your assets at various organizational levels.  But, because your business is unique, your application KPIs should be customizable, that is, unique to your business. As an asset owner, you, regardless of your programming experience, can use our UI to design your own KPIs because the IoT Asset Monitoring application tracks those KPIs that are unique to your business.  For your IT resources with greater experience, we exposed Spark’s programmatic APIs in Java. We believe that APIs exist for a reason, so we didn’t want to deny it to your advanced practitioners of KPIs.  Because we used the Hadoop-based platform to provide batch and streaming KPI computations, large volumes of data or the complexity of any algorithms won’t hinder your supply chain process. Principle 4: Don’t make the application stand apart – integration is key. To provide true situational awareness for your factory floor, our application fuses sensor data with data sitting in any ERP, CRM, or supply chain environment – and even PoS systems! Our architecture allows a low-code or no-code experience, which means there’s easy integration not only with Oracle apps, but also with third-party apps.  Why is this important? Typically, for first-generation technology projects (for example, the IoT Production Monitoring application), integration costs can account for 60%-80% of the total implementation price.  Now you can significantly reduce if not eliminate these costs, because your project deployment is not only cheaper, but easier and faster. 

In my previous blog, I explored the modern supply chain experience that’s continually pushing for a more real-time manufacturing experience. Reflecting on the innovations in IoT, I talked about the...

5 design principles behind IOT Asset Monitoring

Introduction In my previous blog, I talked about how your supply chain could be improved by monitoring your assets better in real time. Let me tell you how we (Oracle) rose to that challenge by developing the IoT Asset Monitoring application, which blends key modern platform components including Big Data.  After identifying the challenges that you face by surveying business people who rely on supply chain data, examining the products of our leading competitors, we understood that the product had to be built differently. What was currently available wasn’t as easy to integrate, or as adaptable, scalable, and efficient as needed. It became clear that to meet your needs – no, to exceed your needs – we had to create a solution based on five principles: 1. Provide visibility at any view, with any business metric. 2. Scale to a large number and variety of assets. 3. Make integrations easy. 4. Locate your assets. 5. Supply best-of-breed KPIs while offering you the flexibility to custom design your own. Principle 1: Provide visibility at any view, with any business metric. In the market, asset-monitoring products can be divided into providing just a device-level view (common among IoT monitoring applications) or just an enterprise-level view. This separation of view-related IT and operational monitoring prevents your VP of Supply Chain or VP of Manufacturing from easily getting answers to questions such as “What are my bottom-performing assets? What’s their performance in contrast to my top-performing assets? What anomalies in performance are there at a machine level?” Clearly, simply monitoring at a machine level isn’t very useful, so your supply chain experience isn’t improved at all.  Figure 1: Use Summarized Views to get the operational picture… Figure 2: … and then click through to get detailed device-level insights Enterprises often track their business through customer orders. To manage at the scale of an enterprise, your business processes and assets typically align with company-specific metrics related to those orders. These realizations led us to design and implement requirements for business-specific, customized views. While the IoT Asset Monitoring application comes with a rich set of readily available metrics, we know that your data-driven business is unique, so the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) required to advance your business must also be unique. Who better to know exactly what your business needs for efficient asset management and business insights than you? Using the IoT Asset Monitoring application, you can define your business-tailored, results-inspired views as needed. Principle 2: Scale to a large number and variety of assets.  Your business is constrained because of the inability of the current asset-monitoring solutions to scale. Asset manufacturers have provided many monitoring solutions, but they didn’t plan for assets from other manufacturers being used in your enterprise, as part of your supply chain process.  The few solutions that managed to get along didn’t account for the logistical challenges to administering a large number of assets with different formats. For example, suppose your enterprise has over two dozen sensors, each publishing in a format with over 40 different attributes. To manually register, maintain, and understand over 500 attributes just isn’t feasible. That is, it isn’t feasible for these solutions. Using the best platform and infrastructure components with the capacity to scale regardless of how many assets are added to the system, we developed your solution: the IoT Asset Monitoring application, incorporating the superior features of the scalable architecture from Oracle IoT Cloud Service.  Figure 4: Group assets for better management. Figure 5: Support assets with different formats. Figure 6: Manage devices and gateways for scale.Principle 3: Make integrations easy.  To provide true situational awareness for your supply chain asset monitoring, our application fuses sensor data with data sitting in any ERP, CRM, or supply chain environment. Our architecture allows a low-code or no-code experience, which means there’s easy integration not only with Oracle apps, but also with third-party apps.  Why is this important? Typically, for first-generation technology projects, integration costs can account for 60%-80% of the total implementation price.  Now you can significantly reduce if not eliminate these costs, because your project deployment is not only cheaper, but easier and faster.  Principle 4: Locate your Assets One of your most important responsibilities for monitoring an asset is tracking its location. This goes beyond showing lat-long on a map, though it starts from there.  In Principle 2, I said that the application had to scale to an enterprise level. This meant designing a system that could scale to render perhaps thousands of assets on a map – in a human comprehensible manner. To provide such capabilities, we created a system that took user context into account to automatically display your assets on a map. NOT easy! For example, at the highest fidelity view, you can see operational details at the asset level (for instance, What’s the temperature of a given sensor?). As you go to a different level and visualize a larger number of sensors, you automatically view aggregated summaries (for instance, What’s the average temperature of all of my assets in the view?). It makes good business sense to know where your assets are. I mean really know, down to the particular floor in the specific building, not just a general geographical location, right?  One of the application capabilities that we designed was the concept of places and geofences.  With the tracking feature of IoT Asset Monitoring, you can upload floor plans and label these locations as places. Within these places, you can identify boundaries  – geofences – and even create events associated with them. For example, with the IoT Asset Monitoring application, create events such as send an alert when an asset of the type blood transfusion pump leaves the radiology department. Now, finally, you can derive business-level insights because you always know the location and movement of your assets. Figure 7: Track assets by spaces Figure 8:  Create Incidents by tracking change of locations Principle 5: Supply best-of-breed KPIs while offering you the flexibility to custom design your own. Your enterprise might not have extensive IT resources so maybe your business has to settle on applications that contain oversimplified, generic KPIs. Maybe you don’t have enough personnel with sufficient expertise in the latest, most innovative technologies. Even if they try to define new KPIs (to get business insights) using the new and innovative technologies such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Machine Vision, Augmented Reality, and so on, perhaps they soon find themselves over their heads. To prevent this, we distilled the best practices in asset monitoring to provide outstanding, prepackaged KPIs. Your business has access to a diverse set of KPIs to track the performance and health of your assets at various organizational levels. But, because your business is unique, your application KPIs should be customizable, that is, unique to your business. As an asset owner, you, regardless of your programming experience, can use our UI to design your own KPIs because the IoT Asset Monitoring application tracks those KPIs that are unique to your business. For your IT resources with greater experience, we exposed Spark’s programmatic APIs in Java. We believe that APIs exist for a reason, so we didn’t want to deny it to your advanced practitioners of KPIs. Because we used the Hadoop-based platform to provide batch and streaming KPI computations, large volumes of data or the complexity of any algorithms won’t hinder your supply chain process.

Introduction In my previous blog, I talked about how your supply chain could be improved by monitoring your assets better in real time. Let me tell you how we (Oracle) rose to that challenge...

Introducing IoT Fleet Monitoring

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 14.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} No Battle Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy, Helmuth von Moltke Introduction Optimizing transportation logistics is a key part of having an efficient supply chain system. Over the decades, vendors such as Oracle have developed sophisticated transportation management capabilities that help you with operational planning, transportation intelligence (tracking items, orders, or business metrics against forecasts), and fleet management (planning and utilizing fleet resources). To do such tasks, existing applications had to rely on data before the transit began (order, cargo, vehicle, driver, start time, source location) and the data collected at the end of the transit (end time, destination). This is fine if the journey is small, but usually, cargo travels for days and weeks. Events can happen that affect downstream supply chain partners.  As IoT becomes a sustainable platform component, we now have the advantage of using the real-time environmental conditions during the entire transit time to make more informed supply chain decisions. To address this, we developed the Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring application.  In this blog, I’ll cover some of the key environmental conditions that the IoT Fleet Monitoring app captures, and how by combining that with contextual data sitting in other supply chain modules, we get the right insights AND develop a more adaptive supply chain system. Location The IoT Fleet Monitoring app acquires a location by integrating with one of the sensors from our partners. These sensors could be OBDII dongles, J1939 telematics, or other sources that easily integrate with Oracle IoT Cloud Service.  With the IoT Fleet Monitoring app, you get real-time situational awareness of your fleet from the street level to a global level. There are many implicit and yet tangible benefits that come from getting better visibility and control of your vehicle performance. For example, your dispatcher can manage more vehicles. By tracking your fleet of vehicles in real time, you gain usable, decision-making information from your monitoring. The IoT Fleet Monitoring app can correlate contextual data such as cargo with the container in which it’s located. You’ll be able to provide your customers with order tracking information in real time. Figure 1: Monitor your fleet at the level of your enterprise in real time. Figure 2: IoT Fleet Monitoring computes the metrics based on the vehicles in your view. By getting the location of the vehicle in real time, you can more accurately predict the estimated time of arrival (ETA). This in turn can help you plan for downstream supply chain activities. For example, if a particular dock was reserved for a vehicle that’s now late, you can extend the reservation for the dock. Knowing the actual location helps you in doing real-time route planning to ensure that idle time and fuel consumption are reduced.  Vehicle Condition The IoT Fleet Monitoring app is always evolving to collect subtle signals about vehicle performance. If a vehicle has a breakdown, then that has an effect on downstream work orders and supply chain components. It’s now possible to automatically notify your drivers and dispatchers about what’s happened, and simultaneously identify any resulting changes in the downstream supply chain plans. For example, say a vehicle isn’t operational and so it misses its scheduled delivery time. Don’t panic. You can cancel the current consignment order and immediately enter a new order into the supply chain system.  By tracking the vehicle condition in real time, you can avoid such drastic breakdowns because you can schedule regular repair and servicing. The IoT Fleet Monitoring app comes equipped with rules for tracking fuel, battery life, tire pressure, engine oil, RPMs, engine temperature, and geofences.  Figure 3: IoT Fleet Monitoring app provides a real-time view into the condition of the vehicle. In addition, with information from vehicle service records, the fleet manager can initiate the scheduling of servicing and reduce unplanned downtime. Driver Behavior Studies show that driver behavior affects vehicle wear and tear. Good driver behavior can improve the resale value of the vehicle as well as reduce the maintenance costs to repair and service it. According to the EPA, good driver behavior can enhance fuel efficiency by 33%. Good driving is like eating an apple – it keeps the doctor away. Good driving leads to a lower number of accidents and lower insurance premiums.  Figure 4: IoT Fleet Monitoring app provides powerful, ready-to-use rules to monitor driving behavior. With the IoT Fleet Monitoring app, you as the fleet manager can activate supplied rules that relay information about drivers exceeding speed limits (alerts are sent when the driver goes too fast), hard braking or cornering, driving for too many hours in a row, or not following the prescribed route.

No Battle Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy, Helmuth von Moltke Introduction Optimizing transportation logistics is a key part of having an efficient supply chain system. Over the decades,...

Uncovering Decaying Supply Chain Links with IOT Asset Monitoring

A Tale of Two Wines I’ve spent most my life in the Bay area. The weather is mild, and the traffic not. Over time, I’ve become fond of a particular French wine sold in a chain grocery store. The wine had good character and depth, but its price initially made me think I’d be drinking vinegar! So, when I had to relocate to (hot! hot!) Arizona for two years, I found the same chain grocery store to buy my wine. Everything inside the store was arranged in exactly the same way as in California.  More surprising, they had all the same products, including perishables, as in my California store. And there it was -- my favorite cheap wine! I thanked the supply chain gods for making this happen. I took my wine to the corporate housing, feeling very much like I was home. I opened the bottle and let the wine breathe. First sip… it tasted not just like vinegar, but bad vinegar! Second sip… still the same. I went back and got another bottle… same taste. Obviously, somewhere during the transit of the cargo, this delicate, cheap wine was exposed to the hostile Arizona heat for too long. That killed it. I was so disappointed. So what does this really have to do with the supply chain process you ask? Decayed Links in the Supply Chain Process When we started doing IoT development at Oracle, one of the most common customer concerns was reducing theft and waste in the transport of perishable goods (for example, groceries, poultry) and semi-perishable goods (such as wine). Though we offer the best practices to tune your supply chain logistics to reduce your hazards when moving your perishable goods, we realized many risks still weren’t being  addressed. Risk 1: Asset Is Missing What do we mean by assets? An asset may be a keg waiting to be loaded in a yard, or it could be an excavator, a loader, lathe, drill, blood infusion pump, or a patient bed. Assets could be goods moving through the supply chain system, or a tool enabling the movement of those goods. Some of us sheltered within our software world don’t ever consider the loss of physical assets – it takes us by surprise. How can an asset get lost? Consider a yard in a typical manufacturing plant. Unlike digital records neatly residing in database tables, no dictionaries document the layout of this yard. From a layperson’s view, sometimes it just feels like there are disorganized scrap piles all over the place. It could be only a matter of time before someone puts something in the wrong pile. Even when the asset isn’t technically lost, it takes valuable time to locate that asset, corroding the productivity within your supply chain. This problem of missing assets can happen across the board – in manufacturing plants, breweries, hospitals, conferences, construction yards, and so many other businesses. So what’s the solution? Geofences – that is, set up a virtual yard whose geofence boundaries help you track your assets. Using geofences, you can track your assets not only between organizations, but also even within your organization. You can track all of your many assets, and get alerts in real time if any asset crosses the borders of your digital fences. Risk 2: Asset Can’t Perform Not all assets work all the time – this is just a fact of life. For example, think about the last time that you rented a car. The car rental service, as the service provider, schedules enough time between rentals to clean, service, and repair the car. But sometimes this isn’t possible. For example, in the last shift, the car rental agent forgot to turn the lights off on the car that you turned in. As a result, in the morning there’s one car that can’t be rented because its battery died and has to be recharged or replaced. Your car rental business won’t be as productive today until that happens. And because this is an unscheduled maintenance, there aren’t any mechanics immediately available to fix the car, and they’d have to reschedule their existing appointments. This requires filing a service ticket. Your supply chain is losing valuable time during which this car could have been rented and earning some revenue. So what’s the solution? Performance and condition tracking – that is, track the performance and the condition of any asset in real time, at any time.  We expanded the tracking feature to include business foresight: Make timely predictions about when your assets need scheduled maintenance. Our IoT supply chain process deeply instruments your asset, which means that you can order replacement parts as needed based on scheduled service. Best of all, you can automate the creation of a service ticket for your asset – no excess, time-consuming paperwork! Risk 3: Asset Is Stale Ever taken your iPhone to the Apple Store to get it serviced? I have. One of the first things that they check after opening the case is a sensor that tells if the phone has been exposed to liquids (I accidentally dropped my phone in my morning tea). If the sensor reveals that the phone has been exposed to fluids, then the warranty is negated. I’m happy to say that they still gave me a free replacement because they loved my sob story. This risk is similar to environmental monitoring of the fresh or stale status of an asset. The more sensitive an asset (that is, the greater the risk of becoming stale), then the higher the fidelity that you’ll need to provide end-to-end monitoring in the supply chain life cycle of an asset. Remember my wine? The temperature-regulated journey from France to Arizona may have taken weeks, but within just a few hours of the wine being left in, well, Arizona weather, it became vinegar. This is important to note: Yes, today we have refrigerated cargo containers; sometimes we even track them in real time. However, tracking a cargo container doesn’t guarantee that its cargo has been in the desired environment throughout the entire supply chain cycle. What we need to track is the wine, not its cargo container. So what’s the solution? At Oracle, we have various implementations deployed to monitor all kinds of goods such as groceries, beer, young livestock, and so on. What we’ve learned is that environmental monitoring isn’t as easy as implementing threshold alerts (for example, temperature is > 90 F). The metric that’s developed is usually a function of readings from multiple sensors and other context that may be residing in back-end information management systems. For example, in one of our implementations where we were transporting newly born livestock, we developed a metric based on ventilation (sensor 1), temperature (sensor 2) and age of the livestock (information from the enterprise system). Many times, we don’t immediately know if an asset has become stale in real time. For example, there could be extenuating environmental conditions that we still haven’t identified that could be causing premature staleness. For that reason, it’s vital that the environmental conditions persist. Later, during the supply chain process, if there are deviations in product behavior, then we now have the ability to derive new insights using advanced analytical techniques, including machine learning. For example, we may discover that the wine from a particular vineyard is more sensitive to temperature, so it needs to be transported at lower temperature levels.   Risk 4: Asset Health Disconnected from Business Processes One of the mistakes that I’ve seen early practitioners of enterprise IoT make is building isolated systems that focus exclusively on the physical and operational parts of the supply chain/IoT system. By doing so, they miss the opportunity to get the benefits from automating compliance and work orders. Let’s look at automating the work order. It isn’t as simple as tracking an environmental condition and triggering a work order in your field service application. Sure, this is useful if a product has broken down and we’ve determined that a work order needs to be created. However, this is a low-value automation. Often, we pick up signals that only suggest that something requires attention. More useful examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) answer the following questions, in real time: · Is my asset in the bottom 10% of its historical performance? · Has my machine been serviced as prescribed in the schedule? · Are my alerts coming from a particular shift/operator/factory? · Is my asset performance seasonal? Depending on these metrics, different corrective actions need to be taken. To develop such forecasts, the system needs to have a tight coupling with your back-end systems where asset maintenance and productivity information is stored. In addition, your system requires powerful analytical capabilities to detect outliers and trends. By capturing environmental and asset conditions throughout the entire supply chain life cycle, we can automate the gathering of information about how well your process complies with the previous KPIs. So what’s the solution? Enterprise IoT asset tracking – all of the previously mentioned risks exist in all businesses where enterprise IoT is being adopted. In developing our asset tracking application, we set these goals that all our customers should achieve with our product: 1. Extend asset life to avoid expensive capital purchases. 2. Track all assets per your own guidelines. 3. Identify personnel or equipment investments to maintain service levels. 4. Improve asset utilization. We also understood from our experience that IoT adoption for asset tracking isn’t a one-step process. The first step is to integrate asset tracking with your existing asset management system and then visualize it in a map-based dashboard. Next, you enable various sensors and set up geofence rules to detect if any of your assets has been misplaced. After these steps are completed, you can define rules to track the condition of your assets and integrate this information with your work order management system. As soon as these steps are complete and operational, your implementation team regularly reviews the historical data with advanced analytical tools to reveal new business insights. In our coming blogs, we’ll cover the design principles and IOT Asset Tracking features in more detail. 

A Tale of Two Wines I’ve spent most my life in the Bay area. The weather is mild, and the traffic not. Over time, I’ve become fond of a particular French wine sold in a chain grocery store. The wine...

Situational Awareness for the Factory Floor

I have perfect situational awareness. I'm like a poet. - Archer Prologue I was surprised to  see so many executives touring a metal galvanizing plant – the air was repulsive with the smell of sulfuric acid into which tons of iron were dropped for cleaning. There were the cold outside winds blowing into the open factory floor, and the harsh, hot flares coming out of the huge vats that held millions of gallons of molten metal. This wasn’t the place that I’d expect to see so many people in hard hats and expensive suits. This was also 2016, in one of the most advanced galvanizing plants in America. The company had just received a large order to be filled before Christmas; the senior leadership team had driven from HQ to be on site at 5 am to monitor that all went well. The company is no supply chain slouch. Quite the contrary, it’s a pioneer in inventing new logistics protocols for the business, and as a result, it has had tremendous success in the marketplace. Competing on price, quality, and agility – a result of a developing excellence in its supply chain logistics – the company has presence in all the regions of the continental U.S., with the ability to service orders with large cargo volumes in under a day. And yet, the executives felt compelled to be on the factory floor at 5 am to monitor progress for that order, for that day. Is automating  your supply chain enough? While supply chains have in reality becomes complex networks, the basic steps – procure material from upstream, add value to create products, and distribute the products downstream – are still largely accurate. Over many decades, the supply chain process has made tremendous strides in automating the transitions through these steps. For example, with SOA and BPM, suppliers and manufacturers collaborated and automated to make manufacturing lean and efficient. Process flows are now integrated across organizational boundaries, optimizing product lifecycle management, procurement, logistics, and order management. One can comfortably say that the supply chain is now largely automated. But is that enough? We assume that when a system becomes automated, it also becomes conscious and knowledgeable of its surroundings. In some respects, this is true for modern supply chain systems. When the transportation of a raw material gets delayed, or when a motor in the factory burns out, the supply chain logistics get updated – eventually. But as manufacturers build decision trees based on shorter delivery cycles, the lag in responding can be catastrophic. So, no! Having just an automated supply chain system is no longer good enough. Now, your supply chain not only needs real-time visibility, but also the ability to act and react in real time. Why do we need even shorter cycles? To have shorter manufacturing cycles, we need real-time operability on the production process. Let’s try to understand why businesses find value in reducing production cycles. With reduced production times, manufacturers can service their customers faster, leading to greater customer satisfaction. With more agility, manufacturers can keep a smaller inventory of raw materials, reducing costs and waste. By scheduling manufacturing to the latest possible time, manufacturers get more accurate data about customer demand, which eliminates lost profits due to incorrectly produced product volumes. As a consequence, manufacturers can now produce smaller batches of products that precisely meet customer orders, and can service the market currently not exploited by mass-produced products. The last point is especially vital. While we assume that the supply chain process improves the operational bottom line, it also can contribute to creating new products and revenue channels. Markets such as self-publishing and the delivery of perishable goods wouldn’t have been possible without significant innovations in logistics. How does the Oracle IOT Production Monitoring application call attention to a supply chain dark spot? We developed the IoT Production Monitoring application because we’re convinced that modern sensing technologies provide the real-time visibility that will significantly improve the efficiency of your factories, resulting in a more robust supply chain. We developed an application to help the Factory Manager, VP of Supply Chain, VP of Manufacturing Applications, and others to address questions such as: · Is my factory operational? What’s the status of my machines? · Is my factory meeting its production goals? · Can I improve the automation of incident management? Can I predict incidents such as machinery breakdown? · Can I compare current performance of a plant against its historical averages? Can I compare the performance of the plant against other plants? · Can I reroute customer orders to other plants to meet demand and schedules? What’s the value of providing answers to such questions, besides keeping the nicely dressed executives away from your factory floor? Reduce production downtime: Most modern factories run 24x7 to keep their operating costs competitive; time lost due to broken machinery has a significant detrimental effect on the company. Ideally, the supply chain system should detect and recommend servicing of the machinery before it breaks. If not that, then the system should accelerate resolution of any issue, that is, automatically file a work order with all diagnostic information. Track progress against a master schedule: Here’s an interesting question: When is it too late to know you’re late? The reality is that it’s already too late by the time that question is asked. A company, SC&O, typically reconciles the progress with master schedules on a batch basis, which was acceptable when the production cycles were longer. Now, however, with very tight production schedules, it’s vital that the progress is validated in real time against the schedule. Sometimes, the production doesn’t stop, not wanting to miss the schedule. It simply starts slowing down (it can be for a variety of reasons that ought to be instrumented). In this case, the trending performance needs to be compared with the master schedule. Adapt production schedules: Staying with the previous example, if the machinery breaks down, then the VP of Manufacturing Applications has real-time visibility into the workload of the other plants, and could reroute the customer order to another plant. Improve customer satisfaction: In many cases, I’ve found manufacturers instrument their production processes to not only find internal inefficiencies, but also to give visibility about the order to the customer – we thought you’d like to know that we’re putting finishing touches on your product and it will be ready to ship out tomorrow. Customer contact always goes a long way, especially when your customers have their own customers waiting for what’s essentially the next link in the chain. Add traceability: Providing traceability in your production process in not just for regulated industries. Knowing the environmental conditional when the product was developed can provide important insights into understanding not only the quality of the order that was filled, but also in predicting the quality of future batches. Summary The executives at the galvanizing plant took the acidity in the air followed by alternating blasts of cold wind from the fields and hot blasts from the furnace in stride. As commendable as these leader visits are, they take valuable time from the manufacturing schedules. The executives realized that they required a technology solution that scales to multiple plants, sites, and orders, and that provide rich insights into both the production and the consumption aspects of responding to a customer order. Next, we will discuss how Oracle’s IOT Production Monitoring addresses such needs. 

I have perfect situational awareness. I'm like a poet. - Archer Prologue I was surprised to  see so many executives touring a metal galvanizing plant – the air was repulsive with the smell of sulfuric...

Fitting into the IoT Operating Model

I was visiting a customer in Texas who had started migrating their IoT systems to Oracle. Previously, they had taken all the correct steps in designing the business models, KPIs, selecting device partners etc., but they then partnered with a boutique-consulting firm for their implementation. What they realized was that their partner was operating with different SLAs than their factory. As they scaled their implementation, they realized the lack of a fit and then decided to partner with Oracle (disclaimer: I work for Oracle). Very often, I see certain hubris from the software world when they attempt to provide solutions with IoT. Even in our past blog posts, we have talked about creating new digital products, making the manufacturing processes more agile (like software), etc.  The narrative is always that the physical world needs to catch up with the digital world. The easiest way I give a non-MBA definition of an operating model is by making an analogy to the car. People expect the steering wheel to be round. Regardless of how innovative your “next-gen navigation bar” is, it needs to be round to be adopted by the car manufacturers and the customers. In the same vein, the software systems providing IoT solutions have to fit the existing operating model of the factory.  Here are some of the dimensions of the operating model relevant to enterprise IoT.  a)    24x7 operational – most factories operate around the clock to remain profitable. What is required from their software partners is not just customer support (which can be forwarded to untrained call centers to achieve SLAs) around the clock, but tools to track that the sensors that drive your factories are “always on” and functioning correctly. Your software partners have to provide performance-monitoring dashboards to monitor the performance of your IoT system, and diagnose faults. These faults can range from sensors getting blown, networking faults, or sending incorrect readings. Without having such controls, it is not likely the enterprises will trust their operations to IoT b)   data retention – The IT departments – and even most system integrators – rely on their trusted technical platforms to provide an IoT solution. Sure, these software partners have data retention strategies using their database management tools. However, with IoT, we have new challenges arising because: a.     IoT will produce large volumes of data arriving at a very fast rate b.     IoT data is not transactional that can be modeled in BNF. This is time-series data, and we need new data management components like columnar databases. In addition, IoT data will include video and audio feeds, which are typically not stored in traditional databases c.      IoT data needs to be persisted for long periods of time so that we can get valuable insights by comparing the real-time performance over historical period, so that we can train algorithms with rich data sets to predict future events. These historical data sets sometimes run into tens of terbytes of data. Again, the way we manage data at such scale is different than how we traditionally managed it inside a database system. d.     IoT data needs to be categorized for efficient retrieval and management. With these large data sets, indexing for quick access becomes challenging. New taxonomies for data management need to be developed to partition the data for scale, easy access, and eventual obscelence. c)    real-time availability - Sensor data needs to be available in real-time. Very often, I have seen customers doing POCs with a few Raspberry Pi systems before proceeding to a full-scale deployment. During the deployment, due to design issues with scale, we see sensor feeds take a hit in latency, causing loss of SLAs. These sensor feeds start reporting data that is too late. In many cases, valuable data alerting the operator about the state of the machines starts getting dropped. IoT systems have a networking component, and we need to track and enforce SLAs around latency, and design a system that can scale to the eventual capacity. d)   security - IoT systems need be secure. In the pre-IoT world, we could only retrieve data locally by plugging a cable into a serial port. With IoT, not only do we expose this data to the Internet, but also we also now automate more of our mission critical steps by automatically processing sensor data. To build such trust in our IoT system, it is vital that we put controls for security. For example, with Oracle’s IoT cloud service (full disclaimer: I work for Oracle) each device has to authenticate itself using strict security protocols before it is allowed to publish the data to the cloud. In our case, we treat each device requiring the same authentication and fraud controls as an operator logging into the MES system. Connecting a device to a gateway is easy – but for enterprise deployments, we have to ensure that each connection fits into the existing security operating model that has been developed for your company. e)    operational visibility - IoT systems need to provide operational dashboards. To run an enterprise 24x7, not only do we need automated alerts that are integrated with your existing notification protocols (pagers, SMS etc), but we also need to integrate operational data from your IoT systems. Too often, I have seen customers complain about requiring a different tool to monitor a new system, thus making the enterprise “unmonitoriable” . If your enteprise has standardized on Kibana dashboards for monitoring a plant, then all IoT systems should have the capability to feeds its metrics and alerts to that custom dashboard  To summarize, here is my advice for practitioners of software engineering who are engaging in the IoT world. Learn how the factory operates. Fit within its existing operating model. Then, deliver on the promises of software!

I was visiting a customer in Texas who had started migrating their IoT systems to Oracle. Previously, they had taken all the correct steps in designing the business models, KPIs, selecting device...

