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Living on the Edge

The year was 1991. Personal computers had only recently become a significant part of everyday life. Still, Dr. Roberto Siagri envisioned so much more. As a physicist, university professor, and technologist, he recognized the potential for technology advancement at exponential speeds, with computing devices becoming progressively smaller and more powerful. He imagined a world capable of rapidly moving beyond the personal computer to one that is completely connected — a “Pervasive Computing” world surrounded by smart sensors and devices, self-driving vehicles, smart buildings and cities, sophisticated M2M networks, and even human wearable computers interfacing with other devices and networks.

More commonly known today as the Internet of Things (IoT), pervasive computing is the idea that almost any device, from clothing to tools to appliances to cars to homes to the human body to your coffee mug, can be embedded with chips to connect the device to an infinite network of other devices. The goal of pervasive computing, which combines current network technologies with wireless computing, voice recognition, Internet capability and artificial intelligence, is to create an environment where the connectivity of devices is embedded in such a way that the connectivity is unobtrusive and always available.

With pervasive computing as the inspiration, Eurotech was born in 1992 as an “idea factory” for technology miniaturization. Since those early days, the company has evolved to become a globally recognized leader in designing rugged embedded hardware solutions along with Edge-to-Cloud middleware technologies for efficiently collecting, processing and sharing data in a broad range of Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Edge Computing applications.

“Eurotech has created a unique Edge-to-Cloud value proposition that includes hardware, software and services.”

From Eurotech’s inception, Dr. Siagri envisioned making the world a better place through technology innovation; and, as CEO of the Eurotech Group, he has been the driving force behind making this vision a reality. Today, Eurotech’s embedded hardware technologies along with its industry-leading Everyware IoT™ Edge-to-Cloud integration platforms are key to successful digital transformation and IT/OT convergence of many of the world’s most progressive and prestigious organizations.

Based in Amaro, Italy and publicly traded on the Milan stock exchange (ETH:IM), Eurotech has a global footprint with offices and subsidiaries throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Eurotech products are used across a broad range of market segments including healthcare, security, transportation, energy, military, aerospace and industrial automation, among others.

Edge-to-Cloud Integration

True to Dr. Siagri’s pervasive computing vision, we are now living in a world surrounded by smart sensors and myriad interconnected devices. Not only are these devices proliferating at an exponential pace, they are also becoming smarter and more capable of capturing and delivering more data, making real-time decisions and interacting directly with other devices and people. This is leading to a fundamental change in how we experience data and requires a new approach to data collection and management — one that allows the computation, storage, and processing of data to be much closer to the data’s point of origin. In other words, “Edge Computing”.

According to Gartner, roughly 10% of today’s enterprise data is being produced and processed outside of centralized data centers, and by 2025, it will grow to 75% or more. This creates significant challenges to the traditional model of transferring data back to a central data center (on-premise or in the cloud) to be stored and processed. Further analysis by Grand View Research estimates that Edge Computing is projected to be a nearly $29 billion market by 2025, with a CAGR of 54 percent.

As these analysts would suggest, Edge Computing is poised to explode onto the data processing scene with disruptive consequences. Eurotech, with its embedded systems pedigree and Edge-to-Cloud middleware expertise, is well-positioned to lead the way in accelerating this IT/OT convergence paradigm shift. This makes Eurotech one of the most innovative and unique cloud solution companies of 2019.

Unique Value proposition

What we find to be extremely unique about Eurotech as a cloud solution provider is their approach to the market and the broad experience they bring to the table. Most cloud solution providers approach the market from an IT perspective due to having had limited experience with embedded or edge computing. Even fewer of these providers have experience in developing both hardware and software for IoT and cloud deployment. Eurotech has a unique advantage in that they have decades of experience and technological depth when it comes to working with and integrating embedded/OT and IT platforms. Add to this their expertise around both hardware and software/middleware development and it makes Eurotech a unique supplier for enterprises looking to benefit from digital transformation and IT/OT convergence.

When compared to other cloud solution providers, Eurotech has created a unique Edge-to-Cloud value proposition that includes hardware, software and services. Everyware IoT™ is an open Edge-to-Cloud platform designed to accelerate and simplify IoT adoption in the enterprise and consists of three modular components: 1) Multi-Service IoT Edge Gateways, or embedded computers that facilitate communication and sharing of data between remote devices and the cloud; 2) Everyware Software Framework (ESF), an enterprise-ready IoT edge platform that combines an application development environment with advanced capabilities for data management and connectivity with both field devices and cloud services; and 3) Everyware Cloud™ (EC) IoT Integration Platform for easily connecting edge devices to business analytics and enterprise applications at the cloud level.

