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Industrial IoT
Platforms

The IIoT platform market is crowded.


We drilled down into it to understand
which vendors have the best offerings
and what they bring to the table.
By Lisa Kosan
IoT World
Today

Industrial IoT Platforms: The Top 10 List


Read up on the trends within the industrial IoT platforms space and find out which vendors should be on your shortlist.

T
here are many vendors in the industrial Industrial IoT Platforms, for example, has no an IIoT platform easier.
IoT platform marketplace, offering Leaders or Challengers. And its 2018 report, the Given the fractured and crowded market, and
remarkably similar capabilities and first Magic Quadrant to look specifically at IIoT the growing potential of IIoT to extract value
methods of deployment. And not one platforms, said there was no “dominant provider.” from data, reduce costs, improve operations
of them has differentiated itself enough at this With a high volume of platform options for and present new business models, analysts
point to be a clear leader in an emerging market. industrial businesses to consider, we set out to recommend that businesses looking for a
Gartner’s June 2019 Magic Quadrant for identify a shortlist to make the task of choosing platform devote time to research. They also

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suggest focusing on industry-specific use cases promise” of IIoT is to marry the strengths of OT compliance, including measures to prevent data
and outcomes. and IoT for “enhanced data acquisition, condition loss and to detect and act on breaches.
“We are seeing more of a vertical specialization monitoring and superior analytics,” according Support for protocols relevant to the industrial

in all IoT platforms,” said Ian Hughes, senior to Gartner. “Together, these combined offers domain, such as OPC (Open Platform
analyst for IoT at 451 Research. “But use cases will augment and eventually replace legacy Communications) Unified Architecture.
are driving the application layer.” control systems.” Engineering-level robustness to prevent downtown.

Prime use cases in manufacturing are production According to industry analysts, an IIoT platform F lexibility with no-code interfaces, for

monitoring and inventory management, he said. should provide: example, to allow a range of users to access
In oil and gas, the use cases are supply chain Device management software that connects job-specific applications.
optimization and worker safety. And many IIoT thousands to hundreds of thousands of sensors, A combination of cloud computing, on-premises

use cases relate to core overall operational industrial machines and digital systems. IIoT deployment and edge computing.
efficiency (OEE), equipment monitoring and solutions are usually designed to identify failures
predictive maintenance because “any downtime and facilitate recovery from failure. Using compute and analytics at the edge
is extremely costly,” Hughes said. Integration through software development kits, is quickly becoming the de facto approach to
Simply put, IIoT platforms create a vital, single development tools and APIs to support business managing data, according to Gartner, which
view of an operation. Their function is a “superset” processes and enterprise systems across the predicts that by 2022, there will be more IIoT
of an IoT platform in that it shares common core business. There are significant challenges, analytics performed at the edge than analytics
functions, according to Hughes. “IIoT platforms however, given the array of back-office on “cold” data stores in the cloud.
have to integrate with a wide range of legacy applications such as ERP, application performance An IIoT platform should also be able to
manufacturing equipment and protocols, and management, enterprise asset management, orchestrate functions such as machine learning,
some of the equipment can be many decades computerized maintenance management systems using edge computing, as the volume of time-
old or more but still core to operations.” and more. series data in some forms of manufacturing is
IIoT platforms also differ from legacy operational Data management to control and monitor too great to transfer to the cloud, Hughes said.
technology (OT) in industrial environments. They ingestion, storage, accessibility, flow and security. Also, the latency required to act upon the data
provide more cost-effective collection of higher Analytics of data from connected devices, the such as in safety or critical situations is too long
volumes of high-velocity, complex machine data enterprise and third parties to reveal patterns in the cloud.
from networked IoT endpoints. IIoT platforms and optimization of assets. Another challenge to full-cloud deployment
integrate siloed data. They improve insights The enablement and management of applications comes from the industrial organizations
through specialized data analysis and enable to simplify configuring and operating connected themselves and the culture of engineers that
actions, and they improve data visualization. assets and that enable digital twins. “places high trust in what they can touch and
For industrial enterprises, “the unrealized Software to allow security audits and ensure control,” according to Gartner, which expects