Look Who Is Coming To Dinner (With IOT)

Over the decades, I have seen hardware engineers squirm when software programmers (such as myself) also describe us as “engineers”. To them, we are the antithesis of living up to their high engineering principles. We do agile and try to ship what we can in a matter of weeks; we overload test APIs for not only documentation but also for design specifications. We plan on patching our product on a daily basis, and we use hacking as an operating principle to get things done. Luckily, in most cases, markets and technologies kept these two classes of engineers mostly apart. For example, many networking hardware engineers work for companies such as Cisco, and many software engineers taking advantage of networking (distributed system engineers) work for companies such as Oracle.  That is now going to change.  One of the implications of enterprises adopting IoT is that the device vendors will have to reevaluate how they imagine their existence. Most likely, most of the new services we discussed in previous blogs will end up having significant software components, whether that be apps for your smartphone or tablet, new portals, or software that is embedded inside the machine that you operate or manufacture. If the organizations have to harness IOT’s opportunities, they have to undergo a digital transformation – of its people, processes, and culture. IoT will also bring along another guest with herself – the software engineer!  This blog is not about providing an overview of change management – instead, it covers a critical culture shift that device engineers have to do, to make the transition successful. Here are some architectural principles device engineers have to incorporate to compete successfully in the IOT market. Reduce Ship Times Many of us have been acutely aware of the difference in the design and implementation cycle of hardware products (months to years) and software products (weeks to months). Why does the hardware design cycle have to be so long? What cannot users patch their machines the same way they patch their software? For example, we have seen numerous cases of automobile recalls where it would have been more efficient if the cars could just be patched, like our iPhones. Similarly, with manufacturing processes being able to support the production of small batches, many wonders if the benefits of long design cycles in hardware development warrant the lost opportunity costs. Product owners have to challenge how end-end development times can be reduced. Track Product Behavior in Real-time With connected devices, we can monitor how our product will be used, giving us valuable insights into which features need to evolve, and which obsoleted. This is again a big culture shift from how hardware manufacturers maintain – or more accurately lose – their relationship with customers. Typically, there is a significant time lag to get any product feedback in the hardware world. In addition, by the time the feedback arrives at product managers, much context has been lost, making the feedback unactionable. Now, with connectivity to an IOT cloud service such as Oracle’s IOT Cloud service, not only can we get timely analysis of how the product is being used, but we can also start getting sophisticated insights about trending behaviors (see later blog on asset monitoring) Why is getting product usage data in (near) real-time important? By getting product usage data, we can recommend new services and add-on products in a relevant way (“we notice that you shampoo-clean your carpets every Sunday. Order shampoo today at a 10% discount to get it by next Sunday!”). In addition, by tracking which features get used and which not, product managers can quickly dispose the “appendage features” and focus on adding value in those that the customers use and value. Learn to Manage Large Volumes of Data In our previous blogs and sections in this blog, we have talked about getting valuable value from analyzing product usage over a long period of time. This data that has to be analyzed can extend into terabytes of data. Managing such volumes of data is a long shift for an organization that considers "data management" as moving values between different registers. In addition, current hardware organizations do not have the infrastructure or the skills to manage a large number of sensors streaming the data for analysis in real-time. Commonly, I see some of our customers generating more than one GB of data per hour, and requesting retention for that data for over two years! To address these issues, IOT vendors should consider using Cloud Services such as one by Oracle (full disclaimer: I work for Oracle) that offer cloud services that help connect and analyze large volumes of sensor data at scale without losing operational SLAs. Become a Service Operator Previously, we discussed how vendors have the opportunity to create new revenue streams from the product that they manufacture. One of the implied assumptions is that the device vendors have the skills and the tools to manage the large deployments of their devices in the field. Think about it. Today, for a typical (residential) network router, the product architect does not worry if one, or one hundred thousand, of such devices are deployed. Each router gets shipped individually in a box, and that is how most device vendors think. With the emerging business models in IOT, device vendors will provide add-on services and track real-time product usage across enterprises that have a large number of such sensors, and are distributed across different regions, perhaps even their customers. This is a very challenging problem to solve, and vendors need a lifecycle management solution for devices. For example, how would each device register to the cloud? How would each device send health update messages? How to track if the device was shut off or if the device broke? To manage the lifecycle of devices at scale, they have to partner with device management cloud services such as Wind River device cloud or Eurotech device cloud. To summarize, in the new world of enterprise IOT, software and hardware models and operating models not only have to coexist but coexist in a close setting. In this blog, we talked about some of the challenges the hardware teams will encounter. Making mental shifts, partnering with IOT Cloud Service vendors such as Oracle, and changing the DNA of their development teams can surmount these challenges. Next, we will talk about the adjustments the software people need to make to exist in the IOT world.

Over the decades, I have seen hardware engineers squirm when software programmers (such as myself) also describe us as “engineers”. To them, we are the antithesis of living up to their high...

Pitching for IoT

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #9e4b2f; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #9e4b2f} span.s3 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none} Have you read “The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail”? If not, just parsing the core concepts may suffice (for now). To quote from Wikipedia: Improving a product takes time and many iterations. The first of these iterations provide minimal value to the customer but in time the base is created and the value increases exponentially. Once the base is created then each iteration is drastically better than the last. At some point the most valuable improvements are complete and the value per iteration is minimal again. So in the middle is the most value, at the beginning and end the value is minimal For IOT adoption, I believe that we are at the beginning of the middle – for many verticals. As I discussed in my previous blog, with the exception of a few (albeit important) verticals such as aerospace & defense, high-frequency trading, enterprises are realizing minimal value by simply connecting the devices to the cloud, as tough as the technical challenges in integrating the devices may have been. But, by connecting the devices, we created the “base” (borrowing the book's terminology) and are creating a foundation for creating exponential value. … another segue…  In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced three new offerings – first, a wide-screened music-listening device (like an iPod) that could be controlled by touch. Second, a phone, and third, an Internet device. We know how that talk went. It turned out that Steve was talking about the same product! The device made amazing innovations in LCD, battery, networking, memory, storage, sensor technologies. Yes, iPhone – the device-- was a resounding success. Apple did not just make record-breaking profits from the sales of the device, but it expanded its revenues by providing new services on iPhone. By 2016, Apple was making over $24 billion in software and services from iTunes alone. I think there is a lesson in that for all of us making a living from IoT. There are now multiple examples of how traditional manufacturers have used IoT technology to create new revenue channels. BMW’s partnership with Sixt to provide a car rental service is an oft-quoted example. What is important to understand is that IoT provides an opportunity for manufacturers to move from an asset-centric transactional sales model to a relationship-oriented services model. Recently, we at Oracle (for one of the largest car dealership in the US) provided an IoT implementation that lets the car dealership maintain its relationship with the automobile owner after the sales event. By providing new real-time insights into the automobile after the sale of the car, the dealer was able to provide timely, efficient and relevant add-on services for their car. This, in turn, led to them significantly increasing their revenue for servicing. In addition, due to superior customer service, the dealer expects more recurring revenue – these car buyers will promote the dealership to their friends and family, and will be more likely to purchase cars from them in the future. We view a successful IoT deployment as one that is not only technically successful but also is on track to meet its ROI goals. In that regard, I have also found that simply improving the efficiency of an asset does not easily justify an ROI for your IoT implementation. Some may even argue that most modern enterprises already run efficiently (I disagree... see upcoming posts on “dark spots in supply chain”). Yes, there still exist paper processes, siloed information management systems that can be improved by tighter integration, but there are fewer opportunities to fund IoT projects if we focus on efficiency alone. To understand how to improve the top line with IoT, it is important to understand that IoT provides enterprises an ability to connect not with their devices, but with their customers. What this means is that the IoT engagement for your company has to start from the leadership, and it requires a pragmatic vision to stay competitive by enhancing your customer experiences by making it easier to purchase, easier to service, easier to use your product. We have seen examples where the same motor can be tuned to different needs via software, leading to lower ownership costs, eventually leading to enhanced revenue by capturing the long tail in the market. While developing services such as iTunes may seem revolutionary and ambitious, we still can take small steps to offer new services to build new revenue channels. Your manufacturing plant may sit on rich data set that (currently) never reaches the IT systems. What if you could provide real-time access to such data sets? What if you could provide historical data sets on your machine usage and breakdowns? What if you can automate certain alerts and feed them upstream to your customers (“We just finished manufacturing your product in San Antonio. We thought you may want to know”) or feed them downstream in real time (eg, due to an untimely large order, we need to order more Zinc) Another such example was the case for smart parking that we recently implemented at Oracle. Previously, the customer only had one product – the parking stall. By putting sensors in every stall, tracking its availability in real-time, and doing historical analysis, the customer was able to: ·     Use historical occupancy data to promote offers via its loyalty programs ·     Plan capacity for new parking lots ·     Provide real-time availability on electronic billboards on highways ·     Identify user in a parking lot to give relevant offers for food and showers In another one of our implementations, we are integrating a smart helmet and are using augmented reality for construction managers to share the progress of their project with owners. By using augmented reality with smart glasses and smart helmets, the construction company plans to improve its ratio of winning bids for new projects. Now, that is cool IoT! What is the takeaway? Sure, IoT is about device monitoring. Sure, we can take the data from the sensors, put it in the cloud and develop new metrics and alerts. Sure, that will improve operational efficiency, and it is important. What is also important is executing to provide customer intimacy in new and different ways, … which is what IoT is also about. 

Have you read “The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail”? If not, just parsing the core concepts may suffice (for now). To quote from Wikipedia: Improving a product...

Principles for Creating Value with IoT

part (a): Did we get IoT right? Recently I visited a small business owner who runs a modern manufacturing shop with robots. When we met, he asked, “why would I want to get a complex, cloud-based IoT system just to know if my robots are running? For this price, I can hire a (low-waged) employee to see if my robots are moving – if they stop moving, he can just text me!” The business owner is absolutely correct. If the only metric we are tracking is for a few machines to discover whether they are turned ON/OFF, I doubt we have a sustainable business model with IoT. Most of the devices and sensors worth monitoring already come with simple alerting tools. If they do not come with such controls, they can either be monitored manually, or their simple statuses can be inferred. Do you really need an app to let you know if your car stopped running? Seriously? We (then) started talking about how impressive it is to see a US-based manufacturer successfully compete in a free market, and the owner started beaming on how his factory excels in creating great quality plastic mold injections, and how they have to go beyond manufacturing products and deliver additional services to provide a higher value and justify the prices they charge. The supply chain is no longer as simple as picking up raw materials, building a product, and then shipping it (see upcoming post on building new revenue channels with IoT). There was something worth digging here... For small business and large enterprises, running a modern manufacturing business involves defining and tracking KPIs at a greater fidelity, ideally in real time. For example: ·     what is my resource consumption for a raw material in real-time? ·     how may defect parts am I producing, and how does it compare to historical averages? How accurate is that information, and how current is it? ·     how is my plant performing versus my other plans in South East? What is the cause for my San Antonio plant not performing as well as my Austin plant? We stopped focusing on the “I” in IoT (connected devices) and started focusing on the new data sets we would be now collecting… We went to the drawing board and started jotting down the metrics the owner would like to track from her IoT application if the technology and the economics of getting that data permitted. Unlike manual observation, your IoT application should richly harvest the device meta-data to capture the nuances of its behavior. In this way, we can recommend scheduling to service the machine, reducing downtime. In this way, we can start tracking production trends that may adversely affect the supply chain before the consequences become very punitive. Unlike traditional monitoring tools that come with your devices/sensors, your IoT application should have the capability to store large volumes of historical data, and be able to derive meaningful insights without requiring significant “data science” talent. For example, we can start comparing the real-time performance of a line with its historical behavior. We can compare the performance of one site with another site (VP-level insight). We can track product lineage! For example, we can track if extenuating environmental conditions existed when a particular batch of product was manufactured. Your IoT system should then be able to identify outliers in product or manufacturing behavior that it is observing. In addition, by correlating (historically measured) environmental conditions to product characteristics, we can improve product recipes. When we set out to build IoT Applications at Oracle, we focused not just on connecting the devices, but on improving business outcomes such as the ones listed above. So far, the response from the market has been amazing! Soon, we developed a list of metrics (not just production related, but also related to order fulfillment), technical capabilities such as customer portals and mobile applications to track orders and their current stage in the manufacturing process. For many of these new capabilities, the owner felt he could now create “new products” and build new revenue channels. He was excited. … I was also excited. We both had arrived at a realization – we now understood that IoT was not just about connecting the devices and tracking their status on a dashboard. Part (b) Introduction to Metcalfe’s law On May 22, 1973, Bob Metcalfe circulated a memo called “Alto Ethernet”. Besides hailing the invention of Ethernet, the memo also defined the Metcalfe’s law, thus stated: Metcalfe's law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). Since then, the law has been generalized to infer that the value of any network grows proportional to the square of connected nodes. For example, a social network with 1,000 users is 100,000 times more valuable than a social network with 10 users. That was not much of a difference in the number of users, was it? Many suspect that the same holds true for IoT systems. To develop an IoT strategy, understanding this law is vital. This law also provides a framework to quickly develop new services for IoT (to be discussed more in the next section). Consider an example where a business owner wants to track the production process on a manufacturing line. The obvious sensors to track will the ones on the robots in the production line measuring, for example, pick and place rates: ·     We can track how fast the line in the plant is producing products ·     We can track if a line is operational or not in real-time Umm. OK. Are you excited? Do you believe that this is a transformational technology? No?… good! You are correct. The LOB owner always had this information. We just made the presentation of the data slicker, that’s all. Now let’s get Metcalfe’s law operational… let us put sensors in all lines and in all plants. Besides tracking the pick-and-place rates, we also track the production shift. Now, we can start getting additional insights: ·     How are different lines in my plant operating? ·     Is there a shift supervisor under which the production efficiency improves? ·     Why is one plant always performing lower than others in the last week of February? (hint: it is in New Orleans – heh, heh) ·     Compared to other lines and historical averages, which manufacturing step is a bottleneck (we may find that that particular robot does not get serviced as often) These insights combine the power of real-time data access with IoT and advanced data analytics. The LOB owner did not previously have access to this information. This is the new value. Are we getting excited? Maybe? Let’s try harder… Now, let’s add different types of sensors. Let us add RTLS tags, RFID readers, and develop geofences with Oracle IoT application inside the plant to track production stages. Now, I can track KPIs such as these in real-time on a modern interface: ·     What line is processing a given customer order? ·     Did the raw material to service a given order arrive on time? ·     In how much time will my customer order be manufactured? ·     Did I make a profit servicing a given customer order? (this is a board-level insight!) In addition, I can create a notification service and an app that lets the customer track her order in real-time – this improves customer experience, no?. We still have not considered new services that can be created once we have this information. For example, we can charge different warranty rates based on the complexity of manufacturing the product etc. So, as you can see, the value of an IoT system increases with more sensors. Sensors are now cheap, and they are easy to assemble. By putting lots and lots of them, we create incremental value at a “square rate”. There, Dr. Metcalfe, did I use the term right?

part (a): Did we get IoT right? Recently I visited a small business owner who runs a modern manufacturing shop with robots. When we met, he asked, “why would I want to get a complex, cloud-based IoT...

