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Rupy Sikka

iCE.X: HCL's Intelligent IoT device management platform to unlock business potential
Rupy Sikka Vice President, HCL Engineering R&D Services | May 8, 2019

With a plethora of connected devices, drive to support diverse use cases across industries, IoT platform needs to go beyond device management functions (onboarding, provisioning, monitoring, & maintaining). A comprehensive unified solution with end-to-end device lifecycle management capability addressing customer experience, operations, and security across industries in holistic manner is the future of IoT device management platforms.

5G is set to explode and it’s potential when coupled with IoT is massive.

The Transforming Landscape of IoT Device Management

By 2025, IoT connections are expected to exceed 25 billion, thereby presenting ~US 1.1 Trillion market opportunities. The market value is also moving away from just connectivity to unified application and platform with insights to take faster business decision. Not a single organization across industries such as Manufacturing to Telcos to IT, want to miss out on this tremendous opportunity.

5G is set to explode and its potential, when coupled with IoT solutions, is massive. Several companies are getting on the hype train with major Telcos investing in this revolutionary technology expected to set new standards in terms of bandwidth speed and latency levels.

Key Challenges in Monetizing an Investment in IoT Platform

Isolation: Onboarding, managing, and monetizing millions of devices will be a challenge. Many platforms are available today, which address specific issues in device management, such as security, analytics, and connectivity to name a few. This, however, would result in implementation complexities, higher cost of implementation and ongoing management of the platforms themselves.

Security: With so many devices addressing various issues, it gives hackers the opportunity to use multiple entry points to disrupt an IoT system. Having a common set of protocols for all devices, therefore, becomes a challenge with a silo-based device management system consisting of several platforms.

Integration: With the explosion of devices comes the issue of integration and communication between devices. While addressing specific needs is one issue with device management, having interconnected devices to enable a common gateway to access the power of IoT platform is another. Most current systems do not satisfy the need to provide a unified mode of communication.

What IoT Device Management Platforms Should Have:

Connected: An integrated platform that allows for a seamless connected experience is the need of the hour. With the explosion of IoT devices and the impending introduction of 5G, an integrated approach to platform management is the logical course of action for industries to get the best out of their devices and systems.

Quickly monetizable: Traditional industries such as Telcos and Manufacturing are looking to IoT connected solutions to level what has been a lopsided playing field in favour of B2C networked companies. A key to being able to quickly monetize assets for these industries is to reduce the turnaround time of converting IoT solutions into revenue streams.

Looking at the Telcos sector specifically, OTT companies like Netflix have taken the lead in a highly competitive market. IoT system is a gateway for Telcos to generate new avenues for monetization and doing it in quick time through an integrated and quickly scalable approach is imperative.

Intelligent: IoT solutions and systems are only as good as the device management platform enabling it. To take advantage of a unified set of devices, the platform must be intelligent and cross-functional. Leveraging technologies like AI and analytics is the best way to derive value from a large amount of untapped data.

Adaptable: In the current industry scenario, we are looking at not only an explosion of devices but a high internet usage rate. Combine that with the need for cross-industry applications and it leads to a complex device management requirement. By meshing together AI and analytics to unified device management, companies will be able to execute newer business models by exploiting the opportunity in multi-domain IoT device management.

Enhanced Customer Experience: The end goal for a business is achieving customer satisfaction. A platform that enables companies to generate insights into their businesses and enhance customer experience will reap the rewards of lower churn rates and higher CSAT scores.

For Telcos, this could be an important differentiation. The ability to evaluate various use cases of their customers while reducing their expenses is a winning combination only unified IoT ecosystem management can provide.

The HCL iCE.X Platform

With intense cost pressure and competition from newer players in industries such as OTT, it is imperative for Telcos and media services providers to rise beyond the role of infrastructure supplier and proactively work on providing additional value to their clients.

For Tier 2 and Tier 3 Telcos, cables and internet service providers, in particular, one major cost element is capital investment in platform licensing for managing distributed devices. Hence, it’s important for them to look at smart and cost-effective platform options, which support modular and scalable device management while implementing innovative business models, such as ‘subscription’, or ‘pay as you grow’ to help manage cost and offer better value to clients.

HCL is proud to introduce iCE.X, an IoT Device Management Platform which not only addresses the above-mentioned challenges but can act as a unified IoT platform meeting cross-industry needs.

iCE.X is a cloud ready, carrier grade, Smart, Secure, and Scalable IoT platform which goes beyond device management. It leverages AI/ML-based analytics, Chatbot, and SmartFAQ technologies to drive next level customer experience and enable new revenue streams. It delivers intelligent connected experiences for Telcos and media (OTT, satellite TV, and cable), and is easily extended into IoT device management across industries.

Keeping in mind the key challenges companies face while improving ROI on their IoT investment, iCE.X delivers a single platform to address several key business aspects of the entire device lifecycle management journey.

The platform allows easy onboarding and managing of IoT devices with carrier-grade security using Intel SDO. It also enables collecting real-time data with AI/ML-based analytics integrated with the industry’s fastest database – Actian, to help optimize and accelerate performance and retirement.


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Device Management Leads to Innovation

An intelligent IoT device management platform helps companies accelerate and realize true ROI from their investment. But more importantly, it enables them to innovate and create new revenue streams using insights gained from analyzing real-time data from millions of devices connected on a single platform.

Telcos and Media companies are currently undergoing a transitional phase in trying to move beyond the role of only an “infrastructure provider”. Intelligent use of IoT device management will enable companies in these industries to go beyond simple service offerings and help enhance experiences through newer business models, delivering previously untapped value to the end customer.