Using AWS, our ARTS platform took just four and a half months to launch and achieved a return on investment in six months. It would have taken at least double the time if we’d run it as an in-house project.
Anders Bresell Head of Technology Development

Using AWS, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions firm Telenor Connexion cuts development time for new products in half and speeds its customers’ time-to-market. The firm designs and delivers IoT solutions for some of the world’s biggest global brands, including Volvo, Scania, and Hitachi. Telenor Connexion uses AWS for all new service development, and it benefits from the automation it gains through managed services such as AWS Lambda and Amazon Redshift.

Telenor Connexion has been implementing and operating Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for nearly two decades. Its parent company, Telenor Group, is one of the largest mobile operators in the world, employing more than 30,000 people across markets in Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia.

The firm’s team of IoT experts works with the likes of Husqvarna, Scania, and Volvo to connect devices, machines, people, and places to the Internet. It helps clients capitalize on the possibilities of IoT, using the data that IoT provides to create new revenue streams, increase product performance, and reduce costs.

Having approached infrastructure in different ways in the past—including developing its own on-premises environment and leasing services—Telenor Connexion wanted a solution that gave it greater agility. “We work in a very fast moving market, serving many industries across the whole world so we have to be smart about how we use our resources,” says Ola Arnrup, the firm’s product manager.

“That means focusing on our IoT offering, rather than how to define a database or handle escalating capacity requirements. IoT workloads are demanding, so we need an environment that gives us maximum flexibility, automation, and scale.”

Telenor Connexion wanted a global cloud platform that could support future growth and help get its solutions to market quickly. Arnrup says, “Our services help businesses accelerate their IoT development cycles. To do this, we need an infrastructure that helps us to speed our own time-to-market.”

As soon as it realized that developing an in-house IoT platform was a poor use of its resources, Telenor Connexion looked at what the market had to offer. Two key qualities it required in a provider were a clear technology roadmap and an understanding of and alignment with Telenor Connexion’s philosophy. “Essentially, we give our customers time to focus on their own products and develop their business models,” says Arnrup. “We needed a provider that could help us do the same. This is why we chose Amazon Web Services.”

Arnrup and his team initially deployed a configuration using the core building blocks in Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). While this gave them the necessary capacity to scale, staff still spent more time managing the infrastructure than focusing on IoT services.

The firm quickly moved to a microservices architecture, and now it launches any new products or services on AWS. For example, Managed IoT Cloud—Telenor Connexion’s IoT device-management service—runs on a fully automated, serverless setup using AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service. “When a connected device sends data to the cloud, it interfaces with AWS IoT,” says Arnrup. “Some pre-processing is done in Amazon Kinesis, and from there the data is written into Amazon S3. We index data using Amazon Elasticsearch Service, and our APIs and associated logic are built on AWS Lambda.”

Anders Bresell, head of technology development at Telenor Connexion, is in charge of the Advanced Real-time troubleshooting Tool Set (ARTS), which was developed with help from Telenor Connexion’s long-term IT partner Capgemini. ARTS is an IoT analytics platform that gives customers access to data analysis in real time through the metadata it collects on the status of about 8 million devices across 450 global mobile networks. ARTS is also built on AWS, using a combination of Amazon Kinesis, AWS Lambda, and the managed data warehouse Amazon Redshift. Bresell says, “Automation is vital for IoT because you’re dealing with a massive number of devices. Through its fully managed and automated services, AWS provides the automation we need.”

Telenor Connexion gained a cloud-based infrastructure—with advanced IoT capabilities—that allows it to innovate faster than would have been possible on an in-house developed infrastructure. “Using AWS, our ARTS platform took just four and a half months to launch and achieved a return on investment in six months,” says Bresell. “It would have taken at least double that time if we had run it as an in-house project. Getting to market quickly is critical for the business. We can turn our ideas into live services faster and more cost-effectively than we’d be able to do on premises.”

“Put simply,” says Arnrup, “without AWS IoT, we couldn’t do what we do. It has great tools like AWS Lambda and Amazon Redshift that help us avoid time-consuming operational tasks that distract us from core development work.”  

By taking advantage of the AWS IoT platform, Arnrup, Bresell, and their teams expend less effort on infrastructure, which means they have more time to create value in their services. “Plus, we can keep our team lean,” says Arnrup. “We would need a team at least three times the size if we set up and managed our own IoT stack.”

The way the firm benefits from AWS parallels how its customers gain a competitive advantage by using its IoT services. “With Managed IoT Cloud, our customers can get their products up and running in three months rather than three years,” says Arnrup. “We take 80 percent of the technical issues and management away from our customers so they can focus on their IoT products and strategies. And this is exactly what AWS does for us.”

One Telenor Connexion customer, Sweden-based Husqvarna Group, developed the world’s first connected garden toolshed using Managed IoT Cloud. Petra Sundström, the company’s director of idea and innovation management, says, “The Telenor Connexion Managed IoT Cloud has been a real trigger for launching our Battery Box project. We couldn’t have gone to market with our idea as fast—or even at all—without Telenor Connexion’s IoT service.”

Arnrup sums up why AWS was the right choice for Telenor Connexion: “IoT is not just about connecting things and reading sensor data. It’s about machine learning, prediction, analysis, and a whole lot more. We chose AWS because it has a broad product offering that’s always expanding to reflect the latest developments in IoT.”