UNLOCKING THE EDGE

Any industry. Any system. Any process.

XLink partners with IoT.nxt

XLink has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with IoT innovator IoT.nxt, with the aim of enabling businesses to digitalise their operations and take advantage of the Internet of Things.

IoT.nxt is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Data Platforms and winner of several innovation and IoT awards. The company opened an office in The Hague in September last year, and is currently expanding into the US, having concluded partnership agreements with key industry players, including Dell.

With over fourteen years as a secure machine-to-machine connectivity expert, XLink intends to leverage its core capabilities and grow a best-of-breed partner ecosystem to bring new value propositions to the market.

“We believe IoT.nxt offers a premium solution that will strengthen our offering as the orchestration partner of choice for digital transformation,” says XLink MD, Roy van Vuuren. “Furthermore, we foresee that our collaboration will unlock opportunity and value creation for both our businesses, customers and our ecosystems.”

Connectivity is in XLink’s DNA and it is an expert in developing Industry 4.0 solutions, using the best products and practices. It ensures that the mission-critical devices and connectivity networks upon which the digital solution relies can be installed, monitored and maintained for optimum uptime.

“We are delighted that XLink invested in our technology,” says IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn. “It is IoT.nxt’s strategy to build innovative software that we can take to market through channel and strategic partnerships. Our technology stack is designed to be a toolset for partners to utilise as part of their technology ecosystems, which enables digital transformation. XLink is a dynamic company in the local market with a clear view of how it wants to transform its company. Through the agreement with IoT.nxt, it can now offer innovative new solutions for its customers.

Read more, here.

Smart farming and technology: Moving beyond marrying mobile with mud

Worrying about being able to embed delicate technology into a rugged environment, or whether a data network will be able to handle the load placed on it by an interconnected, industrial ecosystem are the least of your worries. Rest-assured, we’ve got these issues covered. It’s time for you to start focusing on how you’ll build a digital agriculture business that can stop any investor in their (muddy) tracks.

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SA’s IoT.nxt, Dell Partner to Make IoT Solutions a Reality

26 March 2018

A strategic partnership between South African innovator in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, IoT.nxt, and global technology and computing hardware giant Dell will allow companies to rapidly digitise their business operations and make IoT solutions a reality.

This partnership combines the superior, robust Dell engineering with IoT.nxt’s world-leading innovation in IoT technology – known for its exceptional interoperability features – and is expected to become the new standard at the edge.

“IoT.nxt’s intelligent edge IoT gateway, the Raptor™, has been combined with Dell Gateway technology and through this enable rapid digital transformation. We call it ‘IoT in a box’ and it provides an off the shelf solution suitable for any company in any industry,” says IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn.

“With this solution companies can quickly see a return on investment and achieve digital scalability. It will allow them to fast forward unlocking efficiencies and drive earnings.”

The association with the trusted international Dell brand is likely to drive rapid adoption as companies know that their implementation will be supported by the vast and established Dell support offering.

“This Raptor in a box solution gives companies the ability to scale quickly as the Dell Raptor™ is already configured to be rolled out, yet comes with the support of Dell’s global network which offers warranties and superior service,” Steyn adds.

The IoT in a box will be distributed by Axiz, an industry leading value added distribution business that serves eight countries in Southern and East Africa. “This is an innovative offering for industry and we expect strong demand in our distribution networks,” says Axiz Executive Terence Barter.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2Gi8Xik

Put your farm in your pocket

IoT-in-agriculture

If we could narrow the list of things keeping farmers up at night down to just two things, it would probably be the weather and productivity.

The weather, as we all know, is out of our control. Sure, measures can be taken to curtail the effects of drastic weather shifts, but for the most part you just have to know your seasons, land and area and do your best to work with them.

Drops in productivity, on the other hand, can largely be avoided. How, you might ask?

  • By pre-empting system and equipment malfunction, wear and tear and sub-system knock on effects with a proper management solution.
  • By tracking livestock at key areas to alert you of changes in behaviour or, worse, missing cattle.
  • By having a complete overview of an entire agricultural operation and the ability to action detailed changes on multiple systems and sets of equipment, in real time right from your pocket (yes, even from your bed in the middle of the night, or your beachfront holiday).

Real-time changes

At the moment, you probably use an sms-based system to turn your irrigation on and off, but we see you going much, much further than switching things on and off. We’re talking about adjusting flow rates, shifting the course of irrigation pivots and automatically issuing warnings to technicians. All of this in the same place as your moisture and nutrient levels in soil, asset management and preventative maintenance for fleets and track and trace for quality control.

