Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

HPE opens IoT innovation lab in Geneva

Steve Rogerson
January 24, 2019

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has opened an IoT innovation laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, to help its customers capitalise on the vast amounts of data generated outside of data centres by devices, machines, assets and sensors at the edge.
One of four HPE IoT innovation labs globally, the Geneva lab provides a collaborative environment to conceptualise, develop and test IoT and edge-to-cloud products and services that drive business outcomes such as operational efficiency, safety, revenue growth and long-term competitive advantage.
“The exponential data growth at the edge holds a huge opportunity for advancing our economies and societies,” said Volkhard Bregulla, HPE vice president. “However, organisations currently only capitalise on a fraction of that data. Realising this opportunity requires a complex transformation involving technology, people and economics. Our IoT innovation labs are a key tool to initiate, shape and accelerate each customer’s unique IoT journey.”
The Geneva laboratory offers hands-on environments and real-world examples where customers and partners can discover the business value of HPE and its partners’ enterprise IoT portfolios. This includes immersive edge experience zones that let its customers digitally interact with things in their natural settings featuring practical IoT use cases for industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, retail, and smart city.
Together with HPE’s nearby HPC and AI centre of excellence in Grenoble, France, the Geneva lab provides a proof-of-concept environment to test the latest IoT technologies with its customers’ software and test data. Customers can benchmark applications and experiment securely and confidentially across many use cases.
“Collaborative innovation is at the heart of our IoT innovation labs, with the goal to deliver material business outcomes,” said Tom Bradicich, HPE vice president. “These are not only places to demonstrate or test solutions, they are places to provoke thinking about the possibilities, and then come together to build and deploy the next generation of IoT and intelligent edge solutions.”
Driving business outcomes with IoT requires not only new technologies and expertise in areas such as edge infrastructure, artificial intelligence, wired and wireless networking, security, location services, augmented reality, and edge-to-cloud architectures, but also viable use cases that deliver short-term results and help drive a strategic IoT innovation roadmap. The IoT use cases demonstrated at the Geneva lab can help users envision opportunities to reach their business goals, conceptualise IoT use cases for their enterprises, and eventually implement proofs of concepts and projects.
Examples of use cases demonstrated at the laboratory include:

  • Accelerate machine learning at the edge to automate quality assurance in high-tech manufacturing: HPE Pointnext enables automated and precise defect detection of finished products in high-tech manufacturing, based on video analytics and machine learning (ML). It accelerates the time to train ML algorithms by employing image-analytics methods and by running the analysis at the edge, based on HPE Edgeline converged edge systems. It is deployed at Foxconn’s production lines for HPE systems in Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic. The Geneva lab has a conveyor belt where visitors can experience and test how video analytics detects defects in computer hardware.
  • OT-IT convergence increases productivity in auto manufacturing: Automotive manufacturers use multiple test and measurement systems for factory in-line automated testing and engineering development, a complex, error-prone and expensive setup. One car maker saw the opportunity to increase productivity by consolidating separate components into a single system. The company deployed the HPE Edgeline OT link platform, which converges operational technology (OT) – such as Can bus, data acquisition, and OT control systems – with enterprise-grade IT infrastructure at the edge, for example, on the manufacturing floor. At the laboratory, HPE demonstrates this with a car door controlled and monitored via an HPE Edgeline EL300 converged edge system.
  • Monetisation of vehicle data: HPE demonstrates a prototype, implemented with an Audi Q2, that provides a secure process for the sharing of and payment for a vehicle’s sensor data based on smart contracts. Built on blockchain technology and an edge-to-cloud architecture, it lets vehicle owners earn money or get rewards by driving while controlling with whom they share data. In addition, third parties enjoy access to a data pool for purposes of driver assistance, customer targeting or other mobility service.
  • Smart venues drive business outcomes: Aruba, an HPE company, demonstrates how IoT technology helps transform experiences at physical venues such as offices, retail stores, hospitals or cities, to reach goals such as higher employee productivity, improved safety, optimised processes and revenue growth. As an example, the lab has a smart office equipped with Aruba wifi and wired networks, beacons and Meridian location-based services, all integrated with office and business applications. Using the Meridian-powered mobile app, visitors can find their way to rooms and, based on the visitors’ presence, the meeting room will automatically activate various workflows. For example, once the visitor arrives in the room, the location is marked as occupied in the mobile app and the system automatically launches a Skype or Zoom meeting.
  • Ensure security and service quality in IoT environments: The continued growth of edge and IoT creates challenges for enterprises to deliver the best user experience and to ensure the security of IoT-enabled infrastructures. At the Geneva lab, Aruba demonstrates ways to solve the IoT security problems, including Aruba IntroSpect, AI-based machine learning security software that detects small changes in device behaviour that are often indicative of cyber attacks that have evaded traditional security defences. This is used by Cadence Design Systems and other large organisations. Additionally, Aruba will have a service assurance offering from its Cape Networks acquisition that helps IT departments get in front of service issues before they occur for users and IoT devices. It runs continuous simulated tests to monitor network connectivity, network services, authentication, captive portal response, cloud and internal applications in critical locations such as office spaces, production plants, retail, healthcare and similar environments.