Friday, 11 March 2016 01:10

Bosch launches own cloud for its IoT services

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Touting the Internet of Things ‘from a single source’, Bosch’s IoT cloud promises privacy, data security, software expertise and a strong IT infrastructure.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services, represented in 150+ countries, with four major business sectors: mobility solutions, industrial technology, consumer goods and energy and building technology.

Bosch’s tagline is that that the company creates technology that is ‘Invented for life.’

Now, in 2016, Bosch advised that it is launching its own cloud for web-based services, and provided the following information.

Dubbed the ‘Bosch IoT Cloud,’ with the first of these clouds located in Germany, the company is running various applications for its connected mobility, connected industries, and connected buildings businesses.

At the Bosch ConnectedWorld conference in Berlin on Wednesday, the company’s CEO Volkmar Denner said: “As of today, we offer all the ace cards for the connected world from a single source. The Bosch IoT Cloud is the final piece of the puzzle that completes our software expertise. We are now a full service provider for connectivity and the internet of things.”

Bosch said it is ‘the only company worldwide that is active on all three levels of the internet of things,’ and offers ‘key technologies that enable connectivity such as sensors and software, and is also developing new services on this basis.’

Denner, who is also responsible for research and advance engineering on the Bosch board of management continued, stating: “A major factor in the success of connected solutions is their scalability. Business models must be able to grow quickly when necessary. The Bosch IoT Cloud means Bosch now has the relevant infrastructure. We see this as a major milestone for Bosch.”

The company said its ‘Bosch IoT Cloud’ comprises technical infrastructure as well as platform and software offerings.

To begin with, the supplier of technology and services will use it for in-house solutions. From 2017, it will also be made available as a service to other companies. Denner stressed that it was a conscious decision to locate the cloud in Germany, and stated: “Many companies and consumers state that security concerns keep them from using cloud technologies and connectivity solutions. The Bosch IoT Cloud is the answer to those concerns.”

Bosch explained that it operates its IoT cloud in its own computing centre near Stuttgart.

As Denner explained, “Consumers want to know whether their data are protected and secure. For this reason, the security we offer our customers is always state of the art.” The fundamental legal framework for this is German and European data-security regulations.

The brain of the connected world: the Bosch IoT Suite The software core of the Bosch IoT Cloud is the company’s own IoT Suite.

Bosch said it ‘identifies any objects that are web-enabled, orchestrates the exchange of data, and enables a multitude of services and business models,’ and that ‘big data management allows enormous amounts of data to be analysed.’

Denner continued: “The Bosch IoT Suite is the brain of the connected world. It offers all the functions necessary to connect devices, users, and companies.”

Rules for automatic decisions can be stored in the Bosch IoT Suite – such as when patterns of wear and tear should be reported and preventive action taken to service machinery. Bosch said that it, and its customers, ‘already operate many solutions and projects that are based on this platform.’

Currently, Bosch said its ‘IoT Cloud currently connects more than five million devices and machines.’ Bosch IoT competence for the connected world Speaking to the conference’s 800 delegates, Denner stressed that this digital transformation should not be understood as a threat.

“Digital transformation and increasing connectivity are huge opportunities for us,” said Denner.

In particular, Bosch ‘offers those companies with a strong industrial base and outstanding hardware expertise the potential not only to develop their traditional businesses but also to enter completely new fields.’

Denner continued: “The key prerequisite for this is to have in-house software and IT expertise. Bosch has been building these capabilities for many years.”

More below, please read on!

A wide variety of possibilities and business models The company said it had ‘already launched numerous products and solutions for the connected world.’

Examples include the ‘Bosch Smart Home System,’ for instance, which ‘can tell users the current temperature in their home and let them change the setting while they are still on the road.’ Another solution running in the Bosch IoT Cloud is designed for heating service technicians.

It gives them remote access to authorised Bosch heating systems so they can troubleshoot problems in the event of a breakdown. This means they can bring along any required replacement parts to their first – and now only – service visit. Bosch said that ‘customers benefit from lower service costs.’

A further example includes sensor data from asparagus fields making its way into the Bosch IoT Cloud, too. We’re told that ‘farmers can improve their harvest and their yield if they know the exact temperature of the ground.’

The company said its ‘Bosch IoT Cloud also generates an online map of available park-and-ride spaces throughout Stuttgart’s commuter train network.’

Here, sensors detect which parking spaces are unoccupied and send this information to the cloud, where it is added to a real-time map that users can call up on their smartphone.

Yet another example Bosch provides is the ‘book-and-park service’ for truck drivers.

Whenever a truck driver is looking for a rest area to park in, his or her truck ‘sends its location data to the Bosch IoT Cloud.’

This then reserves an available parking space nearby and informs the driver.

Denner said: “These examples show that intelligently connected devices, complemented by services from our IoT Cloud, are the basis of successful IoT business models. Connected solutions improve people’s quality of life and conserve natural resources.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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