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The transportation and logistics industry is one of the most vulnerable sectors to cyber attackers. As more connected solutions are introduced to improve efficiency, securing these complex cyber-physical systems will require multi-layer security from Sensor to Cloud.

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Industrial automation and controls modernization can be a daunting task. Is it time to upgrade? What will this cost me? Are we ready? How will we even do this? There is a lot to consider with all those questions, and probably more, running through your head. A good starting point for developing a plan is to start by organizing the information that needs to be gathered to scope the project(s). From there, you can start talking to integrators and vendors to get pricing, budgets, timelines, and equipment lists. To develop a thorough spec, follow these steps.
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How IoT Reinvented the Business World

Internet of Things (IoT) has completely transformed the business world and drive it to the next level. The connected smart devices have turned the strategies into increased profitability. 

While seeing the present scenario, the demand for IoT solutions is increasing day by day.  To maintain the remarkable presence and to serve the enterprises with effective results, the IoT Solution provider company is enhancing and upgrading the strategies and solutions day by day. 

The work strategies of businesses have completely transformed and IoT has become a key to success. According to Forbes, “More than seven in 10 executives credit IoT with delivering increased revenue. Currently, 45% report IoT has helped boost profits by 1% to 5%, and another 41% say the impact has boosted them by 5% to 15% annually. Over the coming year, nearly all, 94%, anticipate a profit boost of at least 5% to 15% as a result of IoT.” 

So, in this article, we are going to tell you the advantages of the integration of IoT. 

Benefits of the Internet of Things 

Increased Productivity 

The integration of the Internet of Things has increased the productivity of the employees. As through the integration of smart devices, the speed process of many tasks used to increase and results are error-free. 

Saves Time 

IoT smart solutions save the time of the employees, as it excludes the repetition task of humans like the data entry in management or inventory management system. Resources can utilize that time and energy in other potential work processes. 

Easy Tracking System 

For the shipping industry, tracking has always been a hectic and troublesome process. But IoT has sorted out this challenge, as now with smart wearable devices the ship can be tracked by the management and customers also. 

Tracking System can be held by these following methods: 

1) RFID -  Stands for Radio Frequency Identification, through its team track the ship based on frequencies, there are many challenges but with time and upgraded technologies, it has turned into an easy method. 

2) GPS: The term GPS stands for Global Positioning Satellite system, GPS solutions have been integrated into the smartphones also. It helps to track real-time information. GPS can be integrated into wearable devices and smartphones. 

Increase Remote Working Process 

Working from home employees is less expensive for the enterprises as it saves the cost of infrastructure and with various IoT solutions, the working process from home has become easier. Time to time employees can update their working and have proper communication. 

Improve Customer Experience 

Internet of Things technology improves the customer experience as through it, enterprises can offer a new experience to their customers, by offering a multi-dimensional and 3D view. 

Along with this, it is helpful to provide the best facilities to the customer by monitoring, regulating and maintaining real-time issues. Often passengers face a lot of challenges like broken escalators, dirty washrooms, these issues can be analyzed through smart sensors and immediately the action can be taken by the authorities. 

As per the Forbes Insight Survey, “56%, are investing in IoT to build on the customer experience they’re delivering, and 42% have been able to expand their capabilities in terms of personalized customer experience as a result of IoT.”

Conclusion 

The demand for integration of IoT smart technologies is increasing day by day as it is turning out to be the profitable strategy for the enterprises.  Along with this, it has become an essential technology of the business and considered a smart investment. This takes the business to new level.

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What is OPC?

The acronym “OPC” stands for “OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) for Process Control”. OLE is based on the Windows COM (Component Object Model) standard.

OPC standard is implemented in server/client pairs. The OPC server is a program that translates the hardware communication protocol used by a PLC into the OPC protocol. The OPC client software is a program that connects to the hardware, such as an HMI. The OPC client communicates with the OPC server to receive data or send commands to the hardware.

 

How does OPC work?

OPC specification describes the interface between clients and servers, servers and servers, including access to real-time data, monitoring of alarms and events, access to historical data and other applications.

The classic OPC connection scenario is a single server-client connection on a single computer, but there are more options which include:

  • Connecting an OPC client to several OPC servers. This is called OPC aggregation.
  • Connecting an OPC client to an OPC server over a network. This can be done with OPC tunneling
  • Connecting an OPC server to another OPC server to share data. This is known as OPC bridging

 

Technical Benefits of OPC

In addition to improving OPC server and client connections, the OPC DataHub can connect any OPC server or client to other applications as well, including Excel, a web browser, or any other database. And, it can be used to import OPC data into Linux or QNX.
Usage

Following OPC specifications are used in industries:

  • OPC-DA (Data Access): Provides access to real-time data. We can query most recent

values of temperature, pressure, density, acceleration, and other types of process control data from OPC-DA server.

  • OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access): This is used to retrieve historical process data for analysis. This data is typically stored in files, databases or remote telemetry systems.
  • OPC-AE (Alarms & Events): OPC AE servers are used to accept and exchange

process alarms and events.

  • OPC-DX (Data eXchange): It defines the way OPC server data is exchanged with other OPC servers.
  • OPC-XML (XML Data Access): It defines schema and data representation formats based upon XML standard. This makes it possible to share & manipulate process control data across all operating systems – Windows, UNIX, Solaris, etc.


Benefits of using OPC standard are:

  • Reduced load on the hardware device.
  • Increased scalability of the system.
  • Because of OPC server, client applications need not know anything about hardware protocol details.
  • Though device need not serve multiple clients, So Increased life for the device.
  • Interoperability (Unix/Linux and Windows – both platforms are supported by OPC)
  • Standardization

eInfochips – OPC implementation

At eInfochips, we have provided embedded solutions for OPC’s industrial automation product line for our clients in embedded solutions. This includes detailed work on:

  • BIS systems: Building Integration System , or BIS, is a software package that brings building automation, access control, video surveillance, intrusion, fire alarms and voice evacuation onto one convenient management suite. The classic OPC Server had implemented specific protocol over TCP/IP protocol to monitor and control different types of building integration system panels, which is able to interface with OPC client of the BIS system software.
  • System alerts: In OPC Server, we had implemented OPC-DA (Data Access), OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access) and OPC-AE (Alarms & Events) specifications. For controlling and monitoring panels, OPC client fires different commands to the panels by using OPC server e.g. unlock door, lock door, arm area etc.

OPC server developed by eInfochips contains the following modules, functionalities and activities, listed below.

To know more about the IoT services and solutions

  • Design, Development and Testing of OPC Classic server for different panels used in a building integration system with specific Automation protocol
  • Implementation of following group commands on OPC Server,
    • System
    • Panel
    • Door
    • Area
    • Output
    • Point
  • OPC server communication stacks integration (TCP)
  • OPC server security – Command Authentication AES 256
  • Client and status command implementation

We have also developed OPC Clients for our customers, running on Linux OS to communicate with OPC server over Ethernet. This further communicates with OPC server for Reading and Writing data/parameters. In OPC Client, we had implemented OPC-DA (Data Access), OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access) and OPC-AE (Alarms & Events) specifications. OPC Client will communicate with OPC Server for fetching data from the PLC. At the other end, it will send/receive historical and live data of temperature, pressure, density, acceleration etc. from the OPC server to the cloud for storage and analysis.

To know more about how we can help you with OPC implementation for your building automation needs, Learn more about our Industrial Automation Solutions or digital engineering services

 

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How PKI & Embedded Security Can Help Stop Aircraft Cyberattacks

 by August 27, 2019 by Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo

 

On July 30th, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued a security alert warning small aircraft owners about vulnerabilities that can be exploited to alter airplane telemetry. At risk to cyberattack, the aircraft’s Controller Area Network (CAN bus) connects the various avionics systems–control, navigation, sensing, monitoring, communication, and entertainment systems–that enable modern-day aircraft to safely operate. This includes the aircraft’s engine telemetry readings, compass and attitude data, airspeeds, and angle of attack; all of which could be hacked to provide false readings to pilots and automated computer systems that help fly the plane.

