Internet of Things (IoT) Tutorial

Top 10 SaaS IoT Platforms in 2024 (Tools With Integrations)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Best SaaS IoT Platforms
  • SaaS IoT FAQs

Introduction

IoT (Internet of Things) devices are everywhere. Organisations use equipment embedded with IoT sensors to gather data and automate back-end processes to improve customer experiences and create new business models. Providers help companies address this challenge with IoT SaaS platforms.

Various IoT SaaS providers offer platforms that directly service IoT architecture and processing needs, eliminating the demand for deep investments in gateways, edge servers, fog nodes and other IoT-specific components.

The biggest challenge in choosing among the SaaS and IoT integration providers is that many have similar features- including scalability, real-time data capture and machine learning. They have wildly different pricing models, making it a vital purchasing consideration. 

Before investing in an IoT SaaS platform, it's essential to determine the number of devices the organisation will be using, the data volume and whether the organisation will use the provider's analytics.

Best SaaS IoT Platforms

Here, we examine 10 prominent providers to help simplify selecting IoT software as a service or SaaS IoT tools.

1. Amazon AWS IoT Core

This platform has extensive tools and applications for enterprises to build IoT or IIoT solutions to meet their needs. Smart cities, industrial asset management, and connected mobility solutions all fall under this umbrella.

Key features of AWS IoT SaaS Platform:

  • It has extensive data management features that help enterprises extract the most from their IoT streaming data.

  • Accommodates all kinds of IoT devices and sensors with specific applications. There is even one designed specifically for small, low-power microcontrollers.

2. Google Cloud IoT

The Google platform delivers managed services and offers a list of vendors to cherry-pick the best IoT solution for an enterprise.

Key features of Google’s IoT SaaS Platform:

  • Supports standard communication protocols like MQTT and HTTP so enterprises can use and connect existing devices without extensive changes.

  • Integrates with hardware from vendors like Intel and Microchip. Companies can depend on high-frequency, low-latency communications from the platform.

  • Enterprises can choose to deploy Google Analytics and machine learning applications to get more insights from their live IoT data streams.

3. Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

This platform is a mobility-first IoT management approach and a cloud-based software suite. The Cisco IoT system has evolved into an ecosystem with six pillars, from fog computing for IoT applications at the edge to cybersecurity, data analytics, management, and automation.

Key features of Cisco’s SaaS IoT Platform

  • Enables Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for asset management and an ability to accommodate a variety of industrial sensors

  • Edge computing for real-time use of IoT data.

  • Cybersecurity protocols are woven in to monitor network traffic at the edge.

  • The platform also comes with tools to manage network connectivity and data flow.

4. Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

Part of the Azure ecosystem, this platform ensures secure communication between IoT applications and the devices it oversees. The solution provisions and authenticates devices according to the desired scale. Continuously streaming telemetry data from devices to the cloud helps businesses monitor IoT sensor health and build custom analytics.

Key features of Microsoft’s SaaS-based IoT Platform:

  • Azure highlights its no-code ease of communicating with devices, accommodating a variety of messaging protocols. Messages can also route to other solutions in the Azure ecosystem and automatically resend in low connectivity.

  • Ready-to-use templates help developers create custom applications on top of the IoT hub.

  • Device Update for IoT Hub simplifies IoT updates as IT administrators can use it to publish, distribute, and manage updates over the air for all IoT hardware components.

5. Salesforce IoT Cloud

Given that Salesforce primarily targets the customer relationship management vertical, its IoT solution works to deliver customer service opportunities. For example, IoT sensors on electronic goods can relay information about performance so service calls can be scheduled proactively and the customer experience boosted.

Key features:

  • Point–and-click user interface allows users to curate the basic or advanced data analytics they need and access insights through related business analytics software, Einstein Analytics.

  • Compatible with third-party applications. Enterprises can mix and match the best product suite for their goals, and the Salesforce IoT application plays well with such external vendors.

