Yesterday at the Akamai EDGE 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Akamai Technologies unveiled its plan to help manufacturing companies incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) devices into their IT infrastructures. The strategy revolves around the Akamai Intelligent Platform which will be used to support data transfer to and from connected devices around the world.
Akamai says manufacturers, automakers, and other companies connecting to the Internet of Things will be able support millions of customer devices more cost-effectively by using its new cloud-based IoT solutions, rather than building out and having to maintain their own global networks.
The first offering from Akamai's new IoT initiative is an "Over the Air (OTA)" solution specifically designed for the automotive market. The service enables car makers and dealerships to deliver firmware as well as updates for GPS navigation and infotainment directly to customers' connected vehicles over Wi-Fi or cellular. That means car owners need to make fewer visits to automotive service centers.
On a technical level, the automotive "Over the Air" service includes:
1) edge IP-binding to enable updates from a configurable set of IP addresses in order to adhere to the data-locality rules and to comply with agreements that automakers may have with their chosen telecom partners;
2) secure delivery of updates using a flexible SSL/TLS program that also supports customers using their own client certificates; and,
3) advanced dashboards for tracking delivery of updates to each vehicle, enabling car manufacturers to monitor campaign progress and confirm downloads.
Already In Play
Akamai's Over the Air technology is already being used by Harman (now part of Samsung). Harman is best known for its high-end car speakers, but it's now riding the connected car trend, positioning itself as the leading provider of connected car solutions for the world's automakers.
VP and general manager Oren Betzaleli of Harman Connected Services provides an interesting perspective on connected cars: "Today's automobile can easily be thought of as a moving computer, with software controlling telematics, safety and security, and even embedded entertainment." And, he points out, all of those computer systems require regular updates to make sure they're operating as intended.
That's where Akamai comes into play. By using Akamai's Over the Air technology, Harman feels they can help automakers deliver the best connected car experience for their customers, thanks to its easy-update capabilities.
Extending Its Reach
Akamai already calls itself the "world's largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform," serving millions upon millions of websites. With its new platform for managing IoT devices, the company hopes to leverage its 20 years of web-security experience to also lead the rapidly growing IoT market.
In related news at this week's EDGE 2017 conference, Akamai announced it will be acquiring Nominum, with the purchase expected to close before the end of the year. Nominum is a market leader in DNS (domain name system) and enterprise security solutions for carriers.
Earlier this year, Nominum launched a DNS-based Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) for SMBs, enterprises and public wi-fi venues. The acquisition will expand Akamai's portfolio of security offerings while extending its distribution to carriers that serve enterprise customers.