Machines and objects that communicate with each other (machine-to-machine) are now standard in many areas of business. Up to now, equipping a product with this capability has been very costly for companies in terms of time and IT resources. With the cloud-based Application Enablement Platform, Swisscom is creating the basis for connecting products to the Internet quickly with minimal development costs thanks to standardised components.
Street lamps, refrigerators, bicycles, buildings, cars, lifts: the list of products and objects that already communicate with each other is endless. Creating this intelligence calls for various steps and components: communication over the mobile network (communication module, connectivity), IT infrastructure (server, database, resources), adjustments to processes and the development of new services. This all takes time and ties up resources.
Getting smart products to market quickly
“Through the new Application Enablement Platform (AEP), we enable our customers to implement business ideas rapidly and connect products to the Internet quickly with the aid of standardised components from the cloud,” says Gerhard Schedler, head of Swisscom M2M Centre of Competence. The AEP creates a virtual image of process and devices in the cloud. It seamlessly connects components with each other, communicates with all M2M devices and modules, transfers data securely and also optimises and stores it. It also makes it simple to connect smartphone apps, ERP systems and web applications. “The AEP allows our customers to transform isolated products into intelligent objects that are integrated into business processes from the outset and permit automated control processes. And all without the need for additional IT resources,” says Gerhard Schedler.
Compressed data transfer ensures efficiency
Global network coverage is assured by some 700 international roaming partners. And whereas other solutions send substantial data packets that are almost exclusively evaluated at the server end, with the AEP, the groundwork is done before data even leaves the communication module. This determines what data is directly relevant and is to be sent in a highly compressed form, and what only needs to be sent periodically. The benefits are smaller data volumes and hence a more efficient transfer. Data is stored in Swisscom’s data centres in Switzerland.
Secure device management as an additional application
The AEP also contains pre-integrated components that permit remote management for mobile devices and processes. Remote adjustments to configurations and firmware are managed centrally, meaning that potential problems can be analysed and dealt with from the office and expensive on-site visits thus kept to a minimum.
More about M2M at Swisscom www.swisscom.ch/m2m
More about AEP at Swisscom: www.swisscom.ch/content/dam/swisscom/en/biz/machine-to-machine/discover_m2m/pdf/sme-m2m-factsheet-aep-en.pdf