The CISA warning isn’t hypothetical, and the consequences of inaction could prove deadly. Airplane systems have already been compromised. In September 2016, a U.S. government official revealed that he and his team of IT experts had successfully remotely hacked into a Boeing 757 passenger plane as it sat on a New Jersey runway, and were able to take control of its flight functions. The year before, a hacker reportedly used vulnerabilities with the IFE (In Flight Entertainment) system to reportedly take control of flight functions, causing the airplane engines to climb.

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The Boeing 757 attack was performed using the In-Flight Entertainment Wi-Fi network.
 

A researcher with security analytics and automation provider Rapid7 wrote about the security of CAN Bus avionics systems in a recent blog and discussed the challenge at this year’s DEFCON security conference. He explained, "I think part of the reason [the avionics sector is lagging in network security when it comes to CAN bus] is its heavy reliance on the physical security of airplanes . . . Just as football helmets may actually raise the risk of brain injuries, the increased perceived physical security of aircraft may be paradoxically making them more vulnerable to cyberattack, not less."

A False Sense of [Physical Access] Security

The DHS CISA warning stated, "An attacker with physical access to the aircraft could attach a device to an avionics CAN bus that could be used to inject false data, resulting in incorrect readings in avionic equipment.” CISA fears that, if exploited, these vulnerabilities could provide false readings to pilots, and lead to crashes or other air incidents involving small aircraft. Attackers with CAN bus access could alter engine telemetry readings, compass and attitude data, altitude, and airspeeds. Serious stuff.

Not all of these attacks required physical access.

These risks should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in manufacturing. Any device, system, or organization that controls operation of a system is at risk, and the threats can originate from internal or external sources. It’s critical for OEMs, their supply chains, and enterprises to include security and identity management at the device level and continually fortify their security capabilities to close vulnerabilities.

Security Solutions for Avionics Devices

Today’s airplanes have dozens of connected subsystems transmitting critical telemetry and control data to each other. Currently, tier-one suppliers and OEMs in aviation have failed to broadly implement security technologies such as secure boot, secure communication and embedded firewalls on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to hacking. While OEMs have begun to address these issues, there is much more to be done.

Sectigo offers solutions so that OEMs, their supply chains, and enterprises can take full advantage of PKI and embedded security technology for connected devices. Our industry-first end-to-end IoT Platform, made possible through the acquisition of Icon Labs, a provider of security solutions for embedded OEMs and IoT device manufacturers, can be used to issue and renew certificates using a single trust model that’s interoperable with any issuance model and across all supported devices, operating systems (OS), protocols, and chipsets.

Much like the automotive industry, the aviation sector has a very complex supply chain, and implementing private PKI and embedded security introduces interoperability challenges. With leading avionics manufacturers introducing hundreds of SKUs per year, maintaining hundreds of different secure boots within a single aircraft is complex, cumbersome, and ultimately untenable. Using a single homogenous secure boot implementation greatly simplifies the model.

Purpose-built PKI for IoT, such as the Sectigo IoT Manager, enables strong authentication and secure communication between devices within the airframe. Using PKI-based authentication prevents communication from unauthorized components or devices and will eliminate a broad set of attacks.

Embedded firewall technology provides an additional, critical security layer for these systems. This is particularly relevant for attacks such as the Boeing 757 attack via the airline Infotainment Wi-Fi Network. An embedded firewall provides support for filtering rules to prevent access from the Wi-Fi network to the control network.

Icon Labs embedded firewall has been has deployed in airline and automotive systems to address attacks such as these. In both instances, our embedded firewall sits on a gateway device in the vehicle or airplane to prevent unauthorized access from external networks or devices into the control network, or from the Infotainment network to the control network. We continue to see interest in this area, indicating manufacturers are beginning to act.

From Cockpits to Control Towers

Securing connected devices in aviation is not limited to airplanes. The industry requires secure communication between everything on the tarmac, from cockpits and control towers to provisioning vehicles and safety personnel. For that reason, Sectigo provides an award-winning co-root of the AeroMACS consortium, which addresses all broadband communication at airports across the world and calls for security using PKI certificates to be deployed into airplanes, catering trucks, and everything else on the tarmac.

Future Proofing with Crypto Agility

It’s worth noting that aviation is also uniquely challenged by the tenure of its components. Unlike devices that are designed to last for months or years, airplanes are designed to last for decades. Advances in quantum computing, which many experts believe is just around the corner, threaten to make today’s cryptographic standards obsolete. Aeronautical suppliers need to be prepared for this coming “crypto-apocalypse” and to update the security on their devices in the field while the devices are in operation. Sectigo’s over-the-air update abilities provide the cryptographic agility to guard against this upcoming crypto-apocalypse (listen to the related Root Causes podcast).

The ecosystem has fast work to do. Manufacturers must secure the CAN buses in their existing, and future fleets – whether those planes idle on fenced tarmacs, or in airplane hangars. In the meantime, CISA counsels that aircraft owners restrict access to planes avionics' components "to the best of their abilities,” leaving passengers to hope security soon extends beyond their TSA experiences.

Read this blog online at https://sectigo.com/blog/how-pki-and-embedded-security-can-help-stop-aircraft-cyberattacks

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The Impact of AI on Taxi Dispatch Systems

Taxis have long been a part of the daily transportation system all over the globe. Also, they are so crucial that it is hard to imagine life without them even if your city offers a proficient and well-connected network of public transportation. Moreover, as the cost of private vehicle ownership continues to grow at a mind-boggling pace, it is easy to see why people are turning to taxis for completing their commutes to work or anywhere else they may need to go. However, is that all there is to the sudden increase in demand for taxis? Actually, no.

Today, customers live in a highly digital world that accommodates all their needs, demands, and requests. This expectation is also extended to taxi failing services. Thankfully, companies that provide such services have been quick to adapt to evolving customer expectations, thus marking yet another crucial reason behind the high demand for taxi dispatch systems. It has also given rise to intense competition as well as the need for robust solutions to establish an edge over rivals. Moreover, in this search for a tool, you will find that one name stands out from the crows: Artificial intelligence. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how this technological novelty can help your taxi business.

  1. Personalization: There’s not a user on the face of the earth who doesn’t like personalized service. It holds for customers of taxi businesses as well. To that end, AI helps by providing access to users’ locations and their activity on your taxi app along with data about other apps, platforms, and the services they use frequently. This data is crucial for understanding a user’s preferences, which can then be used to push more relevant content and offers to them.
  2. Better decision making: Data is a truly versatile gift that technology has given us. Data gathered by the company can be processed to glean insights and identify trends, among other things. Such information can then inform strategic decisions executives have to make for the business. AI empowers businesses with comprehensive analytics about vital factors like customer behavior, service demand, and more. that can go a long way in making smarter decisions for the business’ future.
  3. Predict demand: Besides driving better and more intelligent business decisions, AI can also be used for predictive analytics to predict demand and that too with a high degree of precision. AI helps gather data, including historical data, and then utilizes predictive analytics to deliver appropriate predictions about the kind of demand your taxi business should expect and when it can wait to start showing.

The world already has and continues to benefit from the potential of artificial intelligence. Just take a look at e-commerce — giants like Amazon, Flipkart, and more have integrated AI so profoundly within their platforms and are reaping the benefits of that decision too. So that’s just one industry. Suffice it to say that taxi app development mixed with AI stands to offer so much to a taxi business: Better customer service, enhanced customer experiences, massive business growth, and more. We could go on and on, but you get the drift, don’t you?

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More often than not, the budget and cost of ownership with a build-versus-buy aspect has been a key consideration in the decision-making process. Once after that, one goes out to seek the flexibility of the platform, vendor lock-ins, and scalability, which are definitely equally important, if not more.

The field, Internet of Things IoT, is one such domain which is driven by volume, velocity and variety. This makes you picky about the choices you make. Technologies continue to emerge and enable a myriad of IoT use cases. 