6. IBM Watson IoT Platform

This platform is a centralised dashboard that is easy to use and add and remove devices. Operators can monitor usage patterns and control access to IoT services.

Key features of IBM Watson for IoT:

  • Device management helps IT administrators add or retire devices in bulk, push out necessary patches and updates, and reboot as necessary.

  • Operators can access real-time and historical data by storing harnessed data for specified periods. Such a feature enables a more straightforward implementation of machine learning algorithms at the edge.

  • The Watson platform uses the industry-standard MQTT messaging protocol to connect devices and applications, accommodating practically any data packet.

7. Oracle IoT

Oracle's Fusion Cloud Internet of Things Intelligent Applications is made for various applications, including smart manufacturing, connected assets and logistics, workplace safety and customer experience.

Key features of Oracle’s SaaS IoT Platform:

  • Oracle facilitates IoT integration with existing assets and applications, enabling companies to build upon what they already have instead of tearing and redesigning.

  • The IoT solution can stream into Oracle's Business Intelligence Cloud Service for immediate business analytics from real-time operational data.

  • Each device receives a unique machine identity, which it uses to secure communications with assets connected directly or indirectly to the cloud. The secure channels enable bidirectional communication so information and related insights flow freely into enterprise systems.

8. IRI Voracity

Too often, enterprises connect every asset with a sensor without a fixed plan for how they will process the data — and for what insights. An IoT platform like IRI Voracity is especially suited to handle the big data lakes and add necessary context.

Key features of IRI Voracity Platform:

  • Processes heterogeneous unstructured and structured information from various sources and in multiple formats. In addition, the platform promises to handle data rapidly and without additional tech support.

  • Routes clean data to a central platform for a single pane of glass approach to business analytics and insights.

9. ThingWorx

From PTC, the ThingWorx platform is purpose-built for industrial IoT (IIoT) applications. The platform is especially suited for applications looking to build on IIoT and incorporate other advanced technologies like augmented reality, AI, and machine learning into their capabilities.

Key features of PTC ThingWorx SaaS IoT:

  • Addresses primary challenges of asset-oriented industries, including remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, workforce efficiency and asset optimisation.

  • Building block format for IIoT solutions helps enterprises plug and play with components that suit their business needs. Pre-built applications and developer tools help companies craft pilot projects or scale up for complete IIoT deployment.

10. Hologram Dashboard

When you choose a Hologram SIM for IoT connectivity, your team also gains access to real-time device management with the Hologram dashboard or API. Hologram's IoT connectivity platform allows you to manage your fleet from the point of testing through deployment.

Key Features of Hologram IoT Platform:

  • Cloud-based dashboard with real-time visibility into device usage, data limits, and billing.

  • Customisable alerts and bulk actions to better manage your fleet.

  • Devices can access coverage in 200 countries worldwide with 470+ carriers to rely on, but they can all be managed in one beautiful interface.

SaaS IoT FAQs

Frequently asked questions related to Software-as-a-Service IoT software or platforms:

1. What is an IoT platform?

An IoT platform is a software solution that enables the management, deployment, and analysis of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and data. It typically offers features such as device connectivity, data collection, storage, analytics, and application development tools.

Related Concepts:

2. What are SaaS IoT platform providers?

SaaS IoT platform providers offer IoT platforms as a service (SaaS) model, where users can access and utilize the platform through the cloud without the need for on-premises infrastructure. These providers offer scalable and flexible solutions to help businesses implement and manage their IoT initiatives.

3. What are the benefits of using SaaS IoT platforms?

Some benefits of using SaaS IoT platforms include:

  • Lower upfront costs: SaaS models eliminate the need for upfront investments in hardware and software infrastructure.

  • Scalability: SaaS platforms can easily scale up or down to accommodate the growth or changing needs of IoT deployments.

  • Accessibility: Users can access the platform from anywhere with an internet connection, facilitating remote management and monitoring.

  • Regular updates: SaaS providers often release updates and new features, ensuring that users have access to the latest capabilities without additional effort.

