IoT News Roundup

Aeris forges partnerships to make connecting devices easier; Microsoft releases Azure Hub, HCL opens incubation center; Con Ed taps Silver Springs Network for smart meters; GSMA offers IoT security guidance; AppCarousel and Mobica combine services.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Feb 12, 2016

Aeris Partnerships Aim at Easing IoT Adoption

Aeris, a provider of cellular-based IoT communication systems, and electronic components distributor and contract manufacturer Digi-Key Electronics are now working together to provide Digi-Key's customer base of product developers with an IoT connectivity platform. Through the collaboration, Digi-Key's customers can add Aeris Neo SIM cards to the components they purchase from Digi-Key, and can also access a self-service portal designed for commissioning the cards to their network. The partnership can greatly accelerate the process of enabling connected products, the companies report, because customers can order components and get them connected to their network in as little as one day. Plus, the connectivity portal stores the usage data and connectivity status of each connected device and provides a place for customers to troubleshoot issues and set alerts.

Last month, Aeris also announced a partnership with Symmetry Electronics, a distributor of wireless and video embedded solutions to enterprise customers large and small. Through the partnership, Symmetry's customers can purchase hardware bundled with embedded SIM cards and cellular connectivity services provided by Aeris. This is designed to simplify the process of growing networks of connected devices, since end users are saved the extra step of having devices provisioned.

Early this month, Avnet introduced its Agate IoT Solution, a family of integrated kits that include hardware, software and services. The kits come with Aeris SIM cards.

"With Symmetry, Digi-Key and Avnet, we're aiming to make it as simple and easy as possible to connect devices," says Janet Jaiswal, Aeris' VP of enterprise marketing. "By ensuring connectivity is already inside a component, we're making sure the buyer doesn't have to worry about it."

Microsoft Releases Azure IoT Hub, HCL Opens IoT Incubation Center

Microsoft last week announced that its Azure IoT Hub is now generally available. The Azure IoT Hub provides a means for enterprise customers to connect, provision and manage IoT devices. The hub supports two-way communication between devices and cloud services, such as Microsoft's Azure, over open messaging protocols such as the ISO standard MQTT, HTTPS and the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). Microsoft designed the hub to enable easy integration with Azure-based data services, including Azure Machine Learning and Azure Stream Analytics. The hub is part of the Azure IoT Suite, which Microsoft announced last fall and which is designed to help customers roll out IoT-based systems quickly by using Azure services. The suite also provides preconfigured solutions that Microsoft's customers can customize to fit specific use cases.

This week, IT services company HCL Technologies opened an Internet of Things (IoT) Incubation Center in Redmond, Wash. The center is designed to help end users in specific sectors—manufacturing or industrial, and life sciences or health care—to develop IoT solutions or services while leveraging the Azure IoT Suite. At the center, customers can learn about Azure-based solutions for specific applications, such as industrial automation, remote patient monitoring and fleet management, among others.

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