AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog
Accelerate Time to Market for AWS IoT Applications with AWS ISV Partners
By Ally Carey, GTM Specialist, IoT Solutions – AWS
By Kai-Matthias Dickman, Sr. IoT Specialist SA – AWS
By David Walters, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect, IoT – AWS
According to a recent report from IoT Analytics, 60% of all Internet of Things (IoT) software is developed by external organizations, while only 40% is developed in-house. The complexity of device and data management in an IoT application requires specialized experience that’s not always available inside companies who want to leverage IoT.
If your organization requires a faster time to market, members of the AWS Partner Network (APN) have flexible, pre-built solutions to help customers reduce risk while building the foundational elements that are required to deploy an IoT solution at scale.
In this post, we’ll focus on how to select an IoT software partner, and how working with an AWS Partner can help customers meet their business goals.
Choosing an AWS IoT Software Partner
AWS Partners are uniquely positioned to help customers accelerate time to market and take advantage of the scalability, security, and cost efficiency of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Businesses interested in deploying an IoT solution should carefully consider which partner will best fit their organization’s needs, keeping in mind a few key elements, including capabilities, tenancy, security and compliance, migration, and pricing.
When selecting an IoT software platform, it’s important to consider each IoT software partner’s unique platform capabilities and how they map to your desired business outcomes.
Solution accelerator platforms provide components and additional functionality on top of AWS services. These platforms offer features like data management, analytics, mobile applications, and application integration points. Solution accelerator platforms are ideal for customers who need data and device management as well as an abstraction layer to integrate serverless components together to build their own business solutions.
Device management platforms provide solutions to provision devices and manage device fleet operations through multi-tenancy. These platforms may provide device health checks, command and control, device telemetry, and a secondary and fallback path for connectivity should the connection fail.
Next, customers must consider where the IoT platform is hosted. A software platform may run in the AWS account of the IoT software partner or in a dedicated AWS account provided by the customer.
In both of these cases, it’s essential to understand intellectual property (IP) rights, including who will own and have access to application logic and data. Businesses should consider whether their IT teams have the skills necessary to manage a platform in their own AWS account, or if they would prefer the partner manage it for them.
Customers should also consider how granular data and device management should be separated based on their business requirements. For example, a device manufacturer creating consumer devices will ensure customers can only control and access data from devices that a customer owns. To accomplish this, software platforms provide multi-tenancy features that control access in one or multiple AWS accounts, often down to specific users of the platform.
Security and Compliance
Data privacy and compliance are important factors that are affected by which party manages the AWS IoT platform and the defined multi-tenant hierarchy.
Working with sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), in software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions requires businesses to consider what requirements are needed when their customer data is transmitted, stored, and processed.
For solutions built on the AWS environment, AWS manages security of the cloud. Customers are responsible for managing the security of the workload when the platform is deployed into their AWS account. Partners are responsible for securing the platform when it’s deployed in a SaaS model in the partner’s AWS account.
Businesses should understand the AWS Shared Responsibility Model and how it may impact their work with their selected AWS IoT software partner.
In order to innovate quickly in an evolving landscape, migrating your existing workload to a partner or migrating off their platform at a future date is an important consideration.
Updating your device’s cloud endpoint and firmware, ensuring that authentication mechanisms and protocols are standard, and considering how your cloud workload can map to managed AWS services are all requirements for a successful migration.
Finally, each platform has different pricing models, and potential costs should be calculated properly based on your expected IoT workload.
Typical IoT software pricing models include annual subscriptions, pay-as-you-go per message or device, or a flat rate based on the number of connected devices you have deployed.
Some software vendors provide access to their platform free of charge and charge consulting services per project to assist with migration, setup, and management of the IoT deployment.
The AWS Partner Difference
AWS IoT has relationships with 20+ independent software vendors (ISVs) who have developed cloud-based platforms designed to acquire, analyze, and act on IoT data.
Choosing the right partner that has demonstrated success through programs such as the AWS IoT ISV Competency can accelerate your time to market and allow you to focus on core business objectives.
- Members of the APN can obtain AWS IoT Competency which validates and promotes partners with a high bar of technical expertise and proven customer success.
- The AWS ISV Accelerate Program provides co-selling support and benefits, including connections with AWS field sellers who service millions of active AWS customers.
- Together, AWS ISV Accelerate and the AWS IoT ISV Competency help partners take full advantage of the AWS Partner Network and connect with the right customers on AWS.
Choosing the Right Partner for Your Business
Each AWS IoT software partner (and their platform) will differ according to their areas of expertise, preferred market segments, and pricing models.
Consider your use case and your organization’s core competencies and match them to the appropriate device management, solution accelerator, or fully managed solution provider.
IoT software platforms may provide device management functionality, such as firmware updates over the air, provisioning, device fleet monitoring, multi-tenancy of devices, and command and control. Device management platforms are best for organizations that don’t have experience managing a large connected IoT device fleet, but may be experts in building analytics and end user applications.
Data management refers to the routing, processing, and storage of data that’s accessible to higher order applications and services. Solution accelerators typically provide device management as well as data management, so you can focus on building great end-user experiences with easily accessible data from your IoT devices.
End-user applications are the solutions that provide the customer the business value which led them to IoT adoption. Fully managed solutions provide device management, data management, and end-user applications, and they remove the complexity of understanding the underlying platform and device deployment. Businesses that select partners who offer fully managed solutions can trade flexibility and customization for a turn-key experience and faster time-to-value.
Figure 1 – Responsibilities of each entity for different types of AWS IoT software solutions.
Real-World Customer Testimonials
Whether you’re a small, medium, or large enterprise, or a public sector organization, there’s an AWS Partner with the right skills and experience to help you move your business forward.
Let’s take a look at a few customers who have worked with AWS IoT Partners.
Speedcast & EdgeIQ
Speedcast is a leading communications and IT services provider, delivering critical communications services to the maritime, energy, mining, media, telecom, cruise, NGO, government, and enterprise sectors.
With businesses leveraging communications services for a variety of operational needs, Speedcast customers have a common goal—take data from any type of device or transport layer, parse it into a single data stream, and connect it back to customers’ applications, all with 99.999% uptime.
Speedcast needed a technology- and frequency-agnostic DeviceOps solution that could manage the initial seven device types and four transport layers in a single system and be uncompromising on uptime availability.
Speedcast chose the EdgeIQ DeviceOps platform to replace its homegrown solution. EdgeIQ is an AWS IoT Competency Partner that delivered off-the-shelf configurable software that scales, custom consulting services, and integrated AWS IoT services. It worked with Speedcast to streamline deployment and implement AWS IoT Core services for its customers.
“We needed an industrial-grade IoT platform so we could focus on innovation and developing new products and services,” said John W. Geasa, Sr. Director, IoT Products and Services at Speedcast. “We chose EdgeIQ because they understand our business and they deliver. The EdgeIQ platform, alongside AWS, provides us with rich functionality and 5-nines uptime. That’s critical because for cases like emergency workers, proper device operation can mean the difference between life and death.”
Cadex Electronics & ThingLogix
Cadex Electronics has been at the leading edge of battery technology for the last 35 years, helping customers across industries run business-critical equipment. In 2022, Cadex sought to change the way customers interact with its devices by building an IoT-enabled battery rapid-tester.
Cadex worked with ThingLogix, an AWS IoT Competency Partner and software development company specializing in IoT, to kickstart its IoT device designed to help customers test and service their batteries.
“ThingLogix asked all the right questions,” said Avi Kapri, Director of Product Development and Innovation at Cadex. “Do we want that functionality here? Do we have to build a certain page into the application? Are we looking at it from the customer’s standpoint?”
Leveraging ThingLogix Foundry—an open-source serverless solution accelerator framework—Cadex was able to use existing tools and a serverless application framework to focus on building applications that provide value to their organization, enabling critical time and cost savings. With help from ThingLogix, Cadex launched its project two months ahead of schedule and 70% under budget.
AWS IoT Partner Solutions on AWS Marketplace
IoT solutions, along with AWS IoT services, are available on AWS Marketplace, enabling organizations to quickly leverage ready-to-use applications tailored to their business needs. This ensures connectivity and provides device management to speed up insights that fuel efficiency, productivity, and growth.
AWS Marketplace is a digital catalog with thousands of listings from ISVs that enables you to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on AWS. Some partners offer fixed-price, fixed-scope offers available to provide clear expectations regarding price and timeline to help accelerate path to value for pilots.
When organizations try to build an Internet of Things (IoT) platform on their own, they may find they’ve wasted valuable time—a result of having underestimated the challenges of going it alone, along with lacking certain skills internally.
In many of these scenarios, hindsight revealed that bringing in an AWS IoT software partner at the beginning may have been more cost-effective and efficient. Members of the AWS Partner Network (APN) who have obtained the AWS IoT Competency have proven capabilities to deliver IoT platform solutions for customers.
When evaluating an AWS IoT ISV platform, businesses should consider capabilities, tenancy, security and compliance, migration, and pricing to choose a partner that will help accelerate their time to market and time to business value.
For further resources and information, engage your AWS account team to help explore the AWS Partner Network.