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Managing large number of IoT devices is more than scaling a platform.

From production line and distribution, to installation and support by your service desk, managing your connected devices can potentially take up much time of your own staff and your reseller staff, jeopardizing their margins.
The OpenRemote open source IoT platform is free to use under the license AGPLv3. http://openremote.io/developers/



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Which features does an IoT platform need for device makers?

When you are getting your products online as an OEM, one challenge is to manage a growing number of devices and customers connected to your IoT device management platform. Already at a few hundred devices, manual evaluations won’t be feasible anymore.

 

That’s why it’s crucial for an IoT device management platform not to be just a technical configuration and connectivity tool. Your platform should include features for all your stakeholders to stay on top of the ever-growing number of devices, without losing time on manual interventions or endless searching.

 

From production line and distribution, to installation and support by your service desk, managing your connected devices can potentially take up much time of your own staff and your reseller staff, jeopardizing their margins.

 

The OpenRemote platform is built with efficient workflows for OEMs in mind. The features that result from this, and the new ones that are added every day, will make all the difference. Let’s go through some of the important ones.

How to handle provisioning and configuration for IoT devices?

Automatic X.509 provisioning

On your production line, you want your devices provisioned for remote access once they get plugged in by installers or end-users. OpenRemote’s device auto-provisioning solution allows you to securely prepare your devices in the factory and automatically connect to your platform when powering up. Read about auto-provisioning to understand how it works.

 

Device configuration wizard for installers

Your installers require a fast and smooth configuration process when getting your devices up and running. A mobile application that lets them set up devices in a breeze will make them smile. OpenRemote’s UI web components are there to quickly build mobile or desktop apps exactly for this purpose. Together with the iOS and Android consoles you can create branded user and device registration pages, good-looking graphs, and automated alerts. To know more, check out our web components.

 

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Handling security issues with your devices can’t do without the ability to roll out new firmware versions to your devices. With growing numbers, this needs proper orchestration of your firmware. OpenRemote smoothly integrates with the best open source solution for firmware rollout to devices: Hawkbit. Contact us if you need help with adding firmware management.

How to link physical devices to your customers?

End-user app access to their device

Once your device has been installed at your customer, the end-user, they would like to have swift access. So again a mobile app should allow them to create an account and register their device. After that, they want to see how their device performs and control them through the app. As they probably won’t be constantly monitoring the product themselves, they would want to receive a notification when something happens. This can be advice on how to make better use of the device, or a warning if the measured levels reach a critical value.

 

Use mobile phone features in rules

The bespoke applications for end-users and installers, combined with the native consoles for iOS and Android, give access to phone features. From the OpenRemote platform you can send push notifications or create rules using the location of a phone (if shared). With the different types of rules you can easily create logic, such as: ‘When the user gets home, Then turn on the device’ or ‘When sensor value X exceeds Y, Then send an alert to its user’. See the different rules options.

 

Organizing restricted access

Distributors or installers, depending on the service they agreed with their clients, require remote access to the devices they installed. They want to reconfigure them or see what’s wrong after receiving an alert. OpenRemote’s Manager can be set up in such a way that distributors or installers can make (limited) use of its functionality such as the map, rules engines, and data dashboards. Multi-tenancy (called realms in OpenRemote) and ‘restricted users’ offer multiple ways of organizing safe access to data and devices.

 

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How your support team will use the IoT platform to serve your customers

Proactive support for your product

Once everything is set up for your customer, it's up to your support department to help them when needed. Their role is to be sure your products remain operational as well as digitally secure and accessible. They should not only be reactive, but also proactive by keeping an eye on product performance and automatic alerts in case of (predicted) failure.

 

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OpenRemote offers several options to filter out the devices that you need to pay attention to. The map overview can be configured to show color coding based on the most important metrics to make devices that need attention stand out. However, you can not monitor every device 24/7. For that reason you can use automation to send you notifications whenever attention on a specific device is required. Here’s how to set color coding and labels.

 

Root cause analysis and device filtering

Once you discover a potential problem with a product or get contacted by a customer, you want to dig in and analyze the root cause of a problem. For this the OpenRemote manager allows you to find the user linked to a product or vice versa. Additionally, advanced search lets you filter devices based on specified conditions eg. to see only the devices which are passing a critical threshold. Further analysis can be done by reviewing the performance of those devices over time on the insights page. Check out the demo to see how filtering works.

 

Integrating your workflow tools

Your service organization is at its best and most efficient when it implements good workflows. CRM systems, helpdesk ticketing tools, and logistic systems are just a few of the tools which could need seamless integration with your IoT platform. OpenRemote offers well-documented manager API’s to enable the integration with others systems. In addition, the Active Directory Single Sign-On feature can be used with our IoT device platform.

 

 

We hope this article gives you a quick insight into what OpenRemote offers you when building your IoT device management platform. And since we develop the only 100% open source platform, nothing is stopping you from trying it out without the worry of a vendor lock-in.

 

 














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