Nokia Unveils Broad Platform for IoT

The company's IMPACT offering is designed to enable users to manage more than 80,000 device models from more than 100 vendors.

Internet of things

Nokia, with its acquisitions of Alcatel-Lucent and Whithings completed, is expanding its efforts in the Internet of things with a new platform that officials say can handle all management aspects for more than 80,000 models of devices.

According to Nokia officials, the company's new Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT), which was announced June 14, can handle everything from data collection and event processing to device management, data contextualization, data analytics, security and application enablement for any device and any protocol across any application.

IMPACT, which is scalable and modular in design, also includes the capability of including new models that arise in the future. In addition, it includes Nokia's Motive Connected Device Platform (CDP), which is the element that supports more than 80,000 device and sensor models from more than 100 manufacturers.

The ability to scale to rapidly include new models will be important over the next several years, as the Internet of things (IoT) is expected grow significantly. Estimates vary, but industry analysts and vendors are forecasting the number of connected devices worldwide will skyrocket in the coming years, with Cisco Systems and Intel saying the number could hit 50 billion in 2020. All those devices will generate massive amounts of data that will need to be collected, stored and analyzed.

"Our new IMPACT platform with Motive CDP is particularly strong in device management, security and analyticsm," Bhaskar Gorti, president of the Applications and Analytics Business Group at Nokia, said in a statement. "These matter because as we work to collect and derive meaning from IoT data, it becomes more valuable to everyone involved—and more crucial to protect."

Regarding security, the platform incorporates necessary network, cloud and end-point security capabilities, and implements the latest Lightweight M2M (machine-to-machine) security model for IoT device management. It also is backed by Nokia's portfolio of security technologies, officials said.

In addition, scalability comes via IMPACT being a cloud-based platform, where customers can add server capacity as needed as the number of supported devices grows. IMPACT, through Motive CDP, can not only support 80,000 device models now, but detect and managed new formats as they hit the market. It also can support a range of business models, including private, public and hybrid clouds.

Nokia's expertise in both the network and devices gives it the ability to better pinpoint problems on either level, officials said.

IMPACT was not the only IoT-related announcement Nokia officials made. The company also unveiled its Smart Home solution, which is not only a gateway to enable network operations to more quickly deliver new IoT services to residential customers, but also includes a mobile application for Apple iOS or Google Android devices to control the home. In addition, there is an IoT management software platform for controlling the Smart Home ecosystem that includes some predefined use cases and management of all smart devices in the home. The gateway will be available by the end of the year.

"With the rapid growth of IoT and increasing number of smart devices in the home, residential customers are seeking a single solution that is simple to install and easy to manage," Federico Guillen, president of fixed networks at Nokia, said in a statement. "The Nokia Smart Home solution offers operators the chance to get ahead of the IoT trend and provide customers with a simple plug-and-play solution that is fully interoperable with the leading WiFi technologies and standards needed to manage smart devices and applications."

Network operators also can spin out new smart home security and automation services that can drive revenue growth and customer loyalty, Guillen said.

Nokia has been aggressive in its efforts to grow its IoT capabilities. The company in February unveiled its IoT Community for building partnerships and enabling customers to develop, test and implement new IoT business models. In addition, Nokia created a $350 million fund for investing in IoT technology vendors.