Enterprises are ready for IoT

In 1988, Mark Weiser, Chief Technology Officer of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research center coined the term “ubiquitous computing”. 1988, just four years after the launch of Apple Mac, was still in a heady embrace of the potential of desktop computing. The democratization of computing –now called personal computing – and the freedom from Mainframes was tantalizing people. Weiser went further – he proposed unchaining the computer user from even the desktop. He argued: The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. We knew that this vision would actualize, one day. Things started feeling real in 1999 when a paper authored by Pister, Katz, Kahn argued that with the innovations in silicon technology, power consumption, and networking, now was the time to realize Weiser’s vision of ubiquitous computing by developing tiny mobile nodes called smart dust. Kris Pister even picked up funding in Silicon Valley to start a company called Dust Networks, which solved many technical challenges he identified in his seminal paper. However, the target markets – Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and others – felt that it was still too futuristic. The market was not there -- the company never reached its potential. In addition, in 1999, Mark Weiser passed away due to complications with cancer. For many, 1999 was the year when “the hope for Ubiquitous computing died…” ... Recently, at the SPS IPC Drives event in 2016 at Nuremberg, Rexroth launched an IoT gateway and demonstrated how it can be used to connect an original Robert Bosch lathe (build in the 1870s) to the cloud for doing real-time analytics.  Figure 1: From the demo at SPS IPC Drives event in Nuremberg This time, the demo felt different… We were no longer talking about futuristic presentations with smart cities, smart cars, or even smart jeans - we were talking about enabling a 150-year old factory with IoT by using existing IT infrastructure inside the factory (the broadband) a few cheap sensors (under $10), an access point, and a cloud service that can be set up in minutes.  IoT now had become mainstream. I have by now built many products in the IoT and the big data market – our systems that have been standardized for US Navy (DDS), used by over 7% of NYSE transactions -- our technologies even moved robots in Mars! But each implementation seemed custom, rarely qualifying to address a market. However, these days, as VP of IoT and Big Data at Oracle, when I visit our customers, I see us reach a tipping point that many in the industry had been waiting for a long time – a monetizable business opportunity that can be fulfilled with ubiquitous computing technology as it exists today! Here is why (and we will skip the usual “Google answers” on why now, is IoT real): First, the technologies behind building sensors (the MEMS chip) finally became cheap enough that we can now literally sprinkle sensors in our factory floors. So, yes, Silicon became cheap. Most of us in IoT know that by now (and yes, that is a “Google answer”). Second, IoT technologies have been allowed an incubation period to attract new and world-class talent to let technologies such as Zigbee, Raspberry and Bluetooth mature. Yes, sometimes, the cooling period during the “trough of disillusionment” is necessary. Anecdotally and recently, as a mentor at Stanford University’s startup incubator startX, I have started meeting students creating new sensors and services around sensors. IoT now is not just for kids with EE majors anymore; I see more employees with MBAs working in IoT startups than with EE or ME majors, and that is a good thing (see upcoming section on creating new business models with IoT) Third, the sensor ecosystem has matured; the ecosystem no longer requires extensive support from defense and research funding to survive – and that again is a good thing. Concepts evolve faster when markets move them. We have multiple companies competing for business to sell beacons, RFID tags and readers, RTLS tags sometimes for prices cheaper than a hammer! We have solution providers that can economically design sensors custom to your business – whether that is a sensor tracking Carbon Dioxide in a poultry farm or industrial grade temperature sensors that tolerate 800 F (at Oracle, we are using both for use cases in agriculture and manufacturing)! IoT engineers can now cheaply prototype end-end systems with Raspberry Pi systems, and then efficiently deploy them with custom sensors manufactured in small volumes. All this was not possible until now – the startup capital costs used to be too high to get into the hardware business. Just like cloud infrastructure services and open source software reduced the expenses in starting a new software company, robust and commodity-priced sensing technologies (OS, sensors, networking, power) are now spurring the economics of creating commercial-grade sensor networks. Finally, IoT started getting attention beyond the futurists. To, unfortunately, borrow a cliché, building a new market is a chicken-egg (or a multi-platform model) problem. We need a large number of customers to drive innovation and attract new talent, but the customer needs to see a compelling value proposition and new offerings to get engaged. Here is where the value of hype kicks in – line of business owners (in factories etc.) are now getting worried about becoming non-competitive if they do not engage with IoT. What does IoT mean for me? Which startup (nee “Uber”) will disrupt my industry? How do I quickly show some innovation so that the market still views me as relevant and modern? These are now questions I help solve for our customers on a weekly basis! Enterprises – manufacturing, health care, energy, and construction – have started engaging with big data and IoT in a proactive manner. With each such engagement, we are getting the oxygen and the fuel to creating transformative technologies, nourish an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, offer robust and scalable cloud offerings such as one from Oracle. Unlike 1999, now does not feel like 1999… 

In 1988, Mark Weiser, Chief Technology Officer of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research center coined the term “ubiquitous computing”. 1988, just four years after the launch of Apple Mac, was still in a...

Bringing Enterprise to the edge - Part II

OT-IT integration? Huh? As IoT makes in-roads from consumer into the enterprise space, the need to bring together the disparate worlds of physical assets (managed OT) and software assets (managed by IT) becomes imperative. According to Drue Reeves, Managing Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, most prevalent problems they will encounter are the integration of edge devices to the IoT platform, and the integration of the IoT platform to enterprise applications and services. Oracle and Wind River, an Intel company, have partnered to address this challenge. Wind River has presence on 2 billion+ devices and Oracle leads the enterprise application space with 110,00+ customers. Wind River offers Helix Cloud for device management. Oracle has enterprise IoT platform - Oracle IoT Cloud Service. Before we embarked on creating a joint solution, we spoke to several customers. And here's what we heard “Certainly a push button to send data from devices to cloud is table-stakes” Sr. Director of IT, Leading Medical Device Manufacturer “If Oracle can do this, it would be extremely valuable. It creates the business case.” - Leader in Building Automation Customer validation was clear mandate. So, we set out to deliver a solution that would connect a device to an enterprise app by simply pushing a button.   The Wind River and Oracle agents connect to two clouds (Oracle IoT Cloud and Helix Device Cloud), establishing two bidirectional paths: • Management path to Wind River Helix Device Cloud for device lifecycle management • Data path to Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service for telemetry and analytics Today, the agents run on several operating systems: Wind River Linux, VxWorks®, and Windows® and make it easier to connect existing devices to powerful analytics and enterprise applications in the cloud.  So, what?  Imagine this scenario - An industrial boiler is instrumented with diverse set of sensors. The moment it establishes connectivity, boiler starts pumping data into the cloud, securely. These sensory streams are captured at real time to drive predictive maintenance. Incidents are created and field service personnel is dispatched. But wait, before being dispatched, field service technician will troubleshoot the boiler remotely and fix it through through patching and upgrades.   If you wish to monitor and maintain your equipment/asset remotely, check out if it's one of the 2 billion devices running on Wind River VxWorks. And if so, its ready to be connected, analyzed and integrated with your ERP/SCM/Field Service applications using Oracle IoT Cloud Service

OT-IT integration? Huh? As IoT makes in-roads from consumer into the enterprise space, the need to bring together the disparate worlds of physical assets (managed OT) and software assets (managed by...

Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service 16.3.3 Release Announcement

We are pleased to announce new enhancements that haverecently been added to the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service. Customerswill shortly see their instances upgraded to the Oracle Internet of ThingsCloud Service 16.3.3 release. This release includes a number of newfunctionalities, enhancements and performance improvements. Oracle IoT Cloud Service Applications  The Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service platform nowoffers SaaS-style applications that are included with theplatform and immediately runnable. Oracle Internet of Things Cloud 16.3.3introduces the Asset Monitoring Application, which is the first in the seriesof built-in applications that will be offered with the Oracle Internet of ThingsCloud Service. This application  enables users working with both fixed and movableassets to perform tasks such as rapidly locating available assets for a job,assessing the health of their assets, and reviewing asset specifications whilein the field or office.  Spatial Analytics and Geo-fences Starting with the new release, users can analyze devicestreams containing geo-location data and determine how events relate topre-defined geo-fences. For instance, users can create geo-fences, which aredefined as polygons on a map, and create rules that trigger events if a deviceenters, exits or is near a geo-fence. More information about this feature is available here. Improved Stream Explorations Editor The Stream Explorations Editor provides anintuitive visual interface for interrogation of device data streams and enablessimple creation of advanced real-time stream analytics applications withoutwriting any code. Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service 16.3.3 now includesadvanced editing capabilities such as an expressions editor for dynamicallycomputed fields, a business rules editor for adding conditional logic and arange of built-in patterns that provide logic templates for common use cases.More information about this feature is available here. MQTT Protocol Support for Device Data Ingestion MQTT, an ISO standard (ISO/IEC PRF 20922), is alightweight messaging protocol for device to cloud communication. It is basedon the publish-subscribe model making it ideal for applications that aresensitive to communication latency and unreliable networks. Oracle Internet ofThings Cloud Service 16.3.3 introduces support for ingesting data directly overthe MQTT protocol (secure MQTT only) from devices and gateways using an MQTTbridge. This new protocol support does not introduce any additional client-sideAPI changes. Existing device applications can switch over to using MQTT byfollowing a set of configuration steps to provision the device to use MQTT astransport instead of HTTP. More information on how to set up MQTT support is available here. Built-in integration with Oracle Storage Cloud Service Oracle Storage Cloud Service offers secure and scalable, lowcost, object storage solution for storing and accessing data from anyenvironment connected to the Internet. Streaming device data can now beautomatically stored in Storage Cloud Service (separate subscription required)with a few clicks. In addition to this being long-term data storage, it enableseasy integration with Oracle PaaS such as Big Data Cloud Service and Big DataDiscovery Cloud Service. More information about this feature is available here. And Many Other Minor Enhancements Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service 16.3.3introduces many more enhancements such as an improved navigation menu in themanagement console, improved message ingestion throughput, and improveddocumentation, among others. New features introduced with every release aredocumented at http://docs.oracle.com/cloud/latest/iot/IOTWN/toc.htm.  For more information on Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service visit https://cloud.oracle.com/iot.

We are pleased to announce new enhancements that have recently been added to the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service. Customerswill shortly see their instances upgraded to the Oracle Internet...

Injecting IoT into Big Data Analytics

The Internet of Things, or IoT, presents many opportunities for retailers and consumer goodsorganizations to drive business improvement. Among these is the use of datafrom sensors, devices and products to improve Big Data Analytics. Consider thefollowing scenarios: Consumer ProductsBrand A household products company offers an internet connectedbutton in the consumer’s home to place a replenishment order manually, which isdelivered same day. Or, the product itself features smart packaging that“knows” when it’s nearly depleted and triggers the re-order autonomously. Demandis better understood among these customers and predictable such thatfulfillment is streamlined and anticipated. As a consequence of all this, highfrequency customers are isolated, a personal relationship is developed, andthey are targeted for testing new products and acting as champions in newproduct rollouts. ApplianceManufacturer An appliance company’s product sends usage information backto the company to identify potential quality issues and collect featureutilization to aid product development. The appliance also now acts as a conduitfor developing a relationship with the customer. Thus marketers can propose newways to use the product to improve satisfaction and referral, or recommend thepurchase of complementary appliances. In a commercial context, freezers andother storage or display machines that ensure product quality or safety,require maintenance, or have the capacity to measure inventory, present similaropportunities when the customer is a business (retailer) rather than a consumer. Omnichannel Retailer A retailer employs beacons in its stores which triggerpersonalized offers to customers on their smartphones. Or even better, theoffers also reflect product availability, which is tracked from the shelf, tothe storage room, to the distribution center, and reflects inventory acrossphysical and online stores. As a result, regardless of commerce channel,digital promotional offers reflect actual availability to avoid out of stocksituations for high demand promotions, winning the customer’s business andensuring a satisfying shopping experience leading to greater loyalty. This samecapability could also offer supplier brands the opportunity to bid on real timemobile promotional opportunities to avoid excess inventory. These are three scenarios playing out today in progressiveadopters of Big Data Analytics who recognize the potential of “data in motion,”or the type of streaming data often associated with IoT. Big Data Analytics isfundamentally about generating new insights on data in many formats from manysources. Data created by sensors, devices and products, incombination with many other sources, is invaluable in the above three scenariosto inform decisions related to: Demand Forecasting Product Launches Research and Development Customer Satisfaction and Advocacy Cross or Upsell Personalized Offers On Shelf Availability These are all analytical use cases which can be executedabsent IoT data, but are greatly improved with IoT data. This is todaysimplified with the Oracle IoT Cloud Service, which works in conjunction withOracle’s Big Data Cloud capabilities to realize a variety of high value usecases. The ability to ingest and manage data from IoT and numerous other sources within and outside a company is essential to powering manyBig Data use cases. To better understand this, check out Gartner and Forrester coverage of the Big Data platform markets. Companies are struggling to increase the scale of the usecases they can explore with Big Data. So simplifying the acquisition and managementof data, as well as the data science process itself, is critical. These are allattributes of the Oracle Big Data Cloud value proposition, which is furtherenhanced by the ability to seamlessly incorporate IoT data in many usecases via Oracle IoT Cloud Service. Gib Bassett,Retail and Consumer Goods Industry Principal Follow me on Twitter

The Internet of Things, or IoT, presents many opportunities for retailers and consumer goods organizations to drive business improvement. Among these is the use of datafrom sensors, devices and...

Join Oracle at Mobile World Congress 2016, Barcelona

Mobile World Congress, event is held in Barcelona, February 22-25, 2016, and brings together more than 94,000 key decision-makers from companies worldwide.Oracle will once again have a significant presence at MWC2016 to showcase dozens of products & services including several of our latest cloud technologies at the Oracle booth, Hall 3B20. Our 2016 solution demos include the latest products and services for Enterprise Mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud service solutions. For Mobility, learn how Oracle simplifies enterprise mobility with a comprehensivesolution that includes a secure and scalable platform to help transformyour business for the digital age —from turnkey mobile apps to customintegrations for on-premises and cloud environments. For IoT, discover how the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service enablesbusinesses to drive value from device data through analytics and eventprocessing and generate actions through integration with enterpriseapplications & processes. If you plan to attend the event, please be sure to stop by Hall 3B20. To organize a booth tour or to arrange a meeting with Oracle executives please contact your local Oracle sales representative or reach out to us via Twitter. @OracleMobile, @OracleIoT

Mobile World Congress, event is held in Barcelona, February 22-25, 2016, and brings together more than 94,000 key decision-makers from companies worldwide.Oracle will once again have a significant...

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Internet of Things Scavenger Hunt

I was recently talking with brilliant folks over in the AppsLab and learned about the scavenger hunt they ran in coordination with the Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG) at Kscope15, held recently in Florida. The scavenger hunt, being IoT focused and incorporating mobile and wearable technologies, peaked my interest as it drew parallels from where this is happening right on the ground (literally at Kscope15) to where it is, and will be happening soon, with Oracle Cloud product and services. The work flow of the hunt was straight forward: Register on site at the event or online (perhaps from your personal IoT enabled device/mobile phone) Get your smart badge, complete with a NFC (Near Field Communication) sticker attached Install the Kscope15 Scavenger Hunt app, including smartwatch apps, from the appropriate app store Find a task in the list in the mobile app you just installed Complete a task, many by having your NFC sticker (once provisioned) scanned by NFC readers hosted on Raspberry Pis using Java 8. Tweet with the appropriate hashtags from the account you used to register for bonus points But behind the work flow of the hunt was a great deal of work leveraging a wide set of technologies: APEX, Java, React, Node.js, REST, PL/SQL, Android, Raspberry Pi, NFC, REST and Twilio servers and more (for full details on how the scavenger hunt was implemented, read Noel Portugal's write up here). Several elements of the scavenger hunt stuck with me, that I've bubbled up as follow: The Approachable Nature of the Internet of Things IoT Enabled Device Cost and Availability - Most readers of this blog are well aware of the ever widening array of IoT enabled devices available, so these next statements surely won't come as earthshaking news, they will provide a very current example. Anyway, to bring the point across: While I didn't ask the price, knowing typical shoestring show budgets and given the fact that every attendee had one placed on their badge, the cost of the NFC (Near Field Communication) stickers used in the scavenger hunt appeals to even my frugal nature. They can quickly be found and ordered online from any number of shopping sites and be delivered right to your door within two days or so. And that's just one of a growing myriad of affordable types of end devices and sensors that are readily available. Temperature, humidity, light, sound, and so on. Plus the ridiculously affordable Raspberry Pi can be used as a gateway device and/or to host various sensors and more (check out Mark Heckler's blog series involving these topics as he moves the management of his own renewable energy embedded systems into the Cloud). Low Barriers to Entry into the IoT and Cloud Virtually every step in the creation of the scavenger hunt that was done on premises, barring the physical requirements such as attaching the NFC smart sensor to the Raspberry Pi, is or soon will be something that can be accomplished in the Oracle Cloud. And, from above, Mark Heckler is creating another prime example of what just one man can do with Oracle Cloud and IoT technologies and IoT enabled devices that could eventually be leveraged into real world solutions providing value even at low scale. The Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service is coming soon. Node.js Cloud Service is coming soon. Developer Cloud Service, Java Cloud Service, Oracle Database Cloud Service (complete with Oracle Application Express (APEX) as used in the scavenger hunt) and Integration Cloud Service are among the many that are generally available and thriving. In a very short period of time the convergence of Oracle Cloud Products and Services along with the Internet of Things as a whole will be, to harken back to a previous tag line, 'complete'. Full ALM in the Cloud; deployment in the Cloud; integration to Cloud services and On Premises solutions; gateways and end devices easily and securely connected. Simple. Integrated. Intelligent. (That's our new tag line, btw). The Internet of Things is here. And there. And soon to be anywhere an end device or sensor can be placed, verging on ubiquity over time. It's likely most of us are already garnering something of use from the Internet of Things, be that from a wearable or IoT enabled security system and/or climate control system.  And while many of the creative-yet-'fluff'-appeal inventions in the IoT will quickly disappear as being as useful as the Pet Rock™, we will soon be finding ourselves benefiting in ways that will be superlative in nature as we are entertained, as we have more data to make wiser business decisions, and as we ultimately find our lives improved, extended or perhaps even saved. Shameless Plug: Register for the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service webcast on October 14th to learn from Bhagat Nainani and Peter Utzschneider, with key partners Accenture Digital, GEMÜ and V2COM, how the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service can simplify how your business can drive shorter time to business value from IoT.About the Author Eric Renaud is a Senior Outbound Product Manager at Oracle working on Cloud Developer Outreach for Oracle Cloud Product and Services, including the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service. Just previously at Oracle he worked in the Java Product Group as Senior Outbound Product Manager focused on Embedded and M2M. Prior to Oracle, Eric worked at CollabNet as a Community Manager and Open Source Software Methodology Consultant for large enterprises leveraging Agile ALM SaaS and IaaS solutions in the Cloud. Eric can be reached via LinkedIn. Follow Eric on Twitter @ejrenaud Engage with us on Twitter @oracleiot and follow us here in the Oracle Internet of Things blog.

