Bringing Enterprise IoT to Cable (2020)

By John Jason Brzozowski, MachineQ, a Comcast company

Cable infrastructure is at the heart of voice, video, and Internet services. Subscribership across classic cable services has been evolving rapidly across our ecosystem, which prompted MSOs to invest in the development of new products and services that help enable diversification and initiate new subscriber growth.

As such there is burgeoning demand for enterprise class, wireless-based IoT platforms to enable operators to expand their product and service offerings to address the needs of the enterprise, SMB, B2B2C, and even the consumer market segments. Enterprise IoT platforms in particular are essential to enable adoption, when new, disruptive technologies are involved. The availability and use of DIY (Do-It Yourself) or BYO (Bring-Your-Own) to support the large-scale enterprise IoT deployments is proving to be challenging, if not an impediment. Forcing or expecting adopters to locate, validate, deploy, and manage all the critical components, securely, slows adoption and inevitably growth. Further, Enterprise IoT platforms are particularly important when adopters require the ability to manage IoT offerings across multiple media, wireless or otherwise. As the IoT landscape evolves beyond devices that leverage broadband connections, facilitating the deployment of and offering a seamless, streamlined customer experience is difficult if not impossible if an operator is relying on a swivel chair approach. Enterprise class IoT platforms must offer the ability to manage the deployment and operations of a vast, virtual IoT network that span multiple geographic regions. A purpose built enterprise IoT platform must truly be an enabler of mission critical use cases across a wide range of verticals.

The vision outlined here is one that envelops the following:

  • An Enterprise IoT Platform that enables global adoption and enablement
  • Spans multiple media, mainly wireless
  • Illustrates the need for scale and performance
  • Couples in enterprise-class functionality
  • Leverages best in class security

The vision components listed above are the core characteristics of any enterprise IoT platform that intends to fuel adoption and operation at scale, while enabling a broad base of market verticals -- from Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), to asset tracking pharmaceutical manufacturing and laboratories, all while spanning the use of multiple wireless media including LoRAWAN, BLE/Bluetooth, and others.

Supporting multiple connectivity methods helps to uniquely address each vertical’s specific challenges and operating environments.

The world is changing for MSOs, and so is the definition of IoT. More specifically, Enterprise IoT. How we plan for and build to support, manage, and operate Enterprise IoT is rapidly evolving, in lockstep with the demands set forth by our customers. These requirements range from touchless, automated solutions to enable temperature/humidity monitoring and high value asset tracking, to energy monitoring and management for cable infrastructure.

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