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Amazon’s AWS IoT Platform: RMM for Tomorrow’s Devices, Sensors?

Amazon’s AWS Internet of Things platform is now generally available. Take a closer look, and MSPs and VARs may ultimately harness the AWS IoT platform for a new generation of remote monitoring, management and big data services. Channel-friendly companies like Avnet and Intel are giving the system a try.

First, it’s important to understand each piece of Amazon’s IoT management puzzle. The puzzle pieces, at least so far, include:

  • The AWS Management Console — a web-based interface for accessing and managing AWS IoT resources.
  • AWS SDK — which provides APIs for managing numerous AWS services — including AWS IoT.
  • AWS IoT Device SDK: This allows developers to connect hardware and mobile devices to AWS IoT.
  • AWS IoT Starer Kits: These physical kits — from companies like Avnet and Intel — are “designed to help accelerate cloud-powered prototype development of connected devices” that link securely to AWS IoT.

AWS vs RMM Software for IoT Projects

So, what exactly is going on here? Think of the managed services market in waves.

  • The first wave mostly involved PC, server and notebook management.
  • The second wave extended to cloud, virtual and smartdevice (smartphones, tablets) management.
  • The third wave, emerging now, extends to all IP-enabled devices. If it has an IP address, MSPs and channel partners will ultimately need to be aware of the device — and perhaps even manage the device. Examples include network sensors, beacons and other data-gathering systems.

On the one hand, traditional RMM (remote monitoring and management) software continues to gain popularity, and will continue to evolve for the IoT generation. But on the other hand, I wonder if some of the RMM players are evolving rapidly enough?

During recent trade shows and conferences, most of the RMM players I heard from were mostly mum on the IoT wave. Meanwhile, Amazon’s AWS IoT service has shifted from beta to general availability. The situation is somewhat similar at Microsoft (which has developed the Azure IoT Suite) and Google Cloud Platform (which has a range of IoT offerings).

From IoT Monitoring to Data Monetization

Admittedly, IoT kits from cloud providers aren’t exactly turnkey solutions for VARs and MSPs. So, there’s plenty of opportunity for RMM software providers to introduce polished IoT capabilities for channel partners.

But here’s where things get really interesting. Monitoring and managing IoT devices and sensors will be a “nice” opportunity. But I think the far bigger opportunity will involve partners that help customers to: Gather, manage, store, secure, optimize and monetize data.

In other words, RMM may empower you with IoT monitoring and management. But you’re still going to need some sort of big data cloud service to help customers make sense of all that data…

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