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Schneider platform delivers end-to-end scalable IoT

Steve Rogerson
December 1, 2016



Schneider Electric has launched an architecture and platform to deliver IoT-enabled services at scale for building, grid, industry and data centre users.
 
The French company’s EcoStructure architecture and platform is open, scalable and interoperable, connecting the three core layers of its technology stack, from connected products, to edge control, to applications, analytics and services. It is said to deliver enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity of IoT-enabled operations.
 
The platform enables Schneider, its partners and end-user customers to develop scalable and converged IT and OT services that deliver innovation at every level to an organisation or enterprise. Leveraging connectivity and data to create controls and actionable business insights, with the combined power of analytics and closed-loop applications, it helps augment operations to reach new levels of operational efficiency, sustainability, asset performance and people productivity.
 
“EcoStruxure combines our history in pioneering in automation, energy management and deep domain expertise with data-driven metrics and analytics to help us maximise the value of the internet of things for our customers,” said Prith Banerjee, chief technology officer at Schneider Electric. “EcoStruxure gives our customers the platform, architecture and roadmap to quickly and easily implement IoT in an enterprise, extending the benefits of IoT beyond the device layer to create a more intelligent, efficient and secure operation.”
 
The platform builds on the company’s long-standing product and system position to provide a portfolio of interoperable and cloud-connected and/or on-premise technologies organised around its three layers of technology innovation.
 
The first layer builds on Schneider’s core competency in developing connected products with embedded intelligence, such as sensors, medium and low voltage breakers, drives and actuators.
 
The edge control layer gives organisations the critical capability to manage their operations on-premise as well as from the cloud depending on their needs. This includes connected control platforms with remote access, automation and operator override capabilities. Local control and firewall protection is included to increase the benefits especially for mission-critical applications.
 
Schneider’s investment in R&D and product development in the critical areas of software, analytics and services, coupled with the integration of recent acquisitions such as Invensys, Telvent and Summit Energy forms the third layer of the stack – a portfolio of apps, analytics and services. EcoStruxure enables vendor-agnostic apps, analytics and services on open IP protocols to work with any hardware, system or control.
 
“Our innovation technology stack is critical to our open innovation approach, designed to deliver the most innovative IoT-enabled solutions to our customers,” said Banerjee. “Introducing a comprehensive suite of apps, analytics and services built on the capabilities from within Schneider Electric and our network of partners and developers, enables our customers to benefit from open, interoperable and future-proof solutions that maximise the value, performance, reliability and efficiency of their entire operation and enterprise over time.”
 
The platform is designed to meet the core customer needs of implementing IoT services seamlessly, cost-effectively and at scale. The redefined IoT platform bridges the IT-OT gap and connects the three core layers to increase value for users.
 
The launch of the platform provides a secure, IoT-enabled technology backbone with three core technology capabilities: embedded connectivity and intelligence that enables smart sensing, embedded computing, IP networking and edge analytics; a foundation for smart operations to serve as the building blocks for control, management, automaton and optimisation; and the infrastructure for cloud-connected digital services that enables the delivery of cloud-based connected apps, analytics, services, control and monitoring
 
“Our advanced platform connects the three layers of the technology stack through an elastic cloud backbone that leverages the full power of our partnership with Microsoft,” said Cyril Perducat, executive vice president at Schneider Electric. “The platform has become the foundation for smarter grids, buildings, data centres and industrial plants, enabling our customers to reach new levels of efficiency and sustainability and provides a path to maximise the power of their operational data.”
 
Schneider Electric delivers these efficiency and sustainability services to its customers through a set of core reference architectures. The architectures build on the company’s deep domain expertise and portfolio and are tested, validated and tailored for its core end markets of buildings, grid, industry and data centres, with even more specific architectures also available for industrial plants, industrial machines and power distribution. The architectures provide access to documented and standardised system reference designs that can be used in the implementation of interoperable, sustainable, efficient and connected systems.
 
“Smarter, more precise operations is the future for every industry,” said Vernon Turner, senior vice president at IDC. “Customers are looking for answers on how to best take advantage of today’s IoT-enabled digital world to be as differentiated, efficient and sustainable as possible. If you don’t have a sense-and-respond model with listening, scalable, measurable, agile networks and systems, you won’t be able to connect and extract that value.”
 
Schneider Electric also announced it is working with partners such as Microsoft and Intel and new partners to create or co-create customer applications.