Traditional IoT solutions integrate with enterprise applications and analytics, focusing on the data acquired at the edge. For these types of applications, Everyware Cloud (EC) provides a complete set of REST APIs for querying remote data and device status, and for defining custom routes to stream information to data-intensive applications such as analytics and other systems. However, the Everyware IoT Edge-to-Cloud platform does much more than acquire and publish data. It also offers the ability to manage applications and configure software installed on devices, facilitating remote software management, scheduled updates and the integration of automated provisioning and authentication tools — all of which are especially important when configuring or managing a large number of edge devices or assets.

Modular and Open Approach

The Eurotech product portfolio is based on a modular and open approach that guarantees interoperability and prevents vendor lock-in, adopting state-of-the-art industry standards for messaging, security, communication, data storage, data processing, and data streaming.

Open Source software is an important part of Eurotech's DNA. In 2012, the company donated the original code base for the Eclipse Kura™ and Eclipse Kapua™ projects to the Eclipse Foundation Open Source Community. These projects now form the basis of Eurotech's commercially supported Everyware IoT Edge-to-Cloud software stack. Eurotech founded the Eclipse IoT working group in 2012 together with IBM and Sierra Wireless.

Eurotech (together with IBM) was also the original developer of the MQTT protocol, which is now an OASIS and ISO standard that has been adopted by all major IoT cloud service providers. MQTT was specifically designed for efficient, reliable and secure communication between the Edge and the Cloud.

Through Everyware CloudTM (EC) communicating with cloud services via the MQTT protocol, Eurotech customers enjoy simple and centralized management of remote assets and Edge devices.

In terms of hardware, Eurotech offers a broad range of modular IoT gateways and other intelligent edge computing devices based on open and standard architectures. These gateways are internationally deployable with certifications including cellular connectivity and are offered in product families that are optimized for industry-specific use cases including industrial, automotive, medical assets and heavy transportation / rolling stock. They are also modular and can be customized to meet performance, I/O, environmental or other application-specific requirements.

Transforming Organizations

Very few cloud solution providers have the history and experience with real IT/OT convergence or in delivering a flexible, secure end-to-end architecture that enables successful and cost-effective IIoT deployments with real results. Eurotech's expertise around embedded computing and Edge-to-Cloud data management gives them a unique perspective that has proven invaluable to their customers looking to make the digital transformation leap.

Because of this expertise, Eurotech has an extensive customer portfolio of successful Everyware IoT deployments across a broad range of market and application segments including healthcare, transportation, energy, smart buildings and cities and industrial automation. Regardless of market or application, an example of one of the most common challenges customers face is how to connect to such a broad variety of devices and sensors that support different field protocols. The Everyware IoT platform solves this and simplifies the process by supporting a broad range of protocols out-of-the-box, including Modbus, OPC-UA, S7, CAN, MVB, BACnet and others.

Scalability is also a common customer challenge that Eurotech has addressed with the Everyware IoT Edge-to-Cloud integration platform. When deployments begin reaching large quantities of devices (hundreds and then thousands), automated device provisioning with mutual authentication, integrated certificate management, remote device management, and other features provided by Everyware IoT become critical to the project's success.

Beyond providing a robust set of Edge-to-Cloud solutions and capabilities, Eurotech also understands the importance of the cloud as an ecosystem. Based on this perspective, the company has a strong history of partnering with industry leaders like IBM, Intel, VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, AWS, Cloudera and Red Hat to help customers achieve their digital transformation objectives. Eurotech has a great track record of helping large organizations successfully navigate the potential pitfalls of IT/OT convergence and working with partners and integrators to bring projects to market as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Our View

The growing availability and capabilities of industrial sensors, smart cameras, imagers and other inputs, has resulted in data being generated at an unprecedented rate, enabling new possibilities with regards to remote asset management, data analytics, machine learning and real-time control. However, taking full advantage of all this data means thinking differently about the cloud ecosystem and the importance of the Edge/OT as a focal point of data collection, processing and distribution.

The Everyware IoT Edge-to-Cloud integration platform expands upon the traditional cloud ecosystem by building a bridge between IT and OT. With this trend towards IT/OT convergence, Dr. Siagri's early vision of pervasive computing is now becoming reality and Eurotech customers have benefitted tremendously from that vision.

Our view is that Eurotech is well-positioned to play an important role in the increasing trends towards digital transformation, IT/OT convergence and edge computing — all of which are part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Eurotech's unique experience lets them see the cloud and IoT landscape differently than most IT centric organizations, making them one of the most important and innovative cloud solution providers of 2019.

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