Ericsson Opens IoT Marketplace

Io Tcity4

By: Michael Vizard

Ericsson today moved to bring some order to the application programming interface (API) chaos that has arisen in Internet of Things (IoT) environments by opening an online marketplace through which IoT applications have been vetted for interoperability.

The Ericsson IoT Accelerator Marketplace provides access to a catalog of IoT applications specifically designed to work across a cellular network. The goal is to reduce the chaos organizations routinely face as they attempt to build and deploy IoT applications spanning multiple software and hardware platforms, says Osvaldo Aldao, head of IoT solutions for Ericsson.

There’s no shortage of online marketplace these days to access application software. The Ericsson IoT Marketplace is different in that all the applications that can be downloaded support a common set of APIs along with a standard means for describing those APIs that were crafted by Ericsson, says Aldao.

“Instead of having 400 to 800 APIs there is now one standard set,” says Aldao.

That commonality should provide the critical mass required for an online app store to succeed, says Aldao.

While interest in IoT has exploded, the practical realities of connecting hundreds of applications and associated platforms to the Internet presents a major challenge. Most organizations wind up connection various things to the Internet in a siloed fashion. There is no centralized managed of a heterogeneous IoT environment. Ericsson clearly sees an opportunity to advance adoption of its cellular networking services in IoT environments by helping IT organizations to start crafting a centralized command and control capability.

In the future Aldao says Ericcson will further those efforts by enabling customers and partners to segment access to application base on the region or vertical industry being addressed.

Ericsson also plans to add graphical user interfaces to the most widely consumed services rather than requiring organizations to master a software development kit (SDK) for every software service, adds Aldao.

It’s too early to say to what degree a marketplace will accelerate deployment of IoT applications. But the entity that controls the marketplace usually becomes the dominant channel through which all other applications and services are delivered. Clearly, Ericsson has its eye on that much larger prize.