I was recently talking with brilliant folks over in the AppsLab and learned about the scavenger hunt they ran in coordination with the Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG) at Kscope15, held...

Join Oracle at the Asia IoT/M2M Business Platform Aug 25th & 26th

Join Oracle as we moderate the keynote panel for this industry-to-industry focused event. http://m2mbusiness-platform.com/jakarta/ Join Oracle speaker Cheng Kian Khor, Director, Architecture, in the Oracle Communications & Media Industry Solutions Group In addition to the keynote, Oracle's Internet of Things product team will be demonstratingour upcoming OracleInternet of Things Cloud Service, showing its industry changing potentialin the IoT and M2M spaces as it enables business to unlock additional valuethrough new services and by integrating IoT data with existing applications andprocesses. Join Oracle speaker Cheng Kian Khor, Director, Architecture, in theOracle Communications & Media Industry Solutions Group. Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service provides a lowbarrier to entry for integrating the Internet of Things into your digitalbusiness strategy enabling you to create innovative services faster than yourcompetitors with less risk. With Oracle as a trusted partner you can simplifyand optimize how your business gains insights and drives action from IoT bysecurely monitoring and controlling real-time IoT data, at scale, betweenconnected devices and your enterprise applications. As part of the Oracle CloudPlatform, the Oracle IoT Cloud Service provides an intelligent, integrated andsimple solution in a highly scalable environment.

Join Oracle as we moderate the keynote panel for this industry-to-industry focused event. http://m2mbusiness-platform.com/jakarta/ Join Oracle speaker Cheng Kian Khor,Director, Architecture, in the...

Why is the Oracle IoT Team at Mobile World Congress 2015?

We’re at Mobile World Congress (#MWC15)because it’s time for Oracle’s IoT vision to be part of your digital strategy --and we have some cutting edge solutions to show you. Namely, we’ll be showing use casesbuilt on the upcoming Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service. Our experts will show you how to easily deliverinnovative new services faster with less risk, as well as securely managebi-directional, real-time IoT data atscale between connected devices and your enterprise applications andtechnologies. Ourinnovative approach also features an end-to-end, IoT business use case successfullyleveraging the Oracle Cloud. Edgedevices will use the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service to integrate withand provide data for Oracle enterprise applications in the cloud or in yourdata center. Our demonstration will illustrate howto: Realize the value of IoT data at rest and in-flight, with other data streams, to improve business decisions and actions using intelligent devices, event processing & data analytics Integrate devices with business processes and enterprise applications to ensure the right data is available to the right application at the right time, to enhance operational efficiency and deliver new value-added services. Harness the business potential of IoT data with a standards-based cloud service that gathers and pre-processes device & application data & routes information to the correct back-end process & data store. For more information, comeand see us at MWC booth #3B20 or contact your Oracle Sales Representative.. Keepan eye on this blog or bookmark http://oracle.com/iot for future announcements on the Oracle Internet of ThingsCloud Service. http://www.mobileworldcongress.com http://oracle.com/iot

We’re at Mobile World Congress (#MWC15) because it’s time for Oracle’s IoT vision to be part of your digital strategy -- and we have some cutting edge solutions to show you. Namely, we’ll be showing use...

MWC15: Simplify and optimize how your enterprise realizes value from IoT data as part of your digital strategy

MWC 15 - Learn more about Internet of Things(IoT) Solutions from Oracle This year, Oracle is showcasing a usecase built upon the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service which allows yourenterprise to gain business insights and drive action from IoT data. The OracleInternet of Things Cloud Service will enable your enterprise to deliverinnovative new services faster with less risk by securely managingbi-directional, real-time IoT data at scale between connected devices anda wide spectrum of Oracle enterprise applications and technologies. Oracle will demonstrate how a varietyof intelligent edge devices can utilize the Oracle Internet of Things CloudService to integrate with, and provide IoT data for, a range of Oracleenterprise applications.  The demonstration will illustrate how to: Realize the value of IoT data at rest and in-flight, with other data streams, to improve business decisions and actions using intelligent devices, event processing & data analytics. Integrate devices with business processes and enterprise applications to ensure the right data is available to the right application at the right time, to enhance operational efficiency and deliver new value-added services. Harness the business potential of IoT data with a standards-based cloud service that gathers and pre-processes device & application data & routes information to the correct back-end process & data store. For more information, comeand see us at MWC booth #3B20 or contact your Oracle Sales Representative formore information. http://www.mobileworldcongress.com http://oracle.com/iot

MWC 15 - Learn more about Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions from Oracle This year, Oracle is showcasing a use case built upon the Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service which allows yourenterprise to...

The Internet of Things from a Consumer Perspective

Ask an average person what they think about the Internet ofThings, and you’ll likely get a confused look. For us who work in technology, the concept means a great deal, as itrepresents the latest frontier in the opportunity to leverage data andanalytics to fuel better business performance. I raise this distinction simply because to understand how totake advantage of new data sources from sensors and machines, it helps toconsider what it all means to the now commonplace mobilized consumer. After all, consumers don’t care about thecomplexities of a well considered customer experience, but they do recognize agood experience when it happens (and of course bad experiences as well). The stakes are as high as the hurdles for retailers, and reallyany business to consumer organization, with respect to the Internet ofThings. The use cases in CPG manufacturingand distribution processes are very compelling, for example. From the machines which produce goods andgenerate data that helps predict and head off maintenance or failure issues, to theflow of tagged goods (via RFID) through the supply chain, and knowing withconfidence their quantity and place relative to demand, there are many cases manufacturers are exploring. Likewise, retailers have the opportunity to pick up where suppliersleave off, and know precisely inventory and shelf position for all merchandise,both in brick/mortar and online stores. Withomni-channel shopping a condition retailers are struggling with, thiscapability is crucial to simply maintaining competitive parity. The approaches and options to attacking these opportunitiesvary considerably depending on who you talk to in the technology, data andanalytic market ecosystem. Deciding topilot something new is one thing, but embedding this form of intelligence intoa complex and often disconnected business is quite another paved with as muchrisk as upside potential. Bringing it back to the consumer, executives need to lookbeyond the back office use cases and analytics to the impact this all hason their consumer. Mobile is becomingthe ubiquitous interface between consumers and their environment, at any pointalong the path to purchase. New technology likeiBeacons get a lot of press due to the ability to connect a consumer to acontextual interaction “on the go,” but there’s a slew of connected devicescoming online as well. Mobile devices are not just for texting, emailing, usingapps, and browsing the web, but now serve as the connection point to theconsumer Internet of Things – thermostats, household appliances, securitysystems, automobiles, watches, televisions, and even pantry and household products. I think the stakes are huge for both retailers and theirsupplier partners, whether they approach the Internet of Things separately, orin collaboration. Regardless, what’snecessary is the ability to move quickly on the opportunity to connect thetracking of physical goods through the manufacturing, marketing and salesprocesses, to consumption by consumers. That’s a complex problem for which solutions now exist. Gartner describes “business moments” as cross-industrycollaboration scenarios that provide a differentiated consumer experience thatbenefits all parties – the consumer and the businesses working together todeliver the experience. Imagine a can ofpaint knowing it’s nearly empty and your car recognizing when you are going tothe hardware store to buy another. Yourfurnace then becomes part of the conversation, and notifies you to pick up anew filter, while the businesses supporting this experience try to connect youwith a location that has both items in stock. A mobile device today and in the foreseeable future is the one place towhich all of these interactions point. It is a somewhat lofty concept requiring a change of mindsetfor industries such as consumer packaged goods and retail that are often atodds, but makes sense against a backdrop of fickle consumer attention. The most successful business to consumerorganizations will come to be defined by the extent to which they can transparentlysupport such complex and differentiated experiences. For both retailers and CPG manufacturers, the future isnearer than they think, and consumers will come to expect and prefer satisfyingexperiences unhindered by limits imposed by disconnected businessprocesses. Imagining a mobilizedconsumer along the path to purchase is a good way to think about The Internetof Things. Gib Bassett CPG and Retail Industry Principal Twitter @gibbassett

Ask an average person what they think about the Internet of Things, and you’ll likely get a confused look. For us who work in technology, the concept means a great deal, as itrepresents the latest...