If you are thinking about selecting a platform partner for your IoT based project, there are a few criteria you need to consider before solid decision-making. 

Regulation of IoT devices

Today, in the present time, there are more devices connected to the internet than humans. This clearly shows the upward trend. Data says that, more than 75 billion internet based devices will be connected by the end of 2025. IoT has been adopted within multiple applications and is being used across industries or IIoT, enterprises--smart cities and waste management, healthcare, etc.

The overall adoption of IoT is providing companies the much-required agility, efficiency, and scalability. All combined together are providing a competitive advantage to businesses. Things are going North for IoT and vendors who provide a versatile IoT platform to help these companies get on the IoT bandwagon.

Taking the build vs buy decision

There are chances that things might get a little overwhelming if you fail to define your expected outcomes before choosing the right platform partner. Some of the pointers you should jot down are: What kind of data are you processing, which systems need to be integrated, and what kind of insights do you wish to generate? 

Asking the right questions can help you arrive at the right place, which is: whether to build or to buy? Think on critically evaluating various components separately, including device type, communication, cloud services, applications, and cross-layer security.

There can be some components which you may have to build from scratch and for others, it can be managed with the IoT solutions provider company. It depends entirely on the cost of ownership. Cost of ownership is the upfront fee to procure the platform, service fee, customization charges, and the cost of upgrades to adapt to dynamic business ecosystem. 

Is the platform scalable enough

The IoT vendor that you choose should be flexible when it comes to aligning its technologies with your legacy architecture. Make sure there are no limitations and that their technology should be easier to deploy without causing any delays. 

Many vendors will speak about flexibility but not all of them are equipped enough to offer it. The number of devices is increasing, due to that, you will definitely require a lot of customization and personalization. 

The vendor that you choose should be transparent about how extensible the platform is and whether there is adequate scope to add new features without hampering the existing system.

Is the platform capable enough to handle huge queries?

There is no doubt that the number of connected devices continues to grow, and will keep on going. This will pose the need for scalability more than ever. In fact, this might even become a prinary concern for most enterprises.. 

This will also mean that the costs that come associated with data management and hardware, will continue to rise with every added device. You need to keep the amount of scalability clear with the vendor. Ask them what is the highest they can offer.

Are they competent enough to handle complexities which more number of devices bring along. The  agility and ability of the vendor are of critical importance.

Do they offer real-time monitoring and data analytics

The ecosystem of data analytics is heavily crowded, and the right vendor at the right time can be all you need to break from the pack. There are four main things when it comes to IoT: things, data, people, and processes. 

With the help of networked connections, vendors are able to understand their relationships better and present insights that can take businesses to the next level. With real-time data and actionable insights, vendors can alert you about the issues that were not even there on your radar and help make more informed, intelligent decisions.

Conclusion

The entire arena of IoT is thriving, and is soon going to become the Internet of Everything. Working seamlessly with these connected smart devices can accelerate the businesses effectively. There are always pointers and directions one can follow, the final decision rests in your hand.

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We had gone from a time when the video call was deemed stuff of the future to being able to switch on appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves, and more remotely, i.e. from wherever you are. The latter is the outcome of this nifty phenomenon called the Internet of Things. Moreover, while a lot of us may have been struggling to wrap their head around the fact that pretty much everything can be connected to everything, IoT has already evolved to give the world with what is now referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things, a.k.a. IIoT.

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Though, IIoT is fundamentally similar to IoT; the former is differentiated from the latter utilizing the targeted environment. As the name suggests, IIoT is meant for industrial purposes. Under the purview of IIoT, equipment, including all types of machines and sensors, are connected to the internet to communicate with each other. The data generated by the connected equipment is stored and processed to deliver a plethora of benefits to companies, such as improved management of the facility, predictive maintenance, and more. It also helps companies to leverage their EHS data in a substantially better manner. To help you understand the potential of this combination, we have compiled a list of the top benefits it delivers.

  1. Employee safety: With wearable devices, including personal protective equipment, have played a crucial role in transforming how companies ensure the safety of their employees. It is done in a million different ways, such as by detecting human presence far too near equipment, sounding alerts, and switching off the machine in question. It can also be used to identify abnormal levels of specific gases, chemicals, and more via sensors on employees’ person and prevent any untoward incident.
  2. Keep an eye on equipment: Unforeseen downtime for equipment can translate into massive losses for the company. Whereas for employees, it can mean a risk to their safety. In this context, IIoT collects data on all equipment in the facility, makes use of advanced analytics and machine learning to predict faults, if at all. In addition to that, the data thus gathered can also be used to monitor maintenance schedules and even predict if a particular piece of machinery may need an unscheduled service in the future.
  3. Environmental management: Industries make use of a variety of devices that serve to help them with their environmental management-related efforts. Case in point, continuous emissions monitoring systems — they keep an eye on the emission levels of things like particulate matter, dangerous organic compounds, and more to help businesses ensure compliance with emissions-related regulations with absolute ease.

The digital world has long proven that it is a potent sea of advanced technology-based tools that can bring on transformation in the blink of an eye. IIoT is a prime example of technology’s prowess. When combined with workplace health and safety management software, businesses substantially gain access to a robust tool that will assist their endeavors in the context of gathering, tracking, and processing data that will fortify their EHS efforts.

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IoT and CRM, the buzz words of the 21st century, are now a reality and would soon bring the great industrial revolution across the world. With the advancements in technology and the internet, it’s not only humans who are connected via the internet, but also the devices which are getting connected through this marvel technology.

 IoT(internet of things) as a game-changer is becoming a crucial technology in different industries and integrating innovative ways to bring success to an organization.

As per a report by Gartner, there will be around 20 billion IoT devices by 2020.

IoT and CRM

IoT is the connection of the devices via internet while CRM is the collection of customer’s data through data mining, giving useful insight into the customer behavior for segmenting the market and targeting the campaign effectively. With the empowerment by IoT, CRM helps to manage relationships with the customer and facilitates in achieving the goal of an organization.

As per another report by Gartner, CRM will be the heart of the digital initiatives for many years to come.

Who mainly benefits from CRM?

  • Small businesses looking for rapid growth: CRM can take off the burden from the IT management team by automating the business process. It further helps the employees to keep the focus on the critical areas which needs human intervention.
  • Top industry leaders looking for large scale solutions: It simplifies and improves the complex engagements with a customer. Some of the top-level executives like CEOs, CIOs, CMOs require advanced tools to streamline the business and technical process of an organization and with a wide range of CRM tools it can be scaled to meet the requirements of any organization.

It should be acknowledged that with IoT, CRM can evolve to a much developed and advanced version of the technology. The combination can help in making sense of the past enterprise data, and connecting it with the real-time data through the “devices.” The combined technology can help all the departments across the organization, be it sales, marketing, or customer service.

Find out some of the best results which businesses can achieve through this integration:

1. Optimized customer service:

Have you ever thought of, fixing the errors before the customer notices it!!!!

No product in the market is entirely error-free. For a marketer, it is a nightmare when a customer complains about their product and that too on a widely-used social media platform. It can hurt a company’s reputation as negative publicity spreads fast like the wildfire of Amazon. This scenario can be easily evaded with predictive analysis, and with the right integration of CRM and IoT. It helps to push away the major lapses, which can demotivate a customer in purchasing further services or products of the same brand.

 Majority of the manufacturers are already reaping the benefits of connecting their CRM with the IoT devices. As they are partly responsible if a product does not provide the service as per the expectations of a customer, they can make the product 100% efficient with the right collection of the customer data and the product specifications needed by the customer.

Customer service as one of the essential support to generate high revenue for the organization needs an advanced version of the technology, which helps to understand the customer with the right information.  IoT with CRM is a perfect guide in this circumstance as it is the right combination of technology and customer relationship management process of the organization.

 As businesses vie up for the same customer, the one providing the best and optimized customer service will be surely a winner in this race.

