• Elisabeth Nebster

Firmware Update & Management Platform For IoT Devices Efficiency


Firmware Update & Management Platform For IoT Devices Efficiency

 

Firmware Update & Management Platform For IoT Devices Efficiency

On average, companies spend days on on-site firmware updates. Meanwhile, over-the-air ones take minutes. Real estate representatives often сhoose the second option, meeting customer needs, and increasing revenues. You cannot do without the IoT firmware management platform.

We suggest you discover why making a traditional firmware update slows down your business and what steps you should take to design the Internet of Things platform.


Why We Need To Upgrade Traditional Firmware Update Process

How is the firmware of devices usually carried out in smart buildings? The company appoints an employee who periodically conducts on-site customization. If you are a developer with several properties in one city, it is suitable. But whether it will allow your business to expand - remains a mystery. When a company enters a regional or international market, inconveniences arise.

For example:

  • Difficulties in tracking devices worldwide. To flash the software on time, developers need to monitor its work.

  • Lack of a single control center for sensors from different manufacturers. That’s why companies cannot serve smart buildings efficiently.

  • High traveling costs. Every time an employee has a business trip, the company loses resources.

  • Work to the detriment. Usually, developers provide on-site firmware for free. They lose the opportunity to generate additional revenue and improve the customer experience.

These issues make one think about the implementation of an IoT platform for device management. Why not? The business can control the buildings functioning, the timeliness of utility provision, settlement transactions, etc.

Developers understand the value of this approach and benefit from it. For example, they create paid platforms as an additional service to their buildings.

TBI Home Builder provides two IoT platforms for smart house control: Alarm.com and Control4.

The company offers keyless entry door lock, garage, utility sensors management. It provides clients with the freedom of action, regulating the situation from its side. It affects the customer's convenience and provides a single point of control.

In turn, by creating a single IoT ecosystem, the developer gets the opportunity to:

  • analyze up-to-date data on device operation in real-time

  • form predictions concerning further devices operation and eliminate all potential risks

  • promptly respond to any issues with connected devices and make over-the-air firmware updates

  • implement a variety of action plans depending on the situation

  • try new business models, expanding revenue streams

  • cut hidden costs

  • improve employee efficiency

Win-win.

You may also like: IoT Management For Real Estate 

How To Start Designing Digital Service Platform For IoT Devices Management

Define business goals and learn business processes

Management should decide what issues this IoT platform will fix and what goals to achieve. For example, XME.digital client, a global developer with 1 million smart buildings around the world, tried to solve the following issues using software:

  • create firmware management platform and launch it as a paid service

  • gain control over all devices at the facilities

  • create a new business model that allows to resell firmware

All of these goals are directly related to current business processes. Therefore, their analysis is vital. You may need to upgrade some of them before building the platform. Otherwise, the last one will not live up to expectations.

Decide on a way of platform creation

You can always initiate development from scratch and build your unique product, as the Belgian MCS Solutions did. Management engaged Intellias to design a facility IoT platform that fully enables smart buildings within their lifecycle. Thus, the company has provided customers with additional value and boosted their experience.

You can and should choose a route if your business requires it. But get ready to invest more time and resources. An alternative is to use a sort of open-source low code platform like IBM Watson Studio, XME. platform or Bosch IoT Suite. Consequently, you'll also get a custom flexible product, but 2x faster and cheaper.

Find a suitable vendor

Sure, you can deal with it, engaging in-house engineers. But one of the key challenges in building IoT platforms is a lack of expertise in this field. Sometimes it's needed to devote more time for training on how to design a digital service platform.

On the other hand, vendor-side engineers have experience and probably specialize in creating IoT software. Therefore, you'll benefit more from working with a remote team.

Write down requirements for software and estimate the future project from your side

Pay special attention to requirements, as the entire future development process depends on their clarity. You should simulate a vision for the product and convey it to anyone who will be creating it. Besides, if you have a resource, try to estimate the project yourself. You can find an independent expert, use the analogy method, etc. It will help determine what approximate budget you should lay on the IoT platform development.

Take care of product architecture

A firmware update architecture for the Internet of Things devices is a crucial stage. An involved architect will simulate interactions between the platform, connected devices, and web app.

Consider microservice architecture first. It will allow your product to be scalable and handle countless requests simultaneously. Notice the way the architect tries to connect all sensors and the platform. You should know in advance what types of devices you are using in your smart buildings, as the quality of the connection depends on them.

Use middleware

Point-to-point integration leads to several risks. For example, one service failure can provoke downtime in a core ​process. By implementing middleware, you reduce the load on the underlying systems and ensure a quality connection

Deal with challenges

Building a platform that allows you to manage devices remotely and make over-the-air firmware updates is not an easy process. You will have to unify lots of devices from different manufacturers using a variety of communication protocols. An indicator of the quality platform here is the secure firmware update. So take care of it. Especially if you want to receive additional commercial benefits (for example, the above firmware resale).


The Bottom Line

Following predictions, we will use about 75 bln of connected devices by 2025. Considering that now we're using 175 mln smart buildings, the lion's share of devices will fall on them. It means the sooner you think about developing an IoT platform for over-the-air firmware, the more benefits you'll get.


If it is already a part of your strategy - contact our specialists to discover what peculiarities you should be ready for in your certain case.















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