Q&A from Oracle IoT Forum

Hi please find the Q&A from the April 24 Oracle IoT Forum here. Please stay tuned for more events over the coming weeks. (The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.) Oracle Keynote: Navigating the Internet of ThingsQ: Can I come to Oracle and buy a pre-integrated Internet of Things solution or I need to cobble different Oracle pieces together?              A: Pre-integration and testing is core to the value of our IoT strategy. Oracle offers many parts of the IoT puzzle and can offer integrated solutions, please check with your sales teams for more details.Q: Who are your key partners in this end-to-end solution? Or is Oracle supplying everything?A: Oracle supports a broad ecosystem of partners that contribute value to IoT. Our partnerships span from system-on-a-chip vendors, device and component manufacturers, carriers, solution providers, SIs and vertical ISVs.Q: How is transmission media handled in the IOT solution provided by Oracle? Do you have partnerships with telecom service providers?      A: Oracle supports open standards for communications media and is therefore agnostic to the underlying network. Oracle is working with all leading telecom service providers.Q: Some edge devices aren't capable of running a VM today, how do you bridge that gap?           A: Our IoT strategy embraces both Java-based and native devices. That being said, with the recent release of Java8 (ME and SE) we have extended the availability of Java down to very small devices. While we are evaluating opportunities to go smaller, we believe that devices will increase sufficiently in capability that coverage will increase organically as well.Q: I would like to know how and where you use the OSGi standards to bridge the gap between the devices and provide 24/7 access. Thanks.             A: We see OSGI as a key enabling technology to enable that bridge and we have strong partnerships with companies that provide device management based on OSGi, like ProSyst and Hitachi.Oracle and Freescale: Maximizing Business Value – Leveraging Java on Connected DevicesQ: What are the some of the new service opportunities and why?             A: The Internet of Things enables new opportunities throughout the supply chain. ISVs have a richer application platform to build and deploy to; service providers can enable services where security and reliability are core requirements; and enterprises can more easily integrate the new world of devices with their existing infrastructure and applications.Q: How will all this change business models for everyone in the value chain?A: IoT will surely open new doors for all the value chain players. The solution providers and service providers will be in a strong position to think outside the box and offer new value-added services based on IoT to meet market needs. That will help increase opportunities for all the players. For the CPU designer and system-on-chip players, it means a broader use of IoT chip sets across a wider range of devices and vertical markets. Java has already helped make that a reality based on code reuse. For ISVs, trends indicate an increased focus on the value of software over hardware, we suspect this will drive new revenue opportunities. For the device makers who are heavily focused on BOM (bill of material) costs they will likely see greater margins over time on the new multi-function, smart devices demanded by an ever expanding IoT market.Q: Regarding smarter devices - What do you think will be the impact of these intelligence changes for device manufacturers? What should they be considering when designing their new connected products?           A: One example of the change will be to enable in-market remote updates for devices, thereby delivering opportunities to lengthen their life in the market. Additionally, common software elements can be reused across markets and devices, creating opportunities for the device manufacturer to invest more time into differentiation and new value up-stack.Simon mentioned standards and interoperability. Could you talk about that? Do we need new standards? Which ones? Or can we use existing ones?     It's a combination; we can reuse many existing standards, horizontal and vertical, and in parallel the new opportunities and challenges are opening up the need for new standards, many of which are already at advanced stages of development and delivery. The good news here is that for IoT to grow and prosper it does need to be driven by standards, therefore ensuring a level playing field for all.Q: In the space of data sharing between devices what are contribution to open source platform and standards?          A: According to Freescale, t is important that the efforts leverage the community for open source and be based on existing industry standards. This is certainly key to allowing for system expansion and interoperability among devices. Examples of this in the gateway are usage of open source Linux as a base BSP, M2M and M2C wireless/wired standards such as Zigbee, SubGhz, BLE and low power 802.11. Data handling between the device and cloud is handled via upcoming IETF standards around the Sensinode nano-server IP, to name a few.Q: What standards  are Oracle and Freescale directly involved in at the moment?               A: We are working on a number of vertical (such as healthcare) and horizontal standards with others in the industry. See the question above for more details around standards.Q: How is end device security achieved? Through crypto-mechanism?     A: We have multiple touch points across the supply chain. We view IoT security as falling into three areas (and the interplay between them across trust boundaries): Devices, Network and Services. Within the Device Domain we need to protect against challenges such as installation of malware, theft of sensitive data and services, or misrepresentation. There are multiple ways to handle device security. A popular approach that we have seen is to utilize a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) mechanism leveraging x.509 certificates on the device in order to authenticate the device into a system. Once data leaves the device, it can be handled either via protocols based on M2M wireless (i.e. SubGhz or Zigbee) or encapsulated over standard wireless such as BLE or WiFi.Q: Does Oracle or Freescale have an out-of-the-box gateway that can purchased and easily deployed?          A: Oracle is collaborating with Freescale on its IoT gateway solution based on i.MX, Oracle Java, ARM Sensinode Nanoserver and Oracle Cloud Services. Freescale anticipates it being available later this year as a preliminary reference design. This was shown publicly as a demo at the recent Freescale Technology Forum in Dallas (www.freescale.com).Putting Together the Puzzle: Role of Oracle Fusion MiddlewareQ: Can IoT be considered as sub-set of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud)? Or they just two different words for same concept?A: SMAC are IoT enablers. Mobility has helped drive proliferation of connected devices and defined the art of the possible. Keep in mind that the Internet of Things is not just about mobile devices. We are talking about a spectrum of devices beyond mobile which are now sending/receiving data.Q: How does the top half of your platform compare to using spark, spark streaming on top of a Hadoop cluster managed using Spring XD?           A: Event processing is just one aspect of our IoT platform. Event processing, integration, analytics, identity management, security and UI are the core set of services on top of which IoT solutions are built. Irrespective of big data infrastructure, an event-driven strategy should be in place. It should be able to scale, perform in-memory data processing and integrate with existing SOA/integration infrastructure. Not sure if this answers our question.Q: How is M2M different from IoT?          A: These two terms have been used interchangeably. From our point of view, M2M deals with the plumbing of devices with apps. IoT sits on top of the M2M plumbing layer where it leverages infrastructure services (analytics, process orchestration, security) to provide business value.Q: We have been talking to devices for a long time across various protocols. What is new in IoT? Is it just the mobility part (i.e. apps) or is it the contribution to big data?         A: Good question. I think there are some key innovations which make IoT relevant this time around: a)      Devices have become more powerful (and cheaper). It has become cost effective to embed hardware into smaller edge components b)      The cost of data transmission has reduced dramatically. So, sending data from devices to data center is not an impediment anymore.Q: Is Oracle Event Processing Embedded on ME 8 or Embedded 8?           A: Oracle Event Processing for Oracle Java Embedded is available for Java SE Embedded 8.Q: There seem to be a lot of Oracle Fusion Middleware products. How do we join them together for IoT solutions?    A: Please have a look at our paper for an understanding of how Oracle Fusion Middleware fits into the overall architecture. Q: What upgrade in skills and competency are we expecting people to have in their teams?          A: It really depends. Different layers in the value chain would require a distinct set of skill requirements. While an embedded developer would focus on building apps for edge devices/gateways and their interactions with the data center, an enterprise developer would need to start architecting solutions with newer sources of data.Q: The regulation and auditing demanded by business or governments will need to be designed into the solution or software. Are we aiming to provide an out-of-the-box module to simplify and provide a generic solution?A: Good question. Governance and compliance are key areas of focus. Our IoT platform is designed to interoperate with Oracle identity and governance solutions. Going forward, we are also working on centralizing the management of identities of different IoT resources through our identity management platform.Q: Oracle API Gateway deals with incoming data streams – what is used to manage northbound API streams and protecting those calls ?        A: Oracle API Gateway secures and manages both inbound and outbound data streams.Q: How do business models change with IoT? I’ve heard that a lot of companies charge for assets under management per month.               A: The business models are still evolving as a function of the customer's needs. We offer hosted and on-premise solutions depending on the requirements. We also partner with ISVs, OEMs and SIs. We don’t offer gateway devices, though. We focus on the underlying infrastructure platform.Oracle and Cisco: Securing the Identity of EverythingQ: You mentioned using Oracle Access Management - how many applications and what type of scale are you reaching with OAM?           A: We have nearly 2,500 web apps enabled with OAM. In terms of scalability, we are handling about 75 million transactions per day.Q: With regard to managing access across multiple device types, what types of devices are you planning for?     A: From an IT perspective, yes, we manage physical assets like servers, routers, gateways, laptops, mobile phones, tablets etc. There is an identity component attached to all of them and we have our focus on these devices right now.Q: Your data model is very interesting – noticed you generalized assets. Are you managing any physical assets with this model? A: Yes, we are managing the physical assets like mobile devices, personal devices, servers and so on.Q: Can you discuss how many people resources it takes to manage your operational deployment on a day-to-day basis and what ratios of people to technology you use to factor your deployment?               A: We have a team of 15 or so FTEs and mix of contractors. Our team is managing multiple technologies with expertise in one or more areas.Q: I notice you are modeling service providers as resources. Can you provide an example of a policy that would control access to or from a service provider? A: A service provider is providing a resource with a specific capability. But this service provider is in the cloud. So, a policy could be that the user should be accessing this SaaS provider using a trusted device from the corporate network or you could access it from a public network, but the data view would be limited.Q: Do federated solutions like OpenID play a role in this data model/identity typology?   A: Absolutely. Federation is going to be the center of this. New standards like SCIM, OAuth, OpenID Connect are going to play a critical role. Some of these standards are still in their early stages and as industry evolves, hopefully, they will become more stronger and prominent.Big Data Analytics in the Internet of ThingsQ: How much IoT data will be at IoT gateways for real-time processing vs. how much IoT data will need to be actually stored on the cloud and/or the data center?               A: We see the market embracing gateways as the means to enable IoT decision-making closer to the edge device for better time to value. The gateway has become an intelligent extension of the data center and is growing in importance. We have close partnership with companies like Freescale to make that happen and we feel Java is the proven platform for a wide array of IoT devices and gateways. Now in terms of where Data resides, that has a lot of dependencies.Q: What sort of dependencies?A: Realistically, data at the gateway will be stored for a limited period of time. Gateways generally are not going to have large storage capacity. At the data center there are several options depending on the type of data and use for it. For example, as events stream in you will often have event processing software like Oracle Event Processing similar to the gateway. In the data center you would want to cache recent events in a low latency store like Oracle NoSQL Database or Oracle Coherence. For longer-term storage of most events you would likely use a data reservoir based on Hadoop. Just store it there and figure out later what kind of analysis might make sense to pull out trends or other information.If we take smart meters as a typical example, then you would use Hadoop rather than the data warehouse to store all the readings from the meters, which might come every 15 minutes or less. But you would definitely use the data warehouse to store the final monthly reading which was used to calculate the bill for the customer. So: at least three different places where you might store data in the data center. There could be others depending upon your use case, existing skills and infrastructure.Q: The examples you've quoted involve an incredible granularity of data and relationships. How does the analysis even get done by a team that isn't skilled to handle the data?  A: There is no getting around the need for skills. If the organization does not have the needed analytic skills then they will need to invest in training, hiring new people, or finding a suitable partner who has the skills. Alternatively, or perhaps in addition, look for big data solutions that enable you to reuse existing skills as much as possible. For example, can you use SQL to query and analyze that new data? Or do you have in-house skills in something like the R language which is widely used and available on platforms like Hadoop as well as Oracle Database?Oracle and Hitachi: Implementing the Internet of Things to Become an Enterprise of ThingsQ: As a traditional manufacturer, does IoT play in my industry?  A: Manufacturers will see major benefits in areas like prognostics/diagnostics, supply chain automation, distribution management, asset management, and even innovation. I think this is an especially interesting arena.Q: In your experience, are IoT initiatives typically sponsored/managed by the IT organization and run through the CIO’s office?      A: It's a mix. What makes IoT unique (and interesting) is that the concepts cannot be implemented by IT on its own... or business on its own. It's a partnership, more often than not, initiated by the lines of business.Q: Our organization does not really have a clear IoT strategy in place. How would you recommend that we get started with establishing an IoT strategy and then delivering on it?A: Let's talk about one of our Enterprise of Things workshops. We can help work through ideas, roadmaps, etc. Happy to help.Q: Where will the budget for IoT technology come from – IT or line of business? A: Yes. ;) LOB will likely initiate, but IT will own/manage.Q: From a consumer point of view, IoT will introduce more products that vendors will want people to buy, while wages are stagnant. How will that play out?             A: Two thoughts: 1) Don't think of IoT as just applying to the consumer sector (e.g, Nest, Fitbit, etc.) but think of the applications in the enterprise setting; 2) In either setting, IoT can introduce efficiencies and savings that deliver ROI, eliminating the investment concern (assuming the hurdle isn't too large).Q: Can you talk about how IoT and big data intersect and relate to one another?               A: In the next few years, it is estimated that more than 40% of ALL data will have been generated by "things", so big data and IoT are inextricably linked. Success in one doesn't exist without success in the other.Q: How do commercial off-the-shelf business applications fit into the overall picture?      A: They matter. Big time. Take for example Oracle Enterprise Asset Management [part of Oracle E-Business Suite]: having automated linkages into the self-reporting assets is a big play. Similar value can be added by feeding data from shipping containers directly into logistics applications like Oracle Transportation Management, by connecting mobile device sensors to customer experience solutions, and more.Oracle and Verizon Telematics: Fast-paced Innovation, Disruptive Business Models, Monetization OpportunitiesQ: What do you think will be the evolution of telematics services?            A: Verizon Telematics started several years back as Hughes Telematics, providing classical telematic services such as automatic crash notification, emergency call, roadside assistance. Innovation was in the DNA of our company and we were the first one in the world to introduce a mobile app to control your car, and among the first to launch services such as geo-fencing and usage-based insurance. Although innovative, all these services are still based on traditional M2M with data collected from the device and transmitted to a central processing center, and on older network technologies such as 2G and 3G. Today with a 4G pipe into your car we can offer next-generation telematics service with a lower latency and more bandwidth for applications like infotainment, gaming, and social media so that users can take their digital lifestyle to the road. We will see the car be much more connected to our homes as well as our entire digital lifestyle.Q: Are there other service providers besides Verizon Telematics that adopted the Oracle Connected World solution?               At the core of the Oracle Connected World solution are pre-integrated, productized, and standard-certified concept-to-cash solutions by Oracle Communications. These solutions have been implemented by almost 100 clients around the world from large global Telco operators to smaller specialized providers, from mobile operators to cable and satellite operators, from providers of cloud services to M2M service providers. Q: Does Verizon Telematics deliver its services only on the Verizon network? A: While we can certainly benefit from having in house the most comprehensive and reliable network in the US, our telematics and M2M services are network-agnostic and we deliver them in many countries not covered by the Verizon network, such as China or many European countries. Verizon Telematics’ vision is to connect to all things and all parties. Connecting to all things means to any device and any network, delivering any service and any content. Connecting to all parties means to connect to any OEM, any partner, any developer, and any end-user.Q: Do you need all the applications listed in the Oracle solution to benefit from it?Not at all. Oracle solutions are designed and built with modularity, extensibility, and openness in mind. Take the example of Verizon Telematics. Initially they used Oracle Call Center Anywhere, Oracle Siebel as CRM and Oracle E-Business Suite as ERP; that is all they needed to handle their B2B model. When they expanded their operations to include the B2B2C model they needed to bill hundreds of thousands of subscribers and so needed a billing system that could scale their business to handle the new volumes and that could easily integrate with their existing applications, without disrupting their on-going operations. So they selected Oracle BRM and the productized integrations based on Oracle AIA and Oracle Fusion Middleware. Later on, Verizon Telematics added Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and leveraged it to sell analytics to its business clients. Finally Verizon Telematics added Oracle Communications OSM as central order management to improve order visibility and order fallout management. The modularity of the Oracle solution architecture enables a service provider to start with the components needed by the supported business models and add more components only when the business requires it.Oracle and V2COM: Delivering Smart Grid Solutions via the Internet of ThingsQ: Is the V2COM solution applicable only to South American market?      A: No! The whole solution is highly customizable so that we can rapidly meet the client's needs in any utility market, not only electricity and not only South America. The meter protocols are embedded as needed and the data required by the client is sent to MDM, which is customized to meet each market’s needs and regulations.Q: How was the communication between meters, gateways and back end secured?         A: We used industry standards for all data leaving the meter to the gateway and to the back end. The data leaving the meter is encrypted and hashed to prevent tampering using AES/CGM protocols. The network (ZigBee) has encryption by default, so that is covered. At the gateway, the data is transferred to the backend using a private APN (Access Point Name), so that only carrier-approved devices can join it. And this APN connects to the backend using IPSec VPN, so the whole link is secured. To prevent local tampering in the gateway, the data is further encrypted and stored securely with the gateway private key; even with local access, you can't get to the data. This security is already enabled in Java so you can use the same PKI (public key infrastructure) that you would use on the server-side.Q: Is there a particular reason why Zigbee was chosen for the communication between meters and gateways?          A: ZigBee is a well established standard that has all desired features for IoT: ·        It is security-enabled from the start, so we don't have to worry (much) about it.·        It forms a mesh network that allows multiple hops and self-healing when nodes are damaged or out for any reason. Also, it spans for a wide area and a good amount of nodes for our use case (200 ). ·        It uses open frequencies like 2.4GHz, so we don't require any special license ·        As it is a standard, we can choose from many vendors, preventing vendor lock-in.Q: You mentioned Oracle positioning Java ME Embedded and Java Card for IoT devices and sensors. Does that mean that Oracle IoT platform only supports Java-enabled devices?   A: No. We certainly see different types of edge devices emerging in the IoT space. Some of it is going to be fairly basic single-purpose sensors and actuators with a minimal firmware stack.Q: Does Oracle MDM support distributive generation business processes for consumers who utilize renewables, such as solar panels, to generate their own electricity?          A: Yes, the solution supports distributive generation business processes. It captures and validates the data at each service point and enables meter-to-bill business processes such as net metering, as well as providing the ability to conduct analysis on data.Q: What are some examples of how the solution has generated business benefits?            The solution provides many benefits and costs savings. Some examples are: reducing truck rolls through automated meter reads as wells as other commands such as connects and disconnects, identification and prevention of theft to reduce loss revenue; proactive monitoring of devices to prevent issues and enable more reliability; improved customer satisfaction by providing customers information to make more informed decisions, as well as the ability to provide customers more dynamic rates and programs.

Hi please find the Q&A from the April 24 Oracle IoT Forum here. Please stay tuned for more events over the coming weeks. (The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is...

Oracle releases Java ME 8, Ideal platform for IoT devices

Java ME 8 is now Generally Available - Java ME 8 is an ideal platform for intelligent devicesand an optimal foundation for developers to build new services for the IoT.Java ME 8 was featured during the Java 8 launch. Java is an ideal platform forintelligent devices and an optimal foundation for developers to build exciting newIoT services. Java ME 8 is a major update to theexisting Java ME platform incorporating a large set of updated and newfeatures, including: Java language and API alignment with Java SE 8, supportfor modern web protocols, a comprehensive application model, advanced securityfeatures and standard APIs for power management and interaction with a broadset of standard peripherals. The significant enhancements in JavaME 8 are designed to deliver faster application performance, which isespecially important on less powerful devices. With this release, Java ME and JavaSE are converging, enabling a more consistent developer experience and morecode re-use across the platforms. The new Java language enhancementsin Java ME 8 leverage recent Java SE features to allow developers to writecleaner, more efficient code that can be deployed across both platforms and thenew embedded-specific capabilities of Java ME 8 can help to further shorten andsimplify development cycles. Oracle Java ME Embedded 8 will bethe Oracle implementation of the Java ME 8 standard. Oracle Java ME Embedded is now generally available as a binary runtimefor Raspberry Pi Model B (ARM11/Linux) and Qualcomm IoE platform(ARM9/Brew MP). JavaME SDK 8 is now generally available to support development of OracleJava ME Embedded 8 applications on an emulation runtime for Windows 7, as wellsupported hardware platforms.

Java ME 8 is now Generally Available - Java ME 8 is an ideal platform for intelligent devices and an optimal foundation for developers to build new services for the IoT.Java ME 8 was featured during...