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that 30% of industrial enterprises will have full, specifically integration with the MindSphere industrials, according to the company.
on-premises deployments of IIoT platforms in IoT platform. Gartner said Lumada provides the full range
2023, up from 15% this year. Gartner gave Codex IoT Suite high marks for of IIoT platform functionality, enhanced by
To help readers make a choice among IIoT security applications, for which Atos uses a Hitachi technologies and analytics and data
platforms amid rapidly evolving technology combination of security technologies from other management capabilities. The platform is
and capabilities, we compiled a list of the top parts of its business. The platform is offered only geared for sale to a range of industrial sectors
products in this space. Our list focuses on a as a managed service; all change management including energy and utilities, manufacturing,
company’s maturity, size, history of experience is controlled by Atos. transportation and natural resources and has a
with industrial software and the breadth of use Forrester said Atos “capitalizes on professional “focused expertise” in visual quality monitoring.
case scenarios. We also took into consideration services expertise and strong partnerships” The majority of deployments focus on improving
high rankings from analysts who specialize in to the benefit of industrial customers. “Atos’ operations and predictive maintenance,
IIoT verticals. customized approach may not appeal to industrial according to Gartner, but Hitachi lacks a “broad
Here’s the list of the top 10 products firms looking for out-of-the-box IIoT solutions. and robust” IoT edge device management
in the IIoT platform space, which is Atos offers some blueprints, use cases and capability and is still making improvements in
presented alphabetically: incubation services to help jump-start customers’ that area.
IIoT initiatives but needs to develop a wider array Forrester said Hitachi is an industrial
Atos: Atos Codex IoT of industry-focused frameworks,” the analyst powerhouse in its home market of Japan, but
Formerly a Siemens IT division that spun out firm said. less visible elsewhere. The company’s digital twin
to become a separate company, Atos offers Forrester considered Atos a Strong Performer product, which it refers to as an “asset avatar,”
its Codex platform for cloud and on-premises among the top 15 IIoT platforms in 2018 (Forrester is a low-fidelity solution applicable for industrial
deployment. Features such as the Codex Wave: Industrial IoT Software Platforms). It use cases including asset tracking and alerting
Connectivity Platform, Codex Cloud Industrial was named a Niche Player in Gartner’s Magic to video analytics. Lumada currently lacks a
Supervision — which Gartner calls “the edge Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms in 2018 comprehensive set of prepackaged applications
computing cornerstone for IIoT” — and the and 2019. The French company has 100,000 aimed at end users.
Codex IoT Services Hub “play critical component employees in 73 countries. Hitachi was a Strong Performer among the
capability functions in IIoT architectures,” also top 15 chosen by Forrester in its 2018 Forrester
according to Gartner. While Atos is an established Hitachi: Lumada Wave: Industrial IoT Software Platforms. It was
IIoT partner for utility companies seeking new The Lumada platform launched in May 2016 named a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
opportunities (such as analytics in IoT), it plans to and is available on premises or in the cloud. With for Industrial IoT Platforms in 2018 and 2019.
leverage its partnership with Siemens (see below) the acquisition of REAN Cloud (October 2018), Hitachi Vantara unifies the operations of Pentaho,
to address manufacturing and transportation. Lumada can offer different types of IoT-enabled Hitachi Data Systems and Hitachi Insight Group.
Atos focuses mainly on Siemens solutions, cloud managed services, particularly to heavy Based in Santa Clara, California, it employs more

