HP is working to pave communications service providers' path to the Internet of Things (IoT) by providing intelligent management tools, all packed into a new platform aimed at helping them address the energy sector now and other enterprise sectors soon.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s IoT Platform is designed to be a management tool that not only lets service providers simultaneously manage heterogeneous sets of IoT sensors and provides them with OSS and BSS capabilities specifically designed for the IoT, but also helps them process, analyze and monetize collected data in a secure cloud platform. Initially, they can do that with utilities, municipalities and consumers using the HP Energy Management Pack, the first vertical application developed for the HP IoT Platform.
"We're enabling some metering capabilities, home automation for both utilities and consumers, a public lighting management application so municipalities can intelligently manage their streetlights, and we're opening the platform for additional smart city services," HP's Jeff Edlund, chief technologist, Communications Media & Solutions, Enterprise Services, tells Light Reading. "We're bringing them both the platform and verticalized applications."
HP appears to be seizing a moment of potential opportunity in the service provider sector. The IoT has captured the attention of service providers, but they are still working to decipher and define their specific role -- be that connecting intelligent cars, homes and cities, addressing industrial machine-to-machine opportunities, managing the millions of consumer devices flooding the IoT sector, or all of the above.
Increasingly, service providers are understanding that while their networks are critical to the future evolution of the IoT, fostering the creation of revenue-generating applications -- and attracting many users of those applications onto their networks -- is perhaps even more critical. (See Will 2015 Bring IoT Resolution for Operators?, IoT: The Future Is Bright for Operators and Comcast to Open IoT Lab in Accelerator.)
In HP's view, both the application creation environment and the ability to analyze data collected from connected devices are important keys to service provider success in the IoT.
"One of the key differentiators we're bringing to the table is the data analytics piece -- it's going to give the carriers something entirely new to monetize by providing access to all of that data and new insights," Edlund says. "And one of the coolest things we're delivering with this platform is an application development studio for the IoT."
HP can't divulge the names of service providers using the platform yet, but Edlund says the vendor's targets run the gamut, and that the platform is accessible and affordable enough even for smaller, regional operators with more limited resources.
"The platform is built on NFV fundamentals, so you can start small and scale," he says. "The licenses are flexible and have the ability to scale up and down depending on usage. You could certainly start very small and ramp your way up."
While HP's first target on behalf of its service provider customers is the energy market, it plans to also address areas like smart transportation (electric vehicles and connected cars), smart premises (smart home and factory automation) and smart utilities beyond electrical generation and into applications such as intelligent appliances and water and gas, Edlund says.
"We intend to use this exact same platform to bring more industry verticals on top of this," he says. "You can cert extend it across use models -- any enterprise that wants to get IoT-enabled."
— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading