Our take on how to get started with Internet of Things projects

Getting started with IoT can be hard. Compared to classic software or hardware projects, IoT is hard because there’s multiple different domains involved: hardware, networking, connectivity and software. In each of these domains there will be hurdles to overcome, which is why many IoT projects fail or face budget overruns.

Let’s take the following case as an example. A company in the chemical sector has gas tanks that need to be surveilled. A few of these tanks are stored near the company’s headquarters, but many are located at customer sites. Some of the parameters that they want to monitor include pressure, temperature, power supply and a few 0/1 (open/closed, on/off) digital inputs.

The classic way to solve this Internet of Things case would involve several steps:

  • Search for the right hardware module and sensors to read out each of these parameters
  • Identify the right option for wireless connectivity
  • Look for a data platform to store the incoming data
  • Integration: Find out how to combine these three in order to get one working solution

Because of the complexity of these steps, management often requires an additional step to get started: Prototyping. This would include all of the above, hacked together quickly in order to prove the business case. A lot of this work is to be redone afterwards, because prototyping hardware and software are not suited for production environments.

At Crodeon we have a different take on this kind of customer cases. The main difference is that our products have a built-in versatility that allows us to fulfill the needs of our clients with a standard end-to-end solution. End-to-end means hardware, connectivity and cloud all-in-one. The Crodeon Reporter is versatile, outdoor proof and can be purchased off the shelf. We take care of connectivity, hosting, back-ups and sensors. Even power can be our concern if the customer opts for solar instead of grid powered devices.

For the customer case described above this would mean all sensors and digital inputs connect to one Reporter, making maximum use of this versatile device. All data is transmitted in real-time to the Crodeon Dashboard. The entire end-to-end process is controlled by Crodeon, including device management.

The clear advantage of this versatility is that we turn what our customer thought was going to be a “project” into a simple “purchase“. No custom work required. And the best part: Our customer can start with one device and scale to hundreds with zero risk.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn (August 20th 2019): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/our-take-how-get-started-internet-things-projects-jonathan-sercu/

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