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than 6,300 workers in more than 100 countries industrial enterprises.” from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Industrial
and regions. Forrester said IBM “builds on extensive IoT Platforms in 2018 and 2019 because it
analytics with industry-specific and services didn’t meet the requirement for on-premises
IBM: Watson IoT Platform expertise.” Its capabilities include augmented deployment. The Redmond, Washington,
The Watson IoT platform, generally available reality, cognitive data processing, blockchain, software giant, however, was cited as a Notable
since 2014, is delivered as a collection of edge analytics and natural language processing. vendor to consider.
managed cloud services with the IBM Cloud. IBM was a Leader among the top 15 platforms
It can also be deployed on premises via private chosen by Forrester in its 2018 Forrester Wave: Oracle: Oracle IoT Cloud, Oracle
cloud. Watson IoT provides customers with Industrial IoT Software Platforms. It was named IoT Applications
“packaged functionality” from which they can a Niche Player in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Oracle IoT Cloud Service, generally available
compose an IIoT solution, according to the for Industrial IoT Platforms in 2018 and 2019. in December 2015, envisions IIoT as an “IoT-
company. IBM’s Watson platform also won the 2019 enriched SaaS business application sale” rather
IBM emphasizes the strength of its analytics award from IoT World for Best IIoT Solution. than a PaaS technology sale, according to the
and AI capabilities as key differentiators for The Armonk, New York, company has about company. The business applications focus is
Watson IoT, according to Gartner. Models for 350,000 employees around the world. on monitoring IoT assets, production, fleets
advanced analytics can be trained and deployed and services, and the connected worker. IIoT
with Watson IoT to support monitoring and Microsoft: Azure IoT solutions run only on Oracle Cloud but an on-
predictive maintenance applications. In addition Forrester said Microsoft “has ambitions to premises “rendition” via implementation on the
to IBM’s capabilities in IoT across manufacturing play a bigger role in the industrial IoT space.” Oracle private cloud is available.
and utilities, Watson offers specific solutions It offers a comprehensive set of development Gartner said Oracle’s IoT application-centric
for connected services, manufacturing and tools as well as advanced analytics capabilities. approach offers faster implementation, ease of
automotive, for example. Add-ons are available Microsoft continues to invest in end-to-end management and out-of-the-box connectivity to
for asset management, asset performance, security and in releasing an “increasingly broad middleware and enterprise applications. Non-
field service and facilities management. Watson set of open source tools.” It tends to support Oracle applications can be implemented through
IoT is best-suited to organizations that want to its own portfolio of products and should offer a the separately billable Oracle Integration Cloud
leverage IBM’s middleware, applications, Watson more comprehensive set of pre-built applications, Service.
stack and worldwide data centers, for connected according to Forrester’s assessment. Forrester said Oracle’s IIoT strategy
things and industrial supply chain components. Microsoft was a Leader among the top 15 “centers on offering customers pre-integrated
As a caution, Gartner cited the need for IBM to platforms chosen by Forrester in its 2018 applications” with a business focus. It cautioned
increase the number of formal partnerships with Forrester Wave: Industrial IoT Software that the value proposition isn’t as strong for firms
OT vendors to “broaden its value potential to Platforms. The Azure IoT offering was excluded not currently part of Oracle’s ecosystem.

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Oracle was a Strong Performer among the limited support for industrial environments with to-end solution around enterprise applications.
top 15 platforms chosen by Forrester in its complex or varied IoT-enabled assets. Gartner said Leonardo IoT offers proven
2018 Forrester Wave: Industrial IoT Software Forrester said PTC “fuses device connectivity capabilities to “enrich and supplement” OT
Platforms. It was named a Niche Player in strength with augmented reality vision.” The functions with IoT for improved asset lifecycle
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT company offers capabilities spanning design, management strategies and processes. Digital
Platforms in 2018 and 2019. manufacturing, service and operations combined twins are a fundamental part of the SAP approach
The Redwood Shores, California, software in accessible end-user applications. It cautioned to IIoT. But because the IIoT offerings are heavily
provider has 137,000 employees. that the user interface needs improvement and integrated with SAP’s services and applications,
the developer tool kit should expand. Gartner said it has limited its appeal to industrial
PTC: ThingWorx PTC was a Leader among the top 15 platforms enterprises without a sizable SAP installed base.
PTC’s ThingWorx IIoT platform was built chosen by Forrester in its 2018 Forrester Wave: Leonardo’s software solutions and services
through the acquisitions of Axeda (cloud- Industrial IoT Software Platforms. It was named a
enable customers to leverage technologies such
based software), ThingWorx (IoT and analytics), Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Industrial
as machine learning, blockchain, analytics and
ColdLight (big data and machine learning), IoT Platforms in 2018 and 2019. The company is
big data as part of their digital transformation
Kepware (for connectivity protocols) and Vuforia based in Needham, Massachusetts, and employs
initiatives, according to Forrester. Leonardo IoT
(for augmented reality applications) and is more than 6,000 people in 30 countries.
widely applicable across industrial settings, enhances the SAP Cloud Platform Internet of
Things, “by adding a wide range of pre-integrated
according to PTC. The end-to-end platform is SAP: SAP Leonardo IoT
available as an on-premises deployment and via applications and solution accelerators spanning
Unified under the Leonardo portfolio since
cloud and hybrid options. It can leverage existing a broad variety of industrial use cases.”
2016, SAP’s IoT capabilities address product-
cloud and IIoT investments in Microsoft Azure and asset-centric companies, as well as SAP was a Leader among the top 15 platforms
IoT Hub, AWS IoT and Rockwell Automation’s manufacturing, logistics, and asset and service chosen by Forrester in its 2018 Forrester Wave:
FactoryTalk analytics. management. Able to run on multiple clouds and Industrial IoT Software Platforms. It was named
Gartner said PTC’s strengths lie in its on premises, Leonardo is available as a stand- a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for
experience with the manufacturing sector and alone platform but, according to Gartner, offers Industrial IoT Platforms in 2018 but did not
it tends to focus on asset monitoring, predictive more benefit with SAP’s enterprise applications appear in the 2019 Magic Quadrant because
maintenance and operational excellence for connected assets, for example. It includes it ended a reseller agreement for IoT Device
solutions. Also, it has a global ecosystem of IIoT- device management, in-stream analytics, artificial Management and no longer conformed to the
focused technology partners, solution providers intelligence, machine learning, data intelligence research firm’s criteria for inclusion. Based in
and system integrators. Gartner said PTC has and edge computing. The company has shifted Germany, SAP employs nearly 98,000 people in
expanded its digital twin functions but offers from selling IIoT as a platform to more of an end- more than 140 countries.