How? IoT-enabled agricultural operations

IoT.nxt is currently the only South African company that provides a comprehensive, fully integrated IoT hardware and software platform from the edge to any enterprise application across all verticals, products and devices. Sounds fancy, but what does it mean? Simply put, we can digitise your entire operation to give you greater visibility of, control over and insight into your business by linking all of your machinery, systems and processes into one dashboard.

What’s IoT?

“The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.” – Wikipedia

If you look at pumps alone, you’ve probably found that your current set up is flawed and that, given the current water shortages, your water management system is wreaking havoc across your operation with serious knock on effects. Lengthy operational downtimes while you wait for technicians, unnoticeable wear and tear, inaccurate reporting on water consumption and over or under supply of water to crops are all big problems.

The Franklin Raptor Pump RMC and interface, on show at NAMPO this week, solves these problems by allowing users to:

  • Remotely monitor a mobile App, showing data and analytics on all pumps – no need to drive or walk to the pump station. Just open your App to monitor and control;
  • Access real-time, cloud-based data from anywhere on any mobile device – including your holiday destination;
  • Remotely adjust the various modes your pumps are operating on for optimal performance;
  • Remotely monitor, adjust and control water levels and the rate at which the levels change;
  • Check all status levels on your pumps at the press of a button on your mobile phone or tablet;
  • Remotely access pumps to reduce technicians call outs;
  • Set pro-active warning triggers for when the water level drops below the set thresholds.
  • Pro-actively maintain all pumps, issuing automatic warnings to technicians.
  • Convert existing pumps with little to no disruption to operations by plugging onto existing din rails.
  • Adhere to the water management table and retain usage records for compliance purposes;
  • Lower operational costs and improved efficiency.

Pump-Interface Franklin Raptor Pump

The South African agricultural industry maak planne like no other industry can, and work in a tough economic conditions. Our farmers need local support from local companies to push them into, and through, the 4th industrial revolution.

We think we’re the men for the job.

Our IoT solution is able to integrate both existing and new systems and devices making it cost-effective and quick to implement. It also results in little to no disruption. Want to know more? We thought you might.

Visit us at NAMPO this week – stand 25.

WannaCry Malware Attack | Guard your loins

data security

IoT.nxt sees the key to true data security lying in our Raptor technology, which doesn’t run on an operating system. A business using an edge gateway that runs on an operating system could potentially be vulnerable to attacks like WannaCry.

This is why it is key to control the gateway layer and limit the operating system and vulnerabilities at this point said IoT.nxt CTO, Bertus Jacobs. “Wherever possible, edge gateways running on operating systems should be avoided.”

WannaCry, WannaCrypt, WannaCryptor or Wcry – call it what you want, just make sure you take notice of it.

On May 12, IT and Security teams around the world were scrambling to make sure they were armed and ready to protect their organisations from the attack.

The WannaCry Timeline

  • Hacker crew Shadow Brokers dumped a database of vulnerabilities believed to belong to the NSA into the public domain.
  • It is believed that an exploit of Microsoft Windows called EternalBlue was used as a method for spreading a variation of ransomware called WannaCry globally.
  • 200,000 systems are held hostage, pending the payment of a $300 bitcoin demand.
  • Companies like FedEx and the UK NHS go down as security teams work feverishly to install patches, unplugging entire networks.
  • Installation of patches results in an estimated US$700 million loss in turnover.
  • Microsoft President and CLO, Brad Smith, writes in a blog post: “We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world. This attach provides yet another example of why stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem.”

All this talk of network vulnerabilities no doubt raises questions in the minds of anyone considering the adoption of IoT technology.

On the back of increased applications of IoT in smart cities, Harvard Business Review’s Todd Thibodeaux published an article in April that highlighted risks, detailing a ‘what if’ scenario in which hackers take control of an entire city, from security systems to critical infrastructure. He goes on to mention that in 2015 alone, the number of attacks on critical infrastructure in the USA jumped up to almost 300. Whilst the benefits of interconnectivity are obvious, businesses, and cities, have to negate risks to ensure the security of data, and subsequent deployment of behaviour-altering changes.

“The security industry really hasn’t done a good job at protecting our devices and servers and now we think it’s a good idea to connect really insecure devices at a massive scale.” Vera Sell, VP of Marketing, Senrio.

Much like in the physical world, it is futile to attempt to security individual items. You wouldn’t secure each element of your household, but rather your house, so why do the same within an IoT-enabled business.

“IoT devices should be placed within the boundaries of protected network environments. While every IoT device will never be secure, the associated risks are well contained so long as the perimeter of each machine network is secure. To provide an analogy, my keys are not secure if I leave them on the table at Starbucks — but if I place them on a desk at the safety of my home, the situation changes completely.”

“I believe that the future of IoT security lies in programmable networks and the service providers that operate them for us.” – Juha Holkkola, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist at FusionLayer Inc.

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