Aptilo SMP IoT

Aptilo SMP IoT

Things. We have enabled connectivity for them since 2001.

Aptilo SMP IoT platform

Aptilo’s IoT platform, a framework for enabling and monetizing IoT services, is based on the same Aptilo Service Management Platform™ (SMP) platform as the award-winning Aptilo SMP for Wi-Fi. It provides modules for authentication, provisioning, data aggregation, action management, analytics and monetization with interfaces to other IoT systems and applications. It features a scalable and flexible architecture, already deployed with more than 100 service providers in 75 countries.

To scale your IoT services, you need to break the vertical IoT silos that exist today. These silos normally use a purpose-built IoT platform that only supports one specific application for one kind of thing or device.

Breaking these IoT silos is especially important if you want to provide connectivity and value-added IoT services to many different IoT applications. Learn more about how the horizontal approach of Aptilo’s IoT application enablement solution can help you.

  • Authentication
  • Provisioning
  • Data aggregation
  • Action Management
  • Wi-Fi analytics
  • Wi-Fi monetization
  • Interface

A robust IoT platform built for performance

Aptilo’s IoT platform is designed to meet service providers’ requirement for a carrier-grade and highly scalable architecture with high availability. This includes geographical redundancy and disaster recovery. Regardless of whether you are a service provider with extremely high usage or an organization with fair usage, you can always trust that Aptilo’s IoT platform and Aptilo will deliver.

Future-proof your IoT platform

B2B or B2C or B2B2C we do not care.  Aptilo’s IoT platform works for every business model and the flexibility will  support your business no matter who your end customers are. The Aptilo SMP IoT platform is built around our API-adapter concept and our service logic engine which we call Aptilo ServiceGlue™. It features a powerful rules engine with configurable logic helping you to enable different IoT applications for yourself or your customers.

Multitenant IoT platform

Our IoT platform is designed from the ground-up to provide a multitenant solution to the service provider. A tenant represents the highest level of an organization utilizing the platform. The platform can be shared by many tenants which each get access to their private set of functions such as device registration, policy rules, charging mechanism, reporting and analytics.

One platform instance can be scaled to support many tenants and many different services, reducing installation and operations costs and shortening timelines when onboarding new users and new devices.

Multitenacy means that:

  • The device database can be shared by multiple tenants whose data is still kept separated.
  • Policy rules as can be defined to apply to specific tenants only.
  • Analytics are provided per tenant in a hierarchical fashion, to give each tenant a complete view of their own events and services at any given level in the organization.
  • Provisioning and device onboarding maps into the tenant structure.

Aptilo SMP IoT intelligently connect “things” with IoT applications.

A deeper dive into the Aptilo IoT platform

There are myriad of “IoT platforms” out there. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are all alike. IoT platforms are like different fruits in a fruit bowl. There are apples, pears, bananas, oranges, plums and they are all called fruits. However, they all have different shapes and different tastes.

The same applies to IoT application enablement platforms. The only thing in common is that they are called IoT platforms. But, you can be sure they are all different. Some are good at security, others at receiving and analyzing data. There are IoT platforms that manage firmware upgrades and platforms that act as mediators between different systems.

Aptilo´s IoT Platform is a framework that contains a number of functional elements in order to effectively enable and meet your IoT requirements.

Aptilo SMP IoT

You can choose to use all of the functionality available in the Aptilo IoT platform. You can also consider our IoT platform as a toolbox with various tools that are needed to enable the perfect IoT applications for your own organization or your customers’ needs. Just pick the individual functions you need and integrate them with products from other vendors.

These functions, which can be combined or used individually, include:

  • Security, Authentication, and session management
  • Connectivity
  • Normalization of protocol and data
  • Provisioning of devices integrated with device management systems
  • Data collection and aggregation
  • Processing and action management
  • Visualization and reporting
  • Analytics
  • Monetization

Security, Authentication, and Session management

Crucial to the choice of authentication method is how sensitive and important the information from the endpoints are. One-way automated meter reading is not usually as critical as bidirectional reading and control of a life support IoT application. Someone hacking a healthcare application can be of decisive importance.

Our IoT platform supports a large number of methods for secure authentication, session control and policy control of devices and additional methods can be added upon request.

Authentication can be made with the integrated, highly scalable database or to external databases. The Aptilo IoT platform supports many protocols for external database communication such as RADIUS, Diameter, MAP, SOAP, LDAP and SQL (ODBC).

Authentication can be based on device identities such as MAC address, username/password, shared secret, client certificate, and SIM card. Authentication methods include EAP methods (EAP-SIM/AKA, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS, EAP-PEAP). Other methods of authentication can be added as part of a customer implementation project with help of 3rd party partners in the IoT eco-system.

Security is controlled by authenticating and authorizing only devices that have been provisioned to the Aptilo IoT platform or external databases. Policy determines which tenant the device belongs to and what actions and rules to apply.

Session state for devices is typically kept in the Aptilo IoT platform session database to enable control of the device and services.

Connectivity

The type of network that is best for your IoT deployment depends on what you want to achieve. Things to consider include:

  • How often will the endpoints communicate?
  • How much data will the endpoints send?
  • What is the  geographic dispersal of endpoints?

