by Thor Olavsrud

LogMeIn creates CMS-like platform for IoT connected products

May 04, 2016
Internet of ThingsSoftware DevelopmentTechnology Industry

With the next generation of its Xively Connected Product Management Platform, LogMeIn is aiming to make it easier for companies to deploy and manage connected products in the Internet of Things.

iot connected
Credit: Thinkstock

Boston-based LogMeIn believes 2016 is a year of transition, as organizations move from exploring the Internet of Things (IoT) to the executing IoT initiatives. The company says its Xively Connected Product Management (CPM) Platform will accelerate that transition.

“IoT is complicated,” says Ryan Lester, director of IoT at LogMeIn’s Xively IoT division. “Connected product management should be easy.”

The next generation of the Xively CPM Platform is an application suite intended to eliminate the need for IT function undertake do-it-yourself IoT projects to connect and manage devices. Lester likens it to the way modern content management systems (CMSs) streamline the process of adding and updating content to websites — once a much more manual task.

“For us, the CIOs we talk to, when you approach IoT and connecting your products, you want to spend time on those things that are a long-term differentiator to your customers or business,” he says — things like apps, customer experiences and business models. “Spend time on those things and spend less time on building specific databases, cloud architectures and security protocols for managing the connection to and from the device.”

“There is a complex and unique set of challenges associated with launching and supporting an IoT connected product — many of which fall outside the core competency of a traditional product company,” Paddy Srinivasan, general manager, Xively by LogMeIn, added in a statement today. “While many set their sights on a DIY strategy, they are finding that the cost and man hours associated with building, launching and running a connected product business can be overwhelming at best and a failure at worst.”

Keeping track of your IoT products

The new release of Xively is a unified system of record that provides a real-time view of connected products in market, including product details, trend data, product health, connectivity status, device location, firmware versions and events associated with the product. Dashboards provide product management, development and service teams with the data they need to run a connected business. Features include the following:

  • Universal user and device management. The platform can manage users and devices associated with connected products, regardless of the underlying IoT connectivity platform, whether home grown solutions, Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • One-click Salesforce app and Heroku add-on. The platform provides out-of-the-box integration with Salesforce, allowing a real-time view into the health, status and other key product details of a customer’s actual product from Xively into a customer record screen in Salesforce. Additionally, connected products can be set to trigger automatic Salesforce tickets in case of malfunction or to ship replenishables. Xively product data can also be delivered with one-click into Heroku to allow for rapid app development and new user engagement.
  • Xively Product Simulator. The product simulator helps companies model and test connected product features, create rules to determine data flow and integrate with third-party systems and customer interaction to validate business models, use cases and the ability to build business processes around a connected product.
xively product simulator

The Xively Product Simulator helps companies model and test connected product features. (Click for larger image.)

Boston-based Freight Farms is a Xively customer that makes fully instrumented “farms in a box’ built inside a 40′ x 8′ x 9.5′ shipping container.

“They take shipping containers and they build agricultural units growing leafy greens,” Lester says. “They’re operationalizing farming so they can control lighting, watering, pH, so on schedule you can grow herbs and leafy greens and know exactly what the yield will be every week. It’s moving farming from ‘we hope it rains today’ or ‘we hope it’s sunny’ to a fully automated environment that can optimize output.”

Freight Farms is also helping users crowdsource recipes based on the data output of the units. For instance, Lester says, the data might show that turning up the humidity setting to a certain point and increasing pH by a certain amount increases the yield of a particular crop by 10 percent. That data can then help other users increase their yields.

“At the outset of our IoT journey, we were determined to build our solution from the ground up, but as time went on we realized we should leverage the expertise of others and use our limited time to focus on delivering the most value to our customers,” Kyle Seaman, director of Farm Technology at Freight Farms, said in a statement today. “Xively offered a proven platform, IoT expertise and the ability to deliver quickly. In just 60 days, we went from concept to field-ready product.”