Asset Tracking That Works Out of the Box from AWS IoT, Verizon, and Domo
By Brian McHale, Manager, Product Management – Enterprise IoT at Verizon Business Group
By Stacy Billanti, VP, Corporate Development at Domo
By Prashanth Adiraju, Global Industrial IoT Segment Lead at AWS Partner Network (APN)
Customers in various industries are seeking ways to track their assets and optimize operations. For businesses in asset-heavy industries, such as utilities and companies in the logistics business that transport high value or critical assets, knowing the state of any asset is crucial.
Understanding what’s happening to the asset practically anywhere along the supply chain, or at any point in time, can lead to real-time data insights and more informed decisions for the business. This helps drive operational efficiencies and cost control while leading to fast issue identification and resolution.
Building an Internet of Things (IoT) solution capable of tracking assets at scale is complex. The time, cost, and expertise required to design, manufacture, and certify such a solution is challenging for many organizations.
A secure, reliable, enterprise-grade solution that can ingest and store massive amounts of IoT data, combine it with data from other parts of the business, and then analyze and apply sophisticated data science in order to set up alerts and deliver key insights to decision makers is what customers are seeking.
In this post, we provide an overview of an asset tracking solution that Verizon and Domo developed with AWS IoT to help companies quickly and affordably get value from IoT asset tracking information. This includes location, status, and temperature data from connected physical assets—think equipment, buildings, shipping containers, and fleets.
Asset Tracking Out of the Box
The AWS-Verizon-Domo solution has three key components:
- Verizon LTE Sensor
- AWS IoT control and data services in the cloud
- Domo asset tracking application
Figure 1 – The AWS-Verizon-Domo package minimizes cost and complexity of a DIY asset tracking solution.
Verizon LTE Sensor
Starting with the data, the AWS-qualified Verizon Critical Asset Sensor (CAS) gathers geo-location and environmental data. The CAS includes a GPS tracker with seven built-in sensors, LTE Cat M1 connectivity, and Verizon’s ThingSpace platform.
Verizon, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner with the AWS Networking Competency, developed the CAS to address the needs of customers looking for a low-power IoT solution that can be used across a variety of use cases, such as:
- Retailers can use location data being generated from shipping containers to better forecast inventory, and deliver a better customer experience by ensuring the right products are available in stores.
- Construction firms can use asset data from machinery to keep track of equipment across worksites to improve loss prevention.
- Pharmaceutical companies can monitor the temperature of trucks transporting drugs to ensure the products retain their efficacy and meet cold chain compliance requirements.
The Verizon Cat M1 Low Power WAN (LPWAN) network provides the security, scale, and reliability of the company’s LTE network. LTE Cat M1 also uses networking protocols that help improve connection density. Under the 5G standard, that scale can potentially grow to about one million devices per square kilometer.
Figure 2 – Verizon’s Critical Asset Sensor (CAS) is small in dimension but big on function.
AWS IoT Control and Data Services in the Cloud
AWS IoT Core offers control and connectivity that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.
In this solution, Verizon’s CAS devices provide valuable telemetry, environmental, and alarm data, which is published to AWS IoT Core via the ThingSpace platform.
Once the data is published to AWS IoT Core in JSON-formatted message payloads, the built-in rules engine can filter messages and specific topics.
From there, it forwards messages that pass a configurable SQL query to a number of AWS services, including AWS IoT Analytics. Each message is passed to an AWS IoT Analytics channel via this mechanism, where it’s routed into a pipeline and then into a time-series data store.
The logic within these rules is fully configurable, so if, in the future, customers are interested in additional features that may require new data processing components, new rules can be implemented to filter and route data to the appropriate AWS service.
Figure 3 – Asset tracking solution architecture overview.
Domo Asset Tracking Application
The Domo Asset Tracking App is one of many pre-packaged or customized apps Domo has designed to help customers solve business challenges through their ability to tell stories with data, answer critical business questions, and arm decision makers with confidence to make the right decisions at the right time.
With tools designed for any skill level, Domo enables everyone from developers to business users to build Domo apps, which range from those that help engage sales teams by letting them see their commission and commission potential in real-time, to bespoke marketing apps that help marketers drive more value from their campaigns.
In the current design of the AWS-Verizon-Domo solution, data sets are generated at regular intervals. These data sets are then fetched via the Domo AWS IoT Analytics connector and turned into relevant insights that are distributed across the organization.
The Domo AWS IoT Analytics connector is one of more than 1,000 pre-built connectors Domo has created to link data sources together.
Figure 4 – The Domo Asset Tracking App is the picture of efficiency.
Once the data is in Domo, operations personnel are able to see, in real-time, asset locations and status via Domo’s easy-to-create visualizations, apps, and dashboards.
Alerts can be built, so if an anomaly is detected, operations personnel can respond quickly to a costly problem, such as a machine going offline.
What’s more, users aren’t required to have an advanced degree in statistics (or anything resembling one), as Domo’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities deliver data science insights in the platform.
In addition, the feature-rich chat client (called Buzz) allows the customer’s entire workforce to stay connected—in the context of their data and visualizations.
With the AWS-Verizon-Domo solution, we’ve made sure deployment is streamlined so that resources are created within your AWS account. From there, all configuration is automated via the Domo platform.
When new Verizon CAS devices are brought online, their data will begin feeding into the pipeline automatically.
In this solution, AWS IoT services operate as the data ingestion and processing pipeline that connects the Verizon and Domo components. This allows the number of devices deployed to be scaled up quickly.
AWS IoT services also enable Verizon and Domo to focus on delivering solutions to customers and optimizing/updating their solution whenever new customer requirements are discovered.
The AWS-Verizon-Domo solution can be purchased via AWS Marketplace, or through your AWS, Verizon, or Domo sales representative.
This asset tracking solution allows companies to get valuable data—such as location, status, and temperature data—from their connected physical assets.
With a data-to-outcome approach, customers can solve business challenges through their ability to tell stories with data, answer critical business questions, and arm decision makers with confidence to make the right decisions at the right time. By integrating technologies from Verizon and Domo with AWS IoT we are making it easy to buy and deploy the solution.
For more details, refer to this on-demand Domo and AWS webinar: How to harness the full potential of IoT Data >>