Domain Specific IoT PaaS Platforms

  • What is OSRAM LIGHTELLIGENCE®?
  • What does it mean to the OSRAM ecosystem and B2B-customers?
  • Which strategic directions of OSRAM does Crisp Research anticipate?

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Domain Specific IoT PaaS Platforms Have A New Innovator: LIGHTELLIGENCE®

IoT  together with machine learning is one of the most exciting areas of technology right now. And, it’s no surprise that after one year of hyper-growth and hyper-excitement, nearly all variations of business models, cloud delivery variations and platform levels are offered by at least one major vendor. We’ve just recently posted the 2018-IoT trends in this Crisp Analyst View. One trend is the software-as-a-services (SaaS) deployment option for general IoT applications (See this Crisp Analyst View).

Also,  the platform-as-a-service level (PaaS) is well represented as all hyperscaler (AWS, Azure, Google GCP) brought out new versions of IoT platform services in the last 12 months. All of these offerings are independent from a single industry and positioned fully horizontally.

On the other hand, there  have been a number of IoT platforms mainly tailored for specific industries. This could be Siemens’ Mindsphere which offers a lot of value for maintenance of industrial plant operations, or it could be Software AG’s ADAMOS trying to get into the industrial manufacturing around the Industry 4.0 wave in Germany. With all the healthy industrial manufacturing and automotive industry in Germany, we sometimes forget that there are many more industries. Some have a big-enough ecosystem that a domain specific IoT PaaS offering could work. One of these industries is the professional building management of industrial and commercial buildings. So if you were to compare Excel and SAP’s ERP, smart home solutions in the consumer market would be Excel whereas the professional business management would be SAP! Basically all vendors of this space are currently exhibiting at the world’s largest trade fair focusing on exactly this market, the Light&Building show in Frankfurt. The industry’s heavyweight OSRAM surprised this year with an outstanding offering addressing exactly this whitespace of an IoT PaaS offering for the light & building automation. The new platform is called LIGHTELLIGENCE®® and can be found under www.lightelligence.io.

Figure 1: www.lightelligence.io

The market introduction of OSRAM’s LIGHTELLIGENCE® comes to no surprise to Crisp Research. Crisp has been working with OSRAM from understanding the challenges of a digital business model, over the requirements of various applications from every single OSRAM business unit and external partners, down to the modeling of LIGHTELLIGENCE®’s service structure and architecture. Hence, Crisp Research is very excited about OSRAM’s public announcement today.

What exactly is LIGHTELLIGENCE® and what makes it so unique? OSRAM’s combination of technology and strategy makes LIGHTELLIGENCE® remarkable in the market, filling the white space between horizontal IoT offerings like Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub and specific SaaS offerings for a certain industry that are mostly build today on proprietary technology components. Some platform coming close to LIGHTELLIGENCE® is for example Samsung’s www.artik.io, which comes with an pre-certified set of connectivity modules and is already used in this space. However, LIGHTELLIGENCE® is again surprisingly open and not restricted at all to OSRAM hardware. While OSRAM was designing LIGHTELLIGENCE®, Crisp Research had the chance to work with Dr. Thorsten Müller, Group SVP Innovation and Innoventures at OSRAM. Here is our view on what Thorsten and his team defined as the strategy behind LIGHTELLIGENCE®:

