Partnership of Device Insight and grandcentrix

NB-IoT per Plug-and-Play - IoT pioneer Device Insight and Vodafone subsidiary grandcentrix are launching a technology partnership and want to help companies quickly implement IoT solutions with their holistic end-to-end approach. One focus is on Narrowband IoT.
We spoke with Marten Schirge, Managing Director of Device Insight, and Christian Pereira, Managing Director of grandcentrix, about the collaboration and the common goals.

Marten Schirge (left), Christian Pereira (right)
Marten Schirge (left), Christian Pereira (right)

Both Device Insight and grandcentrix are IoT specialists and are now launching a technology partnership. How did the idea of the collaboration come about?

Marten: Our experience from working with a wide variety of customers has shown that delays and frictional losses repeatedly occur in the course of IoT projects. One common reason is that various implementation partners – for connectivity, hardware, software development or operations, among others – usually have to be aligned and coordinated within a project. The more complex the project, the more difficult this undertaking becomes. By combining the technologies and expertise of grandcentrix and Device Insight, we are able to offer all services within an IoT project from a single source. For the customer, this means: better interlocked processes, less effort for project management and, accordingly, a significantly faster time-to-market.

How do the services and solutions of grandcentrix and Device Insight interlock?

Christian: At grandcentrix, we specialize in designing and implementing custom-fit IoT hardware and connectivity solutions. With our parent company Vodafone, we also have direct access to network technologies and can also implement individual mobile connectivity solutions quickly and cost-effectively. Having started as an app agency, we also bring a lot of experience in app development. These services are perfectly complemented by Device Insight’s more standardized offering.

Marten: That’s right. Device Insight has many years of experience in the development of complex and at the same time highly scalable IoT and IIoT solutions. This has resulted in CENTERSIGHT scale, an IoT framework comparable to a construction kit. This allows us to make use of numerous prefabricated IoT building blocks, which we combine into individual and flexible IoT solutions through system integration based on common cloud providers and our own software development. Combining the approaches of Device Insight and grandcentrix enables us to implement IoT solutions quickly and cost-effectively, but still adapt them to the customer in such a flexible way that they can be scaled and expanded in the long term.

One focus of your collaboration is the implementation of Narrowband IoT solutions. Why this technology in particular?

Christian: Although the Internet of Things has now penetrated many industries and sectors, there are still areas of application in which the use of IoT has not yet been feasible or profitable. Take, for example, the networking of pumps or compressors in public spaces. Making such devices IoT-enabled makes a lot of sense because you then know how they are being used and whether they are functional. But the infrastructure costs per networked device have simply been too high to make such a use case economically viable. With Narrowband IoT, however, we now have a mobile communications standard that is a perfect fit for such use cases – in other words, application areas that do not require high data rates and for which near-real-time data transmission is not necessary. By targeting low bandwidths and low data volumes, NB-IoT also minimizes operating costs and energy consumption – and previously unprofitable use cases suddenly become feasible.

Marten: In addition, NB-IoT has particularly good building penetration. So on the basis of NB-IoT, IoT solutions can also be implemented inside buildings without having to access the existing network infrastructure. Especially in public buildings, for example in shopping centers or in airports, this is a great advantage.

Do you have a specific example of this?

Marten: We are already working on the first joint customer projects, e.g. Stiegelmeyer. The Herford-based company Stiegelmeyer is a leading global manufacturer of hospital and care beds. The aim of the project is to use an NB-IoT solution to facilitate patient care and improve patient comfort, but without having to rely on the infrastructure of the hospitals or nursing homes where the beds are located. Stiegelmeyer is just one example of many possible NB-IoT use cases. We are convinced that the possibilities of the technology are far from exhausted and want to make it easier for companies to get started with our joint approach.

What are your goals? Where do you want to take the journey together in the long term?

Christian: Our vision is to offer companies a combined hardware and software solution for Narrowband IoT as a plug-and-play solution. This means that companies can quickly and cost-effectively implement NB-IoT use cases and network their devices worldwide without long planning and development times. For a true plug-and-play offering, we are currently working intensively on the ideal integration of hardware and software. We are confident that we will soon be able to make it even easier for companies to get started with NB-IoT. And Device Insight’s established IoT platform offering will also play a prominent role here.

Über Device Insight

Founded in 2003 in Munich, Device Insight GmbH is an IoT specialist, accompanying companies in their digitization in the fields of Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence. Based on a flexible IoT framework, Device Insight combines ready-to-use IoT building blocks and individual applications for customized IoT services. System integration based on common cloud providers and software development are combined to create tailored solutions that are both fast and scalable. Device Insight supports global networking of machines, vehicles, plants, and devices and provides applications in the fields of data acquisition, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, machine learning, industrial analytics and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things). Device Insight is active in more than 15 countries, working together with large enterprises and mid-size customers from various sectors, including machinery and plant engineering, HVAC, commercial vehicles, vending, transport, energy as well as the Connected Home environment. Services range from business case analysis and implementation to secure IT operations. The company has been awarded “Internet of Things (I4.0) Leader Germany” on numerous occasions by the ISG Provider Lens study. Since 2019, Device Insight has been a subsidiary of automation specialist KUKA AG.

Further information on the partnership can also be found in the joint press release.