Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

HCL and Sierra Wireless demonstrate smart logistics at MWC

Steve Rogerson
March 6, 2019
 
Indian technology company HCL Technologies and Canadian IoT firm Sierra Wireless partnered to demonstrate smart logistics at last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
 
They announced the availability of the HCL Smart Logistics for Inventory Tracking 1.0 accelerator powered by SAP Leonardo. This SAP-certified product integrates with the Sierra Wireless Octave distributed data orchestration platform to deliver a secure, scalable method to transform how companies manage inventories of consumable product. It uses low-power, wide-area (LPWA) wireless technology and provides near real-time visibility into asset data to monitor inventory efficiently, improve traceability and unlock additional revenue from assets.
 
Companies are struggling to track critical location, condition, integrity and inventory data from their high-value assets. They can deploy IoT-connected sensors but getting timely, actionable data to their back-end systems is complex and requires an integrated approach.
 
“Supply-chain optimisation is critical for business success today, and the combination of cellular technologies, IoT data orchestration and blockchain adds levels of efficiency that result in significant resource and financial gains,” said Michael Romero, senior vice president for HCL Technologies. “HCL’s expertise in IoT and blockchain, combined with Sierra Wireless’ data orchestration capabilities, allow for a powerful solution.”
 
To develop the Smart Logistics Accelerator, HCL integrated Sierra Wireless’ Octave distributed data orchestration platform with SAP enterprise business applications, SAP Leonardo, IoT and blockchain services. Deployed on SAP Cloud Platform, it optimises inventory management and automatic status monitoring in the core business application to enable new, usage-based services and improve traceability, delivering an intelligent enterprise.
 
“Understanding asset data will optimise operations and drive strategic growth, but accessing that data securely in a way that is actionable and scalable has not been possible until now,” said Olivier Pauzet, vice president at Sierra Wireless. “Using Octave, our new data orchestration platform, HCL Technologies’ customers can securely extract, orchestrate and act on data from their assets at the edge, send it to the cloud, and gain near real-time visibility to manage the most important aspects of the business, achieving the full value of data-driven transformation.”
 
HCL and Sierra Wireless showed the smart logistics accelerator at Mobile World Congress with a live demonstration of beverage inventory management that showed how near real-time monitoring of critical data – such as, has the beer keg been opened, is the beer cold enough, how much beer has been consumed, does the brewery know when we might need a new batch, and is the brewery invoicing us only for the beer consumed? – allows users to get an exact pour every time and provides the ability to replace the keg before their customers are waiting.
 
The demonstration was connected over an LTE-M LPWA cellular network, featuring Sierra Wireless’ Smart SIM integrated with an LTE-M module, MangOH Red open source hardware and the Octave platform to extract, orchestrate and act on data securely from the keg at the edge to SAP Cloud Platform on screen.
 
HCL’s Smart Logistics Accelerator integrates with the SAP business application and provides a foundation to customers to implement an innovation tailored to their specific supply chain and inventory management business processes.
 
Octave integrates edge devices, LPWA network and cloud APIs into a single platform that securely extracts, orchestrates and acts on data from remote assets at the edge to the cloud. Users can focus on building asset monitoring rather than reinventing infrastructure, which reduces development time, from several months to days.
 
HCL Technologies operates out of 44 countries and had consolidated revenues of US$8.4bn in 2018.