IBM and Bosch collaborate in industrial IoT push

Technology vendor IBM and German engineering and electronics company Bosch have agreed terms on an industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) collaboration.

The agreement will mean that Bosch’s IoT Suite services will be made available on IBM’s cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) Bluemix and the IBM Watson IoT Platform.

This will enable IBM and Bosch’s clients to update their IoT devices over the cloud. The two companies gave the example of auto manufacturers being able to schedule and organize software updates to vehicles without requiring the vehicle to come into a workshop. White goods manufacturers would also be able to remotely send updates to washing machines and dryers, so if a new feature for a Bosch washing machine is added – such as the automatic reordering of detergent – it can be provided to consumers that own existing Bosch IIoT devices.

The partnership between IBM and Bosch means that clients would get two key aspects of IoT together: management and intelligence.

“Many companies are making things ‘smart’ with a bit of embedded technology, and exploiting the open and pervasive internet – this is basic IoT,” said Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at business and advisory IT company Quocirca.

“This will lead to huge numbers of devices and a different way of managing things – hence the work people like Bosch are doing and there are quite a few working in this ‘IoT management’ area,” he added.

Related: IBM and Visa team up for IoT-enabled payments

But while this management layer is important, Bamforth emphasized that the main reason clients implement IoT is for the data to be gathered to be turned into actionable insight.

“This is where Watson fits in so well and why IBM can add so much value,” he said.

As part of the collaboration, clients of both companies will be able to access ‘Bosch IoT Rollouts’ – the name of the solution that rolls out software updates to IT devices and gateways connected to IP-based networking infrastructure.

Bosch’s other IoT services for developers, including analytics, permissions and remote management, will also be available as a free evaluation service in Europe over IBM’s Bluemix platform. A paid production option will be available later, and clients in other parts of the world will be able to use the services at a yet-to-be-confirmed date.


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