2. Increased sales:

The consumer market has evolved over the years, and customers are highly valuing service over others, before making the final decision. An efficient service, which involves providing precise solutions to the business challenges of the customers at the right time, significantly improvises the business process and increase sales.

An increasing number of organizations are leveraging IoT technology to increase sales opportunities.

3. Next-generation CX: Customer experience (CX) is the sum of the customer journey throughout the business cycle with your organization. IoT and CRM pave the path for the next-generation CX as the IoT related data which provide predictive analysis enables proactive support leading to some of the best customer experiences. By using customer information on the location, preference, status, and others, the problem can be predicted and resolved at the right time.

4. Omnichannel in-store experience: CRM and IoT can provide an immersive and omnichannel in-store experience. Store owners can know what the customer is looking for, what are his preferences, etc. It would also help in suggesting the products which the customer might purchase.

5. Customer retention: As CRM provides the complete customer data, it can help in better understanding of your customers. The IoT data and customer data build up a unique combination in streamlining the marketing approach and targeting the existing customer. The whole process helps to retain the existing customer, a challenge in the current market scenario.

What are the benefits of IoT and CRM integration?

It influences customer engagement to a great extent and provides:

  • A higher degree of personalization
  • Molding of the marketing process
  • Helping to change the prices as per the demand
  • Higher revenue and sales for the organization
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Conclusion:

 As an organization, one can discover advanced ways of connecting with the customers, when IoT and CRM are enabled to work together as a connected enterprise.

 IoT is the new channel which holds great promise for CRM. The small and mid-sized businesses, along with the large enterprises equally, could reap the benefits of this amalgamation. The interaction of the devices with intelligent systems opens up a complete new world for delivering personalized services and exceptional support.

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I believe, that Apple is the most important IoT company. I believe this, not because, with the iPhone, Apple has brought up a different category of smartphones, but it keeps on setting the gold standards for what this device can do. The seamless, effortless integration of the whole product line of the apple, has given the company an advantage which no other mobile company can surmount. It is not the only reason for apple products being in the limelight. Nowadays, every consumer-focused IoT application works well with smartphones but the iPhone was the first device to display the power of connected sensors. With the help of the iPhone, many companies were able to amass the incredible amount of data.

Today, I will be discussing one of the hot technologies, that is in buzz since its birth that is IoT.

IoT stands for the Internet of things and is a hot technology nowadays. The 'things' in IoT can be any device embedded with software, electronics, and sensors. It provides an ability to transfer data over the network without any manual intervention. The network in IoT devices is decided on factors like range, security, power, and data. These factors are responsible for the choice of the network, which will be established such as Wifi, Bluetooth, internet, and any other.

Now, let us look at the reasons made IoT, a hot technology:

Technical Optimization
It helps in improving the technologies and giving a better experience to the user. For eg, IoT can provide car manufacturers, the data from various car sensors to make the car more efficient and to improve the car design.

Reduced Waste
It provides real-time updates to the users helping in making a better decision. It also leads to better management of the resources. For eg, If the manufacturer finds a fault in multiple items of the product, then by tracking the manufacturer's plan, he will be able to resolve the issue through the manufacturer belt.

Customer Engagement
IoT improves the customer experience by detecting the problems in the system and improving the issue. For eg, any issue in the car will be notified by the sensors alerting both the driver and the manufacturer. By the time the driver reaches the service station, the manufacturer will be ready with the solution.

Data Collection
Traditionally, data collection was limited and had a passive use. But with IoT, it has become easy to collect data as it facilitates immediate action on data.

There are many reasons other than these, which accelerate the market of IoT but these are some of the major reasons for the increased popularity of IoT devices and made every consumer-focused business owner to hire an iPhone app development company
 to get the iPhone app build having an IoT feature.

Parting Thoughts

With this, I end up the article on why you should build an iPhone app having IoT features. I hope, by now, you have understood the concept. While looking at today's world of technologies, it clearly indicates how IoT will be implemented in the future. The world of connection of devices, people, and data generates more business opportunities for many sectors. With the decrease in IoT components, the cost of IoT linked devices have become more affordable. Eventually, making more people to use IoT Linked devices. The usage of the internet is increasing day-by-day and IoT is the concept that allows multiple devices to stay connected and communicate with each other with the help of the internet. It is the only reason behind the concept of smart grids, smart cities, smart homes, and intelligent transportation. With all this, I can say that the future is the Internet of Things.

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When Refrigerators Attack - How Cyber Criminals Infect Appliances, and How Manufacturers Can Stop Them

 

Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo

 

Homes and businesses worldwide are vulnerable to attacks from cyber thieves and other bad actors – and not just through their computer networks. The embedded electronics inside appliances present an easy path of entry. It’s already been happening. According to Business Insider and Proofpoint, one of the first refrigerator incidents occurred in late 2013 when a refrigerator-based botnet was used to attack businesses.

 

Some of these attacks, such as infecting appliances with botnet malware, don’t really have much effect upon a family’s security and safety. In fact, if a “smart” refrigerator gets infected by a bot, the homeowner might not even notice anything wrong.

 

However, connected-appliance based cyberattacks are not limited to just refrigerators – and they are rarely one-off incidents. Almost any type of appliance can be hacked and used to host a botnet that could attack the web. According to Wired Magazine, a botnet of compromised water heaters, space heaters, air conditioners and other big power consuming home appliances, could suddenly turn on simultaneously, creating an immense power draw that could cripple the country’s power grid.

 

A bot, quite simply, is an infected computer. Many cyberattacks, like the Mirai Malware and the Dyn attacks, infect a network of computers, including “smart” connected devices such as home appliances, security cameras, baby monitors, air conditioning/heating controls, televisions, etc., and turn them all into compromised servers. These compromised servers then act as nodes in an attack and together create a botnet. They can participate in a variety of coordinated attacks, infecting other devices and expanding the network of bots, or participating in Denial of Service attacks.

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Caption: A bad actor or cyber criminal can send infected messages to a home or business network that targets various appliances or machines. Once infected, that machine is under the control of the bad actor and can be used to send out thousands of infected messages to new targets worldwide. The botnets can also send out millions of dummy messages to a single target – overwhelming it and putting it out of service. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Without any apparent symptoms or notice, a criminally enhanced refrigerator could be generating and sending out thousands of attacks every minute. In addition to the homeowner or business manager never realizing what is going on, these attacks may be unstoppable until unless the machine itself is disconnected from its web connection.

 

Additionally, the infected refrigerator could spread malware from the kitchen to the home’s “smart” TVs, to the home’s computer networks, to other smart devices in the home, and even to connected smart phones. Every target could be transformed into malicious bots that distribute millions of infected spam messages and cyber-attacks.

 

So how do we combat this threat?

 

Unfortunately, end users really have no power to fix this problem. There is probably no way for a homeowner, office manager – or even an experienced refrigerator repair person – to talk to a refrigerator’s electronics. No way to get into the appliance’s software and middleware to identify and kill an infection. However, if the homeowner suspects an infection, they could disconnect the refrigerator from the its internet connection to make it “dumb” again.

 

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Fridge caught sending spam emails in botnet attack - In the first documented attack of its kind, the Internet of Things has been used as part of an attack that sent out over 750,000 spam emails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is up to device manufacturers to protect against these attacks. 

 

So how do manufacturers combat this type of attack? How can they ensure that appliances in homes and offices do not get infected to cause mayhem?

 

Security starts in the design process for the refrigerator itself, as well as for the appliances’ various electronic components and control surfaces. Most appliance manufacturers get their control sub-assemblies from a wide network of smaller manufacturers, sometimes with a worldwide supply chain. These suppliers need to make sure that the chips and sub-assemblies they use are secure from hacks.

Two important security practices can be utilized by appliance makers:

 

  • Embedded Firewall with blacklist and whitelist support – Protect appliances and edge devices from attacks by building firewall technology directly into the appliance. An embedded firewall can review incoming messages from the web or over the home network and, via a built in, and regularly updated blacklist, reject any that are not previously approved.

