The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow in importance and presence. Earlier this year, Gartner said that 8.4 billion connected “things” will be in use in 2017 and that the number of connected things would grow to 20.4 billion by 2020. Up to this point, consumer devices, including wearable health devices (i.e. Fitbits), watches, smart televisions and smart electric meters, are the most connected segment.
How does an iPaaS fit into the IoT architecture?
The power of an iPaaS in IoT is in providing core data integration between the sensors/devices and core enterprise systems so that the things can influence the operation of the enterprise. It’s probably best displayed by an example. At Scribe, we have used Scribe Online to integrate Amazon Echo smart devices with our CRM system. If you aren’t familiar with the Echo, it allows you to use the Alexa voice service to verbally request information or to control your environment. Watch this video to learn how Scribe Online can take information from the Echo, retrieve information from our Salesforce CRM system, and present that information out to the user. The Scribe iPaaS, therefore, has transformed the Echo into a readily available access point from which you can retrieve key sales and support information from Salesforce.
When it comes to the enterprise, the IoT has a potential major role in digital transformation efforts. Tracking packages, locating equipment or supplies, managing inventory are all expected to be major uses of things and areas where businesses can transform their operations. The general IoT architecture includes
- Devices and sensors and all those other things which take measurements and sense conditions.
- Gateways and other technology to aggregate information from the things and apply a level of standardization from a pool of things that were provided by different manufacturers and use a variety of data formats and communications protocols.
- Analytics or event-based systems that sift through the data collected to identify patterns and insights.
- Links to the core enterprise systems, such as the CRM or ERP system, so information collected by the things has context and/or can be used to influence the operation of the enterprise. For instance, if a package is detected in an area where it shouldn’t be, should we send someone to retrieve it?
As shown by our Amazon Echo example, an iPaaS plays a major role in linking the IoT data to data from other core enterprise systems and/or initiating workflows based on the patterns or insights from the IoT data. For more information on integrating the Amazon Echo with other enterprise systems using the Scribe iPaaS, visit our Developer Success Portal.