IoT end-to-end demo - Remote Monitoring and Service

Historically, data was generated from predictable sources, stored in storage systems and accessed for further processing. This data was correlated, filtered and analyzed to derive insights and/or drive well constructed processes. There was little ambiguity in the kinds of data, the sources it would originate from and the routes that it would follow. Internet of Things (IoT) creates many opportunities to extract value from data that result in significant improvements across industries such as Automotive, Industrial Manufacturing, Smart Utilities, Oil and Gas, High Tech and Professional Services, etc. This demo showcases how the health of remotely deployed machinery can be monitored to illustrate how data coming from devices can be analyzed in real-time, integrated with back-end systems and visualized to initiate action as may be necessary. Use-case: Remote Service and Maintenance Critical machinery once deployed on the field, is expected to work with minimal failures, while delivering high performance and reliability. In typical remote monitoring and industrial automation scenarios, although many physical objects from machinery to equipment may already be “smart and connected,” they are typically operated in a standalone fashion and not integrated into existing business processes. IoT adds an interesting dynamic to remote monitoring in industrial automation solutions in that it allows equipment to be monitored, upgraded, maintained and serviced in ways not possible before. Consider the above scenario, where temperature sensors are used to monitor the health of remotely deployed equipment. The incoming data associated with optimal operating temperatures for equipment is analyzed in real-time to detect equipment malfunction/failure. The data coming from these temperature sensors is analyzed locally in a smart gateway, which triggers any local alerts based on operational inconsistencies. The smart gateway aggregates the raw temperature data, filters it, and sends it to the back-end for further analysis. The data is relayed to the back-end via a secure gateway that secures it while also providing authentication and authorization capabilities. Such events, in reality, could run into thousands or millions every second. Event processing engine at the back-end helps filter out unnecessary noise. It could look for consistent threshold breach alerts from an individual machine or aggregate alert data originating from multiple gateways to identify if it’s a failure across broader set of machines. A business process triggered by the event handler automates a sequence of actions to remedy the situation. Should the alert require action, the appropriate technician is contacted to resolve the issue. The technician analyzes the service history, operating conditions, and other data using business intelligence (BI) and analytics and remotely troubleshoots the equipment, all using a mobile device. The technician also uses his mobile device to order parts that require replacement. The steps are detailed in the above figure. Demo Setup The temperaturesensor is connected to a raspberry pi via a USB interface. The raspberry Piacts as a smart gateway and has Java embedded suite and the Oracle EventProcessing Embedded running on it. The raspberry pi is hooked onto a router viaits Ethernet port. The router is connected to the back-end server and creates aprivate wifi network for mobile devices to connect. The back end server running on this laptop has Oracle EventProcessing, Oracle SOA & Business Process Management, and Oracle ServiceBus, all running on Weblogic server. All the information is accessed through an iPad running anOracle ADF Mobile application. It can be any mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet. Demo Setup iPad Screenshots of the ADF mobile application to perform remote operations Check out this video for a walkthrough of the demo The demo highlights the following benefits With real-time statusupdates on aspects like temperature, humidity, pressure, on/off status orpretty much any condition that can be measurable, appropriate action can beinitiated to remedy the situation. Businesses can minimize down-time andimprove operational efficiencies using real-timeaccess to monitor and manage remote assets.This is highly cost-effectiveas you will save a lot of time and money by eliminating the need for physicalsite visits to check asset conditions. Critical information such as statusupdates, equipment conditions, trouble-shooting history, service records alongwith real-time alerts or notifications will be available to be analyzed furtherto replace new equipment if necessary. Having a historical record of assetconditions, helps you maximize efficiency, optimize your operations and ensureregulatory compliance. Furthermore, it also helps you improve planning andlogistics in ordering replacement parts or new equipment and improve servicesand increase revenue. You will have the ability to not just monitor the status ofyour equipments remotely, but do so on any mobile device, tablet or phone. The userfriendly interface can be used to view and initiate any action, define andadjust measurement alert thresholds, and view asset locations on a map, all inone single dashboard for a better userexperience. Questions? Please reach out to rui.dai@oracle.com, harish.gaur@oracle.com or harish.doddala@oracle.com

Historically, data was generated from predictable sources, stored in storage systems and accessed for further processing. This data was correlated, filtered and analyzed to derive insights and/or...

Role and Tool for Real Time Processing in IoT

Everyone acknowledges that IoT will improve our productivity by automating tasks like getting relevant information from a machine to a Cloud Service for Repair or Replenishment. Large numbers of folks also agree that Big Data has an important role to play. For example, crunching data from hundreds of sensors in a turbine and predicting failures. However, relatively less number of folks understand the role of Real Time processing in Internet of Things. After all if I have the ability to reduce my usage based automobile insurance premium, I would appreciate if instead of sending a monthly report I can get an alert to change my behavior while I am still in the middle of my long drive.If Real Time Processing of data was difficult in simple transactional systems, consider the complexity when you are dealing with streaming data plus you have to combine multiple data sources like information of my trip and the data coming in constantly from the Telematics module in my car. So you have to learn a new tool. While you might be familiar with Hadoop, you should familiarize yourself with Storm. Storm makes it easy to reliably process unbounded streams of data, doing for realtime processing what Hadoop did for batch processing.Oracle's solution for building application to process streaming data in real time is Oracle Event Processing. Oracle also offers a lighter weight version of OEP for Embedded Development on ARM and x86 devices. Such devices include Home Automation Gateways, Smart Meter Aggregators, Healthcare Hubs, Industrial Gateways. Yes, if you can take decision without needing any more data from the backend, then why not do it at the Gateway/Aggregator level and not send all the streaming data back to the data center. You might still need to send the data back for other use cases, but at least your real time decision making latency is reduced considerably. So what are the strengths of OEP. Here are some key points - 1) OEP provides infrastructure and guidelines for developers to create scalable and highly available Event processing networks (EPN).2) OEP provides out of the box Adapters for easily consuming data coming in different protocols and formats. Of course you are free to write your own adaptors.3) Oracle CQL is a rich formalized Query Language optimized for concise expression of temporal queries similar to how SQL is optimized for expression of static data queries. Out of the box functions augment the core language. 4) Oracle CQL is augmented by data cartridge framework allowing you to tightly integrate other domain data types and functions. Following Data Cartridges are available – Oracle Java, Oracle Spatial, Oracle JDBC, Hadoop. Oracle JDBC cartridge allows you to write applications merging streaming data with geo fencing functions available from Oracle Spatial or predictive analytics capabilities of Oracle Advanced Analytics.5) Pre integration with Oracle Coherence for local and distributed cache. You can integrate a cache system with your Oracle Event Processing application so that the cache is available as source or destination for data your application uses, including event data. Integrating a cache can provide access to relatively static data at a speed that is well suited to an application that handles streaming data.6) Persist the events that flow out of a component of the EPN to a store and then play them back at a later stage. This helps debug a problem with a currently running application. If you have been recording the events at a node in the EPN when the problem occurred, you can later playback the same list of events to recreate the problem scenario for debugging purposes.7) OEP Visualizer is a rich Web 2.0 application that displays OEP Data in a useful and intuitive way for admins e.g. latency and throughput graphs display the amount of time it takes an event to pass through the specified stage or path in the EPN or the number of events passing through, respectively. EPN Configurations can be changed through the Visualizer. All this can also be done programmatically through available JMX APIs.8) OEP architecture is highly modular based on OSGi. Adapters and other components involved in implementing data feeds can be dynamically configured/activated/suspended via a lifecycle API (SuspendableBean, ResumableBean). Changes can be made dynamically to CQL queries. In business implementations, business rules are very dynamic. This also limits testing required for changes.9) OEP integrates well with Oracle SOA.  It is available as a part of Oracle SOA Suite and can be used in SOA Composites. So explore the role of real time processing in your IoT application with OEP and share with us what cool application you came up with. Fast Data enabled by OEP brings more value to high velocity sensor/device data. This enables new services, better customer experience, improved efficiency, higher quality in operations.

Everyone acknowledges that IoT will improve our productivity by automating tasks like getting relevant information from a machine to a Cloud Service for Repair or Replenishment. Large numbers of folks...

Internet of Things Platform Demo (Podzilla) at OOW 2013

The Internet of Things (IoT) platform was showcased at the demogrounds location at Moscone South at Oracle Open World 2013. The demo garnered significant attention and this post attempts to explain what the demo was all about in case you missed it.  IoT is poised to be the next big thing in healthcare. Procedures are being performed remotely, real-time information such as heartrate, blood pressure etc is collected, stored and is being used to alert emergency services when action is needed. Some emergency situations warrant an ambulance to be dispatched on location to attend to the person.  Falling at home is a common cause of injury for elderly people living alone. Sometimes the injuries might even render the person immobile or unconscious. Consider a situation when an elderly person were to fall down and if this sudden burst of activity in the sensor (implanted in a wrist band worn by the individual) could trigger an emergency service. The IoT platform demo showcases this scenario through a Home Gateway Application for remote healthcare monitoring. Lets look at a demonstration of this scenario where devices essentially talk to each other and handle the situation with very little human intervention. Home Gateway Application - The home gateway application, (see image) enables us to have our elderly person living at home, while we control access to the home through the doors, and monitor the activity of the person. A Java card and an RF ID card reader (see left of the image) are used to control access to the security configuration system. The java card prevents someone to be able to break into the security access system and reconfigure the controls. The java card is secure enough that it has been widely adopted by many organizations including finance companies around the world for security applications. Also, a selection of RF ID tags grant access to specific individuals who are authorized to unlock the door. The card reader and the tags control the door through the gateway. The gateway device (in the second column of the devices in the image above) is essentially running an OSGi container, Java Embedded Suite and Oracle Event Processor Embedded in an ARM based architecture. When the authorized tag is placed against the card reader, the door is unlocked. The gateway gets the message from the RF ID tag reader to unlock the door. It verifies access against a local database whether to unlock the door. The decision is made in gateway as opposed to an external communications link. You dont want to be at the mercy of an external communications link to control access to the door. Some of the analytics are best performed locally. A Tablet display (in the bottom center of the image) runs an access manager application which is an ADF mobile application which is used to change the security configurations. One can also view a log of all the activity in the front door like who accessed the door and at what times, and if there were any unauthorized entries etc. The application can potentially run on any iOS or Android device. It is thus possible to remotely monitor the activity of the elderly person living at home and also have access to the security environment and view all this information on a tablet (or a mobile phone or a browser) running on any platform. If the elderly person falls over, the sun-spot device, which is used as an activity sensor in this demo, records this sudden burst of activity. The activity is also logged in the ADF mobile application which can be viewed in the tablet. The device waits for the person to reset it. If the person does not respond or is unconscious, the system automatically sends a message to the datacenter through the gateway. The data center, upon receiving the signal locates the nearest emergency services using geo-spatial capability and requests an ambulance to be dispatched. When the ambulance is nearing the house, the ambulance driver's RF-ID tag is enabled by sending a message from the data center to unlock the door. Upon unlocking the door, the ambulance crew then locate the person and take appropriate action. The data center (which is the back-end stuff not visible on the image) is running the Oracle database to store the data, weblogic server to provide messaging information, Oracle NoSQL to store non-structured data, OEP to do real-time monitoring of the data and a mobile server to replicate the data with the database. Why do we need the data center? The Oracle DB in the data center maintains a list of hospitals in the area which we use to communicate with based on the location of the emergency. The data center also enables us to maintain a list of ambulance drivers who we can provision access to in a time limited manner to access the door to be able to attend to the emergency. The demo showcases how the gateway communicates with the data center to provide value. In reality, there are tens of thousands or perhaps even millions of gateways talking to the datacenter. Oracle Exalytics provides an environment for real-time analyses of the data, Oracle Exa-data for storing the data and the Oracle Exalogic for running it. The data center also has Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) which handles volumes of unstructured data to do real-time analyses. The OBIEE dashboard provides a summary output of the data points that can potentially carry enormous value for the application. For example, frequency of falls over a period of time, or the time it took for the ambulance crew to arrive at the location, the time it took for the crew to gain access to the house etc is all logged and made available for further analyses and processing. Liability is an important concern especially in healthcare and the information log is useful to trackback and find out what precisely happened when faced with a legal situation. This data is also useful to determine ways to optimize the solution in different areas. Also as it turned out, there were occasions when data was missing. This may be because an ambulance was requested, and then cancelled by the person. Or the ambulance may have arrived and the person might have walked out of the home waiting for the paramedics so there was no need for the ambulance crew to open the front door. This logged data when aggregated and analyzed can help provide valuable insights to drive decision making. Another technology used in this demo that I would like to highlight (this may warrant a separate blog entry) is the Oracle Event Processor(OEP). OEP allows us to take multiple streams of events in real-time, apply advanced automated algorithms and business rules against them and make real-time decisions. We can do things like filtering, correlation, aggregation or enrich the events by adding additional data. OEP can be used across a wealth of industries and IoT use-cases spanning Financial Services, Transportation, Military, Insurance etc. OEP was what was used in the demo data center to locate the nearest ambulance for dispatch during an emergency. OEP-embedded, which in effect has a subset of the capabilities of OEP is used in the device gateway to perform local analytics. For example, in the above scenario, OEP embedded was used to trigger access to the door, prevent unauthorized access etc. Dynamic provisioning and flexible architecture - The next aspect of the demo (see right half of the image) which is the provisioning demonstration had two Gateways, X86 and Arm-based with both running OEP embedded and Java Embedded suite. It also has two tablets running applications written on an Android and an iOS platform. Of the two tablets, the upper one is connected to the x86 based gateway and the lower is connected to the ARM based gateway. This demo attempts to show how easy it is for one to design, develop and modify the code running the application across multiple gateways and platforms. In an environment where you have constant Operating system or processor or platform upgrades, one can easily upload a new version of the code to enhance the capabilities of the devices and thus change its functionality(or add new functionalities). In this demo, Sensors are currently monitoring only light level info. (Which is displayed in the top tablet) One can upload a new version of the code to enable additional capabilities, such as temperature sensing, onto the device. OSGi allows one to build and run multiple applications and control them individually. One may freely provision these applications almost simultaneously on the x86 and ARM based devices since it is running on a JAVA run time environment. Processing and analysis can be done at different stages as was shown in the demonstration. It can be done at the Java card, Gateway, Spot devices or the tablets. It can also be done in the cloud, or elsewhere in the backend. This flexible environment provides the developer the capability to design and build applications and have them run anywhere in the system. This is reinforced in the demo by the fact that a single piece of java code was written and re-used across multiple devices and gateways.In summary, the above demonstration illustrates an end to end architecture from the smallest edge devices to the big backend architecture and gateways and data streams that generate relatively few events to data center which deals with very large volumes of data. Oracle has technology and products that can support a range of use-cases in Home Automation, Healthcare, Industrial Automation etc.

The Internet of Things (IoT) platform was showcased at the demogrounds location at Moscone South at Oracle Open World 2013. The demo garnered significantattention and this post attempts to explain...

