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Cisco Jasper unveils multi-tier IoT platform

Steve Rogerson
July 6, 2017
At last week’s Cisco Live event in Las Vegas, Cisco Jasper said it had removed obstacles to IoT implementation with a multi-tier IoT platform.
While the number of businesses investing in the IoT across all markets continues to grow, recent research shows that 60 per cent of IoT initiatives stall at the proof-of-concept stage. This highlights that companies are still struggling with the key challenges of the IoT, including the need for more flexibility, greater security and the ability to address new use cases.
Cisco Jasper has been partnering with service providers to help its customer base, which has grown from 3500 to 11,000 enterprises in the past year, to overcome these challenges and accelerate their IoT success. To continue to meet the demand for the IoT, Cisco Jasper introduced an expanded model to bring the benefits of its IoT connectivity platform – Control Center – to a broader audience.
Control Center 7.0 addresses business’ needs for flexibility with a multi-tiered IoT platform that gives companies various options to meet their needs, regardless of their stage of IoT implementation. This platform is paired with a set of premium services that address previously unmet needs in the industry related to IoT monetisation and security.
“We first introduced our Control Center IoT connectivity management platform to the market over ten years ago, and since then it has become the largest IoT platform with over 43 million devices being managed today, and more than 1.5 million new devices being added per month,” said Jahangir Mohammed (pictured), general manager of IoT at Cisco. “What we’ve learned from enabling IoT success for our 11,000 customers is that companies have different needs at different stages of their IoT journey. So today we’re introducing the biggest evolution of our Control Center IoT platform ever, providing a flexible model and new premium services that help meet the needs of customers at any phase.”
With Control Center 7.0, Cisco Jasper is giving customers and service provider partners the flexibility to select and customise the capabilities and services that are right for their deployment, while providing an easy path for growth as their IoT businesses scale.
A new tier of the platform – Control Center Advanced – caters to customers with more sophisticated deployments that need greater capabilities, including advanced security, automation and analytics.
The introduction of the first two premium services, compatible with Control Center, enables users to meet previously unmet IoT business needs. The TPSS threat protection and smart security service provides an IoT-specific way to protect against malware and other cyber-security threats, and is built on Cisco Umbrella. The second service, Traffic Segmentation, provides a way to support different types of revenue generation models. Cisco Jasper service providers can customise the premium services to meet their customers’ needs.
Control Center 7.0 also extends the platform’s capabilities, including the platform’s global reach and scale via support for cellular networks, to low power devices via support for multiple LPWAN technologies, including NB-IoT and LTE-M.
AT&T, a Cisco Jasper service provider, is integrating these additional capabilities to meet IoT needs for a broad range of industries. The platform will be called AT&T Control Center Advanced, and will be paired with additional premium services.
“We work with companies of every size, across every industry, around the world,” said Chris Penrose, president for IoT at AT&T. “AT&T Control Center Advanced with additional premium services are the next step in continuing to provide differentiated platform capabilities for our IoT customers. These enhancements around security, analytics and automation allow our customers to manage their IoT solutions even more effectively and to further increase their RoI.”
Control Center 7.0 is the first version of the IoT platform to integrate multiple Cisco technologies, delivering on the promise made at the time of Jasper’s acquisition to combine the power of Cisco’s portfolio with the IoT connectivity management platform. As a result, Control Center 7.0 solves some of the biggest problems companies face with the IoT, such as multi-layer security. Expanding upon Control Center’s existing security capabilities, users now get multi-layered security controls including closed user groups, two-factor authentication, whitelisting capabilities and more to identify and solve known problems.
Integration with Cisco Spark gives users the ability to collaborate on issues with connected devices, enabling them to lower resolution time and manage costs.
Reports on historical trends of device behaviour and usage enable users to take action on issues that impact performance, costs and security.
There is support for low power services. The platform supports the management of IoT devices across cellular, NB-IoT and LTE-M networks to accommodate a wide range of use cases.
“When we acquired Jasper, we made a promise to the industry that Cisco and Jasper would be more than the sum of our separate parts, that we would create something better together,” said Rowan Trollope, general manager of IoT and applications at Cisco. “This is the realisation of that promise. And what we’ve built in the past year has surpassed even our lofty expectations.”
The platform addresses the needs of both IT and OT professionals. Previously, Control Center – which automates and manages connectivity of devices on cellular networks globally – was a standalone offering. Today, version 7.0 is compatible with Cisco’s broader IoT operations platform, which integrates connection management, data delivery and fog computing. And this complements the Cisco DNA offerings, which are delivering the next generation of networks to provide security, analytics and automation to enable new IoT, cloud and mobile experiences.