Organizations of all kinds develop IoT solutions with one basic aim in mind: to collect data from various physical endpoints. This data collection from different devices enables those organizations to tap into new streams of information that were previously difficult or even impossible to capture. Especially in real time.
Some types of data collection—remotely monitoring a patient’s heart rate, for example—can be useful in and of themselves. However, keeping IoT data in a silo often limits its utility. The ultimate goal of enterprise IoT is comprehensive system integration, which is the synthesis of this disparate data with other self-contained solutions and processes. The outcome is enhanced productivity or the creation of new opportunities.
It’s only when organizations find a meaningful way to integrate their IoT data with other software subsystems that the full potential of IoT is unlocked. Through smart device integration, modern software subsystems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) can become incredibly powerful and even more extensible.
How to make software even smarter
Unfortunately, there’s a caveat. Popular enterprise software platforms like Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics 356 don’t always speak the same language as your desired smart devices. As a result, total system integration becomes far more challenging. It’s difficult to promote the adoption of a new IoT solution unless that solution is already part of the current software ecosystem.
For proper IoT integration to take place, there has to be a unifying platform. One that brings the components together into a complementary whole. Don’t think of it as a marriage of hardware and software but rather as a form of IoT data integration—that is, various devices and one or more enterprise software platforms working in unison to make all the collected data as cohesive and as actionable as possible.
This is how software gets smarter. And this is how organizations leverage IoT to streamline their operations, offer world-class customer service or even disrupt an entire industry.
Examples of IoT and enterprise system integration
It’s one thing to talk about IoT solution integration at a 10,000-foot level. But what does it actually look like on the ground?
Let’s consider an example from the manufacturing industry, where IIoT is having a transformative impact on business.
Many modern manufacturing companies maintain an inventory of their connected IoT devices using an ERP platform like Netsuite, SAP or Sage. This helps them better assess their business needs, standardize business-critical procedures and perform accounting-related functions like purchasing and budgeting.
Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for that same company’s IoT solution to exist independently from the ERP platform. In other words, one of the most basic and important data streams—about the IoT devices themselves—isn’t shared with the system that’s responsible for cataloging them!
The most useful and cost-effective IoT solution would be one that offers seamless system integration with the ERP software. This IoT platform would be able to access and populate the ERP inventory, eliminating the need for duplicate databases. When a device registered with the core IoT solution, it would instantly and automatically be logged in the ERP inventory. Both platforms would work from a common set of up-to-date device data.
Now let’s take that one step further.
In our manufacturing example, these connected IoT devices are supplied to different branches or customers. If some form of IoT data integration were in place, then the IoT platform would be able to access the CRM system and read customer information. In this way, IoT devices would help build out a customer profile for more tailored service. The customer’s interactions with the IoT platform would be seamlessly relayed to the CRM software in real time.
Of course, security is a major concern in these scenarios. The benefits of enterprise system integration shouldn’t be diminished by having to compromise even the least bit in this regard. That’s why any IoT solution has to work hand in hand with single sign-on (SSO) and access control mechanisms too.
Seamless, secure, system-wide IoT data integration with Bridgera
Bridgera’s API-based IoT solution framework is a perfect fit for any system integration need.
More than just a means of smart device integration, Bridgera’s versatile platform allows for true, complete IoT data integration across the entirety of your enterprise systems. It enables your fleet of smart devices, CRM, ERP and even SSO solutions—both current and future—to work securely and seamlessly toward your organization’s goals.
With Bridgera, your organization can gain the ability to:
- harness even more data streams
- derive further value from collected IoT data
- simplify, automate and expand the processes that leverage that data
- streamline broader operational workflows and tailor services
- identify new opportunities for optimization and growth
By using a highly customizable, end-to-end IoT integration solution like Bridgera Monitoring, it’s possible to connect devices, process data and enable applications for even the most specialized use cases. That helps to smooth and accelerate adoption of IoT. And on top of that, it can be done quickly, securely and within budget.
Whether you’re working to achieve enterprise system integration with your existing IoT solutions or you’re developing plans for an upcoming initiative, set up a free consultation with Bridgera today. You can also request a free demo of our IoT integration platform to see exactly how it unites your smart devices with your preferred CRM and ERP systems.
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