Internet of Things at JavaOne 2013

Java plays a key role in Oracle's Internet of Things platform. Not only is Java the most widely deployed software development platform for enterprise middleware and applications, but it is also a highly popular embedded software platform that enables devices to be more intelligent, scalable and manageable. Java is the only standards-based software platform for IoT that enables a common end-to-end development platform, common end-to-end management platform, common end-to-end security model, and of course seamless reusability & interoperability between the different components in a distributed architecture. So its no surprise that JavaOne 2013 will have its own share of highly interesting sessions related to IoT. Here is a sampling of some of the sessions that'll focus on IoT. CON10185: Open Platform and Ecosystems for the Internet of Things and M2M Speakers: Tak Nishida, CEO, InventIt David Hofert, Sr. Alliances Director, Oracle Sharat Chander, Group Director, Java Technology Outreach, Oracle Akihiro Saito, InventIt When/Where: Tuesday 9/24 1 pm  Hotel Nikko - Monterey I/II Session Abstract: It is said that there will be 20 to 50 billion connected devices by 2020, generating US$14.4 trillion in value. M2M—with machines connected so data can be exchanged among assets—works by embedding a communication module, sensor, or tag in a physical asset so that information about its status and performance can be sent to an information system, which enables a corporation to remotely monitor, maintain, and track these machines. However, the M2M value chain is highly fragmented and complex. M2M development is complex, and current options are closed and monolithic. To overcome this, we need new value business models and platforms. In this technical session, learn about the horizontal platforms to be applied to several Internet of Things/M2M vertical markets. CON10186:The Future of the Home Gateway, Enabling Jetsons Household Services Speakers: Kaivan Karimi, Executive Director of Global Strategy and Business Development, Freescale Semiconductors Robert Barnes, Sr. Director, Java Product Management, Oracle Sharat Chander, Group Director, Java Technology Outreach, Oracle When/Where: Tuesday 9/24 10 am Hotel Nikko - Carmel I/II Session Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) will transform the world into a new era of true connected intelligence. Fueled by the availability of increasingly cheaper and more powerful, yet energy-efficient, embedded systems, billions of connected devices will share information and actuate services that will improve the quality of life. The key to making IoT happen is secure, open, embedded platforms from the edge of the network through gateways and all the way to the network core. This presentation focuses on what it takes—with existing hardware technologies plus a unique software architecture for secure service delivery—to not only enable a variety of home automation services but also speed the service layer needed to enable IoT apps in other segments. CON4877: Internet of Things with Java Speakers: Jai Suri, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Java Platform Group, Oracle When/Where: Monday 9/23 8:30 am Hotel Nikko - Monterey I/II Session Abstract: The applications technology landscape surrounding the Internet of Things, also called machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, is a Wild West full of proprietary technology implementations and a highly fragmented vendor ecosystem. Java enables a standards-based platform to enable highly integrated end-to-end device-to-data-center solutions. This session outlines some of the key challenges service providers face today in developing, scaling, and extending end-to-end M2M architectures. With the help of sample architectural blueprints and reference use cases, the session elaborates on the benefits of using Java Embedded in combination with Java middleware products in effectively addressing these challenges.  CON7824: The Enterprise of Things: Extending the Enterprise from the Data Center to Devices Speakers: Kenneth Santoro, Java Partnerships and Alliances, Oracle Paul Pishal, Vice President - Business Development, Hitachi Consulting Phil Regnault, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Hitachi When/Where: Thursday 9/26 12:30 pm Hotel Nikko - Monterey I/II Session Abstract: The forecast of 50 billion connected devices by 2020 will create even greater data volume than today’s internet, resulting in the Internet of Things. Trying to integrate a diverse class of client devices (Things) with enterprise systems will be a daunting technology task. An effective approach to this challenge is to utilize Java as a universal device-to-data-center (D2D) abstraction layer running across the spectrum of devices, gateways, and enterprise systems. This solution provides the ability to cost-effectively deploy secure, agile, and scalable systems. This session is an analysis of key components and system requirements (security, identity, device management, analytics, and so on) for applying this Java D2D abstraction approach. CON5763: Optimized Architecture for M2M Solutions Speakers: Andreas Haegele - Head of Portfolio, Gemalto M2M Axel Hansmann - VP Strategy & MarCom, Gemalto When/Where: Wednesday, Sep 25, 4:30 PM  Hotel Nikko - Carmel I/II Session Abstract: M2M technology has evolved from complex and inefficient technology bricks into a simple but powerful end-to-end architecture that turns dumb devices into smart assets that create value for companies in almost any industry. Gemalto M2M has integrated Java to provide a coherent architecture upon which to structure complex M2M solutions—from the vertical-specific technology in remote devices to security hardware that safeguards communications, to the service delivery component that normalizes the data collection and preprocessing for enterprise IT systems. In this session, Gemalto presents an optimized architecture for maximizing the benefits of Java in M2M for your business. M2M technology has evolved from complex and inefficient technology bricks into a simple but powerful end-to-end architecture that turns dumb devices into smart assets that create value for companies in almost any industry. Gemalto M2M has integrated Java to provide a coherent architecture upon which to structure complex M2M solutions—from the vertical-specific technology in remote devices to security hardware that safeguards communications, to the service delivery component that normalizes the data collection and preprocessing for enterprise IT systems. In this session, Gemalto presents an optimized architecture for maximizing the benefits of Java in M2M for your business. I've barely scratched the surface with the above list. There are many more sessions that'll focus on IoT as a central topic. And there will be many other sessions that the IoT audience might find interesting. For a comprehensive list, go to the JavaOne 2013 Content Catalog and filter by the "Edge Computing in Java in Embedded, Smart Card and IoT Applications" track.  See you at JavaOne 2013! 

Java plays a key role in Oracle's Internet of Things platform. Not only is Java the most widely deployed software development platform for enterprise middleware and applications, but it is also a...

Oracle Open World,2013 IoT Session: Internet of Things Platform: An In-Depth Look at the Role of Oracle Fusion Middleware

IoT, as described before, is a complex value chain that involves multiple stakeholders ranging from semiconductor manufacturers, sensors and gateway manufacturers, network providers, software vendors system integrators and many more. An independent research study by Beecham Research emphasizes the need for coordination across partners in this value chain to be a topmost priority in the IoT platform. Here's another interesting session at Oracle Open World,2013 that attempts to provide insight into the role of Oracle Fusion Middleware in the IoT platform. Find out how Oracle's Java Embedded Technologies with Oracle Fusion Middleware can provide a standardized platform to develop and deploy applications across multiple devices and data centers. Application scenarios where solutions have been successfully deployed will also be presented. Infotech, a location intelligence company based in Turkey, uses this platform to offer a range of location based services. The CEO of Infotech explains how Oracle Fusion Middleware was leveraged for its solutions. Session Details are as follows -  Internet of Things Platform: An In-Depth Look at the Role of Oracle Fusion Middleware Date: Monday, Sept 23, 2013 Time: 10:45PM - 11:45PM Location: Marriott Marquis - Foothill G Speakers: Ali Peker - CEO, INFOTECH Bilisim ve Iletisim Teknolojileri A.S | Ed Zou - VP, Product Management, Fusion Middleware, Oracle | Shivanshu Upadhyay - Solution Architecture Director, Oracle Session Abstract: Only Oracle delivers a comprehensive platform for the entire machine-to-machine (M2M) architecture. The key to gaining real business value from M2M services or, more broadly, the Internet of Things is effective communication among all elements of the architecture. With an integrated, end-to-end platform, it is possible to deploy applications faster, process and analyze data at lightning speeds, and act on events as quickly as they occur. This presentation looks at the Oracle device-to-data-center platform and how Oracle Fusion Middleware, the leading business innovation platform for the enterprise and the cloud, enables partners to create and run agile, intelligent M2M applications.

IoT, as described before, is a complex value chain that involves multiple stakeholders ranging from semiconductor manufacturers, sensors and gateway manufacturers, network providers, software vendors...

Oracle Open World,2013 IoT Session: Unlocking the Potential of M2M: The Oracle Internet of Things Platform

Here's a highlight of an interesting session on Internet of Things around Oracle's Open World.  The Internet of Things (IoT) platform provides simple, scalable and cost-effective means to enable organizations manage and analyze large volumes of device data throughout its lifecycle - collection to analysis. Canon is an interesting example which illustrates such a use-case. As a leader in office equipment business, Canon deals with processing numerous events-per-second in real-time to manage its multi-function printers (MFPs). Find out how Oracle's IoT platform has enabled Canon to meet some of its challenges in scalability, performance and proactive maintenance of its MFPs. Session Details are as follows -  Unlocking the Potential of M2M: The Oracle Internet of Things Platform Date: Tuesday, Sept 24, 2013 Time: 3:45PM - 4:45PM Location: Moscone South 304 Speakers: Harish Gaur, Director Product Management, Oracle | Dennis Amorosano - Sr. Director, Canon U.S.A., Inc Session Abstract: As more devices become intelligent, governments as well as companies ranging from utilities and healthcare to the automotive industry are exploring ways to leverage data coming from devices to optimize processes, create differentiated offerings, and derive new revenue streams. However, there are many challenges as organizations take on M2M projects such as connecting with numerous devices, managing a tremendous amount of data from them, ensuring end-to-end security, integrating with applications, and coordinating with players along the value chain. This session covers the Oracle Internet of Things platform for connection devices—a common platform for building M2M solutions—and how customers are using it.

Here's a highlight of an interesting session on Internet of Things around Oracle's Open World.  The Internet of Things (IoT) platform provides simple, scalable and cost-effective means to enable...

Smart City

Oracle has been one of the leading providers of framework and technology to make our cities smarter. This picture shows some of the thinking around this. It is interesting to note that Internet of Things has the potential to make our cities "smarter" as is evident from projects our partners are engaged in. If I look at major constituents described in this picture and pick where "connected devices" or "embedded sensors" are creating most value, I will pick Healthcare, Public Safety, Transportation, and Utilities. The value add is both in modernizing the city infrastructure and streamlining city operations. Let us look at the possibilities based on some successful implementations. 1) Healthcare - Many patients who require constant health monitoring prefer the comfort of at-home health care monitoring to costly and inconvenient hospital care. This has huge potential to take out cost from our healthcare systems. The main difficulty with home health care is enabling patients to provide accurate and timely data to health care professionals. This is being changed through Java based Gateways like Digi/Freescale Home Health Hub (HHH) platform. The value Java Embedded adds here is to provide a platform to seamlessly connect with ever increasing healthcare devices like blood pressure devices, pulse oximeters etc. and APIs to create a display interface to monitor connected devices and see results from the gateway itself. 2) Public Safety - The successful use of surveillance cameras in the recent past to identify suspects after an incident bolsters the case of using these at many locations. Low priced sensors can be put at more locations. However the challenge remains to sift through overwhelming amount of data and identify “events” of interest. This becomes more difficult if this has to happen real time to prevent incidents rather than analyze afterwards. One successful use of Real Time Event processing which has been implemented is in Emergency Response systems. During national disasters or emergencies, EADS products play key roles from the opening moments through every stage of the response. EADS used Oracle Event Processing along with other technologies in their Emergency Response System to prevent resources from entering an exclusion zone to limit damage. 3) Transportation – Logistics companies like UPS have long realized the benefits of Telematics to optimally plan the route of their vehicles. They are now also using sensor data from vehicles to perform maintenance on each vehicle only when required, as opposed to on a set schedule. It is about time that our cash strapped Public Transportation departments start realizing some of the same benefits to make real time changes to schedules based on actual demand. This has started happening in many counties. Italian Public Transportation company COTRAL implemented a monitoring system to plan and make changes to routes of their buses based on real time information being gathered using a Telematic control Unit on the Buses. Oracle products were used to do spatial analysis and visualization of data coming in from the buses in context with other route planning data. Another area where Transportation is impacted is Traffic Management. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has an ambitious project to manage demand and supply of parking spots in city of San Francisco towards the goal of reducing unnecessary traffic to find parking spots. One important way to achieve this was to use parking sensor data to provide availability information to drivers on mobile application. The sensor data is also used for determining pricing based on real time demand. 4) Utilities – IoT can impact Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water, Waste management) in two main areas - (i) Smart Metering that enables utilities to remotely collect customers meter data at frequent intervals (~15 mins) has the potential to become smarter. (ii) SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) Systems can increasingly automate regular use and repair of utilities operations network. Let’s examine this in more detail in a future post.

Oracle has been one of the leading providers of framework and technology to make our cities smarter. This picture shows some of the thinking around this. It is interesting to note that Internet of...

Personal

Internet of Things: Thinking services

Internet of Things brings tremendous promise to integrateevery smart “thing” in this world. Having been an integration practitioner formore than decade, I find it hard to resist drawing a parallel between these 2worlds: the world of integration & the world of Internet of Things. - IoT market is Wild Wild West - fragmented, fullof competing standards & proprietary solutions - exactly where integrationwas in 90s before SOA, webServices & XML redefined the landscape. ETSI isdoing significant work to unify different standardization efforts and Oracle isactively contributing to this effort. But, there is lot of ground to becovered. - Smart things i.e. sensing devices, mediumpowered gateways represent the IoT endpoints. This is akin to B2B integrationscenario where cloud apps, B2B apps etc are communicating with the integrationplatform. Of course, we are now talking about hundreds to even millions ofdevices sending data to an enterprise versus a handful of apps in a traditionalintegration project - There are wide range of devices supportingdifferent interfaces, communication protocols and lack interoperability. It’svirtually impossible for any vendor to provide connectivity solution to entire breedof current and emerging devices. Before enterprise applications startedbecoming service enabled, we all grappled with the challenge of dealing withmyriad of applications exposing their functionality through proprietaryinterfaces. List could go on and on. But, it makes one think whether aservice oriented approach could be considered when building an IoT application.Before we apply service oriented principles to IoT architecture, we shouldacknowledge the fact that IoT does bring its unique set of challenges -   Security: How do I ensurethat data in motion (traveling between devices, gateways, network to enterpriseapps/cloud) or data at rest is secured?   - Identity – Device is the new data source. But, there is no humanassociated with a M2M device unlike an enterprise app or a mobile. This makesit challenging for enterprises to manage the device lifecycle - onboard/offboard new devices and manage their identity   - DeviceManagement: How do I remotely manage and monitor a device throughout itslifecycle (diagnostics, troubleshooting, configuration)?   - Analytics: IoT will leadto data deluge. Enterprises would need to think beyond traditional businessintelligence tools. How do I analyze IoT data at real-time (i.e. is there amedical emergency based on data received from blood pressure monitor?) to howdata is analyzed for historical & predictive analytics (How do I improvepatient care based on medical trends from patients over past 6 months)?       In a typical SOA Compositeapplication, we have collection of business processes, business services, dataservices with each layer building on top of the other to enable loosely coupledintegration. Data services exposeapplication interfaces as services which could in turn be orchestrated togetherto create a business service. E.g. “Create Employee Record” Data Service isresponsible for creating a new record in Fusion HCM application, while “OnboardEmployee” business service would orchestrate several steps (read data services)needed to on-board a new employee (create employee record, provision new emailaccount etc). ">Figure 1: Layered SOA Architecture IoT architecture could essentially be modeled in a similarlayered format. Device layer, at thebottom, is the main source of data. It includes sensing/edge devices whichsense the surrounding environment and transmit data in regular intervals. Thesesensors, in turn, may interact with an intelligent gateway. Gateway providesdata aggregator and in few cases device level data processing capabilities.Data is funneled through a communication service provider network. CSP couldeither play the role of the network provider or it could move up the valuechain to offer IoT infrastructure services. This layer would enable seamlessconnectivity with different M2M devices (akin to data services in SOA) andoffer the ability to remotely monitor and manage them for device connectivity. IOT services layer is completed agnostic of underlyingdevices, communication protocols and connectivity semantics. This layer wouldinclude core set of services to build IoT applications (i.e. compositeapplications)- Analyze data at real-time (event processing)- Act on M2M data & events (integration service)- Enable historical, real-time and predictiveanalytics (Analytics Services)- Visualize operational and analytical datathrough mobile/desktop (UI Services) - Manage data security & identity ofdevices/apps (Security & Identity Management Service) - - Figure 2:Layered IoT Architecture - Oracle IoT platform enables this service oriented approachto building IoT applications. Listen to thiswebcast replay how Oracle customers have leveraged Oracle IoT stack tobuild applications for smart city, home automation, industrial automation ande-health.

Internet of Things brings tremendous promise to integrate every smart “thing” in this world. Having been an integration practitioner formore than decade, I find it hard to resist drawing a...

Oracle

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