Are you building a nationwide, regional or a private e.g. LoRaWAN network?  In any case you will need the connectivity function in our IoT platform. It can for instance act as a LoRa Network Server, managing the communication with the endpoints.

The Aptilo IoT platform is connectivity-agnostic. This means that regardless of what type of network (e.g. LoRA, Sigfox, NB-IoT, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc) your devices are connected to, they are supported by the platform.

For instance, you may find Sigfox as the optimum technology for some of your IoT applications. However, you cannot build your own Sigfox network. You have to utilize the existing Sigfox network provided by the local Sigfox operator in your country. Aptilo’s IoT platform can act as a Sigfox termination node with the whole suite of features needed to enable your Sigfox connectivity.

With the Aptilo IoT platform, you can combine different connectivity methods. This is a great advantage. For instance, data aggregation and policy management functions can be the same regardless of the connectivity network.

The Aptilo IoT platform also supports a range of different protocols and data formats useful for making endpoints communicate with the platform. New protocols can easily be added using our flexible API adaptor concept.

Normalization

Although the endpoints allegedly support a certain standardized protocol, there are often discrepancies that cause problems. These discrepancies can occur when, for example, the messages from an endpoint should be interpreted. Using the normalization capabilities and the configurable logic in our IoT platform, messages can be translated into a unified format. The “normalized” message can then be made available to policy, charging, data collection and other functions as well as external systems.

Device management and provisioning

Device profiles can be stored in the high-capacity database in Aptilo’s IoT platform and managed via GUI or by using well-defined APIs. Batch import/export is supported as is getting credentials generated as part of a dynamic onboarding model. The device structure can be flat or hierarchical. The service profile concept ensures easier management of large volumes of devices and shared rules between them. With the use of the policy engine logic, the Aptilo IoT platform features mechanisms and interfaces to trigger maintenance services such device configuration or firmware upgrades.

The Aptilo IoT platform can be the single storage place for devices, integrating with external systems, such as device-vendor provided tools, that give additional functionality.

You can save installation and operation costs for databases or specific device management systems. However, if those systems already exist or are specifically required, the Aptilo IoT platform supports integration.

Data collection and aggregation

Data storage is another central component of Aptilo’s IoT platform. It comes with a powerful and scalable high-capacity database system, designed after tier 1 telco operators’ requirements.  This makes it flexible to support different kinds of use-cases that may occur among different verticals. Large amounts of data with the speed of streaming data collected from different endpoints can be aggregated and permanently stored in the database or temporarily stored until pushed to an external database. The Aptilo IoT platform features the freedom to use the built-in database, an external database or a mix of the two.

Processing and action management

The data that is captured in the Connectivity & Normalization function and is stored in the database is brought to life in this part of Aptilo’s IoT platform. The Aptilo ServiceGlue™ , which is an integral part of the platform, is a tool to enable the specific IoT services and features tailored to your or your customer’s requirements.  A rule-based event-action-trigger allows performance of “smart” actions based on specific endpoint data.

The Aptilo ServiceGlue in combination with the Aptilo SMP policy functionality is the policy engine in Aptilo’s IoT platform. This is where all policy decisions are implemented and rulesets are executed when triggered by external or internal events.

The policy engine features advanced configurable ruleset-based functions. The functions can for example receive requests and triggers from endpoints and other southbound nodes. Then it can aggregate this data with information from e.g. external sources, process advanced ruleset-based configurable logic, and finally push the required actions back to the endpoints or other external nodes or systems.

Visualization and reporting

Aptilo’s IoT platform features data visualization and reporting tools for automatic processing and display of analytics from the provided IoT service. This include storage of usage information and events as well as aggregated statistics and monitoring data.

The data could be accessible through web portals tailor-made with specific information for multiple groups of users such as administrators, customer care staff, customer support, or even end-customers.

The available analytics are divided into two distinct groups called ‘Quickview’ and ‘Dashboard’ analytics.

Quickview analytics are single statistical items represented over a fixed period of time, for example, the average temperature in the last 24 hours.

Dashboard analytics are graphical comparisons of sets of aggregated data from things/devices and information from external sources. These graphs typically compare different data over time.

Unlike many other analytic interfaces, the Aptilo IoT platform does not impose a fixed dashboard of graphical reports. Graphs and statistics can be added at will and edited to show different time ranges, representations and organization. Customized reports can be made for all the underlying data. The GUI is designed to work with all types of devices whether it’s the administrator viewing on a laptop or from a smartphone device.

Analytics

The event data processing function can support multiple streams of event records in different formats for situations where event records are used for purposes such as billing and analytics. These events can through a graphical user interface be searched and exported to external systems for analysis, and are also used to produce aggregated usage reports. It is also possible to enable predictive analytics to alarm when anomalies occur. With help of aggregated data from Aptilo’s IoT platform, prescriptive analytics support can be enabled in an external system.

Monetization

Aptilo’s IoT platform facilitates innovative ways to monetize services in an IoT application. It supports the new trend where instead of selling a product to a customer, vendors let customers subscribe to the product based on the usage.