We have recently changed our tagline from ‘Smart Reasoning for the Internet-of-Things’ to ‘Orchestrating the Enterprise Internet-of-Things’. In this blog post, I want to spend a few words on why we have made the change. We will expand on IoT orchestration in follow-up posts.
The core of the Waylay platform is an automation engine that:
- Observes the environment through so-called virtual sensors. Virtual sensors gather inputs from physical sensors as well as SW systems such as databases, IT systems or cloud APIs.
- Reasons about those inputs and decides what actions are needed.
- Acts on the environment through virtual actuators. Virtual actuators can act on physical devices as well as act on SW systems, such as creating tickets, logging, sending out emails or pushing notifications onto smartphones.
The old tag line reflected the importance of translating raw data into an actionable insight, as opposed to the device-centric nature of many IoT architectures. Waylay is built on a proprietary rules engine that provides such actionable insights through ‘smart reasoning’ that goes beyond simple workflows or rules. For example, in addition to stateless logic, the rules can also be stateful. The framework also allows for ‘aging’ of older inputs, much in the same way as humans reason. This allows for a graceful fallback in case of intermittent connectivity and the absence of new data coming into the system due to APIs that are not responsive. We still believe that actionable insights are key to IoT, and our application-centric view on IoT has not changed.
The new tagline ‘Orchestrating the enterprise Internet-of-Things’ better reflects the business value that the platform provides. We have explained the ‘why’ of orchestration in this post, here we explain the ‘what’.
In our definition, IoT application orchestration is the process of integrating IoT application(s) with enterprise IT systems, cloud services, mobile applications within and across the boundaries of a company. Such integration typically leads to business outcomes such as improved processes or new customer services. An orchestration platform goes beyond the point integrations into ERP systems that IoT platforms typically provide. The emphasis is on a more holistic and extendable approach, where many solutions can be linked, potentially also including multiple vertical IoT solutions that are combined in a new application. We believe that orchestration will play an increasinlgy important role in IoT applications e.g. to:
- Aggregate and normalize data from IoT solutions bought from different vendors.
- Provide integration of IoT into customer care and support.
- Automate provisioning through back-end integration.
- Integrate IoT in customer centric (mobile) services.
- Leverage IoT data across the value chain: manufacturers, distributors, installers and end-customers.