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Schneider Electric: EcoStruxure alone, salable horizontal IIoT platform, but it Quadrant for Industrial IoT because it leverages
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IoT offering, was included in the list of Notable vendors to services from multiple cloud providers and other
available in early 2017 and built on top of Microsoft consider. It employees roughly 160,000 people partners in its offering. It was cited as a Notable
Azure IoT Suite, includes a range of scalable in 100 countries. vendor in Gartner’s 2018 report but was excluded
services and IIoT platform components that are from the Magic Quadrant for failing to meet
required for industrial enterprises, according to Siemens: MindSphere the criterion for on-premises deployment. The
the company. On-premises, edge and cloud MindSphere moved to the public cloud in Germany-based multinational employs nearly
solutions based on the EcoStruxure IoT platform 2018 as part of a “broader strategic evolution” 380,000 people.
are deployed across industries including oil and to ensure it can deliver a range of IIoT use
gas, energy, food and beverage, and packaging. cases, the company said. It also sees a key Software AG: Cumulocity IoT
The EcoStruxure portfolio for Plant & Machine role for digital twin technology. Cumulocity, Software AG’s foundational
offers applications, analytics for predictive Forrester said the prebuilt applications for end IIoT application suite platform, consists of
maintenance, performance management and users are strong and that Siemens offers a range Cumulocity IoT Core and Cumulocity IoT Edge
connected services. of devices for deployment at the edge, including and provides device management (including
The EcoStruxure IoT platform focuses on the MindConnect Nano and Simatic IoT family. device health and connectivity management)
supporting power, IT, buildings, machines, plant These are capable devices, Forrester said, but and preconfigured IIoT applications. Optional
and grid environments, according to Forrester. Siemens’ edge connectivity strategy “can look components can handle real-time analytics,
Schneider Electric most often uses EcoStruxure more dependent on the vendor’s own hardware enterprise and cloud integration, and data and
to enable digitization of its own products and than we see with others in this evaluation.” API management. The platform can be deployed
services, an approach that results in a “richer and Also, it said MindSphere offers a “relatively in the cloud, on premises and at the edge.
more integrated stable of industrial equipment” weak set of KPIs, and device management Cumulocity can be used on its own or with
from the vendor, Forrester said, but customers capabilities are also less robust than those of other products in Software AG’s Digital Business
with an array of machines and vendors should others, with a new user interface coming later Platform portfolio for improved analytics,
validate the platform’s ability to fully support this year.” according to Gartner. Software AG maintains a
their environment. Siemens was a Strong Performer among the competitive set of partner organizations and the
Schneider was a Contender among the top 15 platforms chosen by Forrester in its sales, services and platform elements needed
top 15 platforms chosen by Forrester in its 2018 Forrester Wave: Industrial IoT Software to meet the IIoT needs of global corporations
2018 Forrester Wave: Industrial IoT Software Platforms. Siemens also won the 2019 award in asset-intensive industries, Gartner said. The
Platforms. The French company did not meet from IoT World for Achievements in IoT Cumulocity platform provides the capability to
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Integration, based on ratings from independent quickly create and use simple digital twins for
criterion for offering its platform as a stand- judges. It did not appear in Gartner’s 2019 Magic asset state visibility. As a caution, Gartner said

