Google has launched Cloud IoT Core, an IoT management platform that enables organisations to connect devices to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Once connected to the GCP, organisations can centrally manage their IoT devices and build applications by integrating with the company's data analytics services.
According to Google, customers will be able to tap into operational data that can help them to react in real-time.
For example, utilities companies will be able to monitor, analyse and predict consumer energy usage, while transportation and logistics companies will be able to stage the right vehicles in the right places, and manufacturing, oil and gas companies can schedule equipment maintenance.
The company has no doubt reacted to its fiercest rivals' own IoT management platforms: AWS IoT and Azure IoT. However, Indranil Chakraborty, a product manager at Google Cloud suggested the shift was because many enterprise who rely on industrial devices were struggling to monitor and manage them.
He put this down to prohibitive operational costs and complexity, patchwork security and data fragmentation.
"Cloud IoT Core is designed to help resolve these problems by removing risk, complexity and data siloes from the device monitoring and management process," Chakraborty said.
"It offers the ability to more securely connect and manage all devices as a single global system," he added.
According to Chakraborty, the new platform will enable users to connect up to millions of globally dispersed devices into a single system and register them via the MQTT protocol.
The platform can be integrated with Android Things-based devices and Google's analytics services including Cloud Dataflow, BigQuery and Cloud Machine Learning Engine. The platform will also connect to business intelligence products from Google's partners such as Looker, Qlik, Tableau and Zoomdata.
So will the fact that Google, Microsoft and Amazon now all have IoT management platforms mean that smaller, nimble vendors will struggle to make their mark in the enterprise?
Rob Bamforth, analyst at IT advisory company Quocirca believes there will still be opportunities for innovation and small players, although this will be lessened in the overall management systems and billing space.
"It will be in the verticals and app-specific areas where smaller companies will add value and the bigger players will become the equivalent of ‘carriers'," he said.
Cloud IoT Core is currently available as a private beta, and Google is launching with a number of hardware software partners that include ARM, Intel, Mongoose OS, Sierra Wireless and Helium.
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