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CloudTrek: Making strides in IoT

Chris Player | Jan. 12, 2017
How one AWS migration expert is shifting its business model to become an IoT aggregator.

The Internet of Things (IoT) may still be a concept for many in the channel, one partner has built a successful practice using simple principles.

Queensland-based CloudTrek began life in 2012 as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) migration expert, after which it developed a data analytics practice. But the company's latest venture is in IoT.

The company partners with business intelligence software vendor, Jaspersoft, as well as cyber security company, Trend Micro, but its main partner is AWS.

CloudTrek's solutions architect, Mark Green, told ARN that just 18 months after starting the business unit, the IoT practice has become equally important as the other parts of the business in terms of focus.

"Revenue wise, it is getting close," he said. "The IoT is probably the newer side of the revenue but it is growing, and so what that means is that the organisation needs to ensure that we are also growing in the right way to help the customers."

In its first major deployment, the company completed a project for the Sunshine Coast Council using a specific product CloudTrek Connect, which Green describes as an integration layer for external IoT data sources.

He said the tool allows organisations to consume, manipulate, structure and deliver back to staff or customers the data generated by IoT devices.

Mark Green - CloudTrek solutions architect
Mark Green - CloudTrek solutions architect

"The product itself was born out of different ideas we had internally and we completed our own research and development around integrating different devices," Green said. "From that we realised how difficult it can be to take those different data sources from completely different protocol stacks in completely different forms and bring those back together.

"The project itself started with integrating smart city devices around a region in Caloundra that was to take feeds from different data sources."

These sources included lights, garbage bin sensors, and road objects among others. CloudTrek was then able to manipulate those sources in a way which presented new services back to the council's customers.

Green explained that CloudTrek worked with hardware vendors which deployed the particular IoT devices. Unlike many partners who want to own the whole stack from implementation to ongoing management, CloudTrek is focused on the management of these devices.

"Part of the initial investigation in our journey into IoT was understanding how we could be valuable, and part of that understanding is knowing what we are not good at, and hardware is not it, we don't have electrical engineers, we don't build devices," he said.

"That was a key learning that we understand the market and what is coming through, because where we want to keep driving CloudTrek Connect is to be the data integration point for those different vendors and to try and simplify organisations' consumption of those different devices and integrate those together.


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