Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Digi launches focus on IoT management

Steve Rogerson
March 14, 2019



Digi says it has answered the call for advanced IoT management with its DRM remote manager, a secure platform to monitor and control distributed IoT devices. The company has also unveiled Digi Foundations, an IoT hardware management application and technical support package.
 
DRM provides network operators, engineers and administrators with the capabilities to monitor, upgrade and control connected hardware for IoT devices running on LTE cellular networks, while providing the freedom and flexibility to integrate with additional network management and productivity tools.
 
DRM includes connectivity tools, networking features, analytics and edge computing capabilities, which allow IoT managers to determine the operating status and location of all their remote digital assets. It also provides value in the form of secure IoT networking for enterprise network managers and service providers who need to incorporate security and networking best practices into a single IoT management offering.
 
DRM standard features include:

  • In-band and out-of-band command and control of managed devices;
  • Over the air updates of firmware, configurations and edge computing software for managed devices;
  • Visibility and control over edge network devices such as Zigbee and other RF devices;
  • Bi-directional access and control of devices and edge compute application logic;
  • Automated software and configuration assignment during device installation;
  • Periodic scanning, alerting and remediation of devices that fail compliance checks;
  • Enterprise routing plus carrier, WAN and LAN analytics;
  • VPN and tunnelling plus remote LAN device management; and
  • Edge computing capability using Python
In addition to these standard features, DRM includes application connectors that let users easily connect devices to their cloud platforms of choice for quicker implementation and more choice. With preconfigured APIs, users can quickly and easily access, connect and analyse data collected from their edge devices to improve business processes, accelerate decision-making and react to a changing business environment.
 
Minnesota-based Digi plans to unveil more application connectors in the coming months, providing flexibility and allowing users to integrate with the specific tools needed for their business without being forced to adopt limiting proprietary options.
 
The DRM mobile app brings further functionality to the offering. In addition to on-the-go, hand-held monitoring, users can register a device using a QR code with the app including the mac address or device ID as well as an install code or default password. Once a device is registered into a customer account, custom configurations can be automatically downloaded using the profile management feature, simplifying deployment and configuration.
 
“The internet of things is about so much more than device connectivity, but without it there can be no IoT,” said Scott Nelson, chief product officer at Digi. “With DRM, we’re able to help customers ensure their devices are not only online and connected securely, but that they are operating efficiently. No matter where in the world a device may be located or what analytics platform an end user selects, DRM supplies key data that ultimately improve business efficiency.”
 
Digi Foundations combines hardware, software applications, services and support in an IoT-in-a-box package that simplifies and speeds the process of creating connected digital ecosystems, especially those with mission-critical applications.
 
As wireless data technologies spread throughout every industry, organisations seek to extend connected services to multiple sites to manage key assets, track inventory and deployments, and ensure compliance and security. Until now, they have been forced to manage multiple providers with disparate hardware, software, data, asset connectivity and infrastructure offerings.
 
Addressing these challenges, Digi Foundations touches every element of IoT deployment, including management and analytics. Beginning with the physical hardware, it builds on edge intelligence. Digi’s offerings place bi-directional data and computation at the sensor, gateway, business centre, cloud or in any combination, while also providing access to data from intelligent edge devices previously beyond reach.
 
Digi Foundations also includes DRM
 
“Digi Foundations provides a unified service for remote device management, integration, cellular connectivity and data support leading to the creation of faster, more adaptable IoT ecosystems,” said Nelson. “We’re providing every element of our IoT stack expertise, allowing organisations to elevate their focus from tool management to the creation of mission-critical applications running on this next iteration of IoT networks. We allow the user to create the rules and we make the network work for their applications.”
 
In addition to being included in the purchase of the recently launched IX14 – a secure industrial LTE router for utility, smart city and kiosk applications – and the WR54 – a wireless router for complex mobile and industrial environments – customers purchasing from the existing portfolio of Digi routers will have the option to add the Digi Foundations subscription to their purchases. The add-on subscription combines DRM, round-the-clock support, a limited lifetime warranty, and access to cloud connector and edge compute software libraries to provide the level of support needed to manage IoT endeavours.