 

  • Secure Remote Updates and Alerts – Validate that the firmware inside the device is authenticated and unmodified before permitting installation of any new firmware updates. Updates ensure the incoming software components have not been modified and are authenticated software downloads modules from the appliance manufacturer.

 

Most consumer and device manufacturers have heard about the potential for attacks on smart devices like door locks, baby monitors, and home thermostats, but this risk awareness needs to expand to types of connected systems – including appliances. An infected refrigerator sending out malware is not just a funny story. These systems have been attacked and used to spread malware.  Ensuring the security of these devices is necessary to protect home network, slow the spread of malware and even protect credit card numbers or other personal data stored in smart home devices.

 

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EXTRA PROOF POINT FOR COLUMN

 

Refer to: https://www.cnet.com/news/fridge-caught-sending-spam-emails-in-botnet-attack/

 

 

 Author Bio - Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Solutions, Sectigo

 

Alan has 25 years of experience in telecommunications and the embedded software marketplace. He is VP of IoT, Embedded Solutions IoT at Sectigo, the world’s largest commercial Certificate Authority and provider of purpose-built, automated PKI solutions. Alan joined Sectigo in May 2019 as part of the company’s acquisition of Icon Labs, a leading provider of security software for IoT and embedded devices, where he was CTO and co-founder, as well as the architect of Icon Labs' award-winning Floodgate Firewall. He is a frequent industry speaker and blogger and holds multiple patents related to telecommunication and security.

 

Prior to founding Icon Labs, Alan worked for AT&T Bell Labs and Motorola.  He has an MS in computer science from Northwestern University.

 

About Sectigo

 

Sectigo provides award-winning, purpose-built and automated PKI management solutions to secure websites, connected devices, applications, and digital identities. As the largest commercial Certificate Authority, trusted by enterprises globally for more than 20 years, and more than 100 million SSL certificates issued in over 200 countries, Sectigo has the proven performance and experience to meet the growing needs of securing today’s digital landscape. For more information, visit www.sectigo.com.

 

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The end of 2020 will see over 30 billion devices connected to the internet, empowering the lives of residents all across the globe. 

 

This sounds too good to be accurate, but seeing the trends we are witnessing right now, it will eventually turn out to be this rapid! 

A few years back, the idea of a smart home would not have appealed to you since you were not reasonably familiar with home automation concepts. 

Today, however, the tables have turned. Technological homes, with easy access to home automation systems and smart home devices, are a popular choice among millennial homebuyers. 

People who have already invested in their dream home are looking forward to upgrading their sacred space with automated devices. 

 

But what exactly is home automation? 

If you are still not familiar with the term, let’s get you caught up first! 

Home automation or put, smart home technology refers to a range and suite of automated devices and home appliances that are connected to a single point of the network, shared by them commonly, with the ability to be controlled and managed remotely and independently. 

In other words, home automation devices refer to essential home system devices that can be controlled entirely by the homeowners, with full access to their management, single-handedly from a remote location. 

Home automation system works like a centralized unit, just like any smartphone app, only this one resides with you under your roof. 

From audio/visual devices to security cameras, thermostats, lighting, other major and minor appliances around your home. 

Everything can be controlled remotely while being connected to the common home internet connection, and controlled via manual means or employing a smartphone. 

 

The future is now! 

Home automation device turns out to be a great luxury in today’s era. They often lead you directly into the sphere of high-functionality devices, which was not possible a few decades before. 

This technological development of the course is still expanding and will continue to grow for several decades until our lives have become more straightforward, more convenient, and more comfortable than ever before. 

Smart home devices or Smart City like these are leading us to relive our animated fantasy and enter a world that resembles The Jetsons. 

The futuristic Jetsons family has offered us our share of adrenaline, right from the very beginning and continues to do so even today. 

Imagine being able to control the smallest, yet the most significant changes around us! 

The lighting, the temperature, your security provisions, your food, drink, and clothing habits; all with a touch of simple screens and voice control actions. 

 

Spoilt by the feasibility of choices 

The idea of reliving your childhood fantasy, just like the Jetsons family might sound like a massive deal to you but is not too far away. 

The concept is not too far out of our reach. It is not too much of a technological cliche as well. 

The future is now and is feasible and easily accessible, more than what you can think! 

There is, of course, a bundle of benefits that comes along with this easy access. 

 

The benefits of smart home automation on a global scale 

It is very convenient 

The prime reason why people opt for smart home automation devices on a large scale is because of the convenience it offers. People gain full access, remotely, to their entire home. 

This even includes controlling the temperature of their homes through devices. As stated before, controlling the heat, the music, the multimedia content you get, the audio and visual aids.

Every single element offers you the luxury to spend your time as per your likings, without having to be bound by responsibilities of any kind. 

You do not always have to get out of the comfort of your cozy bed on a chilly winter night to switch your lights off. 

With simple touches over your smartphone and simple gestures, you can do that! 

You do not necessarily have to take some time out of your busy schedule to get updates from around the world; voice-controlled smart devices will keep you updated of the news briefs while you work. 

 

You are safe at all times

Another reason that adds to the popularity of smart home automation systems is the fact that you can finally live in peace, even when you are leaving your home to go on a vacation. 

It sounds like a miracle to homeowners in quiet towns around the globe; however, it is very accurate! 

You can rely on technology to check up on the safety of your belongings and your home, without having to rely on neighbors who are, of course, friendly, but are humans capable of simple errors. 

Smart security setups can micromanage your home’s safety, even when you are miles away! You will be notified automatically, without any delays in cases of abnormalities. 

 

It is excellent for people of all ages! 

Smart home automation also takes excellent care of the elderly population, sometimes better than us humans. 

They do not require manual devices to take care of themselves, rather smart help monitors them every second of the day and helps them with their medication, moving around, calling medical assistance and other necessary support. 

 

Home automation systems are energy efficient 

Not to forget the energy efficiency that we gain from smart home devices. 

The endless use of AI-powered tools around the house does not put a significant impact on the balance of our ecosystem. It aims at restoring the balance. 

You save energy, improve the overall efficiency with the help of smart home technology. 

The lights switch on and off automatically, through smart sense, when you leave your home without turning them off. 

The intelligent sense detects your presence and warmth to do the necessary tasks, thereby saving up energy and carbon in the environment. 

 

The trajectory 

On an individual level, it seems fun and exciting, to be surrounded by devices that manage your daily routine as per your linkings, but on a global scale, this has turned out to be a game-changer for tech corporations. 

The amount of interest generated via smart home automated devices has turned out to be a significant force, turning the tech markets around on a massive whirlwind. 

The biggest Mobile Application Development Company are today competing against each other, to outdo each other. 

Facebook, Google, Apple, Windows, anyone, and everyone is in this rat race to be the ultimate winner. Bigger and more convenient solutions are being thought about, as far as the significant-tech corporations are concerned. 

Thousands of billions of dollars are being budgeted entirely to develop AI and IoT based devices to make today’s homes and families futuristic. 

The overall statistics state that the smart home device markets have managed to cross $70 Billion mark in 2018 and will continue to increase by over 15% on an annual basis. 

This way, the market is expected to reach over $150 billion by 2025. The growth is tremendous and is, of course, driven by a lot of factors, that have already been mentioned above. 

These factors and the convenience these automated devices offer have managed to drive considerable growth towards the market in the form of willing families and individuals who want to incorporate technology into their lives.  

Watching the trends and the boom in the smart home automation system markets, Governments all across the globe are taking measures to increase the stability of these devices, enhance the security these devices offer and to manage and regulate their benefits and uses around the planet. 

Together, major tech corporations and the Governments are aiming at making the world more tech-friendly!

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Let's be honest. Numerous individuals are resistant to technological changes in both their own lives and at the workplace. However, what they regularly need is the vision to perceive how the new technology they are opposing will improve their lives later on.

Blockchain has risen out to turn into the best game-changer for worldwide businesses. Upcoming and budding business people have understood the genuine capability of the blockchain. One of the most excited and discussed technology in the business world right now is Blockchain technology. More than 25 Industry sections have understood the genuine capability of this technology and keenly look forward to relating with the right technology partner.

Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology behind it, didn't disrupt the world as was at first idea when Satoshi Nakamoto published his invention in 2009. More recently, in any case, the blockchain has turned out to be one of the most generally discussed buzzwords, in the payment industry as well as over various industries. Truth be told, some accept that blockchain technology could eventually be more vital than the web.

Industries that are evolving Blockchain Technology

The first application of blockchain technology is digital cash like Bitcoin. The capability of blockchain technology lies in its versatility for a wide assortment of blockchain applications and use cases across many industries. Take a look at industries that blockchain is ready to disrupt:

1. Banking

Ironically banks are currently beginning to grasp blockchain technology, even though cryptocurrencies were first made to wipe out the reliance and trust on monetary intermediaries. Banks play an intermediary to a pack of financial services over the world, and blockchain technology banking will change the idea of numerous daily bank tasks throughout the following decade.

Blockchain technology in banking

By utilizing blockchain, transferring assets between two parties that are situated on opposite sides of the world work as though they were directly nearby to one another. Blockchain technology in banking could likewise help banks move currency inside their organizations. Banks could build up their own managed cryptocurrencies to replace traditional dollars.

2. Manufacturing

blockchain in manufacturing

The specialists expressed that the blockchain in the manufacturing business sector is anticipated to be worth around $30 million by 2020, and the market will keep on developing at a yearly development rate of 80 percent, to $566 million by 2025. Other real cryptographic money markets like Japan and South Korea have been empowering the development of blockchain in manufacturing technology and usage of decentralized systems across different businesses.

3. Industry Applications

blockchain industry applications

Since blockchain technology is encrypted and decentralized, it is in effect broadly investigated for building up such platforms to encourage distributed and business communications. Starting today, the tide of time is by all accounts for decentralized and encrypted messaging applications. For example, Telegram, one such encoded application for messaging, is settling the adoption of blockchain industry applications for different purposes.

4. Blockchain in Food Industry

blockchain technology in food industry

Imagine you could follow the source of your food like a minute or if you could check if the natural products you bought were really natural. This could really occur sooner rather than later, with blockchain technology set to make its debut in the food business.

Blockchain can help in many ways of view through:

Food safety: Blockchain helps in making the food supply chain transparent and furthermore engages the chain to know about any food safety disasters. This is one reason why associations like Unilever and Nestle are thinking about utilizing blockchain technology. By utilizing it, buyers would most likely follow the causes of specific products to prove their credibility.

Preventing Fraud: It would likewise help in preventing fraud if the information gathered is free of any human error. Actualizing blockchain would help in preventing these issues. It would likewise help in distinguishing the offender if a culprit is made.

Simpler and Quicker Payment: Blockchain would accelerate the payment procedure. It would help farmers in selling more and being repaid appropriately as the market information would be readily available. It could likewise prevent the occurrence of retroactive payments and price intimidation.

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The Internet of Things promises a smart, fully-connected world where physical objects and services are interlinked to benefit society. According to a Statista report, by 2020 the number of IoT-enabled devices worldwide will reach 30.73 billion. From smart home appliances to connected medical devices to self-driving cars — we are moving full steam ahead towards the Internet of Everything.

But such ubiquitous connectivity raises many concerns regarding safety, and rightfully so. In October 2016, Mirai, arguably the most infamous IoT botnet, caused major disruptions and resulted in several high-profile Internet services inaccessible. 

With the continuously expanding IoT attack surface, the existing security practices often fall short. To address the new threat landscape, engineers harness the power of machine and deep learning to deliver robust, secure IoT solutions for a safer connected world.

Network traffic analysis

The sheer amount and diversity of IoT devices make it extremely difficult for network administrators to reliably monitor M2M and M2H interactions. Various network communication protocols — Bluetooth, Zigbee, WiFi, LoRaWAN, MQTT — add another layer of complexity.

To tackle the challenge at hand, researchers are leveraging machine learning to analyze IoT device traffic and establish legitimate behavioral profiles. Trained to recognize baseline behavior, ML algorithms can successfully detect any traffic anomalies and intrusions. Unsupervised learning goes further and detects even previously unseen attacks, helping to boost IoT security.

Botnet activity detection

The above mentioned Mirai botnet managed to infect over 600,000 IoT devices to pull off one of the largest DDoS attacks on record. The thing with IoT botnets is that they work silently, without compromising the infected device performance..

Traditional signature-based botnet detection methods prove ineffective as bots with slightly different signatures can go undetected. The same goes for zero-day attacks. Deep learning, in its turn, has the potential to improve botnet detection and enhance cybersecurity. As one of the options, researchers suggest using deep autoencoders — unsupervised neural networks — that can learn complex patterns and detect infected IoT devices with low false alarm rates.

IoT device authentication

Viewed as the first line of security, authentication ensures that users and devices can be trusted to be what they declare to be. In large IoT ecosystems with millions of connected devices, strong authentication becomes as important as it is challenging.

In addition to network heterogeneity and complexity, limited computational ability and power of IoT-enabled devices do not allow using traditional authentication techniques. Minimal storage capacity of embedded systems also contributes to the complexity.

Machine learning offers new capabilities in enforcing secure authentication and improving resistance to identity-based spoofing attacks. Recent researches demonstrated the success of deep learning-based RF fingerprinting for highly accurate IoT device identification based on RF emissions. 

IoT access management

Another pillar in IoT security, access control helps keep unauthorized users and devices away from protected network resources. Given the complexity of IoT ecosystems and enormous amounts of IoT-generated data, static, context-unaware access control rules cannot ensure adequate levels of protection.

Keeping in mind these limitations, a reinforcement learning model can be applied to dynamically optimize access control policy. The model continues to improve over time and takes into account multiple contexts that smart devices are used in. The authors also suggest leveraging blockchain technology to provide a distributed access control architecture that can be a better fit for a decentralized IoT environment.

Summing up

As the number of connected devices is growing at a breathtaking pace, IoT security remains top of mind for manufacturers, enterprises, and consumers alike. An IoT ecosystem is only as strong as its weakest link. Without proper security in place, an infected IoT device cannot only compromise thousands of others but give access to your personal information or participate in a massive DDoS attack. 

New security threats and vulnerabilities require new approaches, and machine learning lends itself well to the challenge. From detecting anomalous behavior of IoT devices to accurate fingerprinting to adapting access control policy, machine and deep learning help enhance IoT security.

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The way businesses are carried out today has changed at the fundamental level with IoT. By connecting sensors and devices with the internet, we have reached a new height of progress and innovation, which was not previously possible. This new height is all about data connectivity, analytics, and automation. In the coming times, we will see more of IoT enabled devices and systems getting common in our lives due to the traction gained in terms of home automation and industries. The industries which understand the potential of IoT implementation are more likely to flourish and drive innovation in the niche during the next decade.

What is IoT?

IoT stands for Internet of Things which can be called as a network of physical objects which communicate and interact with each other as well as their environment through an internet connection. This simply means that with more number of devices around us being connected over the internet, it will enable companies to control them remotely, collect more amounts of data as well as enable automation.

The effect of IoT has increased drastically across different industries today. The way IoT has revolutionized them and is playing a key role in its progress has to be well noted.

IoT in Manufacturing

The contribution of IoT in the manufacturing industry is very high and you can say that it is the one that enjoys the highest IoT investment. The investment is taking place at two levels. One is working towards cost reduction and optimizing systems called as inward facing and the other is towards improving customer usage called as outward facing. 

Manufacturers are making use of IoT to carry on predictive maintenance, optimize their processes and to monitor equipment. In order to enhance the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations, the use of IoT devices in terms of smart manufacturing is playing a huge role. Smart manufacturing is all about making the existing manufacturing equipment equipped with sensors. This may not be required with the new manufacturing equipment as they have such sensors pre-installed. 

