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29 October 2015

Jasper wins deal to connect M2M devices to IBM IoT Foundation

M2M device management platform provider Jasper has signed an integration deal with IBM to act as the link between field devices and IBM’s IoT Foundation analytics PaaS. The deal will allow customers to use the IBM platform to develop their applications, before deploying them through Jasper’s global connectivity platform. The system is expected to launch by the end of the year.

In theory, the combination will allow for businesses to add more features to their offerings, such as telematics or predictive maintenance, with connectivity assured by Jasper’s relationships with carriers in more than 100 countries. Jasper’s Control Center software platform will have access to all the data that is backhauled from the devices it provisions and connects, and with the new integration, can push this data to the IBM IoT Foundation, and receive instructions from the IBM platform too. For Jasper customers, the deal can connect them more easily to IT services.

The IoT Foundation is a package of analytics services, which can be used to design IoT solutions and applications. It is essentially the IoT app-building toolset that was added to the Bluemix platform about a year ago. For existing IBM customers, the deal brings them closer to M2M and IoT connectivity – an opportunity that C-level executives are increasingly waking up to.

“Thousands of enterprises around the world rely on Jasper to deliver their IoT services. Many of those already utilize, or plan to utilize IBM for their IoT application development and analytics,” said Macario Namie, Jasper’s VP of Strategy. “This collaboration unites the capabilities of these powerful IoT solutions, giving enterprises a one-stop shop for the development and delivery of IoT services globally – more quickly and cost-effectively, with enhanced user experiences and creating new revenue streams.”

The deal follows IBM’s recent $3bn pledge to invest in its IoT offerings, and the subsequent creation of 2,000 jobs. As part of this strategy, IBM has struck deals with ARM, to connect its mbed OS chips automatically with the IBM platform, and is investigating blockchain technology for device messaging and identity management in partnership with Samsung, through the ADEPT project (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry). Its Watson AI project is also being applied to cloud-based analytics services, as well as in machine learning projects that promise to make much more efficient use of the data generated by our increasingly connected world.

“Think of the IoT Foundation as an extremely fast on ramp to the cloud,” said IBM’s VP for IoT, John Thompson. “We’ve led thousands of engagements and are one of the first to enable business to rapidly gain access to the big data that billions of sensors, ships, controllers and RFID tags generate. Combined with our proven cloud, analytics, mobile and security capabilities, IBM provides one of the most comprehensive IoT solutions for clients to derive new business insights and competitive advantage.”

Jasper also has integrations with Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform, VMware’s AirWatch platform, SAP, Salesforce, and Icontrol’s smart home platform. It also names GM’s connected cars, GE’s jet engines, Amazon’s Kindle, Starbucks’ DSL transaction redundancy system, Garmin’s and TomTom’s GPS units, Heineken’s kegs, and Vivint’s home automation service as customers.

The Jasper Control Center, which is the consumer facing end of the business, allows the user to set automated monitoring criteria which can trigger alerts. They can integrate the Control Center with their own systems via API, and study the data collected by the deployed devices – both historically and in real time. Jasper stresses the speed benefits of the platform, which allows quick changes and decisions to be made.

Jasper is worth over a billion dollars, and employs some 400 staff. Founded in 2004, it has built itself up into being one of the top few IoT/M2M connectivity platform providers – along with Aeris, Stream Communications, KORE, and Wyless, as well as more familiar names like Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson. Jasper says it has over 2,700 customers, spanning 20 industries.