Industrial-automation manufacturer and Internet of Things application-toolset provider Opto 22 announced acceptance into the IBM Watson IoT Partners ecosystem. This partnership provides developers with a full-stack toolset for building applications that connect real-world signals and data from industrial “things” to the digital world of information technology, mobile, and cloud computing.
A Business Insider report forecasts there will be $4.8 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2016 and 2021. Billions of sensors, machines, and devices already exist in industrial infrastructure but are currently unable to connect to the Internet of things and cloud-based applications, like the IBM Watson IoT Platform.
This legacy equipment holds valuable untapped data that is needed to improve business processes and decisions in almost every enterprise and every industry. The partnership between IBM and Opto 22 enables developers to rapidly design, prototype, and deploy applications to connect existing industrial assets to the IBM Watson IoT platform and share their data, capabilities, and resources with other connected systems and assets, to build the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Building IIoT applications has historically been complex, requiring multiple layers of expensive middleware and significant developer manpower. IIoT applications built from the ground up can take months or even years, and require expertise in both the operations technology (OT) domain, where industrial assets live, and the information technology (IT) domain, where digital and cloud computing assets exist. These long development cycles increase cost, slow time-to-market, and increase risk of IIoT project failure for customers. Together these problems delay and reduce the return on investment for implementing IIoT applications.
Through this new partnership between IBM and Opto 22, developers and systems integrators have a concise toolset for connecting the OT and IT domains. The partnership combines more than 40 years of OT-domain expertise and innovation from Opto 22 with 100+ years of IT-domain expertise and innovation from IBM. Combining open technologies like RESTful APIs and Node-RED with powerful and proven computing platforms like the IBM Watson IoT platform decreases development time, eliminates the need for expensive middleware, reduces risk for customers, and gets solutions to market faster, according to Opto 22.
“The industrial automation and control industry is in transition right now,” says Benson Hougland, Opto 22 vice president of marketing and product strategy. “A product development strategy based on proprietary and closed technologies is outdated. The future of industrial automation and process control lies in the rising API and data economies made possible through open standards-based technologies. Our objective in partnering with IBM is to enable IIoT developers to build their applications faster using well-known and proven Internet tools and technology like Node-RED, RESTful APIs, and the IBM Watson IoT Platform.”
Getting Started With Opto 22 and IBM Watson IoT
Opto 22 has provided a recipe for developers to get started in connecting industrial systems to the Watson IoT Platform, as well as a video walking developers through the steps. Developers can access a trial version of the Watson IoT Platform on the IBM website.