Smart planning is all about offering the supply chain with the smart floor. Information can be captured in real-time and actionable insights can be put to use. Smart manufacturing is all about covering each and every area in manufacturing, which includes plant operations, inventory control product design, demand & supply management, etc. With smart manufacturing, manufacturers get complete visibility of the business which helps them to optimize the supply and demand chain while streamlining the business processes. 

IoT in Transportation

If we try to look into IoT investment, then you will find that IoT holds the second highest position in this arena. One of the best gifts that we have from IoT is self-driving cars. Some of the big names in the industry like Uber, BMW, Ford, GM, and Google have been heavily investing in this area to make use of innovative technologies to come up with self-driving cars. Such kind of self-driving cars will simplify transportation, reduce pollution and even save more lives by preventing accidents. 

More number of public transportation and freight vehicles is using sensors to optimize fuel consumption, schedule maintenance and fleet management. Even some of the vehicles come with digital data recorders which record driving under heavy acceleration so as to indicate the driver of any fatal accidents which might occur. 

IoT in Agriculture

By using IoT technologies, farming and agriculture have been able to make greater benefits. With the help of IoT device installations, the farmers are able to collect valuable data which reveals about their livestock and crops in a number of ways. They can survey land using drones and even measure the resources available on the farms. When all these things come together, it helps the farmers with a new way of carrying out things like precision farming. The role of IoT in agriculture and farming will increase significantly as the demand for food keeps on increasing. 

IoT impacting Healthcare

As per many experts, it has been said that the healthcare industry is going to be one of the main areas where spending on IoT will be considerably high. We already have a number of equipment which does things in a better way like share patient reports and images, helps with ICU management, real-time location systems, finding problems and troubleshooting and medicine dispensing. It is possible for IoT to streamline the data coming from medical service providers and send them back with the help of technologies like mobility solutions and wearables. 

When medical devices are connected with IoT sensors, the doctors will get right information delivered that too with reduced errors. This positively affects the quality of service and diagnosis process. The use of smart beds is also increasing across a number of hospitals. Such beds are capable of sensing the patient and adjusting it automatically so as to offer proper support. 

Improving patient care at homes is possible using IoT applications. Smart medication dispensers can notify the patient automatically when it is time to take the medicines and can also be used to upload the reports on the cloud platform for the doctors to check and make changes in the dose. 

IoT has proved itself and so it is going to stay here for a long time. The use of IoT across the healthcare industry will keep improving as they are looking for better ways to leverage technology so as to improve efficiency. With data sharing becoming simpler in the coming times, the use of IoT applications across the sector will grow too. 

IoT in Retail

What if one day you don’t have to worry about the shortage of supplies in your fridge? What if it can order the items on its own when the stock in the fridge starts to go low? The potential of IoT in the retail industry is high. It is time for us to face smart retailing. A smart supply chain which is based on IoT already exists. There are applications for automated delivery systems, real-time inventory management, product tracking, auto-billing, etc. and here, new trends are visible fast. 

With a smart retail store, it is possible to analyze and understand the shopping journey of the customers through footfalls. Earlier, businesses carried out long surveys to understand the market demands and this was an expensive affair. Now the use of foot-traffic monitoring has increased as a part of smart stores to analyze the areas where the customer is having a problem with finding goods and which are the best selling products. This way it will become possible to assign an executive to the customer so as to help with quick shopping. Based on store traffic monitoring, businesses can improve the in-store shopping experience. This way, by making use of mobile devices, retailers will have a better chance to engage customers and implement new digital marketing strategies. 

With the online marketplace growing exponentially, retailers are looking for ways to grab the attention of the customers and bring them to their stores. For the same, they need to get their hand on data and analytics, which can help them increase footfalls. Based on the data and analytics, IoT can help retailers make the right decisions. Keeping it short, retailers should focus on using IoT applications which can be used to serve the customers in an enhanced manner. 

IoT in Fintech

When we talk of fintech businesses or financial services organizations, their main concern is security. This is the reason why they depend on the network of visual sensors and cameras, which can offer them reliable facilities. When it comes to IoT deployment, the financial services organizations are quite good in numbers and even they are good at visual analytics adoption. Financial companies are going for mobile phones as their endpoint choice along with sensors and cameras. When it comes to IoT implementation, financial forms have many goals to achieve, but the main one is to have better connectivity for their networks as well as employ greater security for their services. 

IoT in Smart Homes & Buildings

IoT has greatly influenced the way we live and work. If we talk about living space, IoT has brought to light the concept of the smart home automation system. This system is all about different connected products which work towards making life more convenient, more comfortable and more pleasant. By using intelligent homes, it becomes possible for the homeowners to build up a pleasant environment within the four walls while working towards efficient energy management and enhanced security through proper customization. To build and monitor smart homes, a number of IoT technologies are available. 

Some of the leading consumer product manufacturing companies in the market are Philips, Haier, and Amazon. You can get news headlines to read to you while you are working, by asking Alexa, the voice assistant of Amazon Echo. 

A perfect example of a smart home design is Philips Hue. This bulb offers you 600 to 800 color lumens to choose from. It can change based on your mood. This product is compatible with other smart home platforms like Apple’s iPhone Home Kit and Amazon Echo. 

In the coming years, the number of smart home devices is going to go high. The smart appliances will includes washing machines, refrigerators, TV, dryers, etc. Then you have smart home energy equipment which provides for thermostats and smart lighting while smart home security systems which include cameras, sensors, alarm systems, etc. Saving energy and reduction in electricity costs can be seen as the major advantage of IoT implementation in smart home concept. 

IoT impact on energy

One of the early adopters of IoT is the utility industry. It is possible to make a better recording of energy consumption using smart meters. This will help the companies offering utility services to efficiently and accurately bill their customers based on consumption. 

Moreover, with the help of smart meters, it will become possible to track down and send back to the grid the amount of energy the users of green technologies consume. And based on that, credit them and pay some incentives as a part of encouraging them towards using environment-friendly options. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for the next level of automation, then IoT is the answer. In the coming time, IoT implementation will become more comfortable with the innovation of new technologies and it will make things faster and secure too. This makes life better at home, as well as at work. IoT is adding in more and more things to the digital environment and it is to make everything easy right from smart kitchen to smart offices, smart traffic to smart parking spaces.

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                                                                                             Source - Salesforce

 

“By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human” – Gartner
Prior to jump into depth to sharing about ‘customer experience optimization through AI technology’ let’s first understand ‘what is customer experience?’. The perception or the value created about the brand to the customer, is called customer experience. The process to increase the awareness with positive intent towards the brand, is called customer experience optimization.

 

To optimize the customer experience, Business needs to first of all understand all moves to be taken by customer while landing initially onto portal to either purchasing the product or services without facing any hassle. Nowadays, AI technology has been implemented across all industries due to have its immense capability to drive strategic data as well as to respond customers quickly that cause business growth.

 

Problems that can be solved using AI:

 

Nowadays, Customers have multiple options when it comes to choose any product or service so Business should be proactive indeed on planning for futuristic action to engage the customer in order to compete with their potential competitors in the market. AI captures the existing data of current business and suggest the next step to be taken by implementing machine learning algorithm.

 

How AI plays a key role in making customer experience optimized

 

AI uses the machine learning algorithm to deliver human sense to customer. AI boost up the business process in such a way that the same service can be delivered in a quick and effective way. Being a customer, we face challenge in accessing support service such as long waiting time to connect with support agent, immediate actions to be taken on account, accessing personal details securely in no time etc. While accessing service or product solution, customer stuck at some point and they look for urgent help by contacting Phone/chat support team through number of channels such as Phone, email, web chat that usually consumes more than expected which may cause customer interest toward the brand.

 

Rather than getting help from support team, Customer always shows their positive intent to resolve the issue by self that enables customer to find the answer quickly, perform the required actions within no time, no additional charge with high secure, share less their sentiment to other human in very secure way. AI helps the customer to access key information based on their keywords they input to the application. Rich collection of content is prepared that allows computer system to sense the customer need and when required, customer access the custom fit content in no time.