  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® is a major pillar of OSRAM’s digitalization. OSRAM realized that only a common platform behind the various digital activities of OSRAM’s business units can accelerate the creation of new digital products or digital add-ons to physical OSRAM products.
  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® stimulates new business models. OSRAM already managed  an amazing turnaround from a manufacturer of light bulbs, an MRO-type of product, to a global market leader in the LED B2B business. While OSRAM’s consumer business - still leveraging the OSRAM brand - has been carved out into the independent company Ledvance in 2015, the OSRAM Licht AG recovered to more than 4 billion Euro annual revenue with B2B products and services. With the same speed and success OSRAM created new physical products, eg. for the automotive LED market, they now like to create digital products across all their business domains.
  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® is a fully managed PaaS offering. Simplicity, economy of scale and collaborative business models guided OSRAM to the decision to offer LIGHTELLIGENCE® as a fully managed public cloud PaaS offering at an aggressive price model. In order to offer scalability and competitiveness from the beginning, OSRAM is leveraging one of the large hyperscaler’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS), but has builtmost of the differentiating PaaS services with its own intellectual property on top of it. This guarantees the possibility to launch LIGHTELLIGENCE® very soon in multiple geographies around the world - potentially - on another hyperscaler of choice for each part of the world. At the same time it avoids known scalability issues of existing IoT PaaS services. The result can basically scale for any demand of OSRAM or its partners. We wouldn’t be surprised if OSRAM runs digital twins of LED spotlights for millions of cars very soon. By this, warranty of a single LED lamp for the life-time of your car is manageable.
  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® is open. IoT developer will see the public API portal, hackathons and the full developer enablement for LIGHTELLIGENCE® very soon. Known standards such as Lightweight M2M or MQTT over TLS are leveraged. However, a lot of new intellectual property has been created around the management of user and device identities and the well controlled sharing of (time series) data and event flows. This positions LIGHTELLIGENCE® as one of the few platforms, which are extremely efficient for IoT application developers because of pre-build functionality and integration. At the same time it is very open to bring basically any device or resource model into the platform. Independent application developer may develop solutions far beyond buildings and could cover smart cities or even Industry 4.0 scenarios. And, if you cannot develop your application on your own, it is a good message that already a number of IoT development and system integrator firms built up skills or committed to run hackathons. This includes Netlight, Concept Reply, Zühlke and the Czech nearshore iXperta.
  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® is collaborative. Lightelligence is of course an state-of-the-art multi-tenant platform (running on a scalable kubernetes- managed container infrastructure at a major hyperscaler). But more importantly, data is not siloed in a single tenant. Imagine the owner of a commercial building is aware of the actual usage (not the booking) of conference rooms and office space based on the presence sensors and RFID doors - all orchestrated in LIGHTELLIGENCE®. Obviously some of this information is confidential. On the other hand, a service company likes to provide cleaning services in the building. They could now have a second tenant on LIGHTELLIGENCE® with an mobile app, which navigates them in the evening directly to these spaces not used any more or into these meeting rooms where people have actually left. Imagine, you are never disturbed by a vacuum cleaner in the office any more! A third party vendor for facility management software could easily create this app on a second tenant on the LIGHTELLIGENCE® cloud, just subscribing the IoT events shared by the owner in a policy driven and highly secured fashion. What a nice application that OSRAM might not build on their own, as they are not in the “cleaning business”. But, they are NOW in the IoT platform business and made it easier than ever for third parties to develop such an app in the LIGHTELLIGENCE® ecosystem and host it on LIGHTELLIGENCE®.
  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® is the common platform for all of OSRAM’s future software applications. The development of LIGHTELLIGENCE® has not just been driven out of the corporate innovation department. Thorsten Müller involved every business and corporate unit from the beginning and analyzed requirements of innovative solutions. LIGHTELLIGENCE® is made to balance the OSRAM group and outside adoption. If this really works out, Crisp Research anticipates an unmatched cross-selling of applications across the OSRAM portfolio and much better end-user experience in the future. Already two business applications by OSRAM and another one by the OSRAM partner Rudolf Zimmermann, Bamberg (RZB) is shown on the Light+Building show.
  • LIGHTELLIGENCE® is an ecosystem play. OSRAM is working with an extensive ecosystem in the area of project solutions and component supply chains. Remember, OSRAM does not even manufacture KNX Switches on their own which are switching their light in many commercial buildings. There a many mid size integrators and most of the large implementation shops such as the Siemens Building Technologies are among the OSRAM partners. The OSRAM Lighting Solutions is cooperating and sometimes even partly competing with them on delivering business applications and customer implementations. The great message to the ecosystem is, that LIGHTELLIGENCE® is fully transparent and OSRAM Lighting Solutions uses exactly the same public APIs of LIGHTELLIGENCE® as any other OSRAM partner could. You might have realized that LIGHTELLIGENCE® envisions its own brand in a way that technology vendors can fully remove the OSRAM brand from LIGHTELLIGENCE®. So, if you like to build a heating, security or climate control system and like to push your own brand as a IoT application vendor, talk to the LIGHTELLIGENCE® team and ask for upcoming white labeling of your LIGHTELLIGENCE® tenants!

There will be further articles exploring the LIGHTELLIGENCE® service structure and architecture very soon on www.lightelligence.io and here on Crisp-Research.com for more technical readers.

Finally you might be wondering why OSRAM is investing such an effort and money into an new end-to-end platform service? I believe OSRAM has strategically l realized that the market for open and professional platform services is simply at a very early stage. Being first mover and innovator has the potential to turn this even into an industry alliance and finally drive significant digital revenues in addition to OSRAM’s hardware business.

Mehr zu den Themen IaaS IoT IoT PaaS Platform Light&Building LIGHTELLIGENCE® OSRAM PaaS SaaS

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Über den Autor:

Principal Analyst & IoT Practice Lead

Stefan RiedDr. Stefan Ried – IoT Practice Lead, Principal Analyst – is responsible for the research and consulting activities covering IoT and modern platform architectures. Stefan Ried worked previously at Unify, a global communications and collaboration vendor as CTO. Graduated in Physics with an PhD at the Max Planck Institute, Germany, Stefan brings 20 years of experience in senior positions in software development, product management and marketing from international vendors to Crisp Research. His experience includes two software startups and major players including SAP and Software AG. Over 7 years at Forrester Research, Stefan lead the cloud platform research globally as a Vice President.