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Software AG lacks “meaningful partnerships”


with OT vendors and does not currently maintain
a large customer base of IIoT platform solutions
for core operations in manufacturing and utilities.
Forrester said Cumulocity IoT, which powers
Siemens’ MindSphere platform, strengthens
device management functionality. “It offers some
of the richest wireless connectivity, industry-
specific interface support, and edge connectivity
of the solutions we evaluated,” according to
Forrester. Still, the platform provides relatively
limited out-of-the-box support for business KPIs,
the firm added.
Software AG was a Strong Performer among

IoT World
the top 15 platforms chosen by Forrester in its
2018 Forrester Wave: Industrial IoT Software
Platforms. It was named a Niche Player in
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT
Platforms in 2018 and a Visionary in 2019.
Software AG is based in Germany and has 4,500
employees in 70 countries.

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C3.ai Takes a Focused Approach to IoT Analytics


C
3.ai, an AI software startup, stands out and implementing its analytics applications on than $1 billion and having raised more than $243
among the crowded field of industrial IoT top, analysts said. million in the last few years, and it has a relatively
platform providers for its focus on analytics. “The company is not locked into a particular small staff of a few hundred employees, a fraction
Though it failed to meet the criteria for inclusion IoT platform and creates a model-driven data of the size of its competitors.
on our Top 10 list based on its size and market abstraction layer across multiple systems,” said C3 was founded in 2009 by CEO Thomas M.
reach, the company was one of the top 50 Ian Hughes, senior analyst for Internet of Things Siebel, who sold his CRM application company
disruptors CNBC named in 2019 for its focus with 451 Research. to Oracle for $5.85 billion in 2006. Siebel is
on connected things. “This is then made available to data scientists, also the author of the newly released “Digital
C3.ai, which is based in Redwood City, programmers and business applications to have Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of
California, also stands apart for the more analytics and AI-style processing applied across Mass Extinction.”
inclusive way it leverages other companies’ multivendor platforms,” he said. Siebel added IoT to the C3 brand in 2016
cloud offerings, including AWS and Microsoft, C3.ai is a so-called unicorn, valued at more and recently adjusted again to the current C3.ai

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moniker. applications for solving a range of challenges‚ And though it has relatively few customers,
Hughes said renaming to C3.ai indicates the including predictive maintenance‚ fraud Forrester said, the deployments tend to be very
company focus on understanding and dealing detection‚ sensor network health‚ supply chain large and with positive results. Still, some of
with data across IoT systems. “It fits with the optimization‚ energy management‚ anti-money C3.ai’s existing customers wondered whether
maturing of the industry,” he said, “where laundering and customer engagement, according the “high-touch and high-value customer
brokering the connection of things is only part to the company. engagements” will continue as C3 continues to
of the challenge.” Also in June, C3.ai announced a joint venture grow rapidly.
Hughes said elements of AI such as machine with Baker Hughes, a large oil and gas service
learning are increasingly a differentiator to make company. IDC calls it a “significant win” for C3.ai
IoT impactful for any business process. to “leverage Baker Hughes’ size and reach to
In June, C3.ai was named a Leader in the scale its business” and for Baker Hughes “to
IDC Marketscape: Worldwide Industrial IoT leverage the new IoT/AI solutions it will build with
Platforms in Energy 2019 Vendor Assessment. C3.ai to create market differentiation.”
“C3.ai software enables leading organizations Forrester named C3.ai a Leader in its roundup
to rapidly design‚ develop‚ deploy and operate of IIoT platforms for 2018. The company received
enterprise-scale AI‚ predictive analytics and IoT 5 out of 5 for analytics and data (the only one
applications,” according to the IDC assessment. besides Microsoft in that category) and 5 out of
“C3.ai’s growing list of customers includes 3M‚ 5 for security/identity and access management
Shell‚ Enel‚ New York Power Authority‚ the United (only Cisco and Microsoft shared the top mark).
States Air Force‚ Con Edison and ENGIE.” C3.ai got a 5 for professional services strategy

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IDC said C3.ai “enables customers to build (along with Atos). But it got marks of 3 or under
models and deploy applications in less time for installed base, dedicated employee resources
with limited risk. These tools have enabled and geographic customer distribution.
C3 customers to capture value from proof of Forrester also noted the company has shifted
concepts quickly, with some customers reporting its focus “to prioritize on analytics to drive
value in under three months.” tangible business outcomes” and has strong

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In addition to the C3 AI Suite of software, relationships with public cloud platforms and
the company provides configurable‚ prebuilt AI device makers.

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