AWS re:Invent 2019: AWS Adds (A Lot) of Enhancements to its IoT Platform

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• At re:Invent and during the prior week, AWS announced a number of key enhancements to its IoT platform, including new capabilities for SiteWise, IoT Greengrass, IoT Core, and IoT Device Management.

• AWS has already gone from Strong to Very Strong in GlobalData’s latest rankings of top enterprise IoT platform providers (for more detail). These latest enhancements up its capabilities in the key buying criteria of data management, analytics, onboarding and troubleshooting.

IoT is a key growth market for technology solution providers and their business customers alike. As a result, the market for platforms that make IoT projects easier to deploy and manage, and more impactful to the companies deploying them, has grown significantly in size and scope over the past four years. There are hundreds of purported platforms on the market, but only a dozen or so stand out in the enterprise segment.
GlobalData sees AWS as a Very Strong contender among IoT platform providers. While it may provide fewer pre-integrated applications for enterprise customers than some competitors, it is admittedly focused on the developer community and continues to make its development toolsets better, while working with a large array of partners to help customers create vertical applications. In November 2018 AWS launched capabilities (i.e., IoT SiteWise, IoT Events, IoT Things Graph, and IoT Greengrass Connectors) to help developers build IoT applications with little code and respond to data alerts and events at the edge. The offerings are in use by Intel, Bayer, LogicSupply, Reply, Onica, and Uptake. At re:Invent AWS added enhancements to four of the key elements in its IoT Platform: SiteWise, IoT Core, Greengrass, and Device Management.

AWS SiteWise is a managed service that lets customers collect, organize, and analyze data from industrial equipment at scale. SiteWise Monitor is a new SaaS offering which allows customers to create no-code web applications for visualizing and interacting with operational data. It makes it easy for non-technical users to view and analyze industrial data in real time. AWS also added new SiteWise capabilities to collect data, create models, transforms, and compute metrics along with new pricing that is based on the number of messages rather than the amount of data ingested or scanned.

A week ago, AWS had announced a new stream manager and enhanced container support for IoT Greengrass, which respectively improves its ability to collect and process data, and the ability to run Docker containers on devices. For IoT Core, It announced onboarding enhancements for high-volume deployments, new endpoint configurability capabilities, and Alexa voice service integration. Secure tunneling was added to the IoT Device Management module.

AWS has had a good year in terms of key customer announcements for its IoT platform. For example, in April 2019 AWS forged a worldwide deal to host the Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) platform created by Ford-owned entity Autonomic. The platform is designed to speed up the time it takes automobile manufacturers to create their own connected car experiences. In March 2019 AWS and Volkswagen Group announced a multi-year, global agreement to build Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, an industrial digital production platform to transform the automotive company’s manufacturing and logistics processes, using AWS IoT, machine learning, analytics, and compute services.

While none of the re:Invent enhancements were for an entirely new IoT platform module, or indicate a new strategy for AWS in its approach to the IoT market, it is clear that the vendor keeps up with requests from its many developers about how to make its existing capabilities better, easier to use, and more extensible for different kinds of developers and different sizes and types of deployments.

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