 

Impact/Benefit of Artificial Intelligence on Business:

 

AI helps the business to automate and improve complex analytical tasks, to look at strategic data in real-time, adjusting its behavior with minimal need for supervision as well as to Increase efficiency and accuracy.

Below are the following benefits that are accessed by business on AI implementation:

• Increase operational performance that results less effort & time
• Helps stakeholder to take business decision quickly
• Eliminate human error with AI based algorithm
• Prediction analysis through analytics
• Data extraction through solid algorithm
• Increase Profitability
• Intelligent advice suggestion

 

One of the interesting part about AI, it follows pre-trained machine learning models and out-of-the box services that integrates with key customer experience process and solutions. AI can be used in almost unimaginable number of ways including sentiment analysis to understand the next move of a prospect/customer and recommend products based on customer interest.

 

The benefit is not only limited to customer; it is very useful for support process where agent access the knowledge base which contains the information that need to be shared with customer. Each of the little information can’t be memorized by human henceforth AI comes into the picture that helps the support team to guide the customer in right way quickly. AI provides the prediction analysis, and data plays an important role to succeed. AI utilize the captured data into computer system and apply the algorithm to make custom fit solution for end users. With consideration of customer intent, AI is solving many business problems on continuous rate that makes the AI as disruptive solution.

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Did you think that the digital revolution was too focused on consumers? Think again. In came the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT. Undoubtedly it is the largest propeller of productivity and growth in the coming years. This wave of digital innovation aims at accelerating the restructure and enhancements of sectors comprising of more than two-thirds of world output.

The current market scenario is experiencing a shift from capacity to capability. This shoots towards an increased manufacturing flexibility towards responding to variable market
demand and achieving high-levels of customer fulfilment.

Speaking about the factories of the future, they are transpiring from conventional make-to-stock (MTS) to emerging make-to-order (MTO), configure-to-order (CTO) and engineer-to-order (ETO) production models. Manufacturers are becoming more demand-driven.

What exactly is IIoT?


We can state that the Industrial Internet of Things is a large cluster of physical objects, systems, platforms and applications containing embedded technology for the communication and share applied intelligence internally inside the network, with the external environment, and with people who operate or communicate with them. The rapid adoption and incorporation of the IIoT are being driven by the easy, effective availability of sensors, affordability of processors and other technologies.


Based on the current scenarios, we can assume that the process of evolution of IIoT will most probably follow these four different phases:

1. Operational Outcome

  • Utilization of assets
  • Cost reductions in operations
  • Worker productivity

2. Outcome-based Economy

  • Pay-per-outcome based approach
  • A dynamic and connected ecosystem
  • Platinum-enabled market place

3. Modern Product & Services

  • New business models
  • Software-based enhanced services
  • Data Monetization

4. Autonomous Pull Economy

  • Continuous demand sensing
  • Complete automation
  • Optimization of resources and reduction of waste

Various sectors where IoT is enhancing the Industrial and Manufacturing sector

Workforce


Human-machine collaboration:- The next-generation robots and droids are designed in a way where they can be easily trained, learn by processing data and observation, and to work collaboratively with humans. They can be used for elder care, hospitality, and concierge services.

Augmented workforce:- Companies are empowering the workforce with mobile and wearable technologies such as smart helmets or smartwatches. They carry the potential to boost employee efficiency on the factory floor. With real-time access to data like status, alarms and instructions, they can have their hands free.


Equipment


Monitoring:- The current types of equipment are fitted with sensors that help increase visibility into the condition and identify threshold violations from those machines. This can help in scheduling maintenance pro-actively. The smart sensors are capable enough to grasp vibration measurement and analysis, infrared thermography, oil analysis and tribology.

Optimization:- The integration of predictive maintenance data along with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems helps optimize the workflow schedule. If we take this into consideration, it helps manufacturers make sure that the impact of equipment unavailability gets minimized by adjusting production run.

Analysis and prediction:- With advancing IT solutions for manufacturing industry, manufacturers are able to correlate current and historical data for predicting potential equipment failure and order a mitigation process. Companies can put to use sensors and analytics that can anticipate pipeline leakage in realtime.

 

Business process


Constant QA:- By taking the benefit of IoT application development services, companies can enable cross-correlation of various data streams in order to make quality assurance a rather less time consuming and expensive. Companies can look forward to integrating visual image inspection with statistical process control (SPC) of plant processes along with datasets to deliver a realtime solution. Any level of quality issues can be addressed immediately through this.

Demand-driven production:- If a company wants to adjust to new changes in product demand, it needs a handsome amount of investment in agile processes. This is the case because the company needs to scale up or down, as needed. With real-time automation and process integration across the supply chain, the industry can enable necessary responsiveness coupled with processes that support mass customization.

Conclusion


A transformation is underway. It is seeping every ounce of available technological aspect in order to fuel the manufacturing industry; once considered late adopters of any technological change, they are today rapidly becoming the frontiers of change. Even though IIoT poses considerable challenges for the industry, the promise of smart manufacturing and intelligent production is too good to let go.

 

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The emerging internet of things (IoT) is an extension of digital connectivity to devices and sensors in homes, businesses, vehicles and potentially almost anywhere. This innovation means that virtually any appropriately designed device can generate and transmit data about its operations, which can facilitate monitoring and a range of automatic functions. To do this IoT requires a set of event-centered information and analytic processes that enable people to use that event information to make optimal decisions and take act effectively.

To better understand how this technology is being deployed and used Ventana Research is launching benchmark research on The Internet of Things. The research will explore organizations’ experiences with IoT initiatives and with attempts to align IT projects, resources and spending with new business objectives that demand real-time intelligence and event-driven architectures.

In many industries, organizations can gain competitive advantage if they can reduce the elapsed time between an event occurring and being able to take action or make decisions in response to it. Existing business intelligence (BI) tools provide useful analysis of and reporting on data drawn from previously recorded transactions, but organizations now areconcluding that employees and processes in IT, business operations and front-line customer sales, service and support also need to be able to detect and respond to events as they happen.

Our previous Internet of Things benchmark research found that both business objectives and regulations are driving demand for new technology and practices. By using them many activities can be managed better, among them manufacturing, customer engagement processes, algorithmic trading, dynamic pricing, yield management, risk management, security, fraud detection, surveillance, supply chain and call center optimization, online commerce and gaming. Success in efforts to combat money laundering, terrorism or other criminal behavior also depends on reducing information latency through the application of new techniques.

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As with any innovation, embracing IoT may require substantial changes to any organization. These are among the challenges business leaders face as they consider adopting this evolving technology:

  • They find it difficult to evaluate the business value of enabling real-time sensing of data and event streams using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, agents and other systems embedded not only in physical locations like warehouses but also in business processes, networks, mobile devices, data appliances and other technologies.
  • They lack an IT architecture that can support and integrate these systems as the volume and frequency of information increase.
  • They are uncertain how to set reasonable business and IT expectations, priorities and implementation plans for important technologies that may conflict or overlap. These can include BI, event processing, business process management, rules management, network upgrades and new or modified applications and databases.
  • They don’t understand how to create a personalized user experience that enables nontechnical employees in different roles to monitor data or event streams, identify significant changes, quickly understand the correlation between events, and determine the right decisions or actions to take.

This research will continue our investigation of how organizations are dealing with these challenges and increasing their responsiveness to events by rebalancing the roles of networks, applications and databases to reduce latency; it also will explore ways in which they are using sensor data and alerts to anticipate problematic events. We will benchmark the performance of organizations’ implementations, including IoT, event stream processing, event and activity monitoring, alerting, event modeling and workflow, and process and rules management.

Click here to participate in this research, and here to learn more about Ventana Research’s methodology and large body of business research. Ventana Research also has conducted research in related areas including Data PreparationMachine LearningData and Analytics in the CloudNext-Generation Predictive Analytics and Big Data Analytics and Integration.

Regards,
David Menninger

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