4. Which are the top SaaS IoT platform providers?

There are several top SaaS IoT platform providers in the market, including:

  • AWS IoT Core

  • Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

  • Google Cloud IoT Core

  • IBM Watson IoT Platform

  • Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

5. How do I choose the right SaaS IoT platform provider for my business?

Consider the following factors when choosing a SaaS IoT platform provider:

  • Scalability and performance: Ensure the platform can handle your current and future IoT device and data volume.

  • IoT Security: Look for robust security features to protect your IoT ecosystem from potential threats.

  • Integration capabilities: Check if the platform can integrate with your existing systems and tools.

  • Analytics and insights: Evaluate the platform's data analytics capabilities to derive valuable insights from IoT data.

  • Pricing model: Compare pricing structures and choose a provider that aligns with your budget and expected usage.

Related Concepts:

6. Can I use multiple SaaS IoT platforms together?

Yes, it is possible to use multiple SaaS IoT platforms together. This approach, known as multi-platform or hybrid IoT, allows you to leverage the strengths of different platforms for specific use cases or to integrate with different systems.

7. Are there any industry-specific SaaS IoT platform providers?

Yes, some SaaS IoT platform providers specialize in specific industries such as healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, or transportation. These providers often offer tailored features and solutions to address the unique requirements of these industries.

8. Can I build my own SaaS IoT platform?

Yes, it is possible to build your own SaaS IoT platform, but it requires significant expertise, resources, and ongoing maintenance. Building an IoT platform from scratch involves developing or integrating various components like device management, data storage, analytics, and user interface.

9. How does a SaaS IoT platform handle device connectivity?

SaaS IoT platforms typically provide tools and protocols for device connectivity, such as MQTT or HTTP APIs. They offer device management features to register, authenticate, and manage the communication between IoT devices and the platform.

10. What kind of data can I collect and analyze using a SaaS IoT platform?

SaaS IoT platforms support the collection and analysis of various types of data, including sensor data, telemetry data, environmental data, and machine-generated data. These platforms enable you to extract insights, detect patterns, and make data-driven decisions based on the collected information.

11. Can a SaaS IoT platform handle real-time data processing?

Yes, many SaaS IoT platforms are equipped with real-time data processing capabilities. They allow you to ingest, process, and analyze data in real time, enabling immediate actions, alerts, or notifications based on predefined rules or thresholds.

12. How does a SaaS IoT platform ensure data security?

SaaS IoT platform providers prioritize data security by implementing robust measures such as encryption, access controls, authentication mechanisms, and monitoring. They also often comply with industry standards and regulations to protect sensitive data.

13. Can a SaaS IoT platform integrate with other business systems?

Yes, SaaS IoT platforms are designed to integrate with other business systems. They provide APIs, SDKs, and connectors that facilitate integration with enterprise applications, data storage systems, analytics tools, and third-party services.

14. Does a SaaS IoT platform support edge computing?

Yes, many SaaS IoT platforms support edge computing capabilities. Edge computing enables data processing and analytics to be performed closer to the source, reducing latency and bandwidth requirements. This is especially useful for IoT applications where real-time insights and quick responses are critical.

15. What kind of support and assistance can I expect from a SaaS IoT platform provider?

SaaS IoT platform providers typically offer customer support services, including documentation, knowledge bases, community forums, and direct assistance through email or chat. Some providers may offer different tiers of support, such as 24/7 technical support or dedicated account managers.

16. Can I customize the user interface and workflows on a SaaS IoT platform?

Yes, many SaaS IoT platforms allow customization of the user interface and workflows. They provide configurable dashboards, visualizations, and reporting tools, enabling users to tailor the platform to their specific requirements and preferences.

17. How does a SaaS IoT platform handle software updates and maintenance?

SaaS IoT platform providers handle software updates and maintenance on their end, relieving users of the responsibility. They ensure that the platform is regularly updated with bug fixes, security patches, and new features, so users can focus on utilizing the platform without interruption.

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