5 innovative companies building an industrial PaaS offering
Developing an edge platform is one of the most talked about opportunities in edge computing – but is also a highly competitive space with offerings from cloud providers, telcos, specialist software players and more. A subset of these players focus on platforms for industrial or on-premise edge use cases.
What is an edge PaaS?
STL Partners has already explored the definition of an edge platform. Essentially platform as a service, or PaaS, is a type of cloud computing service where a third-party provider offers software and hardware tools over the internet. These tools enable customers to run and manage applications without needing to build and maintain their own infrastructure, since the PaaS provider hosts the hardware and software on its own infrastructure. This service is typically offered on a per-use basis.
These platforms already exist for cloud computing and are increasingly being developed for distributed cloud or edge computing as well.
What are the different requirements of an edge platform provider focused on the network versus on-premise edge?
Many of the edge platforms being developed today focus on the network edge – where multiple customers are likely to be using the same infrastructure and workloads might need to be dynamically moved between network edge locations as appropriate. Some of the key players in this space have been explored by STL in our article 9 Pioneers in Network Edge Orchestration.
There is still a need for edge platform providers for on-premise edge computing too, where workloads run at the customer site. On-premise edge computing is particularly prevalent in highly security conscious industries like manufacturing and extractive industries (oil, gas, mining etc.).
Below we profile five companies taking a leading role in developing on-premise edge platforms. The companies are listed in alphabetical order.
Edge platform solution: ClearBlade enterprise IoT platform
- Provides a solution for rapid development and deployment of complex IoT systems
- On-premise platform sits behind firewall and interfaces with edge gateways and cloud providers
- Flexible and scalable, high security and can integrate with existing enterprise systems
Key industries for ClearBlade: Rail, mining, facilities, extractives, smart cities, logistics, healthcare and energy.
ClearBlade in the news: In January 2021, ClearBlade announced a partnership with Geoverse, a provider of private 5G and LTE networks. They are offering enterprises a solution that integrates an edge IoT platform with a private network.
Edge platform solution: Crosser Cloud
- Provides low code development, orchestration and management
- Includes the ability to deploy workloads at edge nodes and manage them at scale
- The Flow Studio allows enterprises or developers to test and debug applications running at the edge
Key industries for Crosser: Industry 4.0, warehousing and supply chain optimisation.
Crosser in the news: In October 2021, Crosser and Moxa Europe GmbH announced a partnership to deliver IIoT solutions for manufacturing enterprises. Moxa will provide the networking infrastructure, including the IIoT edge gateways, while Crosser’s platform will enable data to be analysed at the edge.
Edge platform solution: Litmus Edge
- Enables secure deployments at the edge without the need for an internet connection
- Can be accessed remotely to diagnose issues without needing to be on-site
- Allows the network to be scanned so that industrial assets can be added without coding
- 250 legacy industrial systems supported out-of-the-box
Key industries for Litmus: Automotive, food and beverage and agriculture.
Litmus in the news: In December 2021, Litmus announced a validated, end-to-end solution with Dell Technologies. The offering combines Dell Technologies hardware and software with the Litmus Industrial IoT Edge platform that allows manufacturers to collect, analyse and act on time-critical data.
Edge platform solution: Siemens Industrial Edge
- Integrates data from machines from multiple vendors
- Allows for the deployment and management of own and third party applications
- Centrally manage and roll out updates and new applications
Key industries for Siemens: Industry 4.0 including process industry plants and production machines
Siemens in the news: In November 2021, Siemens launched its open Industrial Edge Ecosystem. It enables third parties’ applications to be purchased via their “app store”. Solution providers such as Braincube, Cybus, SeioTec and Tosibox have already agreed to be part of the ecosystem.
Edge platform solution: Veea Edge Platform
- Handles software deployment and maintenance
- Provides the ability to manage where all of your edge applications are deployed, and their status
- Performs authentications to make sure that only trusted software can run on the platform
Key industries for Veea: Commercial real estate, construction, education, farming, hospital, manufacturing, retail, transportation
Veea in the news: In January 2022, Veea announced a partnership with CONXAI, a start-up focused on modular, low code AI applications. They will provide a solution to the construction industry where imaging and sensor data will be collected and analysed to enable operation and safety improvements.
Author: Tilly Gilbert is a Principal Consultant at STL Partners, specialising in edge computing, 5G and B2B innovation.
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