IBM Expands IoT Foundation, Teams With ARM

Through a new collaboration with ARM, IBM has expanded its IoT Foundation to support ARM embed-enabled devices.

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IBM has expanded its IoT Foundation—the company's Internet of things platform—through an integration with ARM.

Through this collaboration with ARM, IBM will provide out-of-the-box connectivity with ARM mbed-enabled devices to analytics services. This collaboration will enable organizations to access huge quantities of data from devices, such as industrial appliances, weather sensors and wearable monitoring devices, and analyze and act on that information.

"Deploying IoT technology has to be easy, secure and scalable for it to feel like a natural extension of a company's business," Krisztian Flautner, general manager of the IoT business at ARM, said in a statement. "By collaborating with IBM, we will deliver the first unified chip-to-cloud, enterprise-class IoT platform. This will empower companies of any size with a productivity tool that can readily transform how they operate, and the services they can offer."

The integration between IBM and ARM will enable products powered by ARM mbed-enabled chips to register automatically with the IBM IoT Foundation and connect with IBM analytics services. This unifies the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform and the IBM IoT Foundation at the point where information gathered from deployed sensors in any connected device is delivered to the cloud for analysis. The IoT connection also enables delivery of actionable events to control equipment or provide users with alerts or other information. For example, the triggering of an alarm message on a washing machine to ask the owner to confirm a breakdown engineer appointment if a fault is detected.

"Since 2008, IBM has helped thousands of customers embrace the Internet of things—to help cities become smarter, hospitals to transform patient care and financial institutions to improve risk management," said Pat Toole, general manager of IBM's Internet of Things business unit. "The IoT is now at an inflection point, and it needs the big data expertise of IBM and little data expertise of ARM to ensure it reaches its global potential."

The IBM/ARM integration also can help organizations improve engagement, accelerate innovation and enhance operations through connected devices and analysis of the data. Custom hardware built around ARM's chip technology and IBM's IoT services helps provide for predictive maintenance, better asset performance, operational risk management and managed continuous engineering. Original design manufacturers and OEMs like Ionics are already seeing value in the IBM and ARM integration as it assimilates the IBM IoT Foundation at the chip architecture level.

"We believe that an effective IoT solution should be built from the ground up—from chipset through services—and is by far the best choice to have a complete end-to-end solution," said Earl Qua, vice president of Ionics. "Working with IBM, we have tapped into our respective company's expertise to create a platform that is built and customized for the unique nature in which companies are utilizing IoT."

Meanwhile, IBM also announced the first in a series of IBM Cloud-based, industry-specific IoT services in the form of IoT for Electronics. The service will enable electronics manufacturers to gather data from individual sensors that can be combined with other data for real-time analysis.

Electronics manufacturers are already adopting IBM's cloud services to connect everything from dishwashers to Smart TVs to pro audio equipment.

Henry Chiarelli, executive vice president of Gibson Brands, which manufactures musical instruments and professional audio equipment, said that at Gibson Innovations, design and quality lead the way. "IBM's service capabilities—leveraging cloud, IoT and analytics—allow us to provide unique user experiences for connected devices," he said. "Additionally, the advanced analytics enables the development of new applications and services as well as device management and monitoring in a security-rich infrastructure. This is extremely valuable in maintaining and increasing loyalty among our customers."

Marc Harmsen, global marketing lead and product manager of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region for Philips Television at TP Vision, said that by using IBM IoT services, his organization is able to manage and control Smart TV content in more than 30 countries in real time. "This provides us the opportunity to continuously balance costs with increased customer experience," he said. "We also have eliminated the need to set up hardware within traditional IT infrastructure—allowing a drastic reduction in provisioning time."

IBM's Internet of Things Foundation enables developers to quickly and easily extend an Internet-connected device such as a sensor or controller into the cloud, build an application alongside the device to collect the data and send real-time insights back to the developer's business. The IoT Foundation service is part of Bluemix, IBM's cloud application platform.

The IBM IoT Foundation platform includes analytics tools capable of dealing with large quantities of fast-moving data, access to the Bluemix platform-as-a-service technology, and security systems to help organizations protect their IoT data as rigorously as they do their own confidential